Monday, August 6, 2007

The birth of a second child

In December my second baby was born. The first few weeks were great. I had had an elective caesar so my family and husband were very supportive and helpful especially for the first month to five weeks. After that time though I found that my 15 month old was very demanding of my time, upset easily and craving all my attention which was to be expected but still a very difficult to cope with while caring for a new baby.

I have a few friends about to embark on this same period of life and wanting to know how to survive the transition from one child to two.

I found that I had to organise ahead of time several activities that I could involve my toddler in just before I needed to feed, change or comfort my new born.

Here is a suggestion of some of the activities that I now have in plastice tubs ready to bring out at these times.

Magnetic books- My son's magnetic playbook has fantastic animal, people and object magnets to play with in a book with several different scenes such as at the fair, on the farm etc.
http://www.topthatpublishing.com/uskids/series.asp?seriesid=525


Musical instruments:maracas, keyboard, home made shakers, kazoo, recorder, tambourine, drum and drum sticks, xylophone etc.

Tub of wooden things:
blocks, train, wagon etc

Tub of plastic building blocks:
duplo, large leggo etc

Plastic cooking equipment:
measuring cups, wooden spoons, spatulas, cups, saucers, plates etc
Plus "recycling" boxes of food etc

Wooden puzzles:
shapes, numbers, animals etc

First Words Touch & Feel Cards
First Words pack comes in a sturdy reusable storage box containing child-and-parent-friendly cards with rounded corners. Each card has a photograph with touch-and-feel textures on one side of the card, and activities for the parent and child on the other side. An additional Parenting Guide card in every box includes more skill-building activities.
http://www.talkingchild.com/shop_FirstWordsTouchFeelCards.aspx

Also photo cards:
I put laminated photos of our family out and say "where's aunty Mel?", "where's nanny?" etc I also made two of each for when he is a bit older to play memory with.

Drawing:
Crayons, drawing pad, pencil case and a Magnadoodle thing.

Tool box:
My toddler loves using his tools to bang and saw and he especially loves to get them out and "help" when his dad has a handy man job to do around the house- feels very special!! When on his own he works at his tool bench with his hard hat on.

Vehicles:
cars, planes, boats, trains, fire trucks, tractors, bus' plus all the little people and animals to go with them.

Book box:
Some special books that are just read at a certain time. At one stage I also put all the books I could find on the one theme on a display table for my toddler or in a separate box e.g. like all the Bananas in pj books, Thomas, Winnie the Pooh etc and he loved sitting and looking at the various books with the same characters.

Baby stuff:
So for a while you could have a little box or bag of baby nappies, dummy, bottle, blanket, bib etc for your toddlers baby doll. That way he/she can copy you when you have to do something with bubs to include them in the activity.

House work:
Train your toddler to do it all! Only joking. My toddler has his own little brush and shovel, broom and mop that he loves to use to copy when I do house work.

Basic dress ups:
Hats, scarves, old sunnies, shoes, gloves, necklaces (my mum and mother-in-law both have these ugly big beaded necklaces at their houses which my toddler loves to wear around his neck).

Cubby:
Today I made a temporary cubby out of a fitted sheet and some chairs and the high chair etc and my toddler put all his toys inside and played in it for ages. He also enjoyed throwing rolled up pairs of socks out of my clean folding basket and then retrieving them on the other side!! Whatever keeps him amused.

Cookie dough, cutters, play dough:
I have a tub of cookie cutters, platic knives etc to use with ready made cookie dough (available at Safeway) or playdough- bought or home-made.

Sticker books:
Sometimes those sticker books can be quite good. The ones that they can peel the sticker on and off and put it on another page. Good for learning animal names, shapes, colours etc.

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