Labor and Delivery/Postpartum · Parenting · siblings

Diaper bag essentials for a toddler and a newborn

Getting out of the house can take f-o-r-e-v-e-r with little ones. The best way to get out of the house is to be as efficient and prepared as possible. One major step? The diaper bag. Diaper bag=lifeline. So when you have two in diapers, you want to have all your basic supplies packed and ready to go. Let’s talk about all the diaper bag essentials for a toddler and a newborn.

By the way, if you also are preparing to have two under two, check out my post on what to expect here.

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links to which I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you.

You don’t need to go out and buy an extra diaper bag

Now maybe some of you laughed at that but I sincerely considered that possibility when I was pregnant with our second child.

I mean, so much stuff is needed for just one kid in diapers, I would need another bag right?

Nope!

A lot of the diaper bag essentials for a toddler and a newborn will be shared so you aren’t going to be adding too much.

Besides, you’re going to look really goofy chasing kids at the park with two bags on you. 🙂

Save your money and use the diaper bag you have

This tip would have come in handy about 18 months ago. I spent hours looking on the internet for an “extra-large” diaper bag that didn’t cost at least $100.

I couldn’t find one nor did I need it. The only reason I would suggest for you to buy a different bag is if you don’t already have a backpack style diaper bag.

When you have two in diapers, you need all the free hands you can get!

This is the closest style of bag I found that I have used for both of my children at the same time. The price range is about $30 and has served me well. There is still a good amount of space even with two sets of diapers and clothes inside.

Plus, it’s leopard-you’re welcome.

Make it part of your routine to check and restock your diaper bag

Sometimes Ol’ Reliable (aka your diaper bag) becomes a black hole for whatever storage is needed on the go.

I seriously feel like Mary Poppins pulling stuff out of the bottom of my diaper bag sometimes!

Try to get into a rhythm of once a month, once a season, or whatever frequency works for you, to check and reorganize your diaper bag.

For me, anytime my children are growing into a new size of diaper or clothing is a good reminder to double check that I have the right sizes in my bag.

Here’s my list of diaper bag essentials for a toddler and a newborn:

  • Toddler sized diapers (1-2 diapers for every 2 hours)
  • Baby sized diapers (1-2 diapers for every 2 hours)
  • Change of clothes for both toddler and baby
  • Wipes
  • Boogie wipes
  • Changing pad
  • Diaper cream
  • Non-perishable snacks
  • Disposable bibs
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tide-To-Go pen
  • Small toys and/or books
  • Lip balm
  • Phone charger
  • Seasonal items (hats, mittens, sunblock, etc.)
  • Burp cloth
  • Feeding supplies (bottles, nursing cover, formula)
  • Plastic bag for blowouts and/or big messes
  • Pacifier

Phew! It can seem like a lot, but chances are, you are already on a good routine if you’re getting ready to have another baby in diapers.

Of course, there’s always an adjustment period for after the baby arrives (if you would like to read about helping your toddler adjust to a newborn check out my post here).

But soon enough you will be throwing in extra sets of diapers in your diaper bag and be on your way like it’s nothing!

Let me know in the comments section below, are you planning to upgrade your diaper bag or stick with the one you have? I’d love to know!

Thanks for stopping by!

Parenting · siblings

Help your toddler adjust to new baby

The time has come for you to bring home your brand-new baby and introduce them to your toddler. One of the most immediate challenges you will meet is how to help your toddler adjust to the new baby.

Are you ready for it?

As soon as you walk through the door, it’s game time! This is a BIG moment so as much as it would be nice to let things “just flow” naturally, you should have some sort of plan or mindset ahead of time.

Any type of transition especially for toddlers should be done so in manageable ways whenever possible. If you are looking for ideas on how to prepare your toddler BEFORE the baby arrives, then you should check out my post on that topic here.

I will be walking you through the introduction, acclamation, and how to achieve the “new normal” with helping your toddler adjust to a newborn.

Let’s do this!

How to introduce toddler to a new baby

I got this tip from a pediatrician: have someone else hold the baby while you greet your older child.

When I was at the hospital (3 days) it broke my heart to be away from our son (this was during the heart of the pandemic, so he wasn’t allowed to visit).

So here I thought that my son was just going to coming running to my arms…..nope!

He skipped me altogether and went straight to his new little sister. He was so curious about this little baby. Mom…….who???

I was expecting a different reaction, but this was totally great too. My point is that you will never be able to truly predict how your older child will react.

By having someone else holding the baby during the initial greeting will help keep jealousy at bay for a bit. Then you will be able to give 100% of your focus to your toddler.

Give your older child TONS of affection

Speaking of focus and attention, your older baby will need probably more affection than they normally do.

