When one becomes two – top tips to get through the early days with 2 little ones  

Wed 7 Sep 16 | Lifestylish, Mummy Stuff | 12 comments

Second time round, I’m finding maternity leave far more of a juggling act than before. Little P simply has to fit in to the plans I have with her big bro, so she basically spends life being lugged around either in her car seat, buggy or in my arms. At the beginning I was so looking forward to the day I would have her all day to myself when M was at nursery. But turns out she had tongue tie/colic/anger management issues from 2 weeks old and my dream of a whole day of warm cuddles, calm feeds and lovely snoozes remained just that. A dream. So it was surprisingly helpful to have a demanding 3 year old to entertain at soft play or at the park so I would get out of the house. Amongst the general chaos outdoors, the stress of my bundle of fury was diluted rather than exacerbated by an otherwise silent house.

Here are my tips to coping with two small humans in the first few weeks:

  • Get out. Just get out of the house. Obviously wait til you’re feeling up to it physically, but even if it’s just a wander up to the park or the post office, it’s so important to see the light of day. It may seem daunting at first – and take you 45 minutes to get everything and everyone together – but it’s so good for your sanity. Daylight, other people and perspective make toddler tantrums and grizzly babies somehow not so intense.
  • Accept help. Any kind – from babysitting, to clearing up, food deliveries, washing. Don’t be proud, say YES PLEASE. You have a newborn. When else in life can you do that with no guilt?
  • Give the older sibling responsibilities. This really helps to combat jealousy and make them feel involved in my experience. M loved the idea of being ‘Wipe Monitor’ and would run after me brandishing Huggies on the way to change his little sister’s nappy. The novelty soon wore off, but I think it staved off some attention seeking.
  • Make a trip to Hobbycraft/Poundland and do a big shop for stuff to keep big bro or sis occupied at the table while you’re giving feeds. Simple stickers and craft kits can buy you a good half an hour!
  • If you can get baby to take a bottle early on (formula or expressed milk), get Dad/grandparent/friend to do the late evening feed so you can get to bed soon after toddler and hopefully get a few hours in before the early hours. It really made me feel more human and able to cope in the day.
  • There’s no harm in lowering standards round the house for a while. In fact be prepared to! (shhh to my ex-military husband with impossibly high standards will be shaking his head reading this). The truth of the matter is that some things are more important than hanging washing out. Like feeding a hungry baby, playing a game with an attention starved 3 year old in that small window of opportunity when baby is (finally) napping or actually, drinking a hot cup of tea for once.
  • Do your supermarket shop online. I was dreading doing the big shop with both small people in the early days, so having initially found the online shop overwhelming and complicated (I used to enjoy doing the shopping in store and then having a cheeky Starbucks with just M), I managed to get familiar with it a few weeks before my due date. A life-saver once little P was here. Bread, milk, nappies, coffee, wine, ear plugs all just a click away.
The Pramshed
Mudpie Fridays

12 Comments

  1. Lucy's Locket

    I only have one child at the moment, but I agree with the get out the house comment. I am a homebody and love being at home, but I find I now need to leave the house at least once a day to stay sane!! Thanks for the tips. #fortheloveofBLOG

    Reply
  2. The Pramshed

    It must be hard looking after two, but there are some great tips here to help you get through the early days. I really like the older child being wipe monitor for a while. I’m sure that my daughter would love this role, as she loves a wipe. I couldn’t agree more about getting out the house, even with one that it so important to make you feel normal. Thanks so much for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

    Reply
    • kimberly

      You’re welcome. Yes wipe monitor went down well 😀 thanks for another cool link up x

      Reply
  3. Angela Watling

    Great tips! It must be tough with 2 but it’s actually really nice to hear that getting out with your toddler was a welcome distraction from newborn woes. I remember just staying at home and doing very little on bad days with my daughter. But actually if I’d had no choice to get up and get on with it, I probably would most days. Getting to bed early is so wise though. Even with only 1, I would go to bed about 8pm when she was just a few weeks old and slowly crept it later as the weeks progressed and I got used to it all. Hope things are still going well! #fortheloveofBLOG

    Reply
  4. tammymum

    As a mum of two with 11 months between them I can totally agree – it’s definitely a juggling act! We always always get out it’s key to all our sanity and yes I learnt this time around to absolutely accept help! #fortheloveofblog xx

    Reply
  5. No Manual to Mummy

    Great read for me. Currently 18 weeks pregnant with baby #2 so anything that offers some tips about being a parent of 2 is on my reading list. Love the idea of stocking up on stickers and stuff for big sister to be occupied when dealing with newborn. Thanks for some little tips and preparation! #fortheloveofblog

    Reply
  6. Lucy At Home

    Oh yed I was completely unprepared for how difficult it was going to be with 2 little ones. You feel like there’s always someone who needs your attention, plus the mountain of stuff that needs your attention to keep life going. I think online shopping is a lifesaver and I love your idea of getting craft items from the poundshop for feeding times. That was one of the trickiest bits for us because my older child invariably needed a drink or to go to the toilet or to turn the light on right in the middle of a feed (possibly an attention thing) #BloggerClubUK

    Reply
  7. thetaleofmummyhood

    Going from one to two is a major learning curve! Great tips, I should have read this before my second came along, haha!

    #BloggerClubUK

    Reply
  8. Wendy

    Great tips! I’ve just had my second baby and I am finding it so hard to make time for my 3 year old. I’m breastfeeding and my little man feeds so much I’m stuck to the sofa most of the day. Getting out is so important, I only lasted until day 3 before I had to get out xx #bloggerclubuk

    Reply
  9. theladybirdsadventures

    Great post. I have a 3 year old and 5 month old. I too have found it hard going from one to two. It’s all calming down a bit now thankfully. I can’t think of any other tips as you seem to have it covered. #bloggerclubuk

    Reply
  10. susielhawes

    Some great advice here. We are thinking of trying for another next year but I’m terrified at how I will cope! I’ll remember some of these things though so thank you! #BloggerClubUK

    Reply

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