Congrats.. You're pregnant with Number 2- The joy, the elation, a new sibling for your first born... OH MY- Two kids???? What was I thinking?????? (Insert scary who hahahah laugh)
In all honesty, taking the leap from one child to two may not be as bad as the visuals currently going on inside your head.. It may take a few little tweaks here and there for things to be smooth sailing MOST days.. like 4 out of 7.. Which is the National Paediatric average.. The same goes for sleep.. 4 nights out of 7?? #winning
Here are Sleep Play Grow's top tips for making the transition from one baby to two:
1. Prep your toddler before the baby's arrival- Reading baby/ sibling type books are great for really little toddlers (13-18 months) to grasp an understanding of what's happening, Looking / gently touching Mum's belly & showing them ultrasound pictures and role play via soft toys/ dolls are great too.. By using visuals you can really express what is safe & dangerous around a new baby e.g. Gentle touch, using the "shh" cue, not picking baby up etc
2. Keep your routine pre baby as much as possible- Toddlers thrive on routine..! If your child has an external activity e.g. swimming, Its great to keep the momentum going and an outing that both you & your toddler will look forward to.. Look for activities which require fostering your child's independence with little adult interaction (Boppin babies, Gymnastics, Swimming, Dance lessons, Lil kickers are all great independent activities) as you will be limited as to how much "hands free" time you will have to fully engage with your toddler during the activity
3. Buy a baby sling, ergo, baby bjorn- LIFESAVER and allows plenty of hands free time available to your toddler whilst supporting the needs of a new baby... There will be some days where the new baby just won't want to be put down & It's amazing how you can have a baby strapped to you and a also bear hug your toddler at the same time!
4. Include your toddler in the day to day stuff- Toddlers love to help!! The can be very useful in helping to do nappy runs, grabbing the wipes, singing the baby a song, giving baby a gentle cuddle and even a source of entertainment for re directing & distracting an overtired and cranky bub
5. Sleep Play Grow recommend you do one 1:1 activity per day with your toddler- This could be a swim, watering the garden, setting up the train set, a drawing activity, an outing to the shops, a walk to the beach- Whatever you and your toddler enjoyed together pre baby- Toddlers will love the undivided attention- even if its just 20-30 mins
6. Create a busy box for your toddler - This box can have any age appropriate activities your child can play independently and is great for putting on the floor in front of you while your feeding the baby or if your having ONE OF THOSE DAYS! You can change up the toys weekly to keep your toddler engaged.. Things like Lift the flap books, stacking cups, magna doodles, cause & effect type toys are great for young toddlers while older toddlers will love surprise type toys- new play dough, wrapped type toys -shopkins, avenger eggs etc ... Once you've stopped feeding baby pack the box away and only use during feed times/ when you need toddler engaged in a semi structured environment within arms reach
7. Keep your little one's sleep on track - Having a baby and a toddler wake at 3am together is not fun for anyone.. ! I recommend keeping your white noise in your toddler's room for as long as possible to block out those 3am newborn cries... If you're unsure how to maintain that sleep balance- An in home consult or attending one of our Saturday workshops may be just what you need!