(This post is written by Melissa)
So, you have a brand new bundle of joy and you are in a state of bliss. You have been waited on hand and foot by your loving family, which has allowed you to get some much needed rest and lots of bonding time with your little one. You’ve got this. Everything is going to be a breeze and then REALITY hits!
Your family has to leave. Your husband has to go back to work and that leaves you alone with the baby AND your toddler!! Not only do you have a toddler, but you have a very demanding one. What are you going to do? Go crazy? No, you will be just fine and keep your sanity through it all.
Put your toddler to work! I know what you are thinking….I can’t make my toddler work. Let me explain. Your new baby needs several things throughout the day. The baby needs to eat, sleep, and potty. Your toddler needs things during the day, too. Your attention is one of the most important parts of your baby and your toddler’s lives. When the baby needs to eat you can teach your toddler to hold the bottle and help you feed. If you are breastfeeding, you can teach your toddler to talk softly to the baby or sing to the baby while you feed. If you are not comfortable doing this, you can also teach your child that feeding time for the baby is coloring or busy bag time for the toddler.
Rest time is important not only for the baby, but also for you and the toddler as well. The days will go much smoother if everyone is rested. So, when naptime rolls around teach your toddler that it is time for him/her to rest, too. Resting doesn’t always mean sleeping. Your toddler can learn to lie in bed or on the sofa and watch television or listen to music, but your child needs to know that rest time is quiet. There is another option, too. If you are not feeling tired when the baby needs to nap, this would be a great time to spend with your toddler doing what he/she wants to do. That way your toddler does not feel left out.
Potty time can be an adventure for your toddler. When your baby needs to have a diaper change, you can teach your toddler to go and get you a diaper and wipes. While you are putting the new diaper on, you can teach your toddler to help you secure the diaper in place. Once the baby is all clean and the diaper is secure, you can teach your toddler to throw the diaper in the trash can or if you are using cloth diapers, your toddler can learn to put the soiled diaper in the washing machine.
Having a new baby and a toddler at the same time can be a rewarding adventure if you know what to do. Come up with a schedule and stick to it. Your toddler learns from you. If you will lead and direct your child, they will learn quickly and life will be much happier for you, the baby, and your demanding toddler, too!
About the Author:
Melissa W. Orr is a 44 year old homeschool mom. She homeschooled her three children through high school. She enjoys helping other homeschool parents as they travel down the exciting road called “homeschooling”. Melissa also enjoys raising Shetland Sheep on her farm and being a clogging instructor.