Are you going to have two kids under two years old? Have you reached the point where you just need help and what your already doing isn’t working? You are okay mommy, and this is going to be your lucky day. There are many tips to help you organize your day. And, if you think you can go on mommy dates and sip on a cup of coffee with two under two, you are totally mistaken. Moreover, it is impossible to do anything done with toddlers especially if it is new to you. Fortunately, you can learn ways to keep your toddler in control while you spend quality time with the younger child and get some work done. This post is going to include my 2 under 2 tips that have worked for me.
Today, I am able to cook, clean, work, and take care of two kids under two. It just takes organization, patience, and lots of love. You will have days where everything is feeling like it is getting out of control and you are going insane. But, those days will become less and less as you learn to fit these tips into your daily life. You will put your two children on a routine that includes self-care time for you and quality time with your spouse. Also, remember there are good things in addition to the several struggles with having 2 under 2. So, let’s get to it and get you ready for this new journey! Everything is possible!
In this post, the following will be discussed.
- Should I have two babies under two?
- How to prepare your toddler for a new baby?
- 2 Under 2 Tips
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links that should be no additional cost to you. Also, I am not a professional, this is just an opinion of a mother. This should be read for only educational purposes.
Should I have two babies under two?
Are you terrified of having two under two? I know I was! I was reading thousands of articles just trying to find ways to make sure my family does not fall apart and my toddler gets the attention he needs. But, keep in mind there are good things and bad things about having two babies under two.
The Good Things
– The younger will learn from the older.
-They will share interests and have a strong bond.
-You can use the older one’s clothes and toys for the younger ones.
-They can play together.
-Trust me you will have to live the struggle once instead of twice. That is a huge plus.
-You will get more sleep in the future when they are both older.
-You will still remember how to take care of a baby since it is still fresh in your mind.
-The best thing is you can get them occupied with each other and have some time for yourself.
-They will support each other when they are in school (if they go to the same school).
The Bad Things
-They will be jealous of one another.
-Sleeping will be harder for you and the toddler especially if the younger isn’t sleep trained.
-You will be much more exhausted physically and emotionally. You will be taking care of two kids while facing postpartum depression. Your body has gone through two pregnancies.
Going Beyond 2 Under 2 Tips: How To Prepare Your Toddler For A New Baby?
Having a new baby is not easy for you or your toddler. He/She will realize mommy loves two things now equally (Me and Baby). Here are a few tips on how to prepare your toddler for a new baby.
- Teach your toddler what a baby is by showing pictures.
- Buy a doll and treat it as if it is an actual baby.
- Teach your toddler how to be gentle.
- Let your toddler feel your belly.
- Show your toddler videos of babies and toddlers playing together.
- Pretend the doll is sleeping and teach your toddler to do quiet activities when the doll is sleeping.
- Explain that a baby is coming with words too.
- Read books together about a new baby coming to the family.
- Do Not Force Potty Training On Your Toddler If They Are Not Showing Signs Of Readiness
Normal Reactions Of Toddler When Baby Comes
- Need For Attention and Affection
- Regression In Milestones – Drinking From Bottles, Potty Training…
- Increased Amount of Tantrums
- Wanting To Hit or Hurt Baby
- Clingy To Mom
2 Under 2 Tips
Tip 1: Remember Your children’s Needs
It is important to remember what your children need. Once your children’s needs are met, you can relax and feel like a great mother. So, keep in mind what needs to get done, and get it down. Let’s get to it!
The Older One (Toddler)
Your toddler has several needs.
He/she’s diaper needs to be changed (if not potty trained), needs to be fed, and needs to rest when tired. Change your child’s diaper every three hours, or when there is a stinky one. Your child needs to eat 3 meals and 2 snacks. Let him eat the three meals when you do and the two snacks in between. Your child should sleep up to fourteen hours at night and two hours a day. Make sure there are at least four hours between the end of naptime and the beginning of bedtime. These things should be found in every routine.
Talk To Your Child
I know your child can’t have a conversation with you yet. So, what I mean here is when you do something narrate what you are doing. This would help build their vocabulary. Also, read to your child. This can also grow your child’s vocabulary and imagination. Connections and bonds between parents and children can develop and grow through these means.
