If you have a specific number of years set aside in which to start a family, you may soon find yourself with a newborn and a toddler at the same time. This is pretty common and a lot of siblings are only a few years apart. While this might cause some siblings to fight later on, but it can also make siblings grow closer because they are closer in age. When siblings are too far apart, it might be easier when they’re little, but they could drift apart as they grow older and have less in common.

While they’re still little however, it can be tough to juggle two young children at the same time. Check out a few of these tips for raising a newborn and toddler together without losing your mind.

Preparing Your Older Child
Whatever you do, don’t surprise your older child by suddenly bringing home a new brother or sister from the hospital. Prepare them for the change when you first find out you’re pregnant so they have time to adjust and even bond with their new sibling months in advance. Give your toddler some advice about newborns including how to hold them, when they will be old enough to play with, and other things newborns do. You can also tell your toddler stories about when they were infants.

Sometimes toddlers understand right away that they will be an older brother or sister and take to their new responsibilities naturally. Sometimes they don’t understand and won’t fully grasp the idea until the new baby is brought home. Sometimes they might even rebel at the thought of sharing you and your spouse with the new addition.

Bringing Your Infant Home

Once your new baby is born and is maybe even a few months old, you may find it impossible to get any alone time or sleep. That’s why you need to learn how to multitask. When you’re feeding your infant, keep your toddler busy by reading them a story. If you have a free hand, you can hold the book. If not, have your toddler practice by holding the book and flipping the pages.

For some rest, lay on the floor with your children so you can keep an eye on your infant while your toddler uses your back as a “racetrack” or cars and toys. With this method, you get to close your eyes for a bit and also get a makeshift back massage. You can also try to synchronize naps and even feedings if your children are only a year or so apart.

Also, thoroughly childproof your house and create enclosed spaces that don’t contain anything that might harm your infant. That way, if you need to leave them for a moment to attend to your toddler, you won’t be worried about them getting into the cat food or playing with anything sharp.

Balancing a toddler and newborn can be exhausting, but hundreds of thousands of parents have successfully managed, and so will you.

Source: KellyMom. (2011, August 29). Tips for juggling a newborn and toddler. KellyMom RSS.