Anyway, when asked by a few of these ladies what I had wished for when I went from 1 child to 2 children, my honest answer was, "Another adult to entertain the toddler so I can....." insert any number of things here, sleep, nurse the baby, bathe, you get the picture. Which would have been lovely, but when all the visitors leave and the hubby goes back to work, it's just the 3 of you. And the juggling has to begin.
I can remember struggling to figure out how to balance the needs of the older with the needs of the baby. Now, I can't move in with any of my friends or hire them a nanny, but I know from experience that toddlers are very easily distracted and I am a crafty gal, so using ideas from various blogs as well as a few toys in my own house, I came up with the idea of a type of survival kit for the mom with a new baby and a toddler. A few special toys that are not for every day use, put up or in a special box that only appear when Mommy needs to.....again insert whatever here....for just 10 minutes, pretty please???
I have seen so many great ideas for things that would work on so many blogs and I just haven't had time to try them all, not that I'm not trying!
So here are a few ideas.
The I Spy Bag
There are many tutorials available for this online, they are quick and easy to make and I think pretty fun to find the things to put in them. (My husband the pack-rat has a zillion dice less one!)
Fabric Puzzle Blocks
based on a tutorial found at Craftiness is Not Optional
Her tutorial is for 6 sided puzzle blocks, but I was not feeling that ambitious so I did 2 sides and left the edges plain wood, the wood I used was only 3/4 inches thick so it made a nice, simple edge. And a nice, double-sided bag to store them in.
Memory Game using Scrapbook Paper
To be honest, I can't remember where I came up with this, or if I saw it somewhere else, but here's how I made mine.
I took one sheet of 12X12 scrapbook paper (the green checks) and cut out strips of other scrapbook papers 3" wide X 12" long (the length of the paper) and used spray adhesive to stick the strips to the green check paper. I used the paper cutter to cut them into 3"X3" squares. Then I laminated the squares and cut them out again leaving an 1/8" border on the edges. I used my corner rounder to clip the corners (no sharp edges!) and stitched up a little bag for them. I made a set of 12 for a 2 1/2 year old, I figured that was plenty.
My 3 year old has pointed out that you can use these to play a version of "Go Fish" with them also. Clever girl.
I have just recently seen the Color Book over on Living with Punks so you can bet that one of those is going to my next Mommy with a new baby and toddler! And there are many, many versions of the Quiet Book like this one, I do want to try my hand at one of these as well.
Some of these and diapers, my new go-to gifts for the soon to be mom of 2. Sometimes in the beginning it's all about distraction and survival, baby!