First of all, you should never actually try to juggle with a toddler and a newborn. The toddler is way too heavy for you to catch easily in one hand and the newborn doesn’t have the neck strength for life as a juggling ball just yet. Joking aside, looking after a toddler and a newborn at the same time isn’t always easy, in fact, some days it may feel pretty impossible. You will have times where the newborn naps allowing you to spend quality time with your toddler, and other times where the toddler plays happily by himself allowing you to breastfeed in peace. But you’ll also face the struggle of keeping both your young children happy despite their varying needs. Here are some top tips to help you through:
- Invest in a doll
Toddlers are just learning how to play, and a doll is a great way for them to learn the ins and outs of imaginative play. Your toddler will be able to mimic the way you care for the baby. You can even buy some accessories such as diapers and a pram to accompany the doll, so your child can really enjoy the responsibilities of being a parent.
- Get a sling
A sling could be a complete lifesaver for you as you try to balance the needs of two children. A sling will allow your newborn to nap happily against your chest and leave your arms free to engage in some play with your toddler. Some toddlers feel jealous of the new baby, but a sling will allow you to ensure the toddler is still getting plenty of one-on-one attention throughout the day.
- Create a breastfeeding box
Just as you might create a breastfeeding station for yourself with magazines, the TV remote and a bottle of water, you should now create one for your toddler. Have a selection of toys, books and snacks nearby so you can keep your toddler happy during breastfeeds. Storybooks make for a great distraction and are a simple way to keep your toddler happy during long feeds.
- Get your toddler involved
Your toddler may feel happier if she feels involved in the baby’s life. Let her help you out whenever possible. She can get diapers, wipes or other things from across the room. She can also help to play with the baby with you and will learn a lot from seeing you interact with the newborn.
- Be positive
What we say has a big impact on how children feel. Think about the way you talk about being a big sister, does it sound like an important and fun job or something that comes with a lot of expectations? Try to speak positively about the sibling relationship and make sure your toddler knows how valued she is as a big sister. Do you have any tips for keeping a toddler happy when there is a newborn in the house?
Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.