Advice PLEASE - managing with a 2 year old and a newborn

Hi Ladies

I have a 2 year old (Ethan) and 7 week old (Tom) - both lovely boys. At the moment I'm finding it incredibly difficult to cope with evening times when my husband is on late shifts at work (he finishes at 11pm), which is quite a lot. This means he misses the busiest and therefore most difficult time of the day and I'm left to cope alone. There is no-one else to help us.

Tom is particularly demanding of me between tea time and bed time, but of course during this time I'm trying to get Ethan fed, feed myself, bath him and get him to bed. Tom just wants to be held during this time - he isn't hungry, we've solved the 'wind' problem, there's nothing wrong, he just simply wants to be held!!! If I put him in his bouncer he just screams and screams until I pick him up. I can't put him in a sling because I have a bad back and this would set it off. He doesn't like going in the buggy or car seat when neither of them are on the move as it were. I've tried music, white noise, the TV (for the colours and movement), everything I can think of. The result is Tom screams through Ethan's tea, I don't get anything to eat and Tom screams through Ethan's bath time and bed time routine. Tom then has his bed time feed and then takes a good couple of hours to settle (by which time it's about 9.30pm and I'm completely exhausted and just want to go to sleep knowing that he will wake again about midnight for another feed).

Any ideas for what I can do??? I'm incredibly reluctant to alter Ethan's routine much because it took a long time to get him into a good evening routine (when he was little he didn't feed well initially, then we moved house which completely unsettled him, he didn't really sleep well until he was about 1 year old!!). Do you think Tom will settle more when he gets a bit older and this will make this time of day a bit easier??? I'm really at my wits end and just feel like I'm completely failing both of my dear little boys. Tom is obviously unhappy during this time and Ethan has to cope with his brother screaming during his tea and what should be a calm and nice bed-time routine.

Any advice please mums. I'm ready to try anything...

Floopy, Ethan and Tom

Posts

  • Oh my, what a predicament and I'm sorry I can't help much but didn't want to R & R! The only thing that I could suggest is perhaps only bath once or twice a week, so it gives you more time on some nights. Or how about moving it completely, so that bath-time is on a morning instead?

    I know you said a sling is out of the question but if you end up having to carry Tom around, then it's worth a try. I have a baby bjorn and find it actually seems to correct my posture.

    I do hope some other mums can offer you better advice, wishing you lots of luck xx
  • Can you get Tom to go to bed earlier than Ethan? Get Ethan to help with Toms bedtime routine and then you have time just with Ethan for tea, bath and bed. Of course Tom will wake up just as Ethan goes down but it might buy you a bit of time? Sounds like seriously hard work and shouldn't think you're letting either of them down!! :\)
  • Can you hold the baby whilst giving Ethan his tea? What does he have for tea? Is it tricky? Perhaps have sarnies for tea, or something that you can pre make and that he can feed himself. Then for bathtime, can you bath them together? Perhaps get one of those bath supports for the baby so that you can get Ethan dry and dressed.

    As fo feeling you are letting them down... firstly you care not, but the important thing is how you feel and how they feel. Can you try and give Ethan half an hour of special time at somepoint in the day. Tell him its your special time and that you will try and do something special with just him. Tell him that Tom is a baby and cries lots which is hard for him, and that he is being such a good big brother...etcetc etc!

    YOu sound like a lovely and very thoughtful mum. You have a mega hard job and i hope you find a bit of respite!

    Em x
  • Oh hun, I so sypmathise with you! I was going through something similar with my boys. they are now 2 years 10m and 11m and tonight was the first night I have EVER bathed them both on my own!

    Ds2 was like tom. He cried and cried when I put him down. However as long as they can't hurt themselves you can always lay him in his cot with his mobile going while you get ethan ready for bed. I had to do this often. Then concentrate on tom once ethan is settled? It is a lot easier said than done I know that!

    It does get easier. Now my boys eat together, sleep together and play together. Once tom can grasp toys or go in as door bouncer/activity station you will find he cries less.

    I found a 2 year old and a newborn very very hard. You sound like you are doing an amazing job and it does get easier. Keep going. Stick to ethan's routine as much as possible (toddlers tend not to like to be disrupted) he will remain happy and explain to him babies cry. Tom will get easier.

    Take care
    xxx
  • i opted for cooking in the middle of the day as skye used to have a whingy time between 5 and 7, the older 2 had dinner at school so all i had to do was make sarnies. then you also always have the option of making the sarnies earlier on in the day when tom isn't being demanded and pop them in the fridge until you need them. i am lucky though as my 10 yr old will help out, so i can off load bubs onto her if shes really playing up. that way i can deal with my toddler, as sometimes he likes to be fed.

    i found my swing helpful too as it swung by itself. xxxx

    xx
  • Poor you, you sound like you are doing a good job in spite of the tough times! I think you will probably have to alter Ethan's routine in some way even if it's only small. Like giving him a cooked meal at midday and an evening meal of finger foods. Have you got a baby swing, we had the rainforest one for Gabe (27months). Gabe was a settled baby but i've heard the swings work wonders for babies who can't be soothed in any other way. Does Tom have a dummy? That might help xx
  • Thanks for all your advice and support ladies. We actually looked at those 'swings' in the Argos catalogue yesterday - might be the route to go down. I'm glad to hear that things might get easier as Tom gets older - just hoping that happens fairly soon and certainly before I go back to work in December!!!!!

    Any other ideas still more that welcome please.

    Floopy, Ethan and Tom
  • Hi,
    DS1 was 20 months when DS2 was born.

    I froze some meals so these could just be heated up at teatime & meant I could hold DS2 if he was upset or hungry but DS1 still got fed on time & healthily.

    I would also hold DS2 whilst sitting playing, doing puzzles or reading books with DS1. This meant that DS1 got attention but DS2 was still involved & not getting upset.

    If I was on my own at bathtime I would just put DS2 in his cot with his mobile on & bath DS1. He would often scream but I would stick my head in every so often just to reassure him I was there.

    DS2 is now 4 months & everything is much more settled. He will happily play with toys or watch his big brother whilst I'm getting tea ready & at bathtime he either plays in his cot, watches big brother have a bath from his bouncy chair or has a bath himself.

    Hopefully things will settle down for you soon.

    Xxx
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