Is it chaotic trying to raise two kids under two?
It’s far from easy. They are both at crucial points in their lives where they are developing quickly, learning lots of new things, and most importantly, adapting to one another.
I had both of my girls at 19 (wild, I know) and they are 10 months apart (both were premature that’s why they are so close together) and they are as close as can be. They get along great (for the most part) and are very protective of one another, which makes the fact that they are so close together such a great benefit.
But it’s not always easy. Things often get overwhelming, and sometimes you even feel like you can’t do it.
And because I know first hand how difficult it can be, here are 11 tips to help you survive having two kids under two.
1. Get them on the same schedule.
Doing this will be one of the most important steps because it will allow you and your partner to have much needed breaks.
Not only is it beneficial for when they are sleeping at the same time, allowing you to have a breather, but they will eat/nurse (if you have an infant you are breastfeeding) at the same time allowing you to be off of your feet for a while. Which will, in turn, lead to them needing to be changed at the same time.
They will also nap, bathe, play, all at the same time, which will make your daily routines so much easier.
It will take time, but the sooner you start, the sooner they will get in sync and you can have that extra time for yourself to relax.
2. Make sure you and your partner are on the same page.
This is another really crucial step to make raising your kids a whole lot easier. Things will be so much harder if you both aren’t on the same page. For example, your partner believes that you should just let your toddler cry it out when they throw a fit, but you don’t like that method and like to soothe your child and talk to them.
All that will do is confuse your children and cause them to like one parent more than the other and that is not something you want. Let’s not even mention that it will cause a crap ton of problems between you and your partner.
Communication. Is. Key.
3. Understand that they have two different personalities.
You cannot treat both of them like the same person. What might work for one child may not work for the other. It could also be a little off-putting when you have your second child and the things that used to work for your oldest do not work the same way on your infant, making you feel like you’re a new parent again.
And once they are both running around, getting into trouble and you have to start disciplining them, what works for one may not work for the other. They are not the same person. They will both react differently to different situations, and will like different things, so avoid treating them the same at all costs.
This will allow them to be confident in who they are, and you will see their personalities start to flourish.
4. Learn to be patient.
There will be lots of crying, loss of sleep, diaper blowouts, and a whole lot far and in between. You will get overwhelmed sometimes and if you don’t learn to be patient when it comes to your kids, you could suffer. Patience will keep you from falling apart and/or keep you from having breakdowns, and it will eventually help you get used to all of the wildness going on around you and help you adapt to it. You’ll be a pro in no time at all as long as you have this one important trait (trust me it makes a ton of difference).
5. Don’t show any favoritism.
This is one of the most damaging things you could do to your children. It could cause one or both of them to show resentment both towards each other and the parents because they feel one sibling is favored more than the other. Having favorites could damage all relationships involved.
6. Teach the older sibling to care for the younger sibling.
One of the best things I feel I could have even done was to teach my oldest daughter to love her little sister. When I first had my younger daughter Ella, my older daughter Lea (these are not their actual names) was about 11 months old.
When we brought Ella home, Lea wasn’t too fond of her. When I would try to let her look at Ella, or kiss her, she would just try to smack her in the face. And it was because of that, that my fiancé and I persisted to get her to get used to her sister being around. After a month or so, Lea always wanted to kiss and look at Ella.
And a year later, they are thick as thieves. Everyday as I watch them interact with each other, it just makes me smile to see how close they are and how much you can tell they love each other.
7. Wear your youngest.
Having two little ones that are a couple months apart, can get really busy. More than likely you will be running around after your oldest, so I would suggest buying a sling or chest carrier and wear your baby. That way you can still move around and have your hands free to do other stuff.
This was a life saver for me when I had Ella. I was able to have her strapped to my chest with my favorite wrap carrier, cook for Lea, clean up the house, and even nurse all at the same time. I prefer a wrap over a normal carrier because I could wrap her close to me and could even wrap her up to the point where it would support her head as well and not have to worry about her being smothered. A definite must-have because it will make that first year a little bit easier.
8. Have them sleep in different rooms (if possible).
There is a good chance that your oldest child is finally sleeping through the night by now and you don’t want to risk messing that up. So a great way to avoid this is to keep the kids in separate rooms, if possible. You could keep the baby in the bedroom with you, and the other in their own bedroom.
I’m sure you know that the baby will be waking up and crying throughout the night, so this will help a lot to have them separated until they are both sleeping through the night so you don’t end up any more sleep deprived than you already are. Especially if you are a working momma like I am.
9. Don’t argue with your partner in front of the kids.
Every relationship has it’s ups and downs, and every now and then things can get a little heated, but never argue and fight in front of the kids. Kids can pick up on emotions and can feel when something is wrong which can make them upset.
The last thing you want to do is scare the kids because the two people they love the most are not getting along and are upset with each other. This too can make children prefer one parent over the other. The best thing to do if you are arguing is to do it in private.
10. Don’t blame the baby.
There may be times when your older child may want you to do something with them, like play, read a book, etc., and you may not be able to do it because you are dealing with the baby. So instead of saying something like, “Sorry honey, I’m feeding the baby right now,” tell them, “Sure honey, give mommy a few minutes and we can read that book as many times as you want.”
By giving them something to look forward to, they will forget about the fact that you can’t play with them at that moment because you are feeding the baby. It will keep your kid happy and it will avoid having your older child developing resentment towards their younger sibling because they are taking up all of Mommy’s time.
11. Play with them together.
When you play with them together it teaches them how to get along with one another. And you bond with them equally. It also teaches them how to share and avoids you showing any kind of favoritism.
Plus there is nothing like playing with your kids while they laugh and smile. It’s good for your heart and takes your mind off of the stress of trying to raise two under two.
I hope these tips help you on your journey to raising your two beautiful babies under two.