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If you have had newborn(s) with a toddler(s)


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#1 FirstTimeMom814

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 10:45 AM


We are working on some new resources for the 1-4 group. Please share your advice and tips on having a new baby(ies) with toddler(s) at home.

Are there things that you found to be particularly challenging? Is there any advice you would give someone that is going to be in this situation?
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#2 EmilyM

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 11:01 AM

We had a 2 1/2 year old when we brought the twins home. A big challenge for us was getting time to spend with her so it was not all about the new babies. We had a lot of help those first few months, so that made it easier, but it still is a challenge. We just try as best we can to carve out time for each of our kids, so it's not just one of them that gets special one on one time. But at first, it was really just for my oldest. We also had special "big sister" jobs that she still does some to this day. And gets mad at us when someone else does them.

But even before the twins were born, it was hard in some ways because she was too big for me to be able to lift for the last 2 months. And she did not like that at all. All she understood is Mommy couldn't pick her because of the babies. So we had to coax her or bribe her almost at times, but it got better as we went along.

Is this the kind of stuff you are looking for?
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#3 FirstTimeMom814

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 11:03 AM

QUOTE(EmilyM @ Jan 14 2008, 10:01 AM) View Post
Is this the kind of stuff you are looking for?


Perfect! Thanks so much for contributing!
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#4 Sarahİ

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 11:07 AM

We had an age 4 child when our twins came home. Obviously because our oldest was a preschooler, he handled things a little differently than a toddler might, however, we still made sure he was made to feel involved. He was given a job to do almost always (getting diapers and wipes, putting bottles in the sink, grabbing burp clothes, getting the phone for Mommy, changing the DVD in the player) and we sent him on "dates" with aunts, uncles, grandparents, so he had a lot to look forward to, esp. since with the twins, I was stuck at home most days. He loved it and still does not think he missed out on anything!
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#5 EmilyM

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 11:20 AM

Sarah made me think of something else we did. One of my sisters was not going to be able to come up to help us out when the twins were born, so she offered to help by keeping my oldest for a few days. This sister lives a little over 2 hours away, and has two girls herself. When I was about 28 weeks pregnant, my daughter went "on vacation to Aunt Betsy's house" so we could both go for a trial run, and it wouldn't happen just once the babies were born. Or because the babies were born. She loved it, and still asks to go back on vacation with Aunt Betsy.
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#6 Mama Chunk

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 11:40 AM

I agree with all the above. Our son turned 3 about a week after the twins were born.

Feedings: When you get set up to tandem nurse or feed, make sure your older child has something to do (color, read, train set, tv) before you sit down and get going.

Napping: Our son doesn't always nap but he absolutely has quiet time for 90 minutes every day. At some point every day, I get at least 10 minutes with no kids. This is a huge recharger.

Developmental stuff: potty training, big boy beds etc... do all that way before (we did big boy bed and no paci in June) or way after (we started potty training about a month after the twins were born).

We try very much to not say "don't do that, the babies are sleeping/eating/etc." This is his house too and we try to balance their needs with his without creating the situation that he has to do or not do something because of the babies. We try to foster independence as much as possible, ie carry your own bag, help momma with the door, put dishes in the sink, put clothes in the laundry, whatever he can do without making too much of a mess or making a mess that he can clean up.

Hope that's helpful!
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#7 BRMommy

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 11:44 AM

I'm about to find out what life with toddlers and an infant is like. But here are some advice I received from a friend who have already been there and done that:

1. Never say that mommy can't do something because of the baby. Phrase it in a way that puts the blame on the mommy and not the baby. (Example: Mommy can't lift you up because her tummy hurts. Mommy can't read to you right now because she's busy.)
2. When the toddler sees the baby for the first time, mommy should not be holding the baby. The baby should be in a bassinet or in the arms of somebody else like daddy or grandma.
3. When visitors come to see the baby, ask them to acknowledge the toddler first. Then ask the toddler permission to see his/her little baby. This way, the toddler starts to take pride in having a little baby in the house instead of feeling jealous of all the attention the baby is getting.
4. A month or two before the baby's arrival, start having the toddler live his/her life exactly the way he/she would after the baby's arrival. For example, if there is going to be a new babysitter helping out, have the sitter start a month earlier. If Daddy is going to take the toddler to Mommy and Me class, have him start a month earlier. You want to minimize any changes in the toddler's life after the baby arrives.

The above advice came from a friend who has a 3 year old and a newborn. Her 3 year old just adores his little brother, and whatever she did to foster his affection for the new baby, she must have done something right. I'm hoping my kids will be the same way.
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#8 moski

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 12:06 PM

Nolan and Meghan were almost 2 when Liam was born.

1. We attempted to prepare them by telling them that Mommy had a baby in her belly, just like when they were in her belly.
2. We just told them they were having a sleepover when I went to the hospital, we didn't say it was because of the baby.
3. We didn't bring them in to see me or the baby until the day after my c/s. I was not up to visiting with them that first day and I would've felt bad about that.
4. The baby brought them each a present when we brought him home.
5. I left them in daycare for a month after he was born. I figured I would disrupt their life as little as possible.
6. I let them see him, kiss him, give him attention. There was some anger in the beginning if I didn't have all my attention for them, but it didn't last long.
7. I always referred to him as "their" baby, not just "my" baby.
8. I let them "help", by getting things that he needed. Like wipes if I was changing him, a diaper, whatever.
9. I made sure that when he was sleeping, they got my attention. (still do)
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#9 Nancy C

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 08:34 PM

A simple thing a friend told me and seemed to help. Anytime the toddler requests help or your attention and you can give it to him - turn to the babies and say, "You guys need to wait, Mommy is going to help Matt" It seems to help during those times you have to have the toddler wait to attend to the baby.
Gifts from the babies to the toddler at the hospital were a big hit (he still talks about them)!
Definitely have potty training (or big bed) well versed long before the delivery or wait several months after.
Talk to the babies about how proud you are of big bro when he can hear you, seems to be more meaningful then telling him directly (though we do that too).
Showing him lots of pictures of mommy and daddy cuddling him when he was a baby seemed to help as well.


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#10 4jsinPA

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 10:05 PM

I have already read a few great ones but here are some that helped me.. I had a 2.5yr old and a 5 yr old at home...

Definetly get any help available..don't be afraid to ask. People want to help and you will need it!
Ditto the tell the babies they need to be patient so you can help the older ones...make sure the older one's hear you saying that.
Also remember that the babies will not remember if they had to wait an extra minute or two to be changed/fed/rocked but your older will remember that s/he had to wait for the babies many times
Utilize any down time that you have on some days to make it a special time with the older, whether its a board game, play do, whatever they really like. Sometimes I let Jack help me cook or something so I was getting something done and letting him be a part of something I could make fun.
When possible take only the olders to the store and leave babies at home
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#11 K*D*B

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 12:59 AM

My oldest was 21 months when the twins were born. He always wanted to be my helper and I let him. I always made sure he was busy with something before I fed them. Lots of extra hugs and kisses. I didn't have any help really but I did convince my mom to come and watch the twins for 2 hours a week so we could do a mommy and me class. That was for 24 weeks.
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