Life with young children – you need a plan

Meet Pierre Bel, blogger and father of two, who shares his best tips for coping with the demanding baby and toddler years.

BABYBJÖRN Magazine – Daddy blogger Pierre Bel illustrates how he sits up at night with a wide-awake baby.
“Life as a parent is unfair. It’s three in the morning; the lighting is dim, teddy is playing a lullaby and the wool blanket is delightfully cosy...but Maëlie thinks it would be even better if you trudged back and forth with her...while you struggle not to fall into a coma.”

Life with young children is not the same. When our first daughter Luna arrived in our little family, we fell into a common trap: we expected Luna to obligingly fit in. BIG MISTAKE! We rapidly reached the point of exhaustion, and it got harder and harder to get up each night.
To avoid the same mistakes with our newborn Maëlie, we intend to stick to a plan for life with young children.

I plan to get my revenge when they’re teenagers by waking them at the crack of dawn at the weekends.

Life with young children – my best coping tips

  1. Set a bedtime for Mum and Dad and stick to it, however much you want to watch an episode of your favourite TV show or a film. Make a list of what you want to watch so you can do so later on, when everyone sleeps all through the night. Your family is your main priority right now.
  2. Life with babies and toddlers is easier if you work as a team. We try to share tasks, especially at night. We both get up and while one of us changes baby’s nappy, the other makes up a feed. Then one rests while the other gets baby back to sleep. And we take turns so neither of us gets too tired and both can get some rest.
  3. If you have older children, let them be involved with their new sibling. Our toddler Luna helps us constantly by entertaining Maëlie when she’s sitting in her bouncer or fetching her soother or teddy…lots of small things that make everyday life with young children easier for us.
  4. Eat a balanced diet, even though it can be difficult to find time to cook. Don’t forget fresh vegetables and fruits so you get vitamins, which are more essential than ever for your life with young children. To stay in balance, I now drink two cups of coffee at a time – one for each eye;)
  5. The most important thing for me is to keep reminding myself that even though life with young children feels challenging, these are unique and valuable moments in our parent-child relationship. I plan to get my revenge when they’re teenagers by waking them at the crack of dawn at the weekends.
BABYBJÖRN Magazine – Daddy blogger Pierre Bel draws with his daughter.

Pierre Bel

Lives: in St Céré, in the country, in France
Occupation: runs the blog which deals with life in our little family
Family: married with two little girls, Luna & Maëlie

Read all articles by dad blogger monpapa on This is Life