I ruthlessly scoured the net when preggers with my second – seeking the answer to making it work with two under two. Here’s the answer. It doesn’t. I have found with two under two that my baby came at a time when my firstborn (16 months at the time) wasn’t really ready to ‘help’ or ‘play’ or get too ‘interested in’ or jealous of the new baby – every kid is different though. Either way, you now have two kids that are majorly dependent on you (feeding, dressing, changing, playing, etc.) here are some tips from myself and my super amazing mom friends, to help you fly solo with your two little bambinos…..
GETTING READY FOR BABY TO COME
Solo Play Time
When your first born looks up at your with arms stretched out and says ‘UP’ for the first time you pretty much want to pick them up and let them live in your pocket and tell them all your stories. However, the pending addition means saying no more often to your FB to things you won’t be able to do with him once the newborn is here. As cruel as it may sound you will have to get yourself and baby used to toting them around less.
Try and make up games you can play with FB while you’re holding baby. Start now. Songs you can teach them actions to and then sing together later while you are nursing and they are playing around you. Pointing at body parts, or making animal noises is fun too. Games you can get them ‘find’ things. ‘Find a ball’ is a game I try to play when I think FB is about to ambush me and baby girl on the couch. And then I throw it and make him fetch it – whoever said dog ownership couldn’t teach you basic parenting skills?
Keep Your Body Fed
– plan meals for the week
– try and prep at least one thing each night to help you the next day
– before #2 comes make freezer meals
– spend the extra on cut produce and snacks for a couple months once the new baby is here
– make large batches when you have the helping hands at home and freeze some
– find some delicious & nutritious shakes
– stick with low glycemic foods to keep your blood sugars stable
– and of course, give a warm hug to your new BFF coffee (and maybe the odd cameo from Baileys).
Less Carrying Toddler
Keep the Snacks Coming Lady
You will likely have speedy success getting baby on a schedule as they follow along with your FB’s schedule. Remember that you need a routine too for a couple months. It keeps the thinking and last minute prep to a minimum. Have regular menu choices for everyone (e.g. breaky is oatmeal or cottage cheese and fruit); nap time routines for you (whether you shower, clean, nap, etc.)
Redefine Your Roles
Back to Square One
Get ‘er Done
Super Mom Shmooper Mom
As your FB became more independent you probably have gotten back to the luxuries of life – showers, hot coffee, dishes done, laundry folded, a well-rounded dinner made. Well, now there is a little bean who needs those arms and that time for cuddles. So don’t get disappointed when you are wearing a toque on your greasy hair, FB is eating fishy crackers for lunch and the dishes wait until the end of the day. As the months go on you feel like yourself again and let your babe bounce in the excersaucer or jolly jumper while you and your toddler have a dance party or you make dinner.
The thought of feeding, changing, bundling, and loading two little ones makes you sweat thinking about it. But even if it’s wintertime and it means snowsuits and a quick outing it is still worth it. So put in the extra effort and planning and get everyone in the stroller, meet up with another mom (who is maybe named Sophie and maybe has two really cute girlies) and get your butts outside.
Hone Your Mama Skills
Sometimes we moms can be overly proud – having two kids can be very humbling though (it has been for me). I am blessed with great family and friends who come visit, take my son, have us over for meals or just to play. The first three months with two is getting by day-by-day and little reliefs such as these have helped greatly. It’s great to have an extra pair of hands and even better for your FB to have others to play with.
Peace with the Grease
When voicing my concerns about having two kids under two to Sophie she listened, smiled and said: “I’m not gonna sugar coat it, it’s gonna be hard and some days you are just gonna be dirty”. A shower can make a mom feel like she just had a 15-minute power nap and red bull – so when that can’t happen don’t stress – throw on some dry shampoo and a cute hat and have some coffee. Spending the first half of your day in PJs can be inevitable at times, other times you just gotta get up, get dressed and get moving without the luxury of a shower.
I know this is a splurge, but I highly recommend a video monitor (here is why).
Tiny Time Outs
I read somewhere that if the baby does something you tell your FB not to do (hits, throws something, etc.) that you should give your baby a time out. I haven’t had to do this yet – but it makes sense. Maybe it is never too early to be demonstrating to the FB that there are actions and consequences that everyone has to follow.
The other day I brought out some newborn toys – I put them on the baby and told my son they were baby’s toys and he had to ask her if he could play with them (so he stood there saying ‘beeees bebe’). I’ll say things like, ‘baby is sharing with you’, ‘can you get a toy to share with baby?’ – and then when he is done playing he’ll bring it back to her (well, he’ll throw it on her and say ‘bebe’). I have no idea if this will help, but it’s worth a try.
There is a lot of research out there around the importance of family meals – and it starts right away. Even if you are bouncing baby on your knee (and yes, even nursing them), take the time to sit with your FB during meal time – you have to eat too after all!
Squeeze Out Every Drop of Quality Time
Don’t forget your FB still needs those quiet special one-on-one times with you. When baby is sleeping or just happy to be in their chair, take some time with your FB – read a book, sing a song, hunt for toys, draw a picture, chase them around the house and tickle them. Floor parties (AKA sitting on the kitchen floor and playing with kid) are almost a daily occurrence in our house – they usually happen while dinner is cooking.
and the tip from the bottom of our mom hearts….
SINCE THIS POST WE HAVE WELCOMED NUMBER THREE! WANT TO KNOW WHAT THAT IS LIKE?…..