20 answers

A Toddler and a New Baby

Hello Ladies, I work full time and am the mother of a VERY ACTIVE 20 month old boy. I am due with baby number 2 in a few weeks. I am starting my second week of modified bed rest. I have tried to keep the toddler on his schedule and his routine so he still goes to grandma and grandpas/day care 2 or 3 times a week. He is also a bit much for me to take care of him all day all alone so we only do that 1 or 2 times a week. My question is, what to do after I deliver. Is it wrong for me to still want him to go see grandma/grandpa and day care 2 or 3 times a week? I am being selfish still paying for daycare when I am out of work? Would it be better for him to stay home with me all day long, knowing that I cannot give him my full attention when I am caring for the baby? Going outside is even crazy because he doenst stay in one place. Working moms, what did you do when you had baby number 2? Note: I will be returning to work after 12 weeks. Thanks.

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Featured Answers

I found that my daughter feared that I would be unable to take care of her once the new baby arrived. Having family members take care of her made her more fearful and once they all left and I was fully responsible for both girls she got much better. However, I am a stay at home mom, so this was her normal routine.

Yes its very hard to take care of a newborn and a toddler, but its not impossible. Its going to be hard no matter what. Best wishes!

1 mom found this helpful

HI J.!
I have a 2 1/2 year old and a 4 month old and speaking from recent experience, send him to grandma's/daycare! My son did have a hard time adjusting to his baby sister and I didn't know what to do. I was sending him to daycare two days a week and thought maybe he should stay home; I talked to the pediatrician and he told me to keep sending him to daycare; the thought was it was his routine and it also gave him time to himself and away from the baby. It also gave me time along with the baby so it was a win/win situation. We kept sending him and he's adjusting super well! Some days he'll even ask to go...which is absolutely fine and normal. YOU need a break as well from taking care of both kids at once when you are recovering too.

Good luck!

More Answers

I just went through this same scenario last summer with my own baby #2. I ended up keeping my older child (she turned 3 right after the baby was born) in daycare. I talked to her "teacher" before I had the second baby, asking her what most parents do. She said it varies but she's seen the best results with older siblings who stick to their routine. It's a huge change to get a sibling in the first place. And then if you take them out of their daily routine immediately after it happens, only to return back to daycare when you return to work (in my case, 12 weeks later), it typically confuses most kids (per this certified teacher who cares for 2-3 year olds and has done so for 20 years) and they have a really hard time with the transitions.

It ended up working very well for my daughter and, most days, she preferred going to "school". When I did keep her home, I think she got bored since I couldn't play with her as she's used to playing at school. She did ask one time why her baby brother stayed home and she went to school (it was more of a general question rather than complaining about the difference) and I just explained to her that he was too young and wasn't allowed to go to school yet which is why I had to stay home with him. I explained that I did the same thing with her when she was born. I also explained that he would be going to school when he turned 3 months old and that I was hoping she could show him to his room (the infant room is just down the hall from her classroom) and tell him all the rules. She seemed to like that idea. That was (and still is) my key to helping her feel included. I tell her stories about how she was when she was her brother's age and ask her if she thinks he's the same or different. It opens lines of communication and helps her to see that she was once "the baby" too whenever she may be feeling like we paid too much attention to our newborn.

My best advice is to go with your gut - you are the only one who knows how both you and your older child will react. And you need to do what is best for both of you, based on that knowledge.

Good luck!!!

2 moms found this helpful

Well, I am in your situation now, too. DS is 2 today. I'm due with #2 in 6 weeks. We have a nanny for our little guy, and we will be paying for her through the duration of my leave. (I will also go back to work).

I see my leave as a chance to get to know the new baby. I'll spend some days with my son as well, but our nanny will be more effective to get him out of the house and keep him on his routine than I will be - while trying to get the baby on a schedule. He'll be a happier kid as a result, I think.

SOOOO, no, I don't think your crazy or selfish at all!

1 mom found this helpful

Your question is a really good one. I work outside of the home and I have two kiddos, so I understand what you are asking. My answer to your question is no, it is not wrong for you to continue sending your toddler to grandma and grandpa and daycare. The first priority is you. You will need time to rest and bond with baby. Be kind to yourself. Your toddler will have time to see baby in the evenings and weekends.

