Are you having babies close together and a bit worried about how it’ll all pan out? Well, you should be. I’m just kidding… here’s some encouragement coming your way :)
When my son was born my daughter was 12 months and 3 weeks old.
She couldn’t even walk.
When I brought my baby boy home from the hospital and my daughter was still crawling around… it might have gone through my mind a time or two that I was nuts. I might have wondered if we’d all survive the newborn phase, but alas we did. In fact, we did it a few times more as well. It isn’t easy, but you can do it.
How to Handle Babies 13 Months Apart
My kids were born barely 13 months apart and we were just fine. Yes this is true. It was insane but amazing and you can survive it with flair.
How I had 5 kids in 5 years and didn’t lose my mind… straight to your inbox!
Sort Out the Basics with Older Baby
One of the most important things to do when bringing home a baby so close in age to another is having a good routine for your older child. The older child should know the ins and outs of their routine (and even be able to do it themselves as they age) so they still feel safe and secure with a new addition. It can be tempting to give both kids the same routine, but your older child will want and need a bit more attention and less sleep than the younger.
If you need help with crafting a routine, I’ve put together 25+ including toddler and baby routines here. Essentially, get your older child on a good routine with napping and independent play. And learn the art of corralling. Then, teach your toddler to follow routine without nagging.
Determine Your Feeding Plan
If you are nursing both, get organized about it. If you’re pregnant now and planning to wean the older baby before the new baby is born, try to do it with a few weeks to spare so the older baby doesn’t think they got vacated for a new tenant. I tried to have my older one napping, in independent play, or otherwise occupied when I fed the new baby so I could have time alone with both and less distraction (here’s how to feed a baby with a toddler around).
Having babies close together in age means you need to start out how you can hold out. If you don’t want to have to nurse your new baby to sleep 15 times a day and night then don’t start it. It’s a lot easier to start habits in the direction you want to go than to break ones you don’t like.
Become Home-Centric For a Time
One of the biggest lifestyle changes to happen when you have a few young kids is this: sometimes it’s just not worth it to leave the house.
Yes, okay, when you’re feeling like a desperate housewife it’s okay to go run errands or do what you need to do. But running errands with a baby (and a toddler) isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Just resign yourself to the fact that, in some seasons of life, it’s okay to look different. It’s okay to wear mostly yoga pants and not do things as you used to. It’s a season, it will pass.
To maintain sanity with little ones very close together in age you need to – at least for a short while – batten down the hatches and get into a good routine.
Take Life With a Grain of Salt
As a mother of 5 kids ages 5, 4, 3, 2 and 6 months… I want to leave you with the one way to keep your sanity and love being a mom… have a sense of humor.
Honestly, even people who look like they have it all together don’t have it all together. Your kids are going to flail and throw all manner of big emotions at you. They’ll embarrass you in public and they’ll instinctively refuse to do what you say. You’ll give them a million cuddles because it’s good for their brains and for you, and you’ll also make them angry. These things happen in life.
Create a Good Routine
If you don’t have a good routine with kids this young in age, life will be tough. You need a baby and toddler combo routine (get some here) that meets both of their needs and your own. This may mean putting them down to nap at the same time, having wake up times that are nearly the same, and simply doing the same things at the same time. You can figure out how to occupy your toddler while feeding the baby and then go from there.
Get printable routine cards for your morning, evening, bedtime routines and more.
Babies 13 months apart isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but it’s fun.
It’s not without its challenges…
It’s not a walk in the park.
But it’s one of the best things you’ll ever do… and boy what bragging rights!
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