Parenting Tips for Two Under Two

2 underSo when I found out I was pregnant with Adam, Ben was only nine months. To say I was in shock would not even begin to describe the feelings I had. With Ben we had tried for three years to get pregnant and ended up being successful through IVF. Adam was truly a surprise!

A couple hours after I found out I was pregnant with Adam it dawned on me how young Ben would still be when Adam would be born.  He would still be in diapers, he would be walking, but he still would not be completely verbal. He would not understand why mommy is with this little baby instead of him sometimes and that concerned me.

Being a mom of two under two is truly mommy boot camp. You are changing two sets of diapers, you need a really good double stroller, and you have two little babies who depend on you 24 hours a day.  Just remember it will get easier. Here are some tips that worked for me while I had two under two.

1.  Figure out how you will transport your children to and from your vehicle before you try it. I started teaching Ben to walk to the car and back to the house on his own in my late stages of pregnancy.  We don’t have a lot of traffic on my street and it was a good start for him to learn how to behave in a street or parking lot. Now he’s learning how to behave in a street and the parking lot at 2 1/2.  Most of the time what I would do is have Adam in the baby carrier leaving the house and hold Ben’s hand or have him walk beside me to the car. I would put Ben in the car first and have Adam in the yard in his baby carrier.  I figured since Ben was more mobile it would be better for him to be the first put in and the last to be taken out of the vehicle.  If you live in the city with a lot of traffic this might not work for you.

2.  Have a really organized diapering station. I bought a set of three plastic drawers that I keep next to my pack and play/changing table.  I used ABC organization: the top drawer are Adam’s diapers, the second drawer were Ben’s diapers, and the last drawer were cloth diapers.

3.  Use nap time effectively. I understand if you need to rest and sleep. If not, I recommend getting your housework done, starting dinner, and paying bills.  A newborn sleeps a lot so you can use some of that time to have one on one with your toddler.

4.  Create a laundry schedule. I have had the same laundry schedule for the last year. I start doing all my loads of wash and folding them on Thursday through Saturday morning. Then over the weekend when my husband is home he can keep an eye on the kids while I put away all of our laundry.

5.  Organize a system for hand-me-down clothing. I use large plastic totes that I label with Ben’s clothing size to store for Adam.  When Adam’s done with them I have a friend I gift them to.

6.  Don’t be afraid to enlist the village’s help.  Friends and family can help you load your kids in the car, keep an eye on your baby while you chase your toddler around the playground, and give you a minute with your significant other.

7.  Streamline bath time.  Whether your kids bathe together or hop in with you try to cut down on the time bathing each individual.  Another option is a bathing schedule as to who gets a bath each day.

8.  Practice self care.  Seems impossible right?  I can’t say that I was very good at or am very good at putting myself first.  Taking a stroller walk to get back into shape, waking up 10 minutes earlier to meditate in bed before the kids wake up, or just NOT wearing yoga pants can qualify as self care when you’re a mom of two under two.

Whether you have twins or two littles months a year apart being a mom of two under is tricky.  I’m on the other side of two with Ben and Adam’s walking-now I’m onto two toddlers!  If you have any advice on handling two under two or two toddlers please share in the comments below!  I would love to hear from you!

8 thoughts on “Parenting Tips for Two Under Two

  1. Emily Fata says:

    This is such an important post to share. I feel like #8, though seemingly the most difficult, is perhaps one of the most important to consider. Mums and dads need to practice self-care in order to be the best possible parents to their children.

    • mypetitepicassos says:

      It’s so true. My husband and I are in the thick of it. He works 10-12 hours a day and I am with the boys 24/7. Whenever we can get a break-whether it’s an afternoon nap or a vacation we savor it!

  2. sunshineandholly says:

    Great tips! My kids are two years apart and the first year with both was by far the hardest year of my life!

    • mypetitepicassos says:

      Tell me about it! I’m experiencing 2 toddlers for the first time and it might be tougher in some ways than a baby and a toddler. I’m just putting out fires left and right!

  3. Megan Donnelly says:

    My oldest is 17 months and my youngest is 4 weeks. I don’t have many tips yet and still trying to figure out bath and bedtime routine do it doesn’t end in tears for all 3 of us! 😆

    • mypetitepicassos says:

      Bedtime-if you can get dad to help wit your 17 month old that will do the trick-otherwise I used to read and sing songs to both of them. Kiss my oldest goodnight and take my baby to bed. Bath time-I showered with my oldest until my baby could walk and then all three of us would shower together. Now they’re super into bubble baths and they play every evening in the tub and I shower on my own.

      • Megan Donnelly says:

        Unfortunately dad works until 11pm, just about the time I get baby to come out of her witching hour(s) but bath time has been a little more enjoyable for now. I can’t wait until they’re in there together, so cute!

      • mypetitepicassos says:

        I understand. There were many nights I would run back and forth between rooms to calm the boys. I still do sometimes. Try having them fall asleep in the same room. Rocking the baby while your toddler listens to music in his crib. Work on the toddler getting used to going to sleep on his own more. Ben was pretty good at that when Adam was born, however it took months until I could rely on him to sleep in his own without me checking in much.

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