December 02, 2010,
M.B. asks from Reading, PA on November 08, 2010
Tips from Moms with Two Under Two
We are expecting our second child in April (yea!). My daughter will be 15 months when the new baby is born. Do you have any tips for managing two kids under the age two? What made your life a little easier? Did you try to do anything that later you realized was a complete waste of time?
1 mom found this helpful
A.C. answers from Cincinnati on November 08, 2010
I'm no expert (my oldest is 21 months old and my second is only 6 weeks old, so I'm just getting started), but I can tell you right now that a carrier such as a Beco or Baby Bjorn is a MUST. Everything is so much easier when you can just pop the tiny baby in the carrier and chase after the older child with your hands free. Baby will be happy because she is being held, and your elder child will be happy because you're involved in her life.
Also, if you have any changes you want to make, do it NOW. We moved our son into his new bedroom several months before our daughter was born, and he does not associate her with losing his room at all. It was very smooth! However, we did NOT wean him off of the paci before she came along, and I wish we had, because now she takes a paci and he sees her with hers and throws a fit every single day (because he only gets his at nap and night). I wish we had just had done with it before she came!
And the other moms are right, let the house go or even pay someone else to clean it for the first 6 weeks. Lord knows you're not going to have the time and energy for it! ^_^ You're going to be exhausted, but it isn't as bad (yet, at least!) as everyone warned me it could be. Good luck!
3 moms found this helpful
M.B. answers from Dayton on November 08, 2010
Congratulations! I had my first 2 boys 19 months apart and the third and fourth boys are going to be 21 months apart, so mine were a little older than yours. The biggest thing I can say is take a deep breath and go with the flow. I tried to get the kids to nap at the same time, which worked to some extent, but I found that having them nap at opposite times made it less stressful overall since I only had to deal with one at a time. Don't get me wrong -- having 2 hours of quiet in the middle of the day with no kids was great, but when that didn't work I had to find good in the other schedule.
Take 10 minutes for yourself to sit down in the afternoon about 4ish (just before chaos hits with dinner) and have a glass of wine or cup of tea. Flip through a magazine or check your email. Just Mom time -- it's time well spent!
Remember that just because the kids are sleeping doesn't mean you have to be productive. Some days you will be a better mother and wife if you sleep when they do so you are in a better mood to face the rest of the day.
Get out of the house if you can or need to - even if it's just to walk around Target for no apparent reason. It gets you out of those same 4 walls you've been staring at for too long!
Remember that your house is just going to be messy for a while, and that's ok. You will get better about finding pockets of time (sometimes even as little as 5 minutes) to wipe something up fast, but give yourself some leeway. You are taking care of 2 babies, and that's work no matter what. Also, just think of the sheer amount of time you spend feeding the baby. I added it up one day when I was nursing and realized I had 4 hours of my day taken up just with that - and he was an excellent baby!!!
It's hard for a while, but it gets easier. The older boys now are 4 and 5 and are so close; it's worth all the chaos from when they were little. Now they just bring new chaos with them!
2 moms found this helpful
S.D. answers from Dothan on November 08, 2010
Dont worry too much about the house being cleaned. Its a fruitless effort for the first year with 2 under 2.
Get scheduled like crazy, when baby sleeps its one on one time with oldest kid.
Get your daughter a baby doll to take care while you are taking care of her baby. Teach her how to take care of it.
Get used to the jealousy issue, it will come up early or later on. Make sure you dont scold the child for not liking the baby. Encourage her to be hapy about a sibling.
Remove anything that the oldest can give the baby (put in her mouth) so you dont end up wondering why baby is choking.
Its hard to tell you exactly what to do, since evry child acts different with siblings. My oldest daughter loved her sister very much and want to be her mommy at 17 months old. It was cute. Its going to be hell for the first year trying to take care of a tot and a infant. It gets easier as the child gets to be about 1.5 yrs old.
Take your time and figure out your schedule and dont over do it. Your going to be exhausted!! Swing helps for being able to put baby down to take care of immediate issues with oldest kid. Be ready to be stuck at home more often now.
I had my second child when my daughter was 17 months.
2 moms found this helpful
B.B. answers from New York on November 09, 2010
You got such great advice already. I'll try to steer away from things that were already mentioned.
Our dr gave us the best advice. At first it was hard to swallow, but now I get it, and I really believe it helped us. Your newborn can cry for a minute or two if your toddler needs you. Your newborn will not remember crying, but your toddler will sure remember if she gets pushed aside every time baby cries...which will just lead to your toddler having a melt down for attention every time baby gets upset. Obviously I'm not telling you to neglect your NB, I think you know what I mean.
