Juggling a feeding-round-the-clock newborn and a very active toddler can make for a tricky balancing act. How can you feed a baby and stop your toddler from upending the entire house at the same time? What happens when it’s dinner time and you’ve got a very fussy baby to contend with? Here are a few simple ways to help the multitasking become a whole lot more manageable.


Accept that there will be ups and downs

This stage is undeniably hard, bordering on impossible sometimes. So, be kind to yourself! You will feel like you’re being pulled in a million different directions, and find it hard to decide which way to go. This is totally normal, and there will be days where everything’s great and others where it all feels like a bit of a dumpster fire. Just remember: you’re doing great.


Try to stick to a loose routine

Toddlers love routine. Need it in fact. So, as much as possible try to stick to the routine your toddler is familiar with. With so much newness and upheaval, it’s one thing that can be quite grounding. It may mean putting the baby in the pram for a nap while you do your regular morning walk, or doing a feed while your toddler does their usual quiet time with a simple activity like drawing or doing a puzzle.


Try to batch tasks

There are going to be daily tasks that you need to do, so where possible, try to group similar ones together to avoid having to do them multiple times throughout the day. For example, try prepping the day’s fruit for snack time while you’re cutting up food for your toddler’s breakfast so it’s ready for later in the day. Or having a designated bath time for both kids, so while you bathe your toddler, you can pop baby in a bouncer, then settle your toddler with a toy while you bathe the baby.


Carve out a “yes” area

There are inevitably going to be times where you will need to take your eyes off your toddler to tend to the baby, so create a safe space in your home where you can leave them and you’ll know they’ll be fine unsupervised for a short while. Ensure everything in this area is within easy reach such as toys and books. For safety reasons, try to enclose the area where possible, and ensure breakables or dangerous objects are removed and power points are covered.


Make your toddler’s things easily accessible

Try to store things like toys and books in open baskets and bins on the floor so your toddler can fetch anything they need independently. Also, try to save a few special toys, books or activities for feeding times – the more novelty factor, the longer they’re occupied!


Prep ahead of time

Try to do tasks that you know will make for a smoother day ahead of time where you can. A simple act such as ensuring the nappy bag is stocked and ready to go the night before means you can quickly grab and go when you’re trying to get the kids out the door. You could also cook and freeze a few dinners so you can quickly defrost something from the fridge and not have to whip up a meal from scratch.


Give your toddler one-on-one time

Carve out times throughout the day that enable you to give your toddler one-on-one time, even if it’s for just 10 minutes. Giving them your undivided attention for a little while, whether it’s to read a book, sing a song or simply cuddling, is important for filling your child’s cup emotional cup. It will also go a long way towards avoiding jealousy and meltdowns.


Try baby wearing

Invest in a good sling or carrier and embrace it. Newborns will often want to be close to you during those early days so baby wearing has the benefit of keeping baby calm, while allowing you to go hands free to care for your toddler or complete necessary tasks such as getting dinner on the table.


Involve your toddler

Toddlers love to help, so enlist your toddler to be your helper throughout the day. This helps them to feel involved with the day-to-day activities of caring for their younger sibling. Whether it’s grabbing wipes or singing songs to the baby while you do a nappy change, it’s a great way to enable your toddler to feel included while also earning you an extra set of hands!


By Tania Gomez