How Do I Manage With a Toddler And a New Baby?

front view mother posing with children, one baby and one toddler, both two under two
Image by user18526052 on Freepik

Many parents worry about how they will give their toddler time and attention once they have another baby. Managing two under two can seem daunting and challenging. I think whatever the gap between children, whether under two years or around three or older, parents can often feel overwhelmed by the thought of having two children.  

I always say don’t worry about it as it is part of family life!… and will be quite fun! The worry will pass, your toddler will soon get used to another little person in the house and he will forget what it was like before. Baby will grow up and it will become much easier as you can be more flexible with baby and his routine. You will feel more confident about having both of the children together on your own. 

If your toddler is about 12 to 18 months he will very definitely have been the baby! At this age, it’s difficult to explain that the baby is here to stay! But he will very soon get used to his little sibling.

Feeding Routine With a Toddler

However old your toddler is, I do think it’s important to feed baby and then tuck him down in his cot or in his pram. Then your toddler isn’t too overwhelmed with mummy being taken up with baby all the time. Newborns will usually sleep a lot, especially in those first few weeks. 

Feed times in the day with two under two. Try and have your toddler sitting with you or playing on the floor so that he feels included. Sometimes a toddler will sit on the sofa with you and watch a film or TV program while you’re feeding. To begin with he will probably want to climb all over you when you feed! 

A good idea before you feed is to let your toddler sit on the sofa and hold baby. Put baby in his arms with you still holding so that it’s safe. This will make him feel involved. Toddlers can get fed up very soon, especially if baby starts crying, and they will push baby away, so watch out for that! Do this before you feed. 

If your toddler is older, he will probably be much happier to play while you’re feeding. You can also include an older toddler by asking him to get a nappy for you or a muslin or something that you may need for baby. Then give him a hug for doing it, this will make him feel special.

Two Under Two Evening Routine

Another common concern can be coping with two children at tea time, bath, and bedtime, especially when your partner goes back to work. If you’re a single mum tea time and bedtime can be tricky.  You can ask a friend or family member to help you at this time of day. With toddler’s tea time, you may find that as baby is more awake. You could do a split feed at this time so that baby is happy and settled while you do your toddler’s tea. Sometimes baby will have a little nap at about 5 pm – so that would work with tea time. 

Bath Time With Two Under Two 

I like to bathe the toddler and baby every night if possible.  However, if you can’t it doesn’t matter.  I just think it’s a nice habit to get into as it prepares toddler and baby for bedtime. Also, if children are grumpy after tea they usually love a bath and then you find they are happy and peaceful again! 

Having said that often a baby will cry when you get him out of the bath and need feeding pretty soon. As baby gets bigger he can lay on a changing mat on the floor with his nappy off and have a kick, while you bathe your toddler. When your toddler is bathed and in his night things you can bathe baby. As baby gets bigger then you can bathe them together, but your toddler needs to be older so that he will be responsible in the bath, otherwise, it could be more stressful for you. There are lovely seats that stick to the bath that you can put a little one in and he will be safe. 

Feed Time At Bedtime With Two Under Two

If you are on your own then sit in the chair and feed while toddler runs around, making sure he’s quite safe and can’t get down the stairs. As long as he’s got his nappy on and maybe his night things too, he’s quite ok just running about while you feed. 

Provided that he’s an older Toddler you could feed baby in bed and your toddler can sit on the bed with you and you read a story while you’re feeding.  If your toddler is tired and needs to go to bed then make sure baby is comfy,  and if your partner or friend is with you they can have baby while you settle your toddler. If baby is bottle fed then your partner can feed baby.

Adventures With Two Under Two

Taking two little ones out. If your toddler still needs to go in a buggy then you need to find a double one where baby can go on one side and toddler the other.  I always say if you’re going out with two under two in the morning try and get everything ready the night before. Make sure you have all you need in your changing bag, enough nappies and clothes for them both! It’s not much fun going out and one has a really dirty nappy and you don’t have a change of clothes for him! 

It’s so good if you can get out for walks with them both every day if you can. Taking them to toddler groups, and meeting up with friends for coffee is always good for you and the children.  I know when baby is a newborn you probably won’t be feeling like going out, but as soon as you do then it does make a lovely break in the day for you and the children.

If you have several children or twins it’s always a bit overwhelming to begin with, but as you soon get into a new way of doing things it will start to feel less challenging. Older children can often be so helpful when a new baby comes along.  

If you’re worried or struggling with having two under two, or multiple little ones and a new baby, please do get in touch and we can have a chat about it.