The other thing that was a tremendous help was to have a little basket of toys and books in every room. So that if your hands are tied with baby, there is something cool for toddler to do too. On the same token - baby gates and close the doors! You will want to contain your toddler into whatever area you and baby are in so you aren't constantly running out to check on toddler.
I had my toddler "help" with as much as he could - feeding, burping, changing, putting blanket on baby, kissing. We were very lucky to have such a loving and accepting toddler!
Remember to have one on one time with your toddler!
Try to modify your routines NOW. Make sure your bedtime routine can be quick if needed, and make sure toddler can wake up and hang out on her own for a bit in the morning. There will be times where you are going to have to rush through bedtime (I can remember reading the first and last page of the book hahahaha) because baby is screaming!
We would read "I'm going to be a big brother" book EVERY DAY! We talked a lot about the new baby and things that we do with the baby. I really believe that helped a lot.
My first was 16 months when my second was born...and my second will be 16 months when our third is born. So, it isn't that bad or I wouldn't be doing it all over again!!
Best of luck to you mama!
2 moms found this helpful
A.F. answers from Chicago on November 08, 2010
Make some meals in advance and freeze them. If you think you might end up with a c-section (even a chance) have someone available that can help you for the first 6 weeks as you SHOULD NOT be lifting your daughter after the c-section. My c-section with DS was a surprise (daughter born naturally) - my kids are 17 mos apart. My mother in law ended up moving in with us (yeah us....ugh - big help but big pain in the butt too). And, if you can put your elder child in any sort of parents day out program or anything for a few hours a week or have a neighbor kid stop by to play with her, it will help make her feel special and make sure she has enough one on one time. It is very hard to nurse a baby and run around after a little toddling toddler but I would often sit Indian style and nurse my baby in football hold while playing games or reading books to my daughter. Did the same reading to her on the sofa. You get less sleep (sleep when the baby sleeps does not apply to moms taking care of babies and toddlers unless your toddler is still on 2 naps and they happen to align with when the baby wants to sleep). But TRY to go to bed early in the evening if possible -- it makes the day a bit better. I would also put the baby in a bouncy seat in the bathroom with a mobile on it and hop in the shower WITH my DD 17 mo old so I made sure I was showered every day at a reasonable time. It just makes you feel better. And just remember to take some time out to smile :) It is tough but once your daughter gets the hang of fetching diapers for you and feels useful, it gets easier -- especially when the little one hits 1 year old and they start to play together a bit more.
Best wishes from a mom of 3 yr 3 mos, almost 2 and one on the way (DD 5/19) :)
2 moms found this helpful
M.N. answers from Philadelphia on November 09, 2010
We had our second son when our first was 18 months old. I echo what a lot of the women said - definitely go with the flow. Make a list of what absolutely needs to happen in a day and realize some days that may be all that happens and that's ok:).
I got a sling which really helped and got them on the same afternoon nap schedule when the baby was about 6 month old (I adjusted the older one's schedule and it worked great).
Definitely make some meals ahead of time that you can freeze and eat later. I did that when I had #3 this summer and we are just finishing those meals.
I found a double stroller a must when I needed to go out, at least at first. I could strap them in and get things done when I really needed to.
The first 6 months were challenging for me but as soon as #2 was old enough to play it quickly became easier and easier. They are now 3 and 4 and inseparable. They are best friends and even insist on sleeping in the same bed together.
Best of luck and CONGRATULATIONS!
1 mom found this helpful
B.N. answers from Philadelphia on December 02, 2010
we keep a bouncy seat, boppy, and changing station on each of the 3 floors of our house. that way we don't have to try to lug two kids up and down stairs everytime we need a change, and there's always a secure place to leave the baby if you need to set him/her down for a few minutes. we bought them used for just a few dollars.
also, the hardest time for us is wake up and bedtime, when they both need changed, dressed, bathed and other things that requires two hands. Esp if your spouse or partner isn't around, you might need to find even a neighborhood middleschooler who can come for a couple of hours to read to the toddler or rock the baby while you bathe & put down the other one.
as sad as it makes me, i have had to just chuck the "to do" list altogether. i try to note a couple of things that need to be done that day, but they are things like "shower" and "dishes". i appreciate the person who said you just need to accept that your house will be dirty for a couple of years.
two good things: 1. you spend more time as a full family, since it takes both parents to manage most days, and 2. we hear that it makes it so much easier once they are old enough to move out of paralell play. and we are getting all of the dirty diapers and sleepless nights over in one shot!
