5 Tips for Juggling Small Children When Leaving Home
Now that you have two, your time to get out of the house doubles! It’s frustrating! You have double to do and less time to do it in—particularly if you are breastfeeding. So here are some tips to get the process from 1 hr. + down to 30 mins!
Most moms would agree that going anywhere with your toddler and a baby in tow is hard work. Just leaving the house can feel like you are never prepared or on time anymore. Read on to learn some tips from moms who have been there and survived.
Preparation of Snacks and Food
Preparing ahead of time will help avoid stress and problems when getting out of the house on time. For example, when you go to the grocery store, have a list of easy-to-prepare snacks and foods. By purchasing these, you can grab and go. Snacks can be an enticing card to play with your toddler. Your toddler may be ready to have a meltdown, and you can distract them with one of their favorite snacks. Of course, this doesn’t always work, but you need to have your bag of tricks full!
The baby will need to eat on their schedule and when they want to. They do not wait! As I am sure you are well aware of, you will need to be prepared for their mealtime as well as for your toddlers. If you are using a formula, make sure to have the formula mixed ahead of time. If you are breastfeeding, make sure you have pumped. You will be more comfortable and feel better knowing that your baby has your milk available.
Have all of these snacks and bottles ready to go, so all you have to do is grab and go. No preparation needed! By having the snacks and bottles prepared, you will save so much getting out of the house.
Pack the Diaper Bag
Having the diaper bag packed is a huge help! First, make sure that you have a change of clothes for the baby and for your toddler. Then, pack diapers for the baby (and for your toddler if they are not potty trained yet), pack wipes, an extra pacifier for the baby, and extra blankets (for both the baby and your toddler). In addition, make sure you have snacks in the diaper bag and the baby’s bottles ready to grab. Finally, bring some of your toddler’s favorite toys (a doll, a truck, a few small books, some crayons, a small coloring book, etc.), a changing pad, and a few healthy snacks for yourself. If breastfeeding, pack nursing pads along with anything else you feel would help you or that you may need.
Get Yourself Ready
There are things you can do to have yourself ready that will save a lot of time and help you not to feel so overwhelmed. Make sure you are showered (this can be done while everyone is asleep). When they do not sleep at the same time, you can take a quick shower while the baby is asleep and find something to entertain your toddler (even if it is in the bathroom with you). If it is reversed and your toddler is sleeping, you can put the baby in their carrier and set them in the bathroom with you while you shower.
In the event none of these options work for you, dry shampoo is always an option! It works amazing and helps you to look put together. Have your outfit picked out prior to you getting ready to leave (as well as the kid’s outfits). If you wear makeup, there are some simple solutions to help save time. Find a matte foundation to rub on your face (it goes on just like lotion and gives your face just the coverage you need). Brush on some bronzer, sweep on some mascara, and you are ready to walk out the door.
Some games to entertain your toddler while getting ready are “I Spy” and “Simon Says” or any other little game that will grab their attention. Toddlers love to help! Ask them to help you with “chores” or send them on little missions such as having them get the remote, your phone, your water bottle, a toy, or any little thing that will distract them. During these distractions, you can get ready. An option for the baby is putting them in a swing or having a sling on so they can lay in it while you are getting ready.
Do Not Stress
The primary and most important thing to do is not to get stressed. Easier said than done, right! Things happen, and nothing is ever predictable. this is very true, especially when dealing with a toddler and a baby. If you get frustrated, your children will pick up on those negative feelings, and they will then become scared or frustrated themselves. This has a snowball effect, which can lead to a meltdown in your toddler or crying for your baby.
If you do feel stressed and like things are spiraling out of control, take a deep breath and count to ten. Focus on your breathing and know that things will get better. This moment will not last forever, and when your children are grown, you will miss all of these crazy times.
Adding another child to your daily routine and life, in general, can seem overwhelming at times. If you try to follow the same schedule, your children will get used to what they need to do. By doing this, there will be more structure in their lives (and in yours as well). Keep in mind that you know what is best for your children, and they trust you.
You Got This!