When it comes to newborns, we all know that they can take up a lot of time. There’s nothing quite like those early months snuggling, feeding, rocking to sleep and taking in all of that beautiful new baby goodness - because as we know, that time goes by oh so fast. However when you have multiple children in the house, things can become a little more challenging.
Gone are the days of lying on the couch and napping when your new baby naps. Now there’s another tiny human (or maybe even several tiny humans!) that all need your attention at the same time - so how do you juggle this?
Every family is different, just as every child is different, but we have put together some tips to help make it easier to keep everybody happy and content – including you, Mama!
Keep it simple Newborn babies really don’t need too much in the grand scheme of things. They need somewhere to sleep, something to eat, somewhere safe to lie on, and of course lots and lots of love.
If you keep those basics covered, you’ll find that you get into a groove with your new member of the family. We recommend keeping your favourite baby essentials like swaddles, nappies, wipes or bottles close by, so that you’re ready to go with whatever need strikes - whether that be hunger, tiredness or cuddle time.
Set up Activities One of the most challenging aspects of having a newborn and other siblings is keeping everybody happy at the same time.
It’s always a little bit easier once your baby is asleep, because you can spend quality time with your other children – however, what happens when everybody is needing your attention simultaneously?
Some days, babies don’t sleep on cue, or toddlers feed off the energy in the room and become that little bit more demanding when your hands are already full. Our best advice is to have an activity box ready to whip out for those challenging situations as they arise. You can adjust what’s inside these activity boxes, depending on the age of your children.
For toddlers, it might be playdoh tub, a new toy or a colouring book. For older children, it might be some activity books to work through, or even a puzzle or a new game they haven’t played with before that they can do independently.
For big kids, it might be a chapter book, a game, or even a craft activity that they can complete on their own. The key to finding activities that suit is that they can be done without your help and are short and sweet – nothing too complicated, just simple, easy and fun!
Baby Wear Baby wearing will quickly become your best friend when you have more than one child. It’s a lot harder to stick to a strict schedule with multiple children involved - life goes on around you and your newborn! There are daycare drop off to organise, school pickups to make, after school activities that baby will need to come along to, and all sorts of events that will inevitably pop to keep you busy.
Having both of your hands free is a must when you have multiple children, and babywearing can help you achieve this. There are loads of different baby carriers available to suit your needs and your style. Hot tip: making use of one of these at dinner time or in witching hour will be a game changer! As a bonus, it’s a great way to get some more newborn cuddles in too!
Use your support networks In those early days, you might find that you need help juggling both the newborn and our other family members. Utilise that help, whether it’s from your partner, a grandparent or a friend. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to seek assistance when you need it. There is often a stigma attached to asking for help, especially when you’re a new mum and when emotions are already heightened postpartum.
When you have more than one child, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the daily tasks and daily routines. If you’re finding you’re falling behind, or if you just need someone to talk to and support you during those tough days, please reach out and ask for help.
Help doesn’t have to be in a physical sense - it can be a phone call to debrief, a cup of coffee, or even a playdate organised for your older child, so that you can spend some quality time with your littlest! It can even be the other way around; some help with the baby, so you can hang out with your big kids. Sometimes having someone else look after ALL the kids to let you have some ‘me time’ is all you need to get back to your normal self.
Whatever it is that you’re looking for, don’t be shy to seek out support. Sometimes people think that mums with more than one child have it all together, all the time, when it’s not always the case. We all need a little TLC, and a supported mum is a happier mum.
Go with the flow This seems simple, but when you’re in the thick of thing, it can be the hardest thing to do! Our tiny humans don’t perform on command, and life isn’t always a well oiled wheel - schedules get moved, routines get changed, LIFE happens!
When you’re having one of those days, when everything feels like it’s chaos, when everybody seems to need you at exactly the same time.. stop! Take a breath, have a glass of water or even step outside and clear your head with some fresh air. Do what you need to do to get through the tough moments and do your best to go with the flow.
Splitting your time between your little ones can be a little tricky at first, but you’ll find that you’ll get the hang of it very quickly. And just remember, even on the toughest of days.. you’re doing an incredible job, Mama!
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