Congratulations! You are postpartum with a newborn and a toddler! Life just went from crazy to hectic! This is such an exciting time, but it’s also challenging. Your toddler is possibly feeling excited, jealous, or anything in between. There are some ways you can ease the transition to older sibling while still taking care of your newborn and yourself at the same time. Going from one baby to two babies was my hardest transition. After that, you are a professional child wrangler!
Being postpartum with a newborn and a toddler requires multi-tasking like a boss. Having your hands free will make things much more simple for you. Baby wearing does have a learning curve, however once it’s mastered, it helps you out so much!
Stick to a loose routine.
You are obviously hurting and you are tired so you quite possibly rolled your eyes at this one. I’m telling you from experience though, that if you completely throw everything out the window, your toddler will fall apart and it will be harder on you later when you are ready to go back to normal life. You won’t be able to follow your old routine completely, but if you could just generally do some things around the same time that you used to, it will help your toddler out. So much is changing for your toddler that you want to keep as much normal going as possible. Speaking of that, now is not the time to try potty training, switching to a big kid bed, or giving up the pacifier either. No big changes until later.
Use grocery pick up.
This is going to save you so much time and headache. Get your preferred grocery store app on your phone so when you need something, you can just open the app quick and add it. Then, when it is time to put in your grocery order, you know you won’t be forgetting anything. This is great for baby brain! However, if you do happen to forget something or you need to run into the store for a few things, have your spouse drive around the parking lot while you run in quick. It’s much more simple to run in by yourself then it is with your hands full. If that’s not a possibility for you though, don’t forget your wrap so you can wear your baby. You’re going to need it!
White noise machine
I talk about this a lot but it is only because it works! Seriously, white noise is a God-send! I have a travel one, one in my toddler’s room, one in my room, and an app on my phone that plays it. White noise is just a noise that sounds like inside the womb so your newborn loves it. The noise also drowns out most of the noise being made from your toddler though, so it helps with naptimes.
Try to embrace the mess. Focus on playing with your toddler.
Your carpets won’t get vacuumed, dishes won’t get washed, dust will collect. This is the hardest for me, as mess gives me anxiety. Some things are way more important than a clean house though. Your toddler needs to know they are still important, so putting all of your extra energy into your toddler is more important than anything else.
Get your toddler involved in care.
Sometimes, your toddler wants to be a big kid. Toddlers love to be helpful so use that to your advantage. Have your toddler pick out the newborn’s outfit, have them bring you the pacifier or blanket. Let them give the baby a bottle. Whatever you can think of to make them think you need them.
When you cook, double the recipe.
Less cooking, less cleaning. Win-win. Utilize those leftovers. Even if you don’t like leftovers, at least your toddler’s meal can be quickly microwaved. If you are breastfeeding, you are going to be hungry all day long, so leftovers are wonderful to have around for a quick bite. If you need ideas on what to eat while breastfeeding, (actually this really works for anytime too), go check out my post on what I eat in a day while breastfeeding.
Lower your expectations. You are, postpartum with a newborn AND a toddler.
Dry shampoo and dirty yoga pants for the 5th day in a row. Rock it mama. Not only is it expected for you to lower your expectations, it’s encouraged. This is a lot of work, so some things just need to not be done for this season of life.
Invite your toddler over during feeding.
This is one of my favorite times with my toddler. When it’s time to feed the baby, that also means it’s time to read a book! It isn’t quite one on one time with your toddler, but it feels like it. Your newborn is being fed and your toddler is sitting next to you while you read. Not only is your toddler learning because your are reading a book to him, but he feels like it’s a special time for him as well. If your toddler is not into this though, don’t force it. Try to find something else you could do instead of reading a book. Maybe watching him build with blocks or coloring. Something to make that time special.
Get your toddler their own baby doll.
Toddlers love to be just like mom and dad. Get your toddler their own doll to play with so they can do exactly what you do all day!
Postpartum with a Newborn and a Toddler is So Hard!
I really hope that while you are postpartum with a newborn and a toddler, you can try to enjoy the insanity that it is. Right now, I have a 3 year old, 1 year old, and 4 month old (plus my big kids). While it is tough, there are so many beautiful moments that you should be soaking up and enjoying. Never again will life be the same as it is now, so focus on the positive because it is way to easy to focus on how stressful your life is right now. Practice gratitude and give yourself all the affirmations you can! You got this mama!
Please remember though, if mentally you are not feeling right, if you are crying more than you think you should, if you are angry, or if you have feelings of harming yourself or others, this is something you need to speak to a professional about. Don’t feel ashamed for having these feelings as your hormones are so whacky right now, that your body just might need a little extra support. Get whatever support you need!
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