Memo to Moms With a Newborn AND a Preschooler

newborn and preschoolerI recently ran into a fellow mom on my son’s baseball team who literally just had her second baby. Oh, those new baby smells, right?! I asked how she was doing before even asking about baby (friendly reminder never to ask a mom how their new baby is sleeping). It’s a lot to juggle, she said. Her oldest was in preschool, so she was managing noon pick-ups and trying to coordinate those with infant naps. When I realized her two were about four years apart, it brought me right back to my own newborn/preschool days because we have the same age gap between our boys. I brought up a few things that helped me survive that stage of life while juggling a newborn and a preschooler. For any other mamas going through it, here are my favorite tips.

READ: No Child Left Behind: When You’re Expecting Baby No. 2

Sibling Bag

One of my friends at the time gifted me with a special bag for my oldest. She had his name printed on it and filled it with coloring books, picture books, mess-free markers, healthy snacks, and fidget toys. I was so impressed, and so was he! It made him feel special to receive a gift as well, with all the gifts coming in for the new baby. She proceeded to tell me how she kept a bag like this stocked for her son so it could be his go-to during her nursing sessions with his baby sister. I just love this idea and continued to restock it throughout his younger brother’s first year of life. Whether you are nursing or bottle feeding, your hands are always full with an infant so this is a great idea for their older sibling.

Give Yourself Grace

As much as we can plan ahead and stock the sibling bag, things often go awry in the parenting world. When it came to timing the school pick-up and drop-offs with feedings and naps, I did the best I could, but sometimes my plans fell apart in my lap. I remember often little brother waking up in the car line (since the car wasn’t moving, of course) and me having to unstrap and nurse him there. Those were the insane times. Then you have to pull off to the side after older brother jumps in, burp him and put him back in the car seat, and go on our way. Nevermind the stares from teachers or them questioning why I’m still in the parking lot.

Sure, it was tough with a newborn and a preschooler at times, but I survived!

Go With the Flow

And when it came time to make those small decisions we often wrestle over like, “Do I put the baby down now… and then head to the grocery store after he wakes up?” I often lacked flexibilty and confidence. I had an insane fear of making the wrong decision. But the reality is, sometimes we decide to stay home for a nap, and they refuse to nap. Such is life! I wish someone would’ve told me that these little decisions really didn’t matter in the grand scheme of life and that I should just make one and move on. So, I’m telling you now…

Bask In the Moments

Cue the sappiness, but I often think back to the days when my little squish, as we call our youngest, was actually quite squishy and my oldest son wasn’t a soon-to-be teenager with attitude but instead sat on the floor playing with cars for hours on end. It really is moments like those we wish we could get back, and I do think that there were brief moments where I slowed down and just existed with them. And for that, I’m so grateful. Those are really where our memories derive from. Yes, there is always laundry and dishes to be done, or a bill to be paid, but make sure you’re taking time to just be with your littles before they are no longer little anymore.

Meagan Vesta
Midwest-natives Meagan and her husband Matt first moved to Jacksonville in 2011 and have lived all over town from the beaches to St. John's County. They now own a small farm in Nassau County along with their two sons and two rescue dogs. This year they are starting a market garden featuring fresh, locally-grown produce and you can follow along on their journey at @vestafamilyfarms! Meagan has been a full-time working mom, a stay-at-home mom, and now a work-from-home mom for Jax Mom while homeschooling her two boys and helping run the farm. They enjoy watching their sons play little league along with Jumbo Shrimp games and also enjoy fishing and boating in Jax whenever they can!


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