10 Tips on Surviving Two Under Two

I am officially a "two under two" survivor! After experiencing the highs and lows of two under two, all I can say is, thank God we survived!

I mean let’s be real. The thought of having a newborn and a toddler is scary stuff.

When Josiah was born, Leilani was 17 months old. There were a number of concerns and fears I had just before Josiah was born:

*Will Leilani like her new baby brother?

*How will I manage by myself once my husband has to return to work in two weeks?

*How will the dynamic be between me and my husband now that we have two children?

*Co-sleeping with two babies…where are they doing that?

By the grace of God, we’ve worked through it!  Children are happy and healthy. Mom and Dad are a little tired, but hey, such is life!

Now that my son is 8 months old, and my daughter is now two, things have gotten a little easier managing and parenting the both of them.

Here’s some survival tips on how we managed (and still manage) life with two littles:

1.      Take Advantage of Your Tribe // Literally. Take all the help you can get— it literally takes a village, especially with two kids. Once my husband went back to work, things were a little tough. Josiah, like most newborns, always wanted to be held, which is a bit hard to do when you have to care and run after a very active toddler. I was grateful for my mother-in-law. Before Josiah was born, she watched Leilani for us while my husband and I were at work, and I was so grateful that she offered to watch Leilani a couple of days out of the week so I can get the baby situated. I even asked a few times! Whenever my family came over, I gladly gave the babies up. Felt good not to have someone attached to you all the time. Baby needs a diaper change, or Leilani needed to eat? My mom or my sisters were on duty. Take as many hands as you can get!  

2.      Baby Wearing // My moby wrap was a life saver on days where Josiah was extra clingy or just wouldn’t stay down for his naps. Not only was I able to keep up with my toddler, but I was able to get stuff done – cooking, cleaning, play time with Leilani.

3.      Nap Time // One of the key things for surviving two under two, that sort of just happened naturally without much training, was to get the kiddos on the same nap schedule. Obviously, your toddler isn’t napping as often as your newborn, but I made sure to get both kids down for their afternoon nap at the same time. That way, I was able to get a nap in, time to myself, steal a quick shower (it’s real in these mommy streets!), or straighten up a bit. Trust me, you don’t want to be on the move all day, especially after being up multiple times a night for night feeds.

4.     Independent Play // Thankfully, Leilani has always been great when it came to play time. She was able to play by herself without requiring much attention, and it carried over into toddler life. Because she’s content by herself, whether that be watching Harry the Bunny on TV, playing with her puzzles, coloring, or reading herself a book, I was able to tend to the baby or get things done around the house, or just take a moment to myself and just chill out for a minute.

5.      There’s Only So Much You Can Do // It’s important to keep this in mind. Think about it: You’re outnumbered! Don’t get me wrong – there are days where I feel like supermom because of my ability to multitask and think/act fast with them—like that time I figured out how to nurse a newborn and change his diaper at the same time so he’ll stay sleep. Or getting both kids fed at the same time. Seriously, I impress myself on those days where things are golden and run smoothly. Other times, you’ll have to handle the greater needs first….even if that means one kid has to wail for a minute while you tend to the other.

6.      Divvy Up the Duties // Because there’s only so much you can do and you cannot do everything, create a game-plan with your spouse so things can get done. When my husband came home from work, sometimes I’d need help giving both kids a bath, or he’d feed Leilani her dinner while I tended to Josiah. We’d each take a child, and get things done. Try not to put too much on yourself. I’m constantly learning this!

7.      Include Your Toddler // Include your toddler in things you do with the baby so they don’t feel left out. Diaper time for the baby? Ask your toddler to grab the diapers and wipes. Tummy time? Get your toddler to show baby how it’s done. Putting baby to sleep? Give your toddler a quiet activity to do next to you.

8.      Carve Out Time to Spend With Each Child // A lot of me and Leilani’s time together came whenever Josiah would nap. We’d work on learning activities, nursery rhymes, you name it. For Josiah, he joined the catnap band wagon, and wouldn’t sleep long during their afternoon nap. Our time came while Leilani still slept. Let’s face it, somebody is gonna want mommy all to themselves at some point, so I make sure to give them that one on one time.

9.      Let go of Perfection // There’s no such thing as a perfect mom. I’ve learned that now. Instead, mirror grace. There’s no way to take care of everyone’s needs at the same time. You just do the best you can with the Lord’s help, ya know?

10.   Remember, it Gets Easier // Parenting two under two can be difficult. As your baby (and toddler) become more independent, things do get easier. Leilani is pretty self-sufficient and can be left alone without me physically being in the room to watch her (we do have a baby cam to peek in and make sure she’s not doing anything she isn’t supposed to). Josiah, he has his days where I can leave him in his play pen to roll around, or put him in his walker to zoom around the house and chase after his sister. Other days he’s really whiny for whatever reason – teething, nap time, or he just wants attention! You figure it out and learn how to work around things.
It can be done! I promise!

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