Your child’s senses should be stimulated throughout the day. The stimulation should not be too much and not be too little. This is the natural way for your child to learn about himself and about others. Outdoor play is very important. Try to take your child out for at least an hour every day. This way they are stimulated by the things around them, and they can learn about the world and get the exercise they need. Music is also a great way to stimulate your child. Music encouraged repetition and memorization which are both critical for learning and building vocabulary. Try challenging them too with difficult tasks. Don’t challenge them too much but don’t only give them things they know. By challenging them, they use their brains to solve problems they don’t know. This is perfect for growth and independent development.
Your child needs care, love, and affection. Cuddle your child and read books together. This is a great time for parent bonding. Affection triggers oxytocin in the body which helps build positive emotions in a child. So, love your child and show him the positivity of the world.
Your child is watching you and testing you. He is seeing what is wrong and what is right. He will try to pass your boundaries and struggle against you. Just remember this time is the best time for guidance. Tell him what is right. Show him what is wrong and why. This would surely prepare him for the future.
The Younger One (The Baby)
Depending on the age of your baby, they have several needs to do.
He/she’s diaper needs to be changed (if not potty trained), needs to be fed, and needs to rest when tired. Change your child’s diaper every two hours, or when there is a stinky one. Your child needs to eat or drink milk according to his/her age, Click here to see what he/she should eat and how much. Let him eat the three meals when you do and the two snacks in between. Your child should sleep a certain amount of hours a day according to his/ her age. Click here to see how many hours they should sleep.
It is important for your baby to feel loved and safe with you. Play with your baby and answer her cries. Babies cannot be spoiled. So, when they are crying, there is something wrong. Check her diaper, try feeding her, or try putting her to sleep. Just because your baby sleeps a lot does not mean it is okay to just leave her laying down with no interactions.
Show your baby how to play, how to grab things, and what love is. They should realize who you are and try introducing the baby to your toddler. It is very important to create a bond between them. Through these interactions they can develop and grow into the people they will become.
Remember, there are going to be days when you can’t stay on schedule. Don’t make it a big deal and improvise! It will save you lots of trouble and stress.
Tip 2: Always Have Emergency Toys And Snacks
I cannot give you a better tip than this. Have emergency toys and snacks in your home and purse. Toddlers have tantrums. There will be days when the tantrum is so bad that you just need to escape from it for a second or you just don’t have the time to deal with it at that time. Try to calm your child down. Distract him. Sing him a song. If this does not work, get out an emergency snack or toy. They should be something he loves. You will see how easily calmed he would get. Some ideas include dollar tree toys like small cars or dolls.
Tip 3: Use Busy Baskets
Your toddler will want your attention the whole day. I am not joking! So, sometimes you need to clean, work, or nurse your baby. Busy baskets will give you some extra time to do those things. So, what are busy baskets? Busy baskets are baskets filled with snacks and activities whether they are toys, books, or drawing supplies. These baskets should be separated from their everyday toys and only taken out when you need to be occupied with something. When you nurse your baby, you can use a basket full of stories to read to your child. This will also be soothing for the baby and encourage the baby to sleep.
Some ideas for things to put in your busy baskets.
Curlz – Make Sure Your Child Can Eat This Before Giving It To Them!
Tip 4: Check For Wet Diapers and Give Baths At The Same Time
Your toddler should be changed every 3 hours and your baby should be changed every 2 hours. What you can do is to check both of them every two hours and change them at the same time. This does not include stinky diapers. You should check for those frequently. Also, pick three days a week to give them both a bath. Place your toddler in the bath and give him some toys. Use the bathwater to also bathe your baby. Your toddler could help. Dress your baby in the bathroom. Then begin bathing your toddler. This will save you a lot of trouble. Another tip is to keep toys in the bathtub so your toddler won’t mind waiting for you to finish bathing the baby. Keep in mind to always stay next to your toddler when they are in the bathtub. That is one of the plus sides of having two children under two. You can combine their schedules, and you don’t have to go through hard times twice.
Tip 5: Combine Their Naptime and Bedtime
This is one of the main tips of 2 under 2 tips. Your baby would shave more naps than your toddler. But, your toddler should have a 2 hours nap each day. Make sure one of the baby’s naps comes at the same time as your toddler’s nap. This way you can have two hours for yourself to cook, clean, relax or work. Trust me you need at least two hours of quietness. To help get them both to sleep play a lullaby or meditation music and pull down the drapes. They should also sleep at roughly the same time at night. I put my baby and my toddler to sleep at 9 pm every day. After that, I use the time to work on my blog or relax.
