Leaving the house with the addition of a new baby can be a testing time for families. Just when you might have started to carry less or start to go new places, it’s back to navigating the newborn days. Only this time, you have to consider the demands of a mini person on top. It is however really important to brave the elements and the tantrums and get out there, as a walk can do you all wonders!
The older child will be used to 100% of your attention and their routines before their sibling arrived. They’ll enjoy going out, attending their classes, and seeing friends.
As hard as it may be to fit feeds, nappy changes, and time for yourself to catch a breath, a toddler is still a baby in reality. Therefore, it is important to try to keep to some kind of semblance of routine where possible, to avoid tantrums and feelings of jealousy.
In practice, achieving a successful trip out with two young children in tow is down to a few simple factors.
When you’ve been up all night with the baby and then on duty with the older one, there is little time for your own needs.
This extra pressure on top of already feeling exhausted can lead to your own stress, a low patience threshold, and even a short fuse. It’s normal to feel emotional and overwhelmed by situations, so give yourself the best start by trying to plan ahead as much as you can.
- Always check what you have in your baby change bag to make sure you have the necessary stash of nappies, wipes, muslins, dummies etc.
- Make sure you know where you are going so that you are not put under pressure e.g. where you can park, where the nearest toilets and baby change is, is there a cafe nearby for a rest stop.
Pack snacks, lunch and drinks to curb toddler meltdowns but also keep your own energy levels up.
- Keep your phone charged up to offer some kind of entertainment for the older child, if you need to stop for feeds or changes.
- Check whether it’s buggy-friendly, and if you have one, suitable for the buggy board too.
- Pack a sling so that you can remain ‘hands-free’ for the older child.
- Keep a load of spare clothes in the bag or car, including wellies and waterproofs.
- If you have room, take a scooter or balance bike along with the helmet too.
- If your eldest child is able to understand, be clear on the plans in case of last minute changes e.g. if you have to leave early or need to stop for a feed.
- Never be too scared to ask for help, whether it’s in a cafe or play park, or by asking someone to come along as an extra pair of hands.
It’s new for you too
Ultimately, juggling two young children and keeping everyone happy on a day out is a balancing act. Be realistic about how you are feeling and how much you can actually take on.
Don’t feel ashamed if you need to take a moment to regain your thoughts, stop for a third coffee break, or pass the eldest child a phone or tablet for a while!
Remember that this is a period of readjustment for you too, and a sibling is a wonderful gift for your toddler. It may take some time for them to see that, but ultimately the days will get easier.
CREATING MEMORIES THAT LAST A LIFETIME