Whether you were trying again or you are having an accidental blessing, finding out you are pregnant (again) can feel really scary. With this close of an age gap you are probably worried about how you will survive. I totally get it…. I did too. These 29 tips for having two under two will help you to thrive as a parent and enjoy this crazy (and fun) season of life!
After finding out we were pregnant with our second, we were pretty shocked. Truthfully, we weren’t trying, so I wasn’t prepared to be a mom of two under two.
Now that we have two daughters, I wouldn’t have it any other way! There are so many benefits to having kids close in age, but I don’t want to sugarcoat it….. This season is really challenging.
My hope is that these tips will help make this transition a little easier for you…. so you can thrive as a parent.
The BEST Tips for Having 2 Under 2
Before we get into my top 29 tips for having two under two, I want you to know that it’s not possible to do all of these things all of the time. Giving you and your spouse grace during this season is probably the best tip I can give you.
Not to brag…. but my husband is pretty awesome! He has been so understanding throughout this whole transition and has helped our family to really thrive.
After having our second, we found out she has a rare congenital heart defect (which you can read about here) and this has really added more chaos to our transition than I would have liked. Needless to say, we’ve overcome a lot of trials in this season, but it’s shaped us into the people we are and for that I’m forever grateful.
Alrighty, let’s get into all the things you MUST DO with two under two!
At Bless Our Littles, we like to talk about things we love and think you might enjoy too. Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links (see disclosure here). This means we will receive a commission if you click on a link and make a purchase. This is no extra cost to you. There are some products we have tried and others that we haven’t but think would be helpful to you!
1. Utilize the Bathroom Fan
When you first bring your newborn home, there is so much snuggling and love. You may not even notice, but the new baby is probably sleeping through all the commotion. As the newborn phase begins to fade, most will no longer be able to sleep through the noise.
We ended up putting the Moses Basket Bassinet in the bathroom with the fan on. Our bathroom was close enough that I could still hear the baby but far enough from all the craziness.
When I needed to lay her down for naps, it was nice having her close by rather than needing to go all to the nursery or master bedroom!
2. Have Indoor Picnic Lunches
As the baby gets older, you may need to rock them to sleep or hold them for naps (thanks to the 4 month sleep regression). I have found it incredibly helpful to have a picnic lunch on the floor.
This keeps my toddler busy and quiet, which is huge these days. I also like that I can keep an eye on her while I’m caring for the baby!
3. Get your Toddler Involved in Chores
If the baby will let you set him/her down for a minute, you will probably find yourself scrambling around the house to get everything done. This is a great opportunity for you to invite your toddler to help with the household chores.
Toddlers are helpers by nature. They are learning how to do all the basics in life! Asking them to help with dishes or sort the laundry is actually something they will enjoy.
These tasks may take a little longer, but it will encourage them to learn and will keep them busy!
4. Share Tasks with your Spouse
I know that this is easier said than done. When we had my second daughter, my husband had just started a new business. There was a LOT going on. He had many late nights and most of the chores were left for me to do.
But as we began to adjust, we found that spending just 15 minutes each night doing tasks around the house helped to ensure things didn’t get out of hand.
If your spouse is struggling to find time to help pitch in, maybe you can make a deal on the weekends.
5. Time to Rise for Toddler
If you haven’t introduced a time-to-rise clock to your toddler, you need to! This is a game-changer that will start your morning off a little more smoothly.
We follow a Montessori approach, so our toddler has a floor bed with books and a few toys that she can play with if she wakes up early.
6. Pre Make Snacks
In those first few weeks postpartum, I highly recommend buying pre-packaged snacks that you don’t need to do any prep for. This will make your life so much easier.
As you begin to settle into having two under two, have snacks ready that require very little prep. I bought some reusable baggies and filled them with different snacks, so all I had to do was reach into the snack drawer!
You may want to include some snacks for you too… because there will be days when you can barely eat a granola bar!
7. Utilize your Instant Pot and Crockpot
In our home, the most chaotic and stressful time of the day is dinner time. I’m usually running around trying to cook, while my youngest is in the baby carrier and my toddler is trying to help “chop” (that’s what she likes to call cutting anything!!).
