7 Survival Tips for When You Have a Newborn and Toddlers in the Home
The boys are super excited to have their new baby bro in the house! It's basically like having a new toy to play with, except they don't tire of it after a day or two haha. When they're home, they literally don't want to leave Max's side! It gets tough when I'm nursing or changing the baby, and especially when I'm putting him down at night. They want to touch his face and tell him they love him a million times, and sometimes Leo doesn't understand he's being loving in too strong of a way for delicate baby Max, like when he squishes his cheeks to tell him how cute he is! It's all love, but still!
It can all get to be too much and I find myself frustrated with my toddlers a lot, mainly because I want to protect Max, but I have to remind myself that they don't know any better and they just love and want to be with the baby. So, I've figured out some ways to keep myself sane and my baby safe! Here's what’s working for me:
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1. Sign the Toddlers Up For Preschool
This one has been a game-changer for me! Not only does it give me a breather and to focus just on baby Max for part of the day, but going to school also gives my older boys entertainment and engagement in a healthy way and gives them a chance to learn and grow.
2. Have Activities in Nursery to Keep Toddlers Busy
Toddlers love to be close to mama, and they also love to be near baby brother. By having books, puzzles, blocks, and other self-entertaining toys in the nursery, it makes it a safe and fun space for Ryan and Leo to play while I breastfeed or tend to Max. It really helps all my boys to feel like part of something special. Here are some of my fave toys for keeping my tots busy:
These are a fun magnetic building toy with all kinds of shapes and vibrant colors to learn.
Melissa & Doug Puzzles
My boys love these for creative building. Unlike most building toys, these can stick to the wall and build sideways! They make great bath time toys too.
3. Plan Extra-curricular Activities
Having regularly scheduled activities for your older kiddos outside of the home gives you something to get out of the house for and provides routine for your fam. This is even better if you are able to have scheduled care for your baby so you can take a break and focus on your other little ones for a bit. We do this with athletic and educational opportunities for Ryan and Leo, like swim lessons and soccer.
4. Divide and Conquer!
Evenings and weekends are vital bonding time for working dads and their little ones, so it’s the perfect time to enlist extra support! Hubby has mostly taken on bath time with the older boys and been taking them out for “Day with Daddy” to the zoo, the park, the movies, or to visit relatives on the weekends. It keeps them busy so I can care for Max uninterrupted! Bedtime is another time when Daddy support is so helpful. Hubby puts Leo to bed and I've been doing a fun back and forth thing with Ryan and Max... fun times!
5. Coordinate Naps
Every kiddo is different, so I know this isn’t always easy or even possible. Some kids just aren’t sleepers! But if you can, coordinating nap schedules can be a life-saver! If you can get all your littles napping or resting at the same time, that’s prime time for mama to get some work done…or take a nap yourself!
6. Wear your Baby
Babywearing is a great way to free up your hands to get things done or give more attention to your older littles. Personally, I love my Solly Baby Wrap! I just recently used it to wear Max during the entire hour long tour and enrollment meeting for Ryan’s new school he’ll be attending in the fall.
7. Ask for (and Accept) Help
Mama, you can’t do it all alone. And you shouldn’t have to! Raising littles ones is no small task, and sometimes you need an extra set of hands to support you with childcare, or housework, or even running your business if you’re a mompreneur like me!
Give yourself patience
Being a mama of multiple kiddos is no easy task, especially when one of them is a newborn and one or more are toddlers! Just do your best to give each child the love, affection and care they need, and the rest will follow. You’ve got this, mama!
Mamas, what are your go-to survival tactics for balancing your newborn and other littles’ needs?