It’s been about 6 weeks since William was born and I wanted to share some things I’ve found to make my life easier thus far. I know people like Natalie (who is due with #2 in March!!) will find it useful and hey, I might need a refresher once baby 3 comes along in the future.
Then I went out and bought another nursing pillow so I would have 1 on each floor. I’m a slave to my nursing pillows. This also worked out well because William spits up like crazy. So I can wash 1 pillow and still have the other to use. I also started keeping half of William’s burp cloths and blankets on the main floor, plus a few sleepers in case of a body fluids explosion. It honestly makes everything a million times easier.
2) It will take you 30 minutes to get out the door.
Get over it Plan ahead.
For us, getting out the door looks like this: Feed the baby, change his diaper. Change Henry’s diaper. Socks on everyone. Enough supplies in the diaper bag? Snacks and a drink for Henry? Baby into the car seat. Henry gets a coat, shoes and a hat…not too early or he’ll hide the hat. Prep house for dog (block off carpeted areas, make sure no food is left on counters, give him a chewy treat). Set alarm. Oh right, I need a coat and boots too. Cover baby up in car seat. Find keys (often hidden by toddler). Get everyone outside before the alarm goes off. Lock door while still holding Henry’s hand so he doesn’t dive off the front steps. Henry into his car seat. Baby car seat into the base. Diaper bag in and we’re off. 30 minutes. It can be stressful if you don’t leave enough time. Just give yourself a ridiculous amount of time to get out the door and you’ll leave happy and maybe even ahead of schedule!
I was going to make a nursing box, full of special toys that Henry could play with only while I was nursing. But I just never got there. Instead I get him a drink and a snack and put them on the coffee table. I grab a book to keep beside me and then I start nursing. 8/10 times Henry just keeps doing what he was doing the whole time. Other times he comes over and I’ll offer to read him the book. If he doesn’t want that, I’ll show him the drink and snack I got out. Usually that makes him happy. If nothing works I revert to the TV. The TV always works unless Henry really needs a nap (I have a few of his favorite shows recorded). I try to arrange nursing so it doesn’t interfere with nap time. William only nurses for about 6-8 minutes at a time. If it was longer, I might need a more solid plan.
My main fear with outings is loosing Henry. He’s a runner and he chooses when he feels like listening. His favorite thing to ignore? “Henry please come here”. It’s problematic. So I like to make sure that Henry is restrained in the stroller if possible. He’s good at holding our hands, but he can be a slow walker and he does occasionally see something that interests him and he’ll try to get out of your hand for it.
There are 2 types of outings in my mind. Ones where you are just running in and out quickly, and ones that involve a lot of walking (say the mall or grocery store).
Quick Outings: I find it easiest to put William’s car seat on the stroller and let Henry help me push it. He likes wheels and usually this will keep him near me. I can also push the stroller while holding his hand. If we are going to be quick then I would rather not take the time to put William in the baby carrier. Plus keeping Henry near me is easy in short bursts.
Long Outings: I put William in the baby carrier and Henry in the stroller/grocery cart. William usually falls asleep in the carrier and is more than happy for about 2 hours until he needs to be fed. Henry will sit happily in the stroller or grocery cart if I give him a snack. Win!
We have a double stroller that we got for free! But William needs to be able to hold his head up to sit in it because it doesn’t have a car seat attachment. So it will be a few months before we can use it. I think it will make things a ton easier!
5) How I handle the double cry.
I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often but sometimes both William and Henry cry at the same time. Both need my attention and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. I usually try to quickly figure out what Henry wants. It’s usually something simple like a drink or a snack or something that is out of his reach. So I usually help him first. But if none of those things work, I move on to William. 95% of the time William is hungry so I just start feeding him. Then I go back to what is bothering Henry. If he’s just having a meltdown and nothing helps him, I find it best to let him calm down on his own anyways.
So that’s just a few of the things that have helped me not get stressed out about having 2 very young kids. Obviously you have to figure out what works for you. You know your kids best!