I love my kiddos with every fiber of my being, but sometimes when I take a day off from work, I still take my daughter to daycare. Some people may think that is selfish, but I don't see it that way. As mothers, we have to take care of ourselves. Be thankful that you have alternate childcare. And congratulations on you upcoming delivery!!!!

1 mom found this helpful

I found that my daughter feared that I would be unable to take care of her once the new baby arrived. Having family members take care of her made her more fearful and once they all left and I was fully responsible for both girls she got much better. However, I am a stay at home mom, so this was her normal routine.

Yes its very hard to take care of a newborn and a toddler, but its not impossible. Its going to be hard no matter what. Best wishes!

1 mom found this helpful

It is not at all selfish. I just had my second 3 months agao ago and i brought my son to daycare 5 days a week. We had to pay no matter what and he loves his daycare. He is also a boy that really needs routine!! It gave me time to bond with the baby and catch a nap when needed. He still got to play with his friends, and i think it was a huge help having him there. So i say bring him to grandmas and daycare. It is what he is used to and having 2 kids is a HUGE adjustment for everyone.

Hi J.,
I also work full-time and when I had kids #2 and #3, the older ones stayed on their daycare schedules. My reasons were twofold: 1) it was best for my kids to stay on their schedules and 2) perhaps selfishly, it allowed me more one-on-one time with the baby, which always came to an abrupt halt once I went back to work. I figured that I only got those 12 weeks once, and I wanted to take full advantage of it! Good luck with your new little one!

I think that since you are returning to work, he should definitely keep his routine. IF you bring him home because of the baby, then go back to work and send him elsewhere after the 12 weeks, he will most likely give you a very hard time! You should not feel guilty-it is nice to have options. That said, you could (a few weeks after the baby comes) take him out letting him have a "day off" from his regular schedule, to acknowledge him through all the baby crazy that is sure to come. If you are feeling terrible about paying for daycare, you could always bring in a mothers helper-my daughter is one (you live too far for us, though!) and they can be of great (and cheap) help! I am sure with summer vacation, you have plenty nearby! Good luck and enjoy your new addition to the family!
T.

I just went through the same thing! I'd say keep him with you for two reasons.
1. He'll want more of you and you'll be able to give it! I found that a newborn takes so many naps, that my son and I were able to spend a lot of time together. He is normaly super active but he was willing to read books or watch a dvd because he really wanted to cuddle up with me like he saw the baby doing.
2. You want him to get used to the idea of sharing you and to learn to love the baby. My son was a little jealous but we were so excited when he was sweet to the baby that we praised him a lot and he became excited to help. He always wanted to hold the baby when he got up and became really attached to his baby doll, copying whatever I did.

For a break, I had grandparents stop by to help and give my son a little extra attention. That was very helpful. Or you could hire a junior high aged kid to come and play with your son for a couple hours a day.
I really think that when a new baby comes, kids need reassurance of your love AND to learn that then new little one is a special part of the family too.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to keep your toddler in his routine. I think it would be good for you to have SOME time alone with your new sweetie and keep your toddler doing what he always does...kids usually do well with a routine. If you can afford it, I would stay with the program. You are so lucky to have grandparents close by that can help you right now! All the best to you!

From my experience... you absolutely want to stick with the schedule he's used to before the baby comes... so if you want to add daycare,, you need to do ASAP... So it is part of his routine before the baby comes home.
If you work full time, you need full time coverage.
What's the big deal if you start the extra daycare now.. or in 12 weeks?
I'd start it now... you are now trying to coordinate 3 schedules.
the more time you have to ease into it ... the better for everyone.
Your toddler will probably start getting up at night, and that will just add to already getting up for the new baby( at least once).
No one could blame your toddler... this new baby is a change to his current routine and therefore stressful.
If each kid wakes up once at night,,, that still means you have to wake up AT LEAST twice. Do that for a few weeks and daycare will not seem the slightest bit selfish.... so why wait....
Just remember''' "structure and discipline"... all of you will need it....

My boys are 20 months apart, and I kept my toddler going to daycare two days a week (his normal schedule) the entire time I was on maternity leave. It kept him in the same routine and gave me some alone time with the baby--and also some time to sleep/catch up on housework/etc.

