Re: Help me prepare for Irish twins. I would love any advice you have to offer.
Mine aren't *quite* irish twins (13 months apart) but still close.
Getting into a routine was a life saver, different than a schedule, we didn't have set times we did things (except naps since they really responded well to that!), but just did the same things in the same order everyday. My toddler knew what to expect and helped cut own on frustrations if I was busy because he always knew what the next thing was going to be.
Get some new busy items for your toddler to use when you are nursing/feeding the baby. Special stuff that she doesn't get to use at other times.
Include her in what you are doing with the baby, read her a book while you feed the baby, ask her to bring you things to *help* you change the baby. My son reacted much better when I acted like I needed his help instead of telling him to wait a minute so I could finish with the baby. Even simple things, he didn't realize that holding the wipes container was not a necessary task because he was 13 months old, but he was excited to help...and it kept him out of trouble.
I really emphasized that it was OUR baby, he helped me take care of the new baby. I have some really sweet pictures of him gently bouncing the baby in the bouncer so that I could make dinner.
Have a safe room/place to put the baby that the toddler cannot get to them or throw things in at them for times you need to go to the bathroom or leave the room for a second. At first it was easiest to put the toddler in the playpen because the baby in the playpen was still a target, but once he could climb out it was putting the baby in another room for a minute with the door closed.
getting them on the same nap schedule was a LIFE SAVER. For a long time I napped during that time too, make sure you are doing all you can to get enough rest, it is exhausting, and much harder when you are sleep deprived x2.
Lower your expectations for you house. Not that every day is horrible, and maybe you will do just fine, but for me, it was a weight off of my shoulders when I decided to just make it through the day and ask my husband for help when he got home.
Get out of the house as much as you can, sounds counter-intuative, but it helped SO much from feeling like I was trapped in a house taking care of babies all day. They liked the change of scenery too, even if it was just a walk around the block, or strolling the aisles of Walmart for 30 minutes.
That first year was hands down the hardest of my life...but then it got SO much easier than it would have if they were spaced further apart. They do everything together, are interested in the same things, it's awesome!
Hi I'm Sara mommy to 3 little Mischief Makers