Why oh why did I do it? I had everything nicely under control (sort of), had the poo-gates nailed (they got so much worse than this BTW but that share is for another day, if your eyes and stomach can cope), bath time was fun and bed time seemed like a doddle. Then the hormones did a number on me and conned me into thinking that an additional adorable bundle would be fantastic…and he is, truly…they’re both brilliant and hilarious and delicious and I adore them. But my goodness two is so flipping hard!!!!!
It might surprise you that the children’s bathing frequency dropped considerably when Felix arrived. Like off the chart. They were lucky if they got a baby wipe bath TBH. It wasn’t that I was scared of doing it, it was just that the logistics were so hard. By the time Poppy was fed and the bath was run and they were both upstairs ready Felix would be hungry and Poppy would be exhausted and horrendous. Then a post-bath exhausted Felix would always need a feed straight after the bath and Poppy would freak out if I tried to remove her before the water had turned ice cold. Have you ever tried to forcibly remove a slippery wet toddler from a bath whilst simultaneously feeding a baby/trying not to drop the baby?? Well I’m sure you can imagine how well it goes (for anyone unable to visualise, we all end up very very wet and most of us crying).
*Side note – My husband is out of the door before the children are awake and back well after they’ve gone to bed so we have to exclude that pair of hands from helping in the equation.
Not going to lie, I’ve had to learn some pretty hard lessons but as a result our bath to bed routine is now pretty darn slick with usually only one of them crying at a time and for a vastly reduced amount of time te he. #winningatlife
Proper, Prior, Planning, Prevents, Piss, Poor, Performance
Prep like a badass – Before you even start running the bath make sure you have absolutely everything that you’ll need to get them both dry and then dressed without leaving the bathroom. Including hot milk for both in thermal bags. Don’t forget the nappies (I say this from experience of forgetting at least one on several occasions). Our hotlist is – Towels, dressing gowns, moisturiser creams, nappies, vests, babygrow, pjs, milk, muslins, dummies, comforters, seat for baby to go into post-bath and hair brush. Have I missed any vitals?
Be flexible – For months I battled with overtired children at bathtime then had a lightbulb moment and moved the whole exercise forward by an hour including supper time. I saw an instant change in their behaviour and managed to get them in to bed earlier too. If something is making your life difficult and you have the power to change it, why not try it?!
Try not to freak out – The baby will get dunked and will get vast amounts of water poured over their heads and will get kicked and will get pulled about. Felix may have screamed the first couple of times but I’ve found that now he really doesn’t care as much as I do and actually thinks it’s brilliant fun. He’s now so conditioned to it that he’s totally unphased when we do absolutely anything at swimming.
Get your levels right – Over-filling the bath makes for a ridiculous amount of slipping about and toppling over. Even when the baby can sit up by themselves they’re like little buoyancy aids in an over-filled bath, or at least Felix is with his ‘winter insulation’ on.
Talk about it – Toddlers take on board far more than we ever think possible. If you have to break off from their post-bath routine to see to the baby, explain to them why. As soon as I started to involve Poppy in Felix’s wellbeing by asking if she could hear him crying and if she thought he was ok, she was completely happy for me to go to him then come back to her for a story or get her into pjs.
Never ever trust a toddler – Poppy is absolutely brilliant at being helpful with Felix in the bath until she’s not and then she’s really really terrible. The other day I asked her if she could make sure felix stayed sat up in the bath whilst I literally turned around for not even 10 seconds. By the time I turned back around she had him in a headlock with just a nose above water. To be fair to her she was trying to make him sit up again…just using a really really ineffective method…and he really is a slippery little sausage…but you catch my drift.
Well I hope this is some sort of comfort to anyone who is nailing it out there and some sort of help to anyone embarking on the sibling journey. I have absolutely no doubt that if I can keep these two alive then you can do it and most likely a hell of a lot better than me! x