K.B. answers from Harrisburg on November 08, 2010
We have 5 kids with our last three being triplets. Our first two were 8 years apart. It was like starting over with #2. The triplets are 9 years younger than #2. Suddenly we had 3 children the same age in the house that we've never dealt with before.
First, with your kids being close in age, don't go out and buy anything you absolutely do not need. Only buy what you really, truly need. Don't be shy buying used! This will help with the cost of diapers, and what not down the road.
Create a routine/schedule daily so when you're tired you'll know what you're suppose to be doing on which day. Schedule out your household chores and spread them out during the week. Do only what you need to get the basics done and be sure to give hubby a chore list for him to help out as well. He can fold laundry while watching TV. If you cook, he does dishes.
Scheduling feeding times helps too! If you can feed the baby every 3-4 hours minimum that would be great. I know with a singleton moms feed on demand but if you can get some kind of routine it'll help everyone.
Nap with the kids nap. Shower when the kids nap. You can put the toddler in a playpen in front of a TV while you shower if need be.
Enlist the toddler to help with little things. Starting kids with chores as soon as they can walk teaches them early and gets into a good habit of helping around the house since a family is a team to keep the house running smoothly.
I forgot to sign my name! LOL
mom to 5 including triplets
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K.O. answers from Atlanta on November 08, 2010
I've done the two under two thing twice already, and will be doing it once more next month (first two are 22 months apart, second two are 22 months apart, and the last two will be 19 months apart). My husband travels, so it's just me during the week and I didn't think it was anything too crazy to handle. It really helps if you just take a go with the flow type attitude. Also, when both kids need you/crying at the same time, I found it helped to address the issue I could solve the fastest. Sometimes it was the baby (so toddler had to throw his tantrum while I was attending to the baby) and sometimes it was the toddler, so the baby would cry an extra 2 minutes whileI got the toddler a snack or something. If you try to do everything at once, you'll just go crazy and overwhelm yourself.
A.W. answers from Kalamazoo on November 08, 2010
Definetly get some kind of carrier for the new baby. Make sure at least one room (living room?) is VERY child proofed and blocked off secure. I treated my living room kinda like a giant playpen! You absolutely cannot leave baby and toddler in the same room alone for even a second, even to go use the bathroom, even if baby is in a playpen. My 2 yr old threw toys in the playpen at my 2 mo old because he thought she needed some toys to play with! I kept one of those small boucy seat things in the bathroom to use for the baby when I went potty or for when I was bathing my toddler etc and my hubby wasn't home. Wheather breast or bottle feeding, keep some books and maybe some small toys in a basket by the couch. That way as you feed baby, you can read and play with your toddler sitting right next to you. Put baby down for nap first if possible. Once baby is still taking two naps and toddler goes down to only one, use that time to play "big kid" games with toddler. Enlist toddlers help in anyway you can - bringing diapers etc. Totally relax about the housework and find at least two easy and quick go to meals for dinner on those "ruff" days. Try to nap when your kids nap (at least for 20min! before doing housework). HAVE FUN!! My weren't as close as yours - exactly 25 months apart, but I loved it. When they are close in age they do more of the same stuff.
D.G. answers from Philadelphia on November 09, 2010
Congrats! My first two are 17 mos apart and my second 2 are 25 mos apart. It's really wasn't too difficult once you get the hang of it. Try to develop a routine, this may take time but you'll get it. The thing that really payed off for me was getting the baby to share a naptime with my older child. That was my time to get things back in order and catch up with a power nap! Also, babies 2 and 3 had to learn to nap on the fly in the car seat, because otherwise I would have never been able to leave the house. It was soo valuable that they were adaptable to this. Don't feel bad if this ends up being your routine too, it's all about survival! My youngest will sleep anywhere and is fine being moved from car to stroller to car to house etc asleep. I credit this lovely trait to my having to be flexible. (she's 2 1/2 now)
A.S. answers from Denver on November 08, 2010
There were days when I had to call DH to come home early because I just couldn't take it anymore.
You've received a on of great advice, use all of it.
I will add, visualization. Sounds corny and new age-y. When they are pulling you in 18 different directions just tell yourself in just a little while they'll be big enough to do things on their own. You'll all get there in on piece. See yourself with two bright, happy little children who are eating by themselves, going to the bathroom by themselves, cleaning up after themselves, etc. Id DOES happen, though sometimes it feels like it never will.
GL and enjoy as much as you can!!