Once I started using my Instant pot more, our nights were more enjoyable. There are so many easy… and yummy recipes that you can start during nap time and will be ready for dinner! This leads me to my next tip….
8. Always Be One Step Ahead
Most of the advice I found for two under two was that you needed to have a schedule. I feel like we loosely follow one, but sometimes it stresses me out to stick to any kind of strict routine.
I’ve found that it’s more helpful to just stay one step ahead. If you know that your toddler needs juice when they get up from their nap, get it ready while they are sleeping! You get the point!
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9. Hire a Cleaner
I hesitated to put this on here because truthfully we couldn’t afford one, but I know there are many families who can! My mother-in-law actually gifted us a cleaner that came for the first few weeks after we got home from the NICU.
IT WAS AMAZING. Even if you can only afford for them to come once a month… it’s absolutely worth it!
10. Pick up your Groceries
Grocery shopping gets easier as they get older, but truthfully I hate going into the store. Plus I can create my shopping list while Josie is napping, check out online.. and go that evening and pick them up.
This helps us to save money as well!
If you live near Target, they have the BEST pick up system. You order your groceries and they are ready within two hours. It’s amazing haha.
11. Meal Plan
Meal planning for the week can save you so much time! Especially if your spouse works and doesn’t get home until dinner time, this will eliminate a lot of stress.
We like to prep things on the weekend. Although it does take up a good chunk of our Sunday, it helps our weeknights to run a little smoother.
12. Ask for Help
It takes a village to raise children. If we look back in history, it was customary for women to help the women in their family and community.
There is nothing wrong with asking for help. It’s worth it to keep you sane!
I know that this isn’t easy… I’m pretty prideful, unfortunately… but most people are so willing and want to lend a helping hand.
13. Special Toys for When you Need a Break
I like to keep a few toys hidden, so when I need a break… my toddler has something that will keep her busy.
I try to find new toys on sale and keep them in my closet, so when I’m having a rough day I have something that will keep her occupied. Many moms also suggest letting their toddlers play with Tupperware, pots, pans, or even old boxes as an unusual treat!
14. Find Time to NOT be Mom
Obviously, you are never off the clock, unless your spouse is watching them. But find time while you are watching them to not be in mom mode. I would take the girls on walks several times a day when the weather was nice….. because they were both occupied and I can have a few minutes of quiet.
My girls aren’t much for the car, but I have many mom friends that take daily drives so they can have a moment to themselves!
15. Use a Baby Carrier
This is probably on every other blogger’s list, but here is what you need to know…. get a baby carrier that you LOVE.
Honestly, I now have 3 different carriers…. they all have different purposes…. this is why it took me WAY TOO LONG to finally buy my Tula Explore. I ended up buying my used one from eBay because I wasn’t sure if I was even going to like it!
I regret not having this sooner. This has saved my back and it allows me to get more done around the house!
16. Get a Diaper Bag Backpack
Whether you need to run into the grocery store or are venturing with two into the doctors’ office, having a diaper bag backpack helps to keep you completely hands-free!
17. Invest in a Double Stroller
I didn’t start looking into double strollers until my third trimester. I found a Baby Jogger City Select that included everything for a double stroller. I liked it, but truthfully, I didn’t love how long it was. It also felt like whichever child was in the top seat was going to feel pretty squished.
You can also buy an attachment that allows you to put the car seat right on top. My toddler loves riding in the wagon and it gives me the feel of a stroller all in one!
18. It Starts With your Morning
I wouldn’t even attempt getting up before the kids until you are out of the newborn phase. In those early days, your only focus should be sleep.
But once you are able to get a little more rest, start getting up just a few minutes before the kids. My husband usually snuggles with the baby, while I hop in the shower and get ready for the day.
As my daughter gets older and sleeps more through the night, I plan on getting up earlier… but for now I aim for just 15 minutes of ME time!
19. Have a 2nd Sound Machine
If you are having a sprinkle party or a second baby shower, I highly recommend adding another sound machine to your wish list. Even if your kids end up sharing a room down the road, it’s important to have two incase they need to sleep separately.
