10 Ways to Survive Two Under Two
You look down at the precious face in your arms, having already fallen completely in love with the surprise of your new baby daughter. As the nurse pries her out of your arms to take her to the nursery for regular newborn testing, you lean back on the hospital pillow, still inhaling her sweet baby scent and dreaming of pink, lace, and bows. All of a sudden, the door opens and in walks your husband and 15 month old son who is here to meet his new sister. Reality and panic hit you in the face as you realize, that yes, you now have two babies, you have two kids under two years old. Oh boy.
~~~~~~~~~ Welcome to the two under two club mama ~~~~~~~~~
Even though you’ve spent the last 9 months preparing for this time, it’s still scary knowing that as soon as you get home, your already full hands are about to become twice as full. That’s why we’re not only here to help you prepare for the journey of having two under two (read 10 Ways to PREPARE for Two Under Two), but we’re also giving you some ways on how to actually survive day to day life with these two babies.
1. Survive by showering and dressing.
Half the battle of surviving two under two is taking proper care of you! Start by showering. Don’t feel like you have to shower every day, every other day is sufficient. A couple ways to fit this vital task into your schedule is by either showering at night when your significant other is home and the babies are sleeping, or showering during the day. To make that happen, wait until your toddler’s nap time and then bring the baby into the bathroom with you. Set him or her up in the bouncer and then shower. An extra bonus to having your baby in the bathroom with you are the chances of him or her falling asleep easily, between the warm room and the white noise of the water, it’s the perfect sleeping environment for a newborn.
Be sure to get dressed everyday too. We consider yoga pants and sweatshirts getting dressed when you’re in the two under two club. Anything other than what you slept in the night before counts!
Looking for Un-Nursing Wear?
If you need to add some nursing clothing to your wardrobe, but don’t want to spend money on pieces you’ll only wear for a short period of time, then head on over to Melody Lane for the best in regular clothing that is versatile enough to wear before, during, and after breastfeeding! They offer trendy, classic, and comfortable clothing that is hand-picked for all the life stages women usually experience. With nothing over $100, always free shipping, and new styles featured every season, Melody Lane makes sure your “fashion meets life”.
2. Survive feedings.
We’ll start by talking to the moms who deserve an extra special medal by making the decision to breastfeed both of their children simultaneously. We won’t go into detail in this post, but you mamas need to read Tandem Breastfeeding and Following my Heart: Nursing Two Children.
For the rest of you, feedings (whether boob or bottle) are always a bit tricky, especially at first when the new baby is eating around the clock. These are the times when you need to bring out the big guns for your toddler, technology. Save the ipad/phone/TV for only feeding times; resist letting your toddler play with it at other times during the day, or else it won’t be as special and interesting when you really need it. Remember the “Emergency Toy Cabinet” you made during your pregnancy? This is when it comes in handy. Let your toddler pick out one toy from the “cabinet” and play with it while you feed the baby. Snuggle time and reading books are also good ways to entertain your toddler while you feed the baby, just not when your toddler is at their most active.
Calling all bottle feeding mamas! Whether you feed formula full time or use the occasional pumped bottle for a night out, in order to survive the overwhelming sink full of dirty bottles, you must pick up the SUDS Bottle Washer by Boon. This genius invention makes the nitty gritty of hand washing bottles a thing of the past. Simply fill up the basin with warm soapy water, push the bottle down on the lever a few times, and watch the swirling soapy water thoroughly clean the inside of the bottle. Rinse with clean water and you’re done. Imagine the amount of bottles you can clean in a matter of seconds!
Not only is the Boon SUDS Bottle Washer great for most baby bottles, but you’ll definitely get your money’s worth by being able to clean sippy cups, kid size cups, and, believe it or not, your own wine glasses. Now everyone will be able to survive feedings, including you!
EXPLORE AND CONNECT
3. Survive by always being one step ahead of the kids.
If you can stay on top of your children’s needs before they do, then you will feel victorious all day long.
- Stay organized overall in your home, keep minimal clutter, and don’t get too far behind on essential tasks, such as laundry and dishes.
- Keep a diaper/nursing station in all major rooms of the house, so you’re always prepared anywhere you might be.
- Change both kids at the same time. Keep both sizes of diapers in your diaper stations.
- Prep today for the next day. Fill up sippy cups, measure out formula and water for the next day’s bottles, prep snacks, etc. Go around to the diaper stations and refill diapers, wipes, and supplies. Take a peek in the diaper bag and do a quick clean out and a refill. Take a few minutes before you go to bed to do all these things and you’ll be grateful in the morning.
4. Survive by actually eating.
Just like we talked about the importance of showering and dressing, eating is another one of those must-dos for new moms of two. It’s so easy to go through your busy day and by 4pm realize that you’ve had nothing but a couple of goldfish to eat. Keep up your energy, strength, and positivity by staying properly nourished. Keep healthy, easily accessible food and snacks nearby. For some yummy options check out Pumpkin Cranberry Overnight Oats, Breastfeeding Granola Bars, and Chocolate Almond Bites. Also, read Eating Well While Breastfeeding for tips, food ideas, and ways to eat your best while chasing around your two little ones.