Tip 6: Sleep Train Your Baby
Sleep Training Methods
Your baby will probably not be sleep-trained before four months. But, you can still get them on schedule before then. What I did was to make sure my baby (after the newborn stage) is awake for a few hours a day (not consecutively) so she can sleep well through the night. It is possible to do this. It just needs a lot of patience and consistency. Music and feeding your baby right before sleep can encourage the baby to sleep for more hours. Make sure to wake up your baby every three hours for a feed during the early weeks of age. Some tips for baby sleep training include create a bedtime routine, transition from loud to quiet then bedtime, and delay your response.
Once your baby is ready for sleep training, there are several methods you can use. Some of these methods include:
The Cry It Out Method
If you are going to use this method, you need to have a tough heart. It will make you feel bad. But, remember this method is more difficult for you than for your baby. If you use the cry-it-out method, you have to make sure your baby’s diaper is dry, she is fed, and in a safe crib. Leave the baby in her room and walk away until she falls asleep. Do this for up to five days, you will see your baby cry less and less every day. The cry it out method can be used as early as three months old and many people say it is effective.
This method is similar to the cry-it-out method, but it is less harsh. You will make sure your baby is full, dry, and safe and you will allow her to cry but only for a short period of time. For example, on day one you will check on her every minute then two minutes then three minutes, and keep increasing. They will eventually fall asleep faster. The Ferber method is effective for 4-month-olds too. Just remember to wake them up to feed them.
The Chair Method
This method involves using a chair. Place it next to the crib and move it away more and more as time progresses. This may not work for young babies. It is better for toddlers to help reassure them they will be okay. The chair method can be used for babies 6 months and older. It is quite hard to use this for babies before then because calming babies involves physical touch.
Pick Up, Put Down Method
Put your baby down sleepy. If she cries, pick her up and calm her down and place her back in the crib. Keep doing this until she falls asleep. This method is used between the ages of 4 months and 8 months. Some people report using this method after 8 months too, but it is most effective between 4 months and 8 months. The bad thing about this method is it is exhausting and it may take some time as a few weeks before it actually works.
Bedtime Fading Method
Place your baby to sleep when your baby shows cues that she is tired. Once tired place her down to sleep. Then gradually decrease the time she is put to sleep until your reach the time you want her to sleep at. This will teach her body when bedtime is gradual. This method is most effective between ages 4 and 6 months.
Tip 7: When Both Kids Want To Play
Once your baby starts to develop the need for play, place your baby and toddler on a safe play mat, and pour some toys around them. Make sure they a big and cannot be swollen by any of them. Encourage your toddler to interact with the baby but teach him to be gentle and keep an eye on them. This will fulfill the emotional and interactive needs of both of them.
It is important to understand that your toddler cannot be left alone with your baby. The toddler may unintentionally harm the baby. Playing rough is common among toddlers and babies would not expect to be handled with that roughness. You may work next to them, but make sure you are very near your baby. If your toddler behaves wrongly towards your baby, do not shout no and punish him. Instead, acknowledge your child’s feelings. Your toddler is now realizing he is not the only child and not the only thing mom loves. So, keep that in mind and comfort your toddler by telling him you understand how he feels. Teach him how to be gentle.
Tip 8: When Your Toddler Is Very Energetic
Energy Releasing Ideas
All toddlers have excessive energy and trust me it would not be an easy thing to deal with. But, keep in mind, they love running and jumping and can do this all day. There is a time in a day when your child will be energetic and begin to run around or throw things. Your neighbors would not like that. What I see my toddler behave like this I know he has a lot of energy and needs to get it out. So, I take him outdoors. Sometimes, I take him to the park or anywhere he can run. Or, we just go for a walk. If outdoors is not an option, give your child a warm bath with bubbles. This will transition him from being energetic to calm in a few minutes. Some mothers have something called a boredom box for kids who become too energetic when they are bored.
