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Friday, June 24, 2016

from 1 to 2: bathing, feeding, sleeping with TWO!

These are some of the most common questions I see in the Facebook Mommy Stories group- how on earth do we bathe, feed and get two kids to sleep at once?! I remember having these same questions a few years ago myself.


Here are your best mommy-shared tips!

BATHING

  • Prepare everything ahead of time. Get all the washcloths, towels, toys, water ready, soap, etc. prepared before bringing kids into the bathroom.
  • Bathe them together- put the baby bath seat in the tub next to the big kid. Big kid can help with bathing sibling. With both kids in tub, bathe infant first while big kid splashing around, as infant will typically want to get out sooner to feed and change. Have clothes ready.
  • Could have big kid in tub, with baby in sink in same room, same time, with two people helping.
  • Bathe infant during day while big kid at daycare, then do big kid at night after daycare.
  • Divide and conquer- one parent bathe big kid in tub, while other parent bathe infant in kitchen sink.
  • Bathe big kids, get ready for bed. Then when they are asleep, bathe infant.
  • Using a bath seat for when baby is ready for sitting up is awesome.

FEEDING

  • Have a nursing / feeding bucket or bag of items your child can use when you're feeding baby. Books, coloring items, puzzles, snacks, etc. that keep them occupied. 
  • Don't think that just because it was hard feeding first child, that it will be the same way with second. You could get a great nurser or feeder the second time around. Be open to it. 
  • It gets easier with each child, learning to nurse.
  • Make it quiet time during feeding baby, like tablet, iPad, movie time.
  • "I had PPD and mommy guilt with #2, thinking about my first child. So I ended up formula feeding by 12 weeks, best decision ever made!" 
  • More confidence second time around, you know what to expect, you go into it knowing more.
  • Take a breastfeeding class. It's a helpful refresher!
  • Introduce a bottle sooner than did with #1. Sometimes that helps.
For me, my first never latched. I pumped for a year, crazy hard, and supplemented with formula. With #2, I went into it ready to conquer all who pressured me to breastfeed, ready to pump or use formula, whatever the case would be. I had a closet stocked full of formula I'd snagged free at the doctor's office. I never ended up using one single ounce of formula with #2. She breastfed at 10 minutes old and was a perfect nurser then on for a year! I never would have imagined it after the hardships we had feeding #1. So, be open to a sweet surprise that it could work out differently the next time around for you. 

SLEEPING

  • Feed baby while reading books to big kid. Then when baby asleep, take up to nap. Then head back down to get big kid to sleep.
  • Feed baby and put to sleep, while big kid watches TV, then put big kid to bed.
  • This happens when they get a bit older and you can get them on the same routine. It takes time, patience and working at it. 
I just want to put it out there that this all TAKES TIME. Be patient with yourself. You are caring for TWO humans now. That's not easy and it's not all going to get into sync over night. You're also going to realize you have two different people here... yes, they're related and came from you and similar. But they are different. What worked for #1 won't always work with #2. For example, my son took afternoon naps 12-2 religiously from a year old or so. My second wanted to sleep at 11:30 or so, sounds minor, but it's good to remember that all kids need different things and that's normal and OK. Go with the flow. 


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