Their entire existence previously was that THEY were the baby. Only they got all the hugs/kisses/playtime. Now this tiny little thing is stealing the spotlight a bit; and now your toddler is no longer the baby of the family anymore.

How dare they!? 🙂

Even if it seems like your toddler is rejecting you, just keep reassuring them of your love. This is confusing for them and have conflicting emotions (you probably do too!).

My little guy for a while wanted to be held and rocked liked a little baby again and that is totally okay. Honestly, I loved it because I knew sooner or later, he was going to go back to his independent ways.

If your older toddler is giving you the cold shoulder, give them the space to feel whatever emotions they are experiencing. When they are ready, “baby” your toddler to pieces!

Make regular one on one times with your oldest child

This tip was so beneficial for my son as it was for me too. Before having our daughter, I was also a stay-at-home mom for our son. So, for us it was me and him all day, every day.

I was so in love with our daughter but grieved having less one on one time with our son. Around that time was when my son and I started doing a music class together. It was so nice to have that time once a week to get some much needed “mommy and me” time.

We were fortunate enough to be able to do Kindermusik together and both got so much out of it. To check if a class is offered near you, click here (not sponsored).

Classes not an option for you? No problem! Your toddler just needs time with YOU, not the activity.

There were many times that I would nurse our daughter, and then my husband stayed at home with her while I ran errands with our son.

Something simple as the carwash or the grocery store or playing with your toddler while the baby naps work wonders.

Make a busy box/bag for your toddler during breast/bottle feeding

I make this suggestion because this is something I regret not having set up beforehand. So much so, I made a “busy bag” for my friend’s older child when she had another baby.

As you know by now, the early days consist of lots of feeding the baby. Your young toddler may not even understand what you’re doing. To them it might look like you are loving on the baby and leaving them out in the cold.

To help combat this, have some special toy or bag full of quiet activities to keep them occupied. But only bring it around during feedings. This distraction will help your child adjust to this new routine of what they can do during feedings.

But in the long run, your toddler will still want to be involved. Keep some books nearby and have them hold it while you read to them. Sing nursery rhymes together.

Sensory bins are a great option too. If you need help coming up with ideas, check out my post on children’s activities planner here.

I usually don’t recommend screen time but if you use it at all or more than you normally do, give yourself grace. You’re running on very little sleep, hormones are going nuts, and everyone’s adjusting. This is a very short season.

Final thoughts: when in doubt-snack it out!

Let your child be involved with caring for the baby as much as possible

Toddlers LOVE to be little helpers. Let’s be real-when you have a toddler and a newborn, you need all the help you can get!

Ask your older child to grab a burp cloth, a diaper, or a pacifier. The point is to involve them in whatever is age appropriate to do. By having them take part of care you are helping to build their relationship with each other.

If you constantly tell your toddler to go play or that they can’t touch the baby, they may grow to resent their new sibling. My guess is that if you’re reading this, you won’t be doing that but just wanted to throw it out there!

Don’t force your toddler to “like” the new baby

This can be tough-I mean, why wouldn’t you love a sweet adorable little baby? You just want all of your babies to get along!

Your toddler does love the baby……but maybe they just don’t like them right now. So what do you do?

As long as your toddler isn’t physically acting out on the baby, let it be. If you truly have serious concerns about how your toddler is adjusting, definitely reach out to their pediatrician for some pointers.

Otherwise, you have to accept their feelings where they are at right now. This is a HUGE transition, and they are trying to process their new normal. If you force your toddler to give affection, say “I love you” and other things to the baby, it can breed resentment even more.

I know some parents will have the baby “give” gifts to their older siblings. I didn’t even sweat it for my then 15-month-old. But perhaps if you have older children, they most likely will appreciate the gesture.

My older child who was over the moon for his little sister instantly still can get in jealous bouts at times.

This is normal!

Give your child the emotional space to express those feelings in a healthy way and it should work itself out in time. Just keep giving your toddler one on one attention and lots of affection whenever possible.

Helping your toddler adjust to a new baby has lots of ups and downs, but it is all worth it. As a parent you are also learning how to divide your attention to two tiny human beings and that’s a lot! Give yourself and your kids lots of patience and kindness.

You can do this!

Thanks for taking the time to be here. Please consider subscribing for other content and to receive a free printable of my Children’s Activity Planner.

In the meantime, let me know what stage of life your family is in. Expecting? Newborns? School Aged? Grandkids? Comment below!

siblings

How To Prepare Your Toddler For A New Baby

Getting ready for another baby in the house (or maybe more!) is always exciting, stressful, and emotional-and that’s just for the parents! But what about your other baby who is now going to be the big brother or sister? How are they feeling? Do they even know? How do you prepare your toddler for a new sibling?