Tip 9: Ask Your Toddler To Help You
You need whatever help you can get. So, why not ask your toddler to help you. This will encourage vocabulary, cognitive ability, interactions and it will keep your child occupied for a short period of time. Some, things you can have him/her do are washing vegetables, helping with baby diaper changes like getting the diaper, pouring things in a bowl, and pick up his/her toys. This is the time when your toddler should learn to understand simple requests. So, this is a great way to help them learn this.
Some more examples of how your toddler can help you.
- Put dirty dishes in the dishwasher.
- Give you the clean dishes to put away (sharp items should be removed first).
- Mash vegetables like potatoes.
- Set the table.
- Get you something from a different room.
- Play with their sibling.
Tip 10: When Both Your Children Need You: PRIORITIZE
Okay, so your baby is screaming and wants milk right now. But, you look on your other side and your toddler is having a meltdown throwing himself on the floor, and needs attention now. What should I do? The answer is to prioritize. Who needs you more? That doesn’t mean to go nurse your child for twenty whole minutes and leave your toddler crying. That means you should ask yourself who do you need to calm down first. You have only two hands. So, don’t be hard on yourself and get rid of that mommy guilt. You cannot satisfy both kids at once all the time. So, calm your first child who needs you more and think about another way to quickly calm the second.
So, let’s take the example above. If my toddler was crying and my baby needs to be fed now, what I would do is grab anything that my toddler would be distracted by ( a busy basket, a snack, a show, a book …). I would place him next to me. Then, I will grab my baby and nurse.
Another example, I am at the grocery store. My baby dropped her pacifier and is crying. My toddler also just saw a toy and wants it. He is screaming at the top of his lungs. What I would do is tell my toddler I understand you want that but we will talk about it after I clean the baby’s pacifier. Even if he is screaming, I would find a way to clean the pacifier give it to the baby, and then decide whether I want to buy the toy or not for my toddler. If I don’t, I would distract him with the emergency toy or snack in my purse (previous tip).
Tip 11: Take A Break And Get Help
Do you have family members around or someone you can trust like a specific babysitter? Whomever you choose, keep your children with them for a day and take a break. It is time to rest and do the things you want to do. Most mothers forget that it is okay to have some time for themselves even if you are a mother. We, as human beings, need time for ourselves to be able to function correctly. So, get rid of that mommy guilt, leave your children with someone trustable and get out there. Live the life you have lived before your children came even if it is just for a few hours.
Also, you don’t need to clean, cook and take care of the kids. Prioritize what you need to do, and allow your partner to help you. Accept any help you can get because you need it, and remember you are human. You only have two hands, so let others help you.
Moreover, whenever you feel sleepy or tired, take a break. Do Not Keep Ignoring The Exhaustion!
Tip 12: Have Quiet Time Atleast Once Every Day
This is one of the very important 2 under 2 tips. Quiet time is essential for toddlers, babies, and you. It is a time when everyone can relax and the children can play too. Many activities can be done during quiet time. Mom can work and the children can be occupied. Here are some examples of quiet time activities.
- Play Dough
- Busy Baskets
- Building with Legos
- Cars and Trains (That Don’t Make Noise)
- Stuffed Animals
You can also have a relaxation box. I used to put sensory objects in it for my students to feel. I usually hide the box until they have tantrums. When they have tantrums, I separate them from the other children and give them the box. It helps calm them down. You can sue something similar to this for quiet time too.
Tip 13: Wear Your Baby
This is another essential one of the 2 under 2 tips. You need to wear your baby. This would save you so much time. Wearing your baby will allow you to do two things at once. You would be carrying your baby and cleaning, playing, and cooking. So, invest in a good baby carrier. Choose a type of carrier that would distribute the weight over your body and will not cause pain in your back. Wearing your baby outdoor is also great because this would free both hands for your toddler. And, trust me you are going to need both hands!
Tip 14: Use 2 Under 2 Must-Haves
I counted this as one of the tips of 2 under 2 tips because having these things would greatly help you. Here is the list. Click on the item to see more about it.
2 Under 2 Tips Must-Haves List
This diaper bag is big. It can fit the needs of two kids. There is a USB charger and it has a portable crib. You can carry it in different ways too.
This container will save you time. I know your toddler loves snacks but doesn’t he/she always get the snacks everywhere. This will help you with spillage.
This stroller has a sit and stand option. It also accepts a car seat in the rear or front position so you can choose which one you prefer. Also, it has a big basket on the bottom for belongings.
