Having two children that are under the age of two can be challenging – but it’s a great way to have kids who are so close in age that they will always be great friends. Another benefit is that you get all the ‘baby’ stage over and done with quicker than you would if you left a gap between children.
Remember they are both your babies
Your older child may seem like a ‘big boy or girl’ but remember they are still very much a baby. They may even regress into more baby-like behaviour when the new child comes along. Give them plenty of ‘baby’ time if they want it and maybe have some fun pretending they are a tiny baby again. A special gift that you give them from the baby can help and remember to give them lots of attention. If you are busy feeding the baby, get your partner or a relative to have some special time with your toddler, and make sure you swap with your partner so that you also get plenty of toddler time.
Don’t make other major changes
Thinking of moving house? Re-decorating the lounge? Having a new kitchen? It might be best to re-consider. Your toddler is still very young and has enough change to cope with when there’s a new baby on the way. Save any other big changes or disruptions for another year! And don’t make major changes to your toddler’s life, like moving them from a cot to a bed.
Routine, routine, routine
If you have begun a routine of activities with your toddler, try to keep them up even when the new baby comes along – even if you need to rope in extra help. Toddler groups, singing play time, bedtime routines and trips to the park should still carry on, to keep your older child in the same routine as they were used to. This may not always be possible but try to aim to keep up regular activities.
Although dealing with a new baby is lots of work, don’t forget that the new baby will sleep a lot. Take this time to be with your toddler, especially for key moments of the day like breakfast and the bath time routine. When the baby’s awake, give your toddler something to do – a nice TV show, some building blocks or some crayons.
Give your toddler responsibilities
Even though they are very young, you can ask your toddler to help with some special tasks. Praise them for being so helpful and give them a special task – perhaps bringing a clean nappy when the baby needs a change, Finding the pram blanket or a special toy.