My daughter - my first born baby - recently turned two and my son - my second born baby - will soon be five months, I still can’t believe it! I’m not sure where that time went. It feels like I only had my daughter yesterday, and yet here I am as a Mum who has enjoyed the fun, the sweet moments and the chaos that comes with having two under two.
It has been so sweet to watch my girl become a big sister - chatting away to her brother, giving him cuddles and adoring him since the day we came home from the hospital. And it’s just as sweet to see my baby boy smiling back at his sister, and now laughing with her and trying to babble back as he get’s older.
Admittedly, the adjustment for me was tough at first (and it probably was for my first born too) particularly in those first few weeks. But, once we found our groove as a now family of four, we relished our new normal.
So, to those mammas (and dadas!) thinking about - or about to be in the trenches with - two under two, here are some of my learnings:
Prepare in advance
This goes beyond preparing for your new baby’s arrival in the usual way - you know the drill...new baby clothes, setting up the crib and stocking up on those newborn nappies. Help your toddler to prepare in advance by talking to your toddler about the baby (you may think they cannot understand, especially if they do not have a large vocabulary, but believe me they do!). You can help to make this big change such a special and exciting time for them. Chat to your toddler about your ever expanding belly during the pregnancy, read books together about a new baby and even get your toddler some baby dolls and toy baby products so that they can play ‘mummy’ too!
Be Gentle On Yourself Postpartum
Mamma, take your time in the fourth trimester and enlist the help of your tribe to allow you, Dad, baby and toddler the time to bond. It’s important for you, and the journey you’ve just been through bringing baby into the world, to be gentle on yourself as you heal after the birth, as you bond with baby, and as you bond as a growing family.
Toddlers Tend To Love Familiarity
If your toddler has a routine (even if it’s quite loose), do your best to stick to that. Baby will easily adapt to your toddlers routine, not so much the other way around! By maintaining your toddlers routine as much as possible it will give them the familiarity they crave - which is especially important with this big change in their little life. At the end of the day, you know your babies best, and what will work best for them.
Quality One on One Time
Carve out some one on one time to spend with your toddler. This is important for both Mum and Dad to achieve. Your toddler is used to being the centre of attention - and not in a bad way, that’s just what they are used to as there was only one of them! It fills everyone’s cup to have some real quality one on one time with each child in the family. Maybe Mum can have some one on one time playing toys with toddler while baby takes a morning nap, and Dad can have some one on one time when he gets home from work (or even early in the morning before work if your toddler is an early riser). On the weekend Mum can take toddler shopping while Dad is with baby, and then Dad can take toddler to the pool for a swim while Mum is with baby.
Enjoy Time Together As A Family
Enjoy plenty of family outings together - from a day at the museum, to a road trip getaway, to a simple afternoon at the park - it’s fun for everyone, it helps toddler and baby to bond, and you’ll create some great family memories along the way.
With a whole lot of love and a go-with-the-flow attitude it is possible to survive and thrive with two under two.