Tuesday, October 26, 2010

the rhythm of a toddler and newborn

Truth be told we just moved to Sydney from Melbourne yesterday so there has been very little rhythm to the past couple of days. More like urgent and frantic unpacking in order to settle in as soon as possible. I hate having my little ones living in a space that is the pure opposite of calm and peace. But, before the absolute chaos began our days went something like this:

6am North wakes up, gets dressed with Dada and has a bowl of porridge and fruit for breakfast

7am Indi wakes up and has a feed

8:45am settle Indi to sleep with a breast or a baby carrier and go out for an activity with North (park, library, playground, beach, playgroup...)

10am Indi wakes up and has a feed, North has a packed snack

11:15am Indi has another sleep

12pm return home for North's lunch,

12:30pm Indi is usually awake and looking around

1pm story and naptime for North, Indi enjoys a book with us

1:15pm "play" with Indi (talk, coo, gurgle, sing and rhyme)

1:45pm feed Indi to sleep on our bed

2pm mama has a cup of tea, a piece of chocolate and takes a deep breath

2:15-2:30pm North's up and plays in our yard or with his toys while I prepare dinner or bake or do some housework or we go on an after noon outing to run errands or have a playdate

3pm a little snack of fruit and cheese

4:45/5pm Indi has a feed

5:15pm North's dinner

5:45pm bathtime for both little ones

6:15pm storytime

6:30pm North's bedtime

6:30-7pm feed Indi to sleep

1:30am Indi wakes for a feed

4:30am Indi wakes for a feed

5:30am Indi wakes for a top up

This is not a routine that is set in stone, but it's approximately what we've fallen into and like all rhythms it will naturally change over time. Every day is a little different. Indi's feeds are what are most variable at the moment. Some days it feels like I must offer my breast 50 times or more and others she is content 3-4 hourly.

How did/do all of you balance life with a toddler and newborn? Any tips or suggestions?

By the end of the week I should be settled in and able to inject some more enthusiasm into this space. Looking forward to it and to visiting all of you. Now back to the boxes...


Also make sure to enter the wonderful giveaway from ecoMILF sponsor Playing Fair to win a gift certificate to this ethical and fashionable kids clothing store.


Vic said...

We have a gap of 22 months between the boys and I survived that and moving (much like you guys) by carrying the baby, offering the breast as much as he needed it and giving the toddler as many hugs and cuddles as he needed. It was a very stressful time cause the baby was (and is) not a good sleeper but it was also such a precious time. Some days I did nothing but get food on the table and make sure we all felt loved, but I felt like they were the most important things! Defintely more important than having a clean house! Enjoy these days xx

Rhiannon said...

I have a seven month old only, and I wanted to congratulate you on still managing to have such a fun day for North! I think it is busy with just one, but I can only imagine how busy, but lovely too it must be with two kiddies! Sounds like you are a pretty amazing mummy.
Rhiannon :)

abbie said...

oh goodness, my strength goes out to you today! My two older ones are 18 months apart and have entirely different personalities. Our younger daughter was a premie, and NICU set her feeding schedule, 3 hours, on the dot, though we did on-demand with my older, and I think that the feeding-on-demand is better for the baby, for bonding, and for health reasons. Since little Miss was a wonderful sleeper, (and probably slept too much) I really focused on the older child. With a colicky infant and a toddler with picky eating habits, who didn't nap, or sleep through the night, and had communication issues, it was challenging to get through each day.

But I kept these three things in mind,
-This too will pass. I am stronger than the momentary hardships thrown my way.
-My children can't tell my why, or thank-you. But they need me. Without me, who else would there be? I need to give them everything I've got. They may or may-not thank me later. :)
-Love matters. It matters way more than even a nutritious dinner, a clean home, quality "learning" excursions, and getting dressed. Hugs and kisses, cuddles and story-time mean the world to toddlers and babies.

Now that my two are 4+ and 2 3/4 yrs old, the challenges are different. It takes less physical strength and a bit more mental focus to get through the day.

Keep it up mama. You are doing a fabulous job! You are in my prayers!

HiHoRosie said...

I have zero experience with a newborn AND a toddler but sounds like you're doing awesome! Keep it up! And that pic of your two babies so so precious! I love love love love it!

Andréann said...

I could copy/paste this, minus how much Indi sleeps. Merrick doesn't sleep much in a day, and when he does it's in a carrier or in someone's arms. He's awake a lot and love to look around, sit. Mariann goes to bed later (8h) and takes a longer nap (2h-2h30) but that's about it for the difference.

Having to (constantly) breastfeed and fulfil a toddler's need is sometimes very draining, but you get rewarded by hugs and kisses, and even some "Thank you mom" when you hand your child a glass of juice.

my advice is; do like you feel what's right. Because it probably is.

One pair of Hands said...

What a strenuous time for you. You are handling it wonderfully. Congratulations. What beautiful children they are.

Gina said...

I like that there has been some semblance of rhythm. Of course that will keep adjusting itself so my only piece of advice is to keep feeling flexible about things! You're doing great, particularly amidst everything else. Pats on the back to you. I don't think I was ever so organised. This time, maybe...

dillpickle said...

I'm impressed you've been able to identify a (kind of) regular rhythm to your days! I've been avidly reading the comments in search of tips, but it sounds like the approach of prioritising cuddles and time together over housework and pretty much everything else is the thing to do. Phew. I think the biggest difference for us at the moment is that Tim gets up with Abi in the mornings and I get to continue sleeping until Emily wakes up, which can be anytime between 7am and 8.30 like this morning! The extra hour or so of sleep though is making all the difference to my ability to interact positively with Abi rather than being grumpy and impatient!

I think we're supposed to find this time hard. But it will be great when they're old enough to play together, and hopefully they'll be really good friends. Hang in there xx

stephka said...

mmh...my son is now 3 years and 2 months and our daughter is 10 months old.
when reading your posts and your schedule, here is what i did - and maybe you could give it a try:
- try to match their sleep-rhythms. wake the one when the other awakes, lay them in bed when te other falls asleep. the wee one will get her extra-sleep inbetween and in the carrier. what you get by this? 1. more time for yourself left which means more power ressources for bad days and times 2. they always know that somebody else - their sibling (and not neccesarily mama)is there and get easily back to sleep.
3. lay the bigger one in bad later in the evening, mine go to sleep not before 20:30 - so the wont go up too early in the morning.

let me know if you get to any other ideas...my problem is that during the noon-nap at 12:30 they wont fall asleep (my bigger one is a POOOOOOR sleeper...) but play and giggle togehter. argh. what to do?


jen @ giftboxology said...

wow so organised! i am having my second bub on monday morning and also have a toddler who is 33months. you have given me some great ideas to get a routine going - i think i'm going to need it.
i will have to dust off the baby bjorn and sling again i think.

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