10 Ways to Prepare for Two Under Two
You just don’t feel right. Something’s off and you can’t put your finger on it, so as any woman in her childbearing years might do, you pee on a stick. As you wait those couple minutes, you shift your 6 month old son to your other hip, stick the paci back in his wailing mouth, try singing the song that soothed him yesterday which of course only makes him cry harder today, and are all of a sudden perfectly convinced that the nausea is of course from the bad take-out that was last night’s dinner. You toss out the test, bounce the baby a bit more, decide to try your luck at a nap, when you glance down at the trash can on your way out the door, and brightly staring back up at you are two.pink.lines.
We won’t tell you to not freak out, or to calm down, or that you’re going to enjoy every moment of this surprise pregnancy, but we will help you get as prepared as you possibly can with these 10 helpful and sanity-saving ways of how to prepare for two under two.
1. Prepare the gear.
You don’t need all of these items, but at least having a few will guarantee that you won’t have to be holding the baby 24/7. Having a safe, quick place to put the baby if your toddler needs attention is crucial.
- Baby Carrier – Ergobaby Organic | Boba | JJ Cole | Lillebaby Complete
- Bouncer/Swing – Hushamok Hammock
- Bassinet/Pack n Play – The Best Bassinets for Baby
- Double Stroller – Bumbleride Indie Twin | BOB Revolution SE Duallie
Consider investing in a video monitor that has the ability to add additional cameras. It is reassuring and convenient to be able to see both kids sleeping soundly at night from the comfort of your own bed!
Also, don’t forget the diaper bag. It’s time to upgrade that sucker to fit double the amount it has been holding. Read Packing a Diaper Bag for 2 for tips, tricks, and to learn how to maximize the space in your bag.
2. Prepare your toddler, but not too much.
Your toddler will still be very young when the new baby is born, almost too young to do a lot of preparing, as you would for an older child. So don’t stress out about making sure your toddler knows what’s about to happen, knows what a baby is, etc. Chances are they are oblivious to what is about to happen, and will still be after the baby is here.
- If you have to do something for your own peace of mind, buy a few simple books to read with your toddler, such as My New Baby and Waiting For Baby or check out 10 Books to Prepare Your Child for a Sibling.
- You can also give your toddler a baby doll and guide your child on how to be gentle with the baby, show how the baby will eat, show how you change a diaper on the baby, etc.
- There’s also no harm in pointing to your belly and saying baby or teaching your toddler how to be gentle with the “baby,” just don’t expect too much at this age.
- For older kids, you can read How to Prepare Your Child for a Sibling.
3. Prepare the meals.
Preparing meals will be the last thing on your mind after you bring home baby, but it should be one of the most important things you focus on now. Cook and freeze everything you possibly can. Find a Wildtree rep and host a freezer meal party with your friends. Encourage your friends to start a meal train for you (for use after the baby is home). Look for good deals and buy non-perishable items in bulk to stock up for the coming months.
Start online grocery shopping at your local store so you can get the hang of it and be a pro by the time baby is here. Wouldn’t it be nice to shop for a week’s worth of groceries in 30 minutes, while nursing the baby in your pajamas, and then have it all delivered to your doorstep?
4. Prepare alone time for later with your toddler.
Besides the obvious needs of a new baby, your toddler is the one who is going to need to spend the most quality time with you during this transition. Even though they are young, this is still a confusing time for them to see their mommy not giving them 100% of the attention they’ve been used to. Prepare now for ways that you can spend one-on-one time with your toddler after the baby arrives. Whether you need to line up people who can watch the baby for an hour a day while you take your toddler to the park, or just spend each baby’s naptime reading and playing with your toddler, be sure you are consistent and proactive in making this time happen. Bookmark The Importance of One-on-One Time with Your Child for referring back to as your child grows.
5. Prepare by opening up your heart to help and doing some research.
Tell yourself right now, at 6 weeks pregnant, that you will not attempt to be supermom. Be ready to accept help anytime it is offered, whether that comes in the form of babysitting, meal dropoffs, housekeeping, or adult companionship. Never say no! Look into forms of help now and get services lined up if necessary. If your kids will be going into childcare, figure out and research now how adding one more to the mix will affect things. Read Choosing the Right Daycare for extra tips. Do not wait until the last minute to be prepared in this area. “It takes a village to raise a child,” and you will be more successful in your two under two journey by creating a village for you and your family.
