Advice Raising 2 Children Under Two Children

Here is sound advice for raising a child, while still nurturing a baby.

So, you are expecting another even as you drown under a sea of diapers from your first (or second) child? Whether you planned to have children close together or if it was an accident, it's unnerving to think of the coming birth and all that comes with it. Never fear. You will get through it.

If you are pregnant with your second, religiously take your vitamins and consult your doctor before taking on any physical activity. Having two pregnancies close together is hard on your body and you will need your energy for the coming year. Trust me.

There are several skills to surviving children close together:

Sense of Humor

This is definitely the most important parenting tool. There will be many moments when you don't know whether to laugh or cry. Laughing is better for obvious reasons. Try to stop and see the humor in all situations.



Organization Skills

Your life will be chaos for the next 2 years. You have to accept that. But to minimize the mess remember the waitress's mantra: "˜Never travel empty.' As you move through the house from room to room, carry junior's toys from the floor to the box in the next room, pick up the mail on the kitchen table on your way upstairs and drop it on your desk (or wherever it goes). Try to make a habit of wasting no movement. You will find that doing two things at once is essential to survival.

Safety Sense

Do make sure you have the correct car seat before bringing the new baby home from the hospital. No matter how tempting it is, do NOT move your toddler to a booster seat before he/she is ready.

Do not ever leave your infant alone in the room with the older child unattended. Children under the age of 3 do not understand that a baby is not a doll. They could unknowingly harm the infant in play or even on purpose. If you have to go to the bathroom, bring one child with you.

Feeding

You will have to plan on allowing for feeding time to spend with the infant. Fill a basket with special toys for use only during that time for your toddler. Or let him or her watch a favorite video. It can also be a time when your toddler has a healthy snack of his/ her own.

Sleep

Ah sleep, by far the biggest issue for parents of babies and toddlers alike. How you deal with the sleep issue depends largely on how you have dealt with it so far. If you have a family bed and that is working for you, maybe you need a larger bed. If you don't think the four of you are going to be able to snuggle up and actually sleep, then gently move your older child out of your bed long before the baby arrives.

Nurturing

Take the time to hold the baby as much as he or she needs to be held. Using a sling or carrier can be helpful. Avoid telling your older child that he or she is a big boy or girl now. He or she especially needs to feel accepted and loved without the impression that love is contingent on "˜growing up'. Have patience with regressions in diaper training and speech development. They'll return to normal in no time.

Priorities

If you can afford it, hire someone to help with the house. If you can't, relax. Buy paper plates. Vacuum a little less often. And don't worry about the mess. Everything will get done in time. Try to enjoy your children and take lots of pictures (label them!). In no time you will be out of the difficult baby/ toddler stages and will be chasing after your kids for attention.

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