Two under two tips

Hi everyone! In a few months we will be welcoming Baby #2 when our Toddler will be 19 months. I am a little overwhelmed with all the advice when googling “Two under Two”. I’d specifically like to know from folks who’ve had small children close in age (doesn’t have to be two under two exactly!) what life hacks helped them in the first few months of the second arrival, esp. in terms of products to get. I’d like to be better prepared with equipment this time around... Did you find getting a nursing sling helpful? Do you think a double stroller is absolutely necessary? Is this the point of no return for getting that mini van we’ve been avoiding? I anticipate a lot of chaos and sleepless nights so just want to know what other parents found worked for them. I appreciate your thoughts and general advice also welcome!

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RE: Two under two tips ()

Hi hi hi!!! You are going to LOVE that you had them so close together ... eventually! Actually I loved all of it. My kids are 22 months apart and the weirdest thing was getting used to a newborn butt again. The nice big toddler butt is so much easier to wipe! 

I wish I could post photos here, I have a picture of me with both kids asleep on me in the rocking chair, and I was trapped because my husband worked nights! Thank goodness for iphones. 

Neither of my kids liked the sling, particularly. I did get a double stroller. I did not get a mini-van, but everyone tells me this was dumb (we have the same silver Honda CR-V that everyone has). I tried to transition the older kid to a bed, and I think that was moderately successful, but it's been seven years so I may have rose-colored memory glasses. 

I just remember everything being hilarious. We all got the stomach flu and I remember yelling "don't barf on the baby!" and thinking "is this my life??" Hopefully you get more helpful advice than this. But really. Don't barf on the baby. 

Amy K. 

RE: Two under two tips ()

Congrats! We had 2 under 2 for 2 months :)  (22 months apart)

It was crazy and exhausting but a blur and wonderful too. I baby wore the youngest and the toddler would go in the stroller for longer walks. Once the youngest was older they both sat in the double. We had a tiny Honda Fit and still do (they're now 3 and 5).  

Whenever I nursed the baby my 2 year old would bring a book and sit on my legs and we'd read together - this was sort of like one on one time for us. I'm also a Montessori teacher and having the house set up for independence with my toddler was SUPER helpful - things such as plates and silverware down low, a dirty dishtub on the floor in the kitchen so they could clean up after themselves.  Aidtolife.org is a great website for ideas.  Blessings on this new adventure Mama!

RE: Two under two tips ()

I don't have any advice for you, but I am jumping on your bandwagon so I can read what others suggest. I too am expecting #2 and she will arrive in 1.5 months when my son is 18 months old. Best of luck! 

RE: Two under two tips ()

My two are exactly 2 years apart.  I didn't find a double stroller necessary, by the time the baby was old enough to ride in it the toddler was fine to walk most places.  Before we reached that stage I usually wore the baby in a Moby or later an Ergo while the toddler was in the stroller.  Being able to baby wear was crucial, especially for those times you're trying to help your potty training toddler in a public bathroom stall while carrying a baby!

A minivan doesn't seem necessary either, we have a Subaru Impreza hatchback and that's worked just fine, although it does mean we can't all go somewhere as a family and also give someone else a ride.  If there is any chance you might have a third though and you're in the market for a new car you should definitely get one big enough to hold the whole future family :)  

The best thing we ever did as far as keeping our sanity was to start a biweekly cleaning service.  It wasn't too expensive and it just took a lot of stress off our shoulders.  The other best thing was abandoning our cloth diapers and embracing the Target generic multipack and Target's subscribe and save for diapers/wipes/anything else that you might run out of in the middle of the night when you absolutely need it.  

I think having them close together was perfect, and we didn't have to face the dread of going back into the baby years after making it out of the wilderness.  At this point (6 and 4), they are best friends and can entertain themselves by playing with each other for hours.  We're just about to cross the milestone where they will both be at the same school and I am super stoked to have one pickup and one drop-off for the next 6 years.  Short term it will be hard and crazy, but long term it will be delightful!

RE: Two under two tips ()

My 2 are just a little over 2 years apart - it's been a while since they were little, but the best advice I have is to get a carrier - sling, Ergo, Bjorn, whatever feels comfortable for you. I had an Ergo and it was indispensable for wearing the little one while chasing after the toddler. In fact, we never had to get a double stroller - I wore the little one, and the big one rode in a stroller or walked. By the time the little one graduated to the stroller, the big one was walking pretty much everywhere. We didn't get a minivan (and we now have 3 kids), although we did get a bigger car after the 3rd. But 2 in a Honda Civic was totally doable.  The first few months will probably be a little insane, but it sounds like you're ready for it - and the best part is you'll get all that insanity out of the way pretty quickly and then the kids will be able to play together and be at relatively the same stage of their lives as far as interests and abilities.

RE: Two under two tips ()

OP here, thanks so much for all of your suggestions! Will definitely be getting a solid baby carrier and not going to stress about that mini van. :) Looking forward to the adventure!

RE: Two under two tips ()

My two under two are now 16 and 18.  The first several years of having them both were a blur, but now I look back on the photos with fond memories.  A few of suggestions:

Buy as little as you can get away with. Time will move so fast, it's a pain to purchase and then have to get rid of things when the house gets to cluttered.  I never used a nursing sling. Baby 2 nursed quickly so it gave me a moment to sit and rest or read to the toddler who would sit next to me. I avoided mini-vans at all costs. I had a VW Passat station wagon which worked very well.

I did get two second hand strollers. One an old-fashioned pram so the baby could sleep at the park while I focused some time with the toddler. The second a double jogging stroller once baby 2 was big enough for it. It allowed me to get some exercise taking them on long walks to the park where the toddler could play and I could sit or swing with the baby.

Toddler announced he would no longer sleep in a crib around 18 months, so that solved the 2 crib issue.  It worked out well.  I didn't want to get a toddler bed, but we had a futon sofa. I put the futon on the floor, the frame in the attic and that's where he slept until he was ready for a regular bed in which he still sleeps.  This set up also allowed me to collapse with him and the baby when we all needed to sleep, but I didn't want everyone in my bed!

The best advice I have is sleep whenever/however you can, take any help you can get, but most importantly, make time for everyone - time for yourself, even if it's just a walk around the block when your partner gets home; time for your partner, even if it's just sitting outside with a glass of wine while both kids are asleep; time for each child individually - from the moment the second it born and never stop.  That last one is really important when the two are so close together in age. It's easy to fall into having them do everything together, so be sure to give them each special time just with you.  It doesn't need to be a lot of time, but it's best if it's regular and consistent. The little moments count.  Once mine got a little older - 4 and 6, I began the tradition of taking a trip with each of them each year.  It started out as just a one night adventure, and has built from there. This year my son and I travelled for a week together exploring colleges and visiting family. My daughter and I visiting family and exploring NYC.

Good Luck!