6. Prepare the house and helpful skills with your toddler.
Now is the time to finish all the baby proofing you’ve started. Baby proof anything and everything you can think of, one, because you don’t want to worry about your toddler’s safety when you’re busy with the baby, and two, because the baby will be into things before you blink your eyes. Completely childproof a small space in the house for your toddler where you can safely leave him or her for short periods of time, while you are taking care of urgent matters with the baby.
Along with securing the house, you can begin to teach your toddler a couple skills that will promote their independence as well as make your life a thousand times easier when the baby is here. Simply teach your toddler to walk up and down the stairs with you assisting by holding one hand, leaving your other hand open for carrying the baby. Also, teach them to climb into their car seat, or at least just into the car. By encouraging and practicing these skills now, you can breathe easier knowing there will be less lifting and carrying two children at once.
7. Prepare by resisting change for your toddler.
Now is not the best time to implement any major changes in your toddler’s world, such as big boy bed transitioning, potty training, starting preschool, etc. There are exceptions to this, so use your best judgement, but overall it’s not recommended to interrupt your toddler’s normalcy right before a major change is about to happen anyways. Toddlers love consistency, and too much change at once can affect them negatively. So just buy the second crib, trust us, you’ll want it.
8. Prepare by losing the clutter and buying in bulk.
- Move up your “nesting” phase by a few months and start clearing the clutter from your home now. Take a whole month to go through our 31 Day Organization Challenge to get your home ready for a new baby.
- Start buying in bulk by joining a warehouse club, such as BJs or Costco. Stock up on non-perishable items, whether that’s food, paper products, toiletries, etc. The more you buy now, the less you have to buy (or leave the house for) later.
- Buy diapers now. Oh, the amount of diaper changes you will be doing! Buy cases of diapers, look for coupons and deals, and never hesitate to buy diapers that are on sale. Look into delivery services such as Amazon Mom, Diapers.com, or the Honest Company. There’s nothing better than having a caseload of diapers arrive on your doorstep the day you run out. Fact: Your diaper size 6 son will wear your daughter’s size 4 diaper at least a couple dozen times, because like it or not, you will run out of someone’s diapers. Hey, at least there are spares!
9. Prepare the “Emergency Toy Cabinet.”
Find a small, well-hidden area in your home that can become the “Emergency Toy Cabinet.” Hit up the dollar store and find lots of fun toys that your toddler would love. Wrap them up and place them in the cabinet. The first time you’re home with the new baby and your toddler needs an “emergency” distraction, give them one toy from the cabinet. You’re sure to get at least a few minutes of peace while you nurse the baby, change a diaper, or make lunch.
As you’re planning and starting to stock up the “Emergency Toy Cabinet”, consider purchasing a subscription box to Citrus Lane. Simply choose the subscription length you’re interested in, plug in your toddler’s age, and then every month you will receive a box full of surprise goodies, including anything from toys and books to snacks and accessories.
Not only will your toddler be excited that they get a package in the mail for themselves, there’s sure to be some fun stuff inside that will preoccupy them when the baby is here and you need a few minutes alone.
10. Prepare by rounding up the ladies.
If you haven’t already, hop online or gather together some mom friends and join or create a mom’s group. There is nothing like the camaraderie of other women who are going through the same struggles of motherhood and parenting that you are. With the support of a mom’s group, you not only have the hope of forming lasting friendships, but you have an outlet that gets you (and your kids) away from the day to day monotony that can be draining with two under two.
Check out Meetup, The Mommies Network, your local church, Stroller Strides, or MOPS to find the best group for you and your kids. Get plugged in now, so you already have a network established when you really need the support!
Take the next 9 months and start preparing for your second bundle of joy! Two under two is a challenge, but it is rewarding in the end, and you’ll handle it much better if you’re semi-prepared. Sorry, you won’t be fully prepared, because it is two kids under the age of two, enough said!
Looking for Un-Maternity Wear?
If you need to add some maternity 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 pregnancy! 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”.
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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.