Right now, my littlest still naps in our room, and sometimes it’s during my toddler’s nap time. It’s so nice to have two!
We LOVE our Hatch sound machine for our toddler’s room but opted for something a little more basic for the baby (Click Here to See Our Favorite Basic Sound Machine)… since we plan on them sharing a room eventually.
20. Get Dual Baby Monitors
We have a baby monitor in our room and another in my toddler’s room. I found that I needed one to keep an eye on the baby while she slept and it was essential to have one on (at all times) in my toddler’s room.
Whether they are napping or playing independently, it’s nice having a camera…. so you don’t interrupt or disrupt whatever they are doing!
Here is the baby monitors we LOVE! (Note: I bought several different monitors and ultimately went back to our original monitor which had the dual feature!)
21. Make Monday your New Sunday
I forget where I read this, but this tip changed my life. I no longer schedule any appointments on Monday.. I pretend like it’s Sunday.
I plan on getting the house in order, meal prepping, and honestly taking it easy.
I love co-parenting with my husband on the weekends, it helped me to not dread Monday morning again!
22. Use a Timer Clean
This is pretty self-explanatory, but I usually set a ten-minute timer, grab a basket and run around the house cleaning all the surfaces. Then if I have time left over, I vacuum, do dishes, or start laundry!
23. Set up Yes Spaces
I believe this was originally introduced by Janet Lansbury (read about it here)! Basically, you want to create a safe space where your child can play and explore uninterrupted. This really helped our daughter to enjoy playing independently.
I also set up a safe space for baby. It’s important that baby feels as if he/she can be free while playing as well. This ensures that your toddler won’t be bothering them either.
I found that it was essential for me to have places to put the baby while I made dinner, helped my toddler go on the potty, or if I simply just needed to be hands-free!
24. Toddler Proof EVERYTHING
With my first, I never toddler proofed. I thought the more off-limits things were, the more she would get into them.
I still totally believe this although, I found my toddler was getting into EVERYTHING to get my attention while nursing.
Do yourself a favor, toddler proof what you can! It will help you to feel less worried about what they may be getting into.
25. Toy Rotation for Toddler
We found that separating our toddler’s toys into 7 different bins (one for each day of the week), encouraged her to have longer sessions of independent play!
I highly recommend figuring out a toy rotation system that works for your family. It helps children to stay interested in their toys and keeps them more engaged because they don’t get to play with them all the time.
26. Don’t Rush ANY Milestones
This applies to both of your children. For instance, many parents try to push potty training on their toddler. There ends up being so much pushback, which can feel incredibly stressful.
I also found myself trying to savor my baby being a baby this time around! Honestly, I didn’t need her to start rolling, walking, or talking…. I wanted her to stay little forever!
27. Expect Regressions
Now that you have two kiddos, that means they are going to hit regressions because of each other. They will need you more at different times, which can cause the other to regress.
I think if you know that this happens, you are more understanding when it comes up.
28. Screen Time for a Season
I wish someone gave me permission to let my toddler watch more TV in the early days. It doesn’t ALWAYS have to be this way, it can be okay for just a season.
When my second hit the four-month sleep regression, I let my toddler watch hours of TV for a few weeks. Once we started to get back on our feet, I cut back on the screen time. Now she watches an episode in the morning and one after her nap.
Just because you allow your child to watch TV a little more for a short season, doesn’t mean you are a bad parent!
If you are reading this while you are pregnant, you are already one step ahead of the game! Preparing yourself for two under two is going to help your life run a little more smoothly.
I actually wrote an entire article on how to prepare for 2 under 2 which you can read here.
But, you aren’t the only one that needs some preparation, your toddler needs some time to adjust to having a new baby as well! Check out this article that I wrote about 16 Ways to Prepare Your Toddler for a New Baby!
Making the transition from one child to two can feel overwhelming and even scary at first! But with a little preparation, you can make this season a little easier. I hope these tips for two under two give you some confidence that you can not only survive, but really thrive!
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