Are you having a toddler and a baby under 2 years?
Does the situation sound overwhelming?
Well, as a matter of fact, It is!
I had my daughter when my son was 19 months to be exact. Though my second one was planned because I wanted a sibling for my son to play around and be interactive. My second is almost 10 months now and I am so grateful that I have had them under two. It is tough in the beginning when both of them are too little to understand anything and you are just stressing over with everything and yes, certainly it takes time to get hold of the situation when you can actually enjoy that.
When I was expecting my daughter I was searching up the internet to look for some suggestions on how to handle your first child on the arrival of the second one with a planned C-Section.
There are a few challenges for a mom to take care of her children when she is not in the best of her health. Let it be a vaginal or C section delivery, it is going to be a struggle for every mom.
Update: My second one is turning 2 and my first one is 3.5 years. I cannot deny the struggles but let me tell you, 2 years later I can write a full post on JOYS of having two under 2.
Tips for moms having two kids under 2 years
Having multiple kids with a little age gap is tough in the beginning, especially when they are small and need mom’s undivided attention and love. Despite things get better with time, but you need to know how to manage the early phase of pregnancy and early phase of a newborn stage with a toddler and that takes a lot of courage.
The Pregnancy Phase
So, the tough part with a year old starts when you get to know you are expecting your second child when your first is also a baby yet.
Every child is different, some are hyperactive whereas some are not, either way, your energy to entertain both types is not substantial. You feel lethargic but your little explorer wants your undivided attention.
Regardless, your first one deserves your time and energy but you just can’t really help all those pregnancy hormones. Believe it or not, there are times when you are too lazy to even feed your baby.
Hang in there Mama, this too shall pass.
Read about what are safe medications during pregnancy.
Read more on how to fight legs cramping during pregnancy.
Tips for Pregnancy with a toddler
1. Eat and drink well to maintain the required amount of energy.
2. Take help as much as you can.
3. Take nap or rest sitting next to him while you engage your little one’s brain into some learning activity or an alphabet song on TV could definitely be a lifesaver.
4. Please avoid heavy lifting while you are pregnant as much as you can.
5. Keep some walk or exercise in your daily routine as instructed by your OBGYN because in pregnancy you are very much vulnerable to get diastasis recti. It is a condition of tearing up of abdominal muscles due to the belly stretch. If you want to learn more about Diastasis Recti.
Read about what food moms should eat during postpartum.
Second C-section delivery tips
The stress is real of having two C-section deliveries without much gap. You may want to consider the option of VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-section). Since internal healing takes a lot of time due to that reason most of the OBGYNs do not suggest VBAC only if you are trying after 2 year at least.
Please follow these instructions along with what your nurse/OBGYN advice.
- No heavy lifting. Do not pick anything heavier than the newborn baby.
2. Do not hold your toddler until 2 weeks even out of emotions. Avoid holding him for about 4 weeks if possible.
3. No crazy stairs for about two weeks. If you have to go up and down just do it once a day and plan accordingly.
4. If someone offers you help, take it!
5. Have someone/partner to keep an eye on your incision. It should be healing day by day. Any sign of infection or bleeding should be discussed with the doctor.
6. Spend time with your toddler. Your toddler needs full attention. You just have to be more inclined to your first one because he/she understands more than the newborn. Have some books, toys, and activities ready before your delivery so that you can give him/her more time and attention. On the other hand what newborn does is –eat, sleep and poop.
7. Cook meals before your delivery and freeze them. Keep your toddlers food frozen especially ready-made fries and hashbrown.
8. Try to have her learn about self-feeding.
Read the full care instructions on Post C-Section care and Recovery
Read more on Postpartum essentials for new moms.
Post-baby Emotional phase
To be honest about how you feel about your first-born is way too precious because your first child gives you the honor and feeling of being a mother. This does not mean that your second one is any less than the first one. It is just about experiencing the emotional connection with your first child since you have spent a considerable amount of time and energy with him/her.
The love for your second one takes time and it is way beyond imaginations.
All those motherly worries running back of the mind about how would he going to manage the time without mama being there so and so forth. When my daughter was born, it took some time to feel that emotional switch.
Initially, this is going to be a really emotional phase. You are going to long for your first one and you will be emotionally so much out of place because you could not feel for your second one the way you feel for your first one.
This feeling doesn’t make you any less of a mom or of course, you love both of your children but the transition is time taking. You will end up feeling so much guilt about your feelings but it’s normal and more hormonal.
Read more on how to improve emotional health after delivery.
Read more on new moms stressors’ – how you can overcome stress after having a baby.
Toys Suggestions to keep a toddler busy
When you are pregnant and also after delivery, your first one needs your undivided attention which is not possible for you at this time as you are in the healing phase especially after a C-section when you cannot have a toddler sit in your lap. You need some sit and play activity for her so enjoy her presence around you.
You can have these learning toys for your toddler to have her sit with you so you can rest.
Set up a Nursing Station
Well, nursing would have been a lot different and relatively better with your first one when you do not have any distraction and you are sitting there reading something on the phone or using a laptop.
With one toddler at hand and a nursing newborn things ain’t going to be the same. You need thorough planning to engage your toddler as there are full-fledged chances of jealousy.
Before you sit down and nurse your newborn, your first one should be entertained. keep your toddler’s favorite toys and books at your nursing station that is within your arm’s reach to avoid any stress.
Few things you need to remember when you are home and you have to take care of both of your children when you are not in the best of your health- be it hormones, sleep deprivation, stress, anxiety, depression. All you have to keep in mind, your babies are going to grow out of this stage before you even know it. This too shall pass.
- You have to have your cool. Be patient.
- Your first one is a big sibling now, but she is still a baby. She is too little to understand that she has climbed up to a higher rank too soon.
- There are crying moments, try to be around with your partner or friends so you can get distracted.
- If you think you are experiencing any signs of Postpartum Depression, please seek help.