HOW TO SURVIVE TWO UNDER TWO
My babies are 18 months apart. I didn’t realize how difficult two under two was until I was out of it. Here are a few things that made this stage easier for me.
GET OUT OF THE HOUSE
Pack EVERYTHING the night before, restock diapers, a change of clothes for both kids, snacks and activities for your toddler. Leave the diaper bag in your infant carseat near the door you exit. Set out everyone’s shoes & socks as well. Being prepared helps save time because there is a 99% chance that as soon as you get your infant in his carseat he will have a major blowout! Then, as soon as you get your infant changed you will begin to smell something coming from your toddlers pants. Lets be honest, its going to take about 45 minutes just to get the heck out the first few times. But at least you won’t leave a disastrous tornado of toys and clothes behind you as you try to escape!
JOIN A LOCAL MOMS GROUP ON FACEBOOK
Join a local facebook page for moms and ask these groups anything! There are so many amazing mamas out there that will share their experience and opinions with you. They helped me through sleep regressions, recommendations on pediatricians, and where the hot spots with nursing rooms are! Its also nice to connect with other people in similar stages of life. I met many good friends in these groups.
KNOW THE LOCAL HOT SPOTS
Nursing rooms are a MUST when going places alone when you have two under two. Whip out your snacks and activity for your toddler, lock the nursing room door, and relax knowing that your toddler is safe, occupied, and contained while you feed your infant. The places I frequented were our local grocery store (they had a Starbucks), the Zoo, the pumpkin patch, The Children’s Museum, and the mall.
A double stroller was a MUST! I swear by the Uppababy Vista. This stroller met all our needs. Going places will be a breeze when you can quietly transition your sleeping infant from car to stroller in his carseat while having your fearless and strong headed toddler strapped in to her stroller. Plus, they love to be pushed around. #winning I brought my stroller literally everywhere: my hair appointments, doctor visits, the chiropractor, dentist office, grocery shopping, fitness classes etc. The storage basket is enormous so I rarely used a shopping cart… mainly because my toddler would be dangerously trying to climb out while the infant carseat was taking up 99% of the cart space.
WEAR YOUR BABY
Enough said. For the infant stage, I used the Baby K’Tan because it was incredibly easy to put on and take off, it was soft so I could fold it up and put it in my diaper bag. After around 6 months I switched to my Ergobaby. Designate a baby carrier to be left in your stroller, and at least one in your house. Babywearing frees your hands so you are able to chase your 1 year old around while rocking your infant to sleep. Extra props for figuring out how to nurse while babywearing!
I felt like I prepared for this stage longer than it stuck around. Time flies when you’re having fun (or knee deep in diapers 😉 ) I was unbelievably scared to have babies so close in age. I didn’t think I would be able to manage it, but I did it and you can too! It has been one year since we’ve graduated from “two under two” and I already miss that stage of life. Although, it was not an easy stage… There were days I didn’t shower. I would finally sit down at 11pm and the house was a complete disaster, even though my feet were pounding from going all day. My kids were in two completely different developmental stages and still depended on me for every need being met. I didn’t realize how challenging this stage was until they started to become more independent. I miss when they needed me more. I miss when they cried because they wanted rocked to sleep. And I miss the midnight feedings when the house was so quiet it felt like the world stopped just for us. Now my tiny babies want nothing more but to grow up. You always hear how quickly time goes and now our baby days are quickly slipping out of my grip.
“The days are long, but the years are short”. Please, give yourself grace and take each day an hour at a time. Ask for help and if someone offers to help TAKE IT! Looking back I should have been better at accepting help when strangers offered to open the door, load the groceries, etc. Soak up every moment when your cherubs begin to interact with each other. They are in the process of creating an unbelievable bond. One that melts my heart on a daily basis. Soon enough they will be wobbling around the pumpkin patch holding hands, giving each other kisses on their “boo boos”, and snuggling while reading books before bedtime.
This has brought back so many wonderful memories that I will cherish forever. While I miss these days so much, it is beyond amazing watching them grow up into these amazing tiny humans. They are currently keeping each other up during nap time… I have my ear pressed against the door so I can listen to their sweet conversations and belly laughs. I want to soak these moments in because I am realizing how quickly time goes.