Wednesday, March 2, 2011

WFMW: Having a Toddler and a Baby

My little Baby G is almost two months old. My not-so-little Ds E is two years old. And while taking care of a baby is always hard work, having my toddler makes it easier.

At two, he has hit that stage of early childhood in which he wants to help and do things that big people do. And while I was still pregnant, dh and I talked to Ds E about how fun it would be to be a big brother. Now he's my little helper. A lot of parents talk about how letting a toddler help makes things take more time, but I find that assertion is only true for some tasks. Here's how Ds E really helps me:
  • He can bring me wipes and diapers for the baby
  • He can put disposable diapers in the trash (both his own and his brother's, although his brother usually wears cloth)
  • He can comfort his brother during a diaper change and hand me the pins
  • He can put his clean laundry in his room
  • He can put dirty laundry in the hamper in my room (or near it :P)
  • He can put things in the trash
  • He can bring me groceries to put in the fridge
  • He can put groceries in the fridge himself if I've made the space for them
  • He can hand me clothes when I fold the laundry
  • He can put away the drying rack
  • He can push his brother's swing while I'm busy
  • He can hold his brother while I wash my hands after a diaper change
  • He can get the broom and dust pan for me on cleaning day
  • He can get me a kitchen towel to clean up messes
  • He can wipe his own hands on a kitchen towel to clean them
  • He can put the kitchen towel back on the oven door
  • He can help clear the dinner table
  • At the store, he can put things in the cart for me
Other things he can help me with do, admittedly take longer, but I enjoy the chance to "multitask" by spending time with him while I do housework:
  • We put his toys away together
  • He can pour pre-measured dry ingredients or beans into a mixing bowl
  • He can help me clean the floors
  • He can help me make the beds
  • He can help me clean the coffee and side tables if I give him a wipe (along with anything else he can think of)
  • He can dress himself
  • At the store he can put things on the conveyor belt for me
The best part is that he is at his best when I give him something specific to do. And it doesn't hurt that we often enjoy a treat afterward, whether it's a cookie, a candy, or watching part of a movie together. Moreover, having him help me out helps keep him from feeling left out as I dedicate so much time to his brother.

Having a toddler to help me with the baby and chores works for me.

For more Works for Me Wednesday check out We Are THAT Family.

1 comment:

Victoria said...

You have some great ideas listed here! My little guy loves helping and I think I underestimate what he can do...I am going to try some of what you have listed. #2 is due in June and #1 will be two in April, so they are almost identical in ages. Thanks for the great tips and it is well-worth the time teaching him to be my helper. God Bless!