Parenting

Surviving the first weeks with a toddler and a newborn

Lots of you girls are not first time mums and will have little people at home when you welcome your new baby.

Here are 16 tips on surviving the first weeks with a new baby and a toddler from Ali Pickles, our resident Healthy Mummy registered midwife.

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1. Pre-cook meals before baby arrives

Some people will call this nesting. There are plenty of yummy meals on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge that can be frozen. Also include snacks for yourself and your toddler.

2. Explain to your eldest

Children are much smarter than we give them credit for. Explain things before the baby is born such as that you will need to feed the baby and what breastfeeding is.

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3. Reward good behaviour

We spend so much time saying no that it’s nice to say good things too.

4. Make up snack kits or a lunch box

This way, your toddler could have and eat while you are feeding your baby. Toddlers are usually distracted by this for a little while.

5. Start using online shopping for your groceries

It saves time especially once you have done it a couple of times as it saves your favourites but it will also save you money. You can avoid buying temptation foods, especially if you stick to the lists from the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge. Online shopping can either be delivered to your door or you can click and collect when it is convenient for you.

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6. Include your other children with the baby as much as possible

Kids like to be helpful so give them little jobs that make them feel important. Let them help you rub the babies back or cuddle the baby, as well as other jobs such as passing you some wipes or a nappy. If you’re breastfeeding, teaching the toddler to “pass mummy’s water bottle please” will be a lifesaver.

7. Buy your child a “real looking” doll

This can be either for boys or girls. Show them with their doll how to change the nappy, feed the baby. Role-play can be fun.

8. Ask for helpful presents like vouchers

If people ask you what you want for a present sometimes you have everything you need if it’s not your first baby. Be honest and ask for supermarket gift cards to put towards groceries or ask them for a gift voucher for a cleaner. Or home cooked meals are always handy for those afternoons when cooking dinner is just too hard.

9. Make up a special tub of toys

These can be toys that are for playing with only when you are feeding. They enjoy having their own special things too.

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10. Quiet time

Try reading a book to your toddler and turning off the TV.

Baby Playtime

11. Let them have their own space

Make sure you give the other children their own time even just five minutes. Draw, play ball, anything like that.

12. Technology

Put on a DVD or use an iPad for this short time.

13. Game time!

Play games like Simon Says and I spy etc., they’re easy and don’t require anything but imagination!

14. Toddler gates

If you have a runaway toddler, invest in a toddler gate so that you can confine them while you are feeding. This sounds harsh but some children do act up while mummy is busy. At least you know they are safe.

Close-up of two creative kids building something with plastic blocks on the floor.

15. Take it easy

Try and relax. If you’re anxious everyone else will feel it too.

16. Get your partner involved

Make sure when your partner comes home they spend time with the kids too.

The behaviours generally only last a couple of weeks while they adjust. Give them time; a new baby in the house is an adjustment for everyone.

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