Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Life with a newborn and toddler

I wrote this some time ago and put it on my website for breastfeeding mums. I'm slowly shifting some of the stuff I put on my website to this blog since theres not much there. Websites are such stagnant places unlike blogs which are "alive", ongoing and interactive. I definitely prefer a blog. Ok enough about blogs, this post is supposed to be about coping with a newborn and toddler. So here goes...

My babies are 2 years apart and when I was pregnant I used to worry about how I could possibly cope with handling two without any help. So if it helps any worried expectant moms with toddlers, here’s what I do:

1. Bathing - I would place baby on a mattress on the floor just outside the bathroom where I can see him, place toddler on the toilet seat where I can toilet train her and that way I got to bathe and sometimes even wash my hair! After that I bathe the toddler and can watch baby at the same time. Changing diapers is the same, just line them up in a row and change both at the same time. This saves a lot of time. Mommies are good at time management.

2. Mealtimes - If baby is crying when I am feeding toddler, I just balance him on my lap with one hand and continue feeding my picky toddler with the other hand. No problem at all, you will soon learn to use your two hands and feet all at the same time. Mommies are good at multi tasking.

3. Bedtime/Naptime - I was worried about this one but it has turned out ok too. Breastfeeding makes it easy. All I have to do is take both to bed with me at the same time. While breastfeeding baby I would sing and tell stories to the toddler until all three of us fall asleep. My toddler has learned to sleep on her own during the afternoon nap so things are getting easier. All I have to do is give her some milk, make her comfortable in bed with a soft toy and a book and tell her to read and then sleep then I leave the room. Sometimes she cries a little but not too much. And to think that I was so afraid at one time that I was spoiling her when a baby by carrying her to sleep when she fretted because some books and gurus say let them cry themselves to sleep or you would have a child who has problem sleeping on her own. If I am still awake I would creep silently out of the room to have some quiet time with hubby. No problem. Mommies still need time for themselves.

4. Housework - This is last on my priority. My babies come first. My husband and I don't mind a house with dust one inch thick so long as it is a home filled with love so I let the housework go a little. We cater our meals so I can concentrate on cooking for my babies. There is also much less mess this way. During the weekends I would throw some meats and vegetables into a crockpot for some nutritious soup for everyone. We do our own laundry and sent hubby’s clothes for ironing. I wear clothes that don't need ironing (there are lots of lovely materials that don’t require ironing. Mommies can still be fashionable too) and the children's clothes don't need ironing, they're so tiny. Just straighten them a bit before hanging out to dry.

One really needs to be a bit innovative to cope and lots of humor is required too. The first one or two months may be hard but it gets easier with time. Now I even have time to read a magazine and work on this blog.

Note: That was life with a newborn and toddler. Now my newborn is the toddler in the house and my toddler then is now a pre-schooler and life is definitely a lot easier now with less juggling required and different challenges being faced. Read Life with a 3 year old and a 5 year old.

Pin It


  1. It's so true about mommy being a multi-task talent. :)

  2. Whats the most crazy multitask you have done vien? Mine has got to be breastfeeding baby while having lunch and checking email at the same time. Hehe.

  3. MG, u are very well organizedlah. Todate, I can only cope with one child on hand. If both around, must have another person with me, i.e. hubby or my mom :(

  4. aiyo..i'm still an amateur at multitasking compare to you la. You're the sifu! LOL! The most crazy one i ever did ended up in PK position (u read about that blog; in which I tried to be a kuli..carried too many stuff..hehe)

  5. immomsdaughter,
    When you have no choice, you just do it. I didn't have any help from day one. Mother or MIL no longer around plus no maid or confinement lady so no choice. Just do it! Hahaha.


  6. I just want to know if at anytime u were completely stressed out? Initially, I found myself, yelling at my tot (he's a hyper boy) alot.. my lil bub was quite frightened of the screaming at first..but he's so used to it already..HA HA HA!

    I really salute those moms who hv three or more kids...two already so hard!

  7. m.o.t.t.,
    Was II stressed out at any time. OF COURSE! Hahaha. Even now, sometimes you can hear my booming voice at home. :PpP

  8. Ok I have two questions:

    -If you let the house cleaning go a little, little ones can actually get lots of infections and things. I got a horrible cough and it didn't go away till we totally got on top of our vacumming. Its just not healthy. So how do you go without cleaning w/o them getting sick?

    -Secondly, you said you guys cater your meals so you can concentrate on cooking? I didn't get that :-)
    Either you cater or you cook?

    -I guess you are talking from the perspective of a family who can afford stuff. We cannot afford to cater or get dry cleaning done.

  9. Hello Anon,
    I didn't have any carpets then. Lots of dust mites can get hidden in them if you let go of the vacumming. As for the hard flooring, I swept whenever I see dust and my husband helped me to mop occassionally. The children did not get sick. Probably because I was like a recluse back then. Lol! I didn't get out much and I didn't take them out much so there was not much exposure to germs. The fact that they are both breastfed helps. They only started falling sick a lot this year when my girl started preschool.

    I said we catered so I can concentrate on cooking for my babies. I think you missed out the part "cooking for my babies" That meant we catered our adult food so that I could make homemade wholesome baby food for the kids. No supermarket bought jar foods for them.

    We catered my food for the confinement or first month only. (Because I did not have any confinement lady, maid, mother or mother in law to cook special foods for me during that time so I catered the food.) Hubby ate some of my extras because there were lots. After that hubby would pack economy rice (plain rice plus 2-3 dishes) from the shops for dinner for us. I would keep some in the fridge and reheat those for lunch for myself the next day. I would have preferred to cook myself though, much healthier but it was only for that period of time to help me cope. There was no one to come over to watch the kids even for a few minutes so cooking elaborate meals for me and hubby was out of the question at the time. However, I made sure I cooked the kids meals properly. When the baby started solids, I made porridge. When it was cool I blended it, then reheated it to sterilize the food (as advised by my paed), and cooled it again before feeding it to baby. It was lots of work just making the baby food definitely no time to prepare my own food.

    I did not do any dry cleaning. I threw everything into the washing machine and only paid to get my husband's work shirts ironed. 5 shirts a week costs RM5 a week.

    Hope that clarifies things for you. :)

  10. Oh, I almost forgot. This post is about "life with a newborn and toddler" not "life with a baby and toddler" so I only cooked for the toddler without the blending part before baby took solids. During the early weeks I was too busy worrying about baby not latching for breastfeeding to care about housework! My baby didn't latch on till 2 months and 1 day and I had to cup feed him my pumped breastmilk to avoid nipple confusion. I did not use the bottle. Cup feeding is a lot more time consumming. All my time was taken up for feeding baby. Definitely no time for housework.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...