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5 Tips for Coping with Having Two Under Two

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Two under two can seem like a daunting task to take on. If you’re expecting a baby with a toddler, trust us, you’re going to need this guide on how to survive two under two.

I was super nervous to bring home another baby since my son Ryan was still so young. Once I realized that I would have 2 under 2, the logistics definitely made me nervous. 

Two babies under two years old means TWO kids who heavily relied on someone else for the majority of any given day.

Being a full time stay at home mom meant that for about 9 hours every day, I only had one set of hands to help.

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So how does one go about surviving raising 2 under 2 without losing their mind? Well, to be honest, you don’t, but you can sure try. 

Here are five tips and tricks I found that really helped keep my sanity.

Adjusting to a Toddler AND a Newborn

Having both babies at home takes a lot of adjustment on everyone’s behalf, but having children close in age really affects your older child during the early days. Here are my tips for adjusting to both of their needs.

1. Put the Older One First

My best advice to you for adjusting to having both a toddler and a newborn is this: when it’s an option, put the older one first

This may sound cruel, but the baby has no idea that someone else is being prioritized, while the older child knows.

If Owen (baby) had a gross diaper or needed to be fed relatively soon, but at the same time Ryan (toddler) needed/wanted something, I chose to handle Ryan first. I could feed the baby or change him after attending to Ryan’s needs.

Why? It’s Ryan who would get offended or hurt when he didn’t come first. 

So if whatever Owen needs wasn’t imminent and he was not totally melting down, I let it wait a few minutes to tend to my big boy.

2. Get The Older One Back on a Sleep Schedule

Get back to the older one’s sleep schedule ASAP. This is vital, in my opinion. When you have a baby who isn’t sleeping through the night, you really need your toddler to rest well.

Ryan’s sleep was so off right after we had Owen. There were A LOT of car naps and late nights since he and his dad were going back and forth to the hospital(s) for almost a week. 

When we were finally all home, I tried to get him to take a nap at home, and it went horribly. 

He ended up napping super late, going to bed super late, and waking up super late. Rinse and repeat. 

Getting him back to his normal, predictable schedule was so important to being able to plan our day and keep our sanity.

Seriously, you guys. So important.

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3. Baby Wearing—Just Do It!

Wondering what is baby wearing

Baby wearing is, in short, a lifesaving baby carrying option in which you securely attach baby to you using the carrier of your choice. 

This leaves your hands free to attend to your older child, and it also does a great job of comforting a fussy baby.

There were days when the baby didn’t want to be put down, and this will be true regardless of how great or peaceful of a baby you have. 

On those days, you still have to feed the toddler, stop him from climbing on things, hang out with him, etc. 

Baby wearing is the perfect way to get sh*t done with a newborn.

4. Teach Your Older Child To Entertain Themselves

Before the new baby comes, teach the older one to entertain himself; you’ll thank yourself later, I promise!

We were very lucky that in some spurts, Ryan would sit at his toy box and play by himself. 

Granted, we did teach him that – we didn’t want to be the parents of the kid who need 24/7 entertainment. But if you can, do the same. 

There will be times that you’re feeding/changing/burping/getting the baby to sleep and unable to play. 

Yes, it will break your heart. No, it’s not the end of the world. No, he won’t even remember it in 10 minutes. 

If your older kid knows how to play by himself, it makes everything go so much more smoothly.

5. Make Time for One-on-One Time

One-on-one time is crucial for surviving two under two

If you take one thing away from this post, this is it: make sure the older of the 2 occasionally gets some one-on-one time. 

During the week, if my husband headed out for groceries or to run an errand, we made sure that he took Ryan with him and I stayed home with Owen. 

Alex also took Ryan to the NY Auto Show 2 weeks after Owen was born, just the two of them, and he loved it.

I think that little outings like this helped him to understand that he was still so important in our lives.

So tell me – do or did you have two under two? How did you manage it? Let me know in the comments!

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When I first told my mom the title of this blog, she looked at me incredulously and said, “Why undefining? Why not redefining?”

“Because motherhood is a role that’s been defined for far too many centuries,” I say. “And often not even by mothers themselves. It’s been prescribed and defined and changed and redefined so much that I don’t understand how anyone can feel authentic in their experience of it anymore. Not to co-opt another movement that’s happening right now, but time’s up. It’s time to learn to do this authentically, not according to prescription. For years, I’ve studied the history and theory of how motherhood has been defined, prescribed, turned into an institution with a set of rules. And I’m sick of it. It’s time to put that knowledge into action.”

“It’s perfect,” she replied.

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