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!

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.

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