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Having baby number 2!
I was so excited to be an expert on the hit Global Morning Show discussing tips for preparing yourself and your toddler for the new baby but due to the limit of time, I didn't have a chance to talk about all the tips so I thought I would post some more tips on how to prepare BEFORE baby comes.
1. Wash, fold and sort all your old baby clothes and then organize them by size in clear bins. Make sure to put a label on the front. This makes it easier for finding the size you need and putting things back when baby grows out of them. You can also do this with your generic items like baby towels, burp cloths, bibs and so on.
2. Make sure to have a second sleeping, feeding and changing station on the main floor so you are not carrying 2 kids up and down the stairs. You can purchase a playpen with changing area on top as well as a small plastic drawer system for extra diapers, PJ's, creams, blankets and burp cloths. Also, prepare a little basket with water and treats for you and your toddler, so when you sit down to feed your baby, you can both have a little snack. Keep this snack bin, where ever you feed your baby.
3. Start a job jar! All the tasks that you don't get done before baby comes can go in the job jar and when visitors come offering help, you can direct them to the job jar. Some tasks could simply be bringing your toddler to the park, walking the dog or cleaning out your junk drawer.
4. Invite friends to your house for a last rendezvous and cooking party to help make a stock pile of healthy food you can freeze for when baby comes. You can even book a private party at your local Supperworks!
Preparing Your Toddler!
1. If there are any big changes your toddler will need to make like moving into a different room or going from crib to bed, make sure you do these a few months before baby comes so he doesn't think he has to give up his room for the baby!
2. Buy your little one a doll and start to teach him about being gentle. Teach him how to change the diaper, how to feed baby and even talk to him about breastfeeding and crying so he isn't upset and confused once when baby comes. You can even purchase a little bathing kit so he can learn to wash his baby when you are washing yours.
3. Get a great "I'm a big brother" Book. Read it to him and encourage him that he is big brother. He can drink from a glass and sleep in his bed and he will have to help Mommy and Daddy teach baby how to do these things too.
4. If there are any skills you need to teach your toddler, like putting on his coat or tying his shoes, you may want to practice this now. This will help cut prep time when you are ready to take both kids on an outing.
5. Prepare a fun toy bin with some great toys that your little one may not get to play with often. Then have this bin available ONLY as the "baby time" bin. When mommy is feeding, changing or putting baby to sleep, your toddler will be excited to play with the toys in the bin that he usually doesn't get to play with.
6. Start playing some classical music in your toddlers room when he is sleeping. This will help prevent him from hearing your baby's cries and being woken up.
Scheduling and Time Management!
1. Make sure to have a family calendar where all the activities for the family are posted. Include play dates, nursery school, swimming lessons and so on. This will help ensure that your toddlers normal routine is not disrupted too much.
2. Be sure to have a babysitter on standy by to watch your toddler for when you go into labor. I know this may sound ridiculous, but many mommies forget with all the hustle and bustle and then have to scramble at the last minute.
3. Make sure to try and keep your toddlers "world" intact as much as you can. If he is currently in daycare, continue him in daycare at least a few days a week. If he currently has swimming lessons, make sure daddy or grandma can bring him to swimming lessons. This will make a huge difference if he sees that having anew baby doesn't mean he loses out.
4. Preplan some Mommy and Toddler time as well as Mommy and Daddy time. If its on the calendar, you are more likely to follow through. Preplan to do something alone with your toddler at least once a week (going to the park or an indoor playground). Plan some couple time at least once a month.
Lastly, don't be afraid to get help. As a mom of 2 or more children, you won't have as much down time so ask dad to take on a bit more, have grandma stay for a while or even hire a doula/night nanny/baby nurse from Precious Moments Babeez (wink wink).
Congratulations and enjoy!