How to Manage Life With a Newborn & Toddler


Jan 4, 2024

Are you bringing home a newborn baby and wondering how you’re going to manage life with a newborn & toddler?

My children are 18 (and a half!) months apart, and the “two under two”  season is one that I will always remember.  When my second daughter arrived on the scene I felt a confidence I had never experienced with my first when it came to many things, especially sleep. I KNEW WHAT TO DO this time around!! I had been an established sleep consultant, and I was fully confident in how to make sleep a priority, from the beginning. 

But that transition to bringing home a newborn can be a big one and so I want to talk about how to manage that transition and give you some tips and strategies for managing two small little ones. I hope that you find some encouragement wherever you are in your journey.



When it comes to introducing your baby to your toddler, there are things you can do ahead of time to prepare.

If you find out the gender early, it can help your toddler begin to imagine baby as a boy or a girl. Even if you don’t, setting up the nursery, talking through which piece of furniture will be used for what or what decorations will be hanging in the nursery can help give your toddler a slow progression of understanding what’s happening.

As you talk through those kinds of details with your toddler, be sure to let them know what might happen when you go into labor. Even with a scheduled induction or delivery, you may end up putting your toddler to bed one night quickly and then they might wake up with a friend or family member there in the morning. 

Despite all the perfect plans, it’s a roll of the dice, but talking through expectations or possibilities as much as you can will help with the transition.

Then, it’s time to introduce them!! Whether that’s in the hospital or when you come home, I recommend bringing your toddler over to see your newborn in a bassinet or crib to meet them for the first time. It will be such a sweet moment you’ll always remember and treasure! 

One way to help make that introduction a little easier is to to choose gifts for them to exchange like a stuffed animal or stickers or a homemade card – plus, it can act as a sort of icebreaker as they meet one another for the first time!

And then, all of a sudden, your toddler is probably going to seem huge! When you have your teeny tiny baby and then you go to embrace your toddler, their baby features probably aren’t going to seem so baby-like anymore. It’s wild how quick your toddler who has always been your baby suddenly doesn’t look so much like a baby anymore!!



There will probably be a honeymoon phase at first, but many toddlers then go through some jealousy or frustration towards their new sibling. They’re used to being the center of attention and all the sudden you’re feeding the baby or changing a diaper and you can’t give them everything they’re asking for in the moment. 

They will adjust eventually, but you can invite the toddler to help and be involved with the baby as a way to ease that transition. For example, when you all go up to do your bedtime routine, your toddler can help make the bottle or help wash baby’s legs and toes. Or maybe she wants to entertain baby brother while you’re making dinner by bringing over toys or making him laugh.

Any way to get them to help and interact will help your big sibling adjust!



Bedtime with two children can be tricky, especially if you’re doing bedtime solo. When your baby is a newborn, wearing them in a baby carrier to get your toddler ready for bed can help with a short nap and then start their bedtime right after. 

As the baby’s schedule shifts, as it does so often during the first 6 months, you will even begin to have time for family playtime or reading books together. You can tag team with your spouse or do each step back to back as they grow!



It’s important to start by saying that no two children are alike! So, your toddler may have had one temperament as a newborn, and your new baby may have a completely different personality.

Every kid is different and some kids will have a night feed for a longer period of time, or sleep through the night earlier than others, or even nap in their crib later or sooner… and that is ok! There’s no one plug-and-play formula. If you start implementing the strategies we recommend at Little Z’s from day one, it can make all the difference!



If you are a mom to a newborn and a child who is under three years old, give yourself grace! Many days, my goal was just to make it to the end of the day. Every day is not going to be perfect, but just love your babies and take good care of yourself.

Once your partner is home, take some time for quiet and don’t feel guilty about it.

Take some time to exercise or have adult conversation – working, whether from home or out of the home can help with that – and while the baby is napping, if your toddler isn’t napping still, give them some independent play time so you can have time to yourself to rest or check things off your list. 

And, of course, when it comes to sleep, if you’re starting from scratch and you don’t know where to begin, check out our Baby Sleep Training Course! You can set the foundations for sleep as soon as you bring your newborn home!

Like our team member Kate said, following our Newborn Sleep Course, “It truly changed my entire world as a mom because I felt like I got a piece of myself back. I was a better mom. I was a better wife. I was better to myself. So if you’re starting from scratch and you just need a plan, the Baby Sleep Training Course is what changed our entire world as a family.”

The transition to a newborn and a toddler is a big one, but pretty soon, life will become normal again. As you’re adjusting, I hope that you now feel a little bit more equipped to step into your day. You can do this!!


Are you bringing home a newborn baby and wondering how you’re going to manage life with a newborn & toddler?


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