Maybe you’re like me and the “older” child is still very much a baby too (mine was maybe 7 months old when I became pregnant again). You will definitely want to check out my previous post on this very subject here. There you will learn about different tips, tricks, and hacks to get ready for having two under two.

One of the tips I mentioned in that article was to prepare your older child for the baby. This subject alone deserves its very own blog post to break down all the different ways you can help your oldest get ready.

Help Your “Toddler” Know What’s Coming

I put toddler in quotes because your oldest child may be in fact, still an infant themselves! They may not even be verbal yet, so how can you even begin to talk about your growing belly?

I mean, can’t they see the growing bump on their favorite jungle gym, aka mom???

I think books are a great starting point for building the concept of a little brother or sister coming. Even if they can’t comprehend all the words you are saying, the pictures alone will help explain things.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a commission if you purchase a product through my link, at no extra cost to you.

This is the book that we read to our son at minimum once a week. In the back of the book is comments from the author on how to prepare your toddler for a new baby.

Side note-it helps make for a cute pregnancy announcement! We took a picture of our son “reading” the book and it was adorable.

Have your child see you taking care of a baby

The reason I say baby versus an older child is because that’s exactly what’s coming-a baby! Of course, it never hurts for them to see you taking care of older children as well, but it may not click like it would a baby.

If your older child is also your first child, it will be a huge transition to having to share mommy and daddy’s attention with someone else.

Is there someone you can babysit? Have a playdate with someone who has a baby? The more exposure the better.

When I was pregnant with my second, it was the heart of the lockdown of the pandemic. So socializing with others wasn’t an option for me. And you might be in a stage in your life where no one else has a baby right now.

What I suggest then is “taking care of” a baby doll. Feeding, changing, the whole bit. Even just holding the doll while walking around the house. I know it might feel goofy, but they might catch on to what you’re doing and get curious about it.

That would be a great time to incorporate taking care of the doll into playtime. Play is how children help process their world and emotions. It helps that they can explore what it’s like to take care of a baby beforehand.

Once my second child was born, I found my son (again who was only 15 months at the time) grabbing his “baby” and taking care of the doll while I took care of his sister.

So. Stinkin. Cute. 🙂

Make transitions happen-like now!

Most of us adults have trouble with any one big transition, let alone multiple transitions at once. It’s too much. How can we expect any more out of our kids?

In a matter of a few short months or weeks, the whole family dynamic is going to change. Again, like us, they are going to want some control in the chaos (even good chaos) and have something to hang onto while their whole world has changed.

What are some transitions that need to happen for your toddler/older baby?

Is it:

  • Weaning off the bottle/and or breast?
  • Sleeping in a toddler bed?
  • Moving out of mommy and daddy’s room?
  • New car seat, new spot in the car?
  • Getting rid of the pacifier?

By having this transition taken care of now, it will help both you and your baby get into a new flow before adding another kid in the mix.

But be warned! You will most likely see a regression in your older child on any developmental changes once the baby is born.

That is totally normal.

Give your older child a big hug and kiss and know that this is temporary. They will catch right up to any progress made in no time.

Start delegating night and nap routines to someone else.

This very much applies if you plan to breastfeed. You definitely can still partake in parts of the routine but when it comes to actually getting your toddler in their bed and to fall asleep, maybe dad can take over then.

Perhaps you are in a situation where it’s just you for bedtime and don’t have anyone to hand it off too. In that case, if your child isn’t already doing it, have them get used to falling asleep in their room on their own.

I definitely struggled emotionally with not being the one to put my first baby to sleep. But I knew in a very short time I was going to be breastfeeding again and it wasn’t the best-case scenario for us.

It is good for your child to learn to be comfortable with having someone else do this routine. This can help increase their own self-soothing skills and won’t be as drastic of a change for when you’re in labor.

Have your toddler spend a night or two at someone’s house.

Or have someone come spend the night at your house and then YOU are away-babymoon, perhaps???

While I was still breastfeeding my oldest, I didn’t want to be gone from him at night, but that’s just me. Once he was weaned it was very important to least have 1 night where he spent the night away.

If possible, have them stay wherever or with whomever will be taking care of them while you’re gone. Once again, when it comes time for the baby to be born your older one has at least experienced their first night away from the parents beforehand.

Ways to help your toddler transition when the baby is born

This topic is going to be discussed in a follow-up post because there’s a lot to it! For now, the best advice I can give is to make sure to “baby” your older baby.

Even though they are at the ripe old age of 2 (or 3 or 4…), they are going to need that reassurance that they are still your baby too!

Let me know in the comments what you have found helpful from this article. Please consider subscribing to stay up to date on all of the newest content and to receive your free Children’s Activity Printable.

Have a WONDERFUL day!