5. Survive by preventing the wake ups of two kids at the same time.
Sleeping arrangements vary greatly among families, but it’s always a good idea to keep some sound machines handy, especially when both kids are sleeping in their own rooms and those rooms are close together. There’s nothing worse than the baby crying for food at 2 am, and waking up the toddler. Make your life a bit easier by doing everything in your power to prevent double night wakeups.
6. Survive by not going stir crazy.
Seeing the same four walls everyday on end can drive a non-mom crazy, let alone a mom trying to survive with two under two. So pack up those kids and get outside! Whether you take a short walk, go visit family who live up the street, or make a Target run, try to do something that makes you leave the house each day. This is not just for you, kids thrive on fresh air and a change of scenery.
Most moms who are about to brave the outdoor world solo for the first time after bringing home the baby are baffled about how to logistically get both kids in and out of the car. Here’s how you do it.
When baby is in infant seat
- Getting INTO car – Strap baby into the carseat inside the house. Hold toddlers hand and bring carseat and toddler to the car. Set carseat down on the ground next to toddler’s side of the car. Strap toddler into his carseat. Go around to other side of the car and snap infant carseat in. Done.
- Getting OUT OF car – Take infant carseat out first. Go around to toddler’s side of car and set carseat down on the ground. Get toddler out. Hold toddler’s hand, carry carseat, and you’re done.
When baby is in convertible seat
- Getting INTO car – Carry baby and hold toddler’s hand to the car. Put baby in carseat first. If your toddler can climb into the car, let them. If not, while you’re strapping in baby make them hug your leg or squeeze them between your knees so they can’t dart away. Go around to toddler’s side and get them into their carseat. Done.
- Getting OUT OF car – Take toddler out first. Go around to baby’s side, and while you’re getting the baby out, repeat safety process for toddler as you did when getting into the car. Carry baby and hold toddler’s hand back into the house. (If you’re using a stroller for the baby, then get the baby out first and get them settled into the stroller, then get the toddler out of the car.)
7. Survive by a schedule.
You might think a schedule with two under two is near impossible, but as long as you remain flexible and keep a loose schedule, it’s actually more beneficial to everyone. Be sure to start by doing your best to stick as close to your toddler’s normal routine as possible. Same nap time, same bedtime, meals at the same time, etc. By keeping your toddler’s routine consistent and familiar, you are less likely to encounter major transitional issues. Make your first scheduling goal to get the baby and toddler to take at least one nap at the same time during the day; enforce it and enjoy it!
8. Survive the mental and emotional stress.
You will have bad days, stressful moments, and times when you wonder if you can really do this. You can. Many have come before you and many will come after you. The easiest way to handle the mental and emotional stress of having two under two is by dropping all expectations. Don’t even make them in the first place. Your plans will never go accordingly, so you need to stay flexible. Make time for yourself, leave the toys on the ground, take a deep breath, meditate, pray, and find little moments among all the stress of the day that you can cherish and hold onto to keep you going until bedtime. Read Simple Ways for Moms to Turn a Bad Day Around.
9. Survive grocery shopping.
In 10 Ways to PREPARE for Two Under Two we talked about the importance of online grocery shopping, buying in bulk, and preparing meals before the second baby arrives.
Even though you’re following those tips, there still will come the dreaded time when you have to enter the grocery store with both kids in tow. It’s ok, here’s how to survive it.
- Make a shopping list and pack a baby wrap/carrier!
- Before getting out of the car, be sure your wallet and list are easily accessible.
- Pack fun stuff for your toddler so they are entertained, such as snacks, small toys, your phone, etc.
- Park next to the cart return.
- Put your toddler in the cart first, then strap your baby into the Ergo or wrap.
- Go inside, do your thing, and be sure to ask for help out to your car.
- When you’re back at the car, put the baby in the car first, then your toddler.
- Unload groceries and return cart. Done.
10. Survive the crying.
One thing that you have to accept in the two under two club is that there will be more crying than you are probably used to. With one kid, you can remedy their crying quickly, with two, it’s a bit harder and takes longer, especially because once one kid starts crying, the other is quick to follow. Tell yourself that crying is okay. One of your kids will just have to wait until you are finished taking care of the other one. When it becomes overwhelming, take a deep breath, and try to regroup. Leave the room for a few minutes (with both kids safely confined) while you gather yourself together again.
We hope you now feel a bit more prepared to take care of and survive having these two young precious children. This is a hard time in life, it’s challenging and trying, but you will come out of it a better person, learning more about yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, and realizing that both of your kids are still thriving, beautiful, and they still love you. Go get it mama, embrace two under two, and give yourself a pat on the back because you are doing a good job.
Tags: babies, baby, breastfeeding, children, daily mom, family, helpful mom resources, kid's, mom, mom tips, mommy tips, motherhood, parenting, stay at home mom, survive, surviving two under two, toddler, two kids, two under two
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Dani lives in North Carolina with her two preschoolers. She is a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom who loves to clean and organize anything and everything. Her happiness is found in Jesus, days at the spa, and combating dark chocolate peanut butter cups with everyday workouts at the gym. She owns a wedding, lifestyle, and freelance photography business, Dani Nicole Photography.