“Yes, we will have two kids in two years,” this adorable pregnant mama said to her friend at the library. She is beaming, kind of like this is a special club she is going to join. And in my mind I think, Lord have mercy on her soul, she doesn’t even know. I know, I said the same thing while pregnant with our second. It’s funny now to wonder how many moms ahead of me had the same thoughts.
Two kids close together is rough, you’re out numbered by extremely needy little people. Our girls are 23 months apart, but I imagine this stands true whether your kids are close in age or not. Here’s what kills me, no one ever told me any tips or tricks on how to navigate this transition, especially when trying to get out of the house.
In an effort to help the next generation of moms going from one to two, I have compiled a list of tips and tricks I used, especially to help our adventures flow a little bit more smoothly.
In the beginning…
Must have: carrier or wrap
Not only did our second baby benefit from being close to me, but emotionally I was happier. By wearing her, I was able to connect with her and have the time I didn’t think was possible with her being the second. I remember baking banana bread a couple of days after we brought her home from the hospital while she was in the Ergo. I was thrilled about this silly banana bread. I felt so normal and like I could handle this two kid thing (ha!). I had freedom, I had my hands to use, and had my baby close the whole time. When her older sister needed to show me things, I could take her sweet little, not yet two-year-old hand and follow her.
Bonus tip! Keep one carrier in your car and one close to your kitchen. Eventually that little baby starts to teeth and pull at your feet when you’re making dinner. Having the option to quit fighting her desire to be held and just strap her on and go about your preparations is invaluable!
When you’re ready to leave the house…
Buy a Minivan
Seriously. I could write an entire post on why you should get yourself a legit mom mobile. Benefits include, but are not limited to the foll0wing:
- Your kids can climb in and out on their own, if they fall it’s not that far;
- They won’t open doors into other cars;
- You can move around with ease;
- Breastfeeding in the car has never been so easy. Bonus tip! If you get the DVD player package, you can keep the big kid entertained;
- Cup holders galore!
Buy a Double Stroller
Don’t make your first born grow up too quickly or kill your back by using the baby carrier all the time! When looking at the right kind of stroller, I was very intent that it should fit through a standard doorway. We’ve had several types, but the sit and stand version is our favorite.
The Night Before!
Repeat after me: It will always, ALWAYS be easier to pack your bag or make lunches while your kids are asleep. If you think that you’ll just get everything ready and make the lunches in the morning for your outing at the zoo, you’re wrong. You will be late. Get ready the night before and save yourself the frustration of running around like a crazy person in the morning.
More than just a Car
Let them eat cake! Or, at least let them eat in the car… There is no way we would have survived having two kids under two if we didn’t allow the girls to eat in the car. Also, put a potty in your car. We LOVE this one. These things are worth their weight in gold. “Mom, I have to go potty,” -ugh- “You just went,” is no longer an issue.
Take a stroller.
Even when you’re kids are bigger, take the stroller. It’s so much easier to haul all the stuff that has to go with you when it’s all on wheels! You’ll also have a place to strap in your little one or your big one (especially if you have a runner), while you get the other or yourself ready!
Two Towels Per Kid
Take two towels for each person swimming. One for the inevitable snack break and one for the final wrap up and dry. There’s nothing worse than a cold and crying baby.
Grab an Extra Oversized Tote Bag!
When you walk into the recreation center, your littles will automatically start stripping off their coats and clothes. You will find yourself shoving things places as they disrobe. This will come back to haunt you when it’s time to leave! You can’t find things, someone grabs a towel and pulls all the clothes onto the wet floor, etc. Instead, grab your extra tote and start shoving coats in there. Next, pile clothes on top of coats. Now your bag is in grab and go order for a swift and easy departure.
Change Kids in the Pool Area
Change your child back into their clothes in the pool area, as it’s been our experience that the locker rooms are far colder.
You’re not alone…
Last but not least, ask for help. This list obviously doesn’t cover every situation, outing, activity, etc., so when you’re thinking of trying a new adventure with your two kids under two, ask other parents and get advice about what made their experiences easier.