Your biggest concern after safety is to get both toddler and baby to sleep comfortably in each other’s company (and allow you some free time). At this stage sleeping well is important to the development of both children. You have to ensure that they are both content and cozy in their shared room.
Handling two tiny tots (especially as tired and sleepy kids) at the same time is an exercise in patience. There will be many a time that you will despair and be on the verge of tearing your hair apart.
I’ve been there and am still surprised that I came through with my sanity intact.
Believe me when I tell you, once you have crossed the first year, things do get smoother. Of course, there are still some bumps, those are the joys of parenthood. At least the constant worry and lack of sleep soon become a thing of the past.
During your pregnancy, talk to your toddler about the baby. Make the baby a real person and talk about how your toddler can care for him and love him and play with him.
Giving your child positive statements will help him remember them when the baby finally arrives. Talk about sharing the room and what fun it will be.
Your toddler still needs his afternoon naps as does your baby…and you need the me-time that follows too. Two sleepy kids crying for attention at the same time can lead to chaos and commotion. Handling these situations is very trying(to put it mildly).
You will find it easier to put your toddler to bed first (I think it makes him feel important that he was catered to first). It will be easier to get the baby to sleep after the toddler (I found that my second one would actually put herself to sleep if I was unable to get to her on time).
You will have to work that out based on the behavior of your kids.
It is a new experience for your toddler. If the baby cries in the middle of the night, and your toddler is a light sleeper, you should be mentally ready for a bumpy ride.
The first few nights will be difficult and might mean less sleep for you (remember the cranky sleepy kids syndrome?). However, you must persist. Once the children get used to a routine, things will fall beautifully in place and peace will reign.
As the children grow older, you will often find them awake in the morning, talking to each other and leaving you to sleep in peace a while longer. Bliss!
But for that, you need to be calm and consistent now, in the early days.
Your toddler has a lot of hyperactive energy. If he is not sleepy at the same time as the baby, his antics could wake the baby and land a cranky sleepy baby on your hands.
In such cases, it is best to put the baby to bed in the cradle or co-sleeper in your room and shift him to his crib after the older child has gone to bed.
When children learn to share the same room…and toys, books, food and so on…it turns into a wonderful bonding experience for both of them.
Teaching them these skills at an early stage such as toddler and baby stages, this bond is sure to pass the test of time. Surely it’s worth a few sleepless nights to get a lifetime of happiness.
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This is a great resource of ideas, information and a casual fun read to help you relax and unwind.