Preparing for 2 under 2
Updated: Feb 9, 2021
When I found out I was pregnant with Teddy, I remember doing the math and counting how far apart our kids would be...19 months! Ahh! Fast forward to February and I ended up having Teddy two weeks early on February 16th, making him and Ryder 18 months and a day apart. It's been a wild ride and honestly such a blur in those first few months. Trying to care for a newborn and a very active toddler who couldn't quite talk yet, all while in the midst of a pandemic that started a few weeks after we got home- let's just say it's been the most amazing experience but also chaotic and overwhelming at times. I've mentioned this before but we use the phrase 'embracing the chaos' frequently and I don't think that will change any time soon. With a lot of friends about to welcome their second child into the world, many about to have two under two, I thought I'd write some advice to prepare for this next chapter after going through it myself.
Real mom life in a nutshell:
(that's me cleaning up an entire container of formula Ryder dumped out!)
1. Get ready to say the word "gentle" 1000 times a day
It's funny when I look back on old videos and all I can hear myself saying is "gentle..gentle!" It's the cutest thing seeing your first child and newborn together but also a bit scary because they don't know how to handle them. Ryder was in a throwing stage when we first brought Teddy home so we had to watch him like a hawk and just remind him he was so little. Our pediatrician told us to put the focus on his feet instead of his face and head so he wasn't touching him all the time. We showed him how little his feet were compared to his and he loved it. Loved that tip!
2 .Purchase a play yard!
I don't know what we would have done without Baby Delight's Play yard! It's a safe place your toddler can play for those times you need to feed the baby, throw a load of laundry in, or take a well deserved shower. You can only do so much at a time! I love it because it's a big enough space for your toddler to play, it can be easily moved all over the house, and you can fold it up and travel with it. For $86.99, it's so worth the peace of mind! I wrote a blog post on newborn must haves and it includes a lot of Baby Delight items so check it out here!
Here is Ryder in his!
My biggest stress reliever has always been taking the kids outside for walks and I highly recommend investing in a good double stroller that works well for you and your family. When I was just a couple weeks postpartum with Teddy, I would put both kids in the double stroller to go for a 30-60 minute walk around the neighborhood and I would feel 10000% better afterwards. Even if it took me 30 minutes to get them in the stroller. Even if one was crying for half the walk. Even if I was so tired and drained. To this day, unless the weather prevents us otherwise, I'm taking the kids out for a walk. As many of you know I wrote a review on double strollers so check it out here! Feel free to send me a direct message on Instagram if you have any questions choosing the best double stroller for you.
4. Buy a baby carrier you love
Another product I recently did a review on is baby carriers. The newborn days were very different with Teddy than they were with Ryder and I had no choice but to be on my feet a lot of the time chasing after Ryder. With that said, a baby carrier is so needed! There are so many on the market so I recommend checking out my reviews to see if any of the options might work for you. I loved the Ergobaby Embrace carrier and it's one I purchased on my own before I was asked to do the article - it has the structure of a carrier but the softness of a wrap and it was perfect for those newborn days.
5. Accept help!
Even before Teddy was born I started to make a plan for how we'd have our family and friends help us with Ryder especially when we got home. It truly takes a village. Whether it was a neighbor taking Ryder for a walk so I could get a break or someone dropping off a meal for us, I honestly don't know how we would have gotten through those first few weeks with two under two. Obviously with covid times, the help you get now may look different than it did with your first child and you have to do what you are comfortable with. Even with things so different now, new moms still need the help more so now than ever before and just because it may look different, don't hesitate to accept it! I've learned that people truly want to help. If a friend offers to drop off a coffee, say yes! If a friend sends you a door dash gift card, so nice! If a friend can take your toddler outside for a walk so you can shower, amazing! If it wasn't for my parents, Matt's mom, and the friends in our "pod" I don't know what we would have done. I'll never forget when it was my first week back to work (working from home with the two kids at home since day cares were closed!) and my neighbor texted me and asked if she could take Ryder on a walk so I could go on my zoom meetings. It was a gesture that seems so small but really meant the world to me.
6. Your house will look like this
One piece of advice I will give is get ready for things to get messy and just roll with it. More toys, more laundry. I remember asking a friend of a friend at a birthday party before Teddy was born how things were different with two little ones and she warned that the amount of laundry was insane. Yup, she was right! There are always piles of laundry and the house is a mess but you truly have to give yourself a break because it all goes by so fast and some day you'll miss the mess!
7. Your heart is about to grow <3
Before Teddy was born I remember wondering how it would be with two kids and how Ryder would feel. I was sad it was no longer going to be the three of us (four with Swag!) and that I wouldn't be able to give him all the attention. I can't remember it exactly but one night I was so emotional and crying to Matt and he just turned to me and said "why would you feel sad? You are about to give him a best friend for life. He is going to be so pumped!" Right then and there I knew it was so true. Of course it's so tough in the beginning - you're beyond tired and trying to figure out the balance between caring for two little kids. It's truly amazing how your heart can just continue to grow and it's so special to see the bond between your two kids. You'll look at your older child and he/she will look so different to you all of a sudden. I remember thinking Ryder looked HUGE and was such a big kid in just a couple days of not seeing him. I truly cherished those first few nights of snuggling Ryder on the couch when Teddy was asleep.
Now almost a year later, Ryder is almost 2.5 and Teddy will be turning 1 so soon! I feel like I'm finally in the groove and even in these troubling times these boys make us smile and laugh harder than anyone. It's wild, it's crazy, it's super fun, and it truly goes by in the blink of an eye so enjoy every minute and take it one day at a time!