A toddler backpack is perfect. This way you can easily get his/her snacks or favorite toys outdoors. Even if you put it in the diaper bag, you will have a difficult time searching for it. This way his favorite things will always be on him.
This specific playmat is a transitional playmat. It first can be used as an activity mat for your baby (can be placed next to your toddler). Once your baby can sit down, the playmat can be converted to a seat.
This seat protector is waterproof and will protect your car from toddler spills and car seat indents. Trust me buy it; it will save you so much time. This is a set of two covers. So perfect for both babies.
Tip 15: Avoid Favoritism
Yes, your toddler will notice if you are preferring one over the other. I know you love them both equally, but remember to treat them both equally. If your toddler does something wrong, acknowledge that he/she may simply want your attention. Don’t say the word “no” too much. And, if your baby does something wrong make sure to not just ignore it because they are the younger ones. Your toddler is watching you and everything you say and do. Be fair!
Try using positive words when your toddler does something wrong like:
- I know it is hard having a sibling now.
- I know you want to be cuddled and I will cuddle you soon once I am done.
- It is hard having to wait, but it will be over soon.
- You feel overstimulated; let us read a book together.
Doing this will calm your toddler down and he will be able to further connect with you.
Tip 16: Declutter
You are going to have lots of clothes and toys and bottles. Once your baby reaches the different milestones, try to declutter. Store anything that you don’t need anymore like clothes and toys. This will save space and stress.
Most importantly, this will take some time. So, make sure you have something for your toddler to do and for your baby to do (napping would be amazing). You can also ask your toddler to help you, but it may get chaotic if your child sees something he still wants.
Tip 17: Meal Planning and Online Shopping
Meal planning will help you a lot. Take some time to just write down what meals you will cook for the week. For your busy days, cook simple meals and leave the more difficult ones for easier days. This will help you feel organized and know what to expect daily.
Every Friday, I usually sit down and write a week of meal ideas. Then, I list all the ingredients I need for those meals. After writing down all the ingredients, I add them to an online shopping website (add them to cart) and wait for Saturday to actually buy them. It is hard to go to the grocery shop with two kids and buy many items. So, I find this easier. But, you can go to the grocery store with both your children. Just remember the tips I have mentioned before. Keep emergency snack and toy in purse and wear your baby.
Tip 18: Your Baby Doesn’t Have To Always Sleep At The Same Time and Same Place
Let go of the things you cannot control. Your baby may be sleepier than usual or may need to sleep when you are out or busy. So, adjust your routine to whatever must happen. If your baby falls asleep in the swing, it is okay to leave her in there and stay near them. If your baby is asleep at 2 pm instead of 3 pm, let it be. Let’s say your baby falls asleep while playing, that is okay. Just try to make sure your baby also naps when your toddler does.
Tip 19: Do Not Forget Your Spouse
These 2 under 2 tips would save your marriage. It is very important to have quality time with your spouse. Two children under two can take a toll on your relationship with your spouse. I cannot stress this enough! Do not become less intimate or have less quality time. Your relationship has needs just like your toddler and your baby do. You would never leave your kids hungry; do not neglect your quality time with them. Trust me quality time would help create a positive environment for you and your children. The happier the marriage is the better the home life is.
Some things you can do.
- Have One Date Night Per Week
- Have Family Meals Together
- Go To The Gym Together
- Flirt With One Another
- Play With Kids Together
- Stay Up Late Together
- Try New Things
Tip 20: Remind Visitors To Give Both Of Your Children Attention
You didn’t expect this to be one of the 2 under 2 tips. But, it has a huge effect on your toddler. Again, your toddler is watching everything not just you and dad. Some visitors may want to carry the baby more than the toddler because sometimes it is just considered a cuter age to carry. Tell them to share their attention because toddlers need affection and need to feel they are important.
These 2 under 2 tips should ease life with two kids under two. There are many 2 under 2 tips out there but these are the most influential ones. Try using some of them if not all. You will not regret it!
Beyond 2 Under 2 Tips- Have You Read These???
Here are some parenting blog posts.
Leave a comment below. Mention some tips that have worked for you. Let’s help each other live a simpler and easier motherhood.
If you want to know more on mom hacks, watch this video “2 under 2 tips”.