Why is it that we mothers always feel guilty for trying to make things easier on ourselves??? I found that having a regular break from my toddler meant that I had more patience to deal with toddler behavior, and the time alone with the baby meant that I didn't have to feel guilty about "ignoring" the baby to spend time with my toddler later on.

Good luck!!!

From my personal experience... I agree with the other ladies. Keep him on schedule. That's what helps in my home. Also, I saw someone mention losing your place in daycare. That would be one of my concerns as well.

I have found that the happier and better I feel, the better both kids are overall too. So happy mommy = happy kids.

You are not selfish at all!!! Having 2 kids at home is not easy. I was in the same situation a year ago. My boys are 20 months apart :) I was totally planning on keeping my newborn at home while I let my older son go to daycare at least 3 days a week, but it never happened. The first couple of weeks were filled with help from the family and after that I just thought it was easier to keep the older one at home instead of having to get out. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I forgot how much newborns sleep, so that was definitely helpful!!! Send him to daycare or grandma & grandpa's definitely! You need to take care of you and don't overdo it :) And spend as much time as you can getting to know your sweet baby!! Congratulations!

HI J.!
I have a 2 1/2 year old and a 4 month old and speaking from recent experience, send him to grandma's/daycare! My son did have a hard time adjusting to his baby sister and I didn't know what to do. I was sending him to daycare two days a week and thought maybe he should stay home; I talked to the pediatrician and he told me to keep sending him to daycare; the thought was it was his routine and it also gave him time to himself and away from the baby. It also gave me time along with the baby so it was a win/win situation. We kept sending him and he's adjusting super well! Some days he'll even ask to go...which is absolutely fine and normal. YOU need a break as well from taking care of both kids at once when you are recovering too.

Good luck!

You might loose your daycare place if you take him out so I would keep him in whatever routine he is used to...no need to deal with the trauma of having him out of school (and yes, there would be trauma) - only to put him back in 12 weeks later. Plus, this is your bonding time with baby.

He will probably be happy to be able to do big kids stuff with his friends. You also don't have to tell him that the baby is staying home with you all day if you don't want...he probably won't ask at that age.

Good luck!

When my second was born my oldest was 4, I keept her in daycare one day a week. For a few reasons, 1 being that I have time with the baby, and 2 that she be around other kids. Its not wrong for you to send yours to daycare. Plus when you go back to work if he hadn't been going to daycare it will be hard to get him used to it again.

I would say keep him on his daycare schedule. It is not being selfish. It will help you feel more yourself. You will get to spend some quality one on one time with the baby and rest when you need it. Just remember to set aside some one on one time with your older son. Good luck

I don't work, but I had grandparents here every day for two weeks to help, mainly just to entertain my older son who was 26 months when the baby was born. I would keep him in daycare to give yourself time to heal/sleep. I had a c-section so the healing part was a big part of it.

I would not, for a minute, feel guilty about keeping your toddler on his regular schedule. You are not sending him away or starting something new once the baby comes. And, if you have the luxury of being able to maintain his grandma/grandpa and daycare routine that's wonderful for you, baby, and toddler.

I have a very active two-year-old girl and a 10 month old. I also took three months off each time. I think that if you can maintain the time your toddler spends away, it'll be good for you to have the down time to heal, connect with your new baby, and rest when the baby rests. There is no such thing as resting when the baby rests when you have a toddler around too! Plus, you're still having your toddler home with you the majority of the week and your toddler would get bored hanging out with you and baby all week long. It's nice for him to have the opportunity to do different activities, go different places and have the social interaction a daycare setting provides. I think it's a good balance that you have going on for time at home with you and time spent doing active toddler things.

Good luck!

During the 12 weeks I was off when my son was born last August, I continued to send my then 2 1/2 y.o. to day care 3 days a week. I figured it was best for her, rather than subjecting her to more changes. And for the first 6 weeks my dad was also here with us, so even when my husband was working there were 2 adults in the house. I felt that she benefitted from maintaining some of her normal routine, and then she didn't have to readjust to day care when I returned to work. I also felt I could be a better mom to her if I had more chance to bond with the baby and rest, rather than feeling rundown.

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