When I got pregnant with my second baby at only four months postpartum, I was overwhelmed, to say the least. I was barely surviving one baby and the work that went into motherhood – how could I prepare for two?
When my second was born, I quickly became so sick of hearing, “That’s gotta be crazy, but someday they will be best friends.” What I needed were genuine help and tips to survive these kids!
So, I have put together five tips that have helped me stay sane as I raise two toddlers.
Teach Your Oldest To Walk ASAP
As soon as I got pregnant with my second child, I knew I could not carry two babies around at the same time. I also couldn’t carry my oldest when I was 40 weeks pregnant with my second. (Bless twin moms!) Now, every child develops at a different pace when it comes to walking but there are some ways you can encourage your child to walk a little sooner. Going barefoot is one of the top ways to help your child get walking. Bare feet allow your child to develop the muscles required for the good balance needed when walking. We practiced constantly, going barefoot as often as possible. My daughter was walking at eleven months old, not necessarily because she wanted to but because I desperately needed her to. Another tip is to find surfaces that are slightly slanted, like hills, and have your child walk up them. This teaches them to pick up their feet which is needed when walking.
Put Them in the Same Diaper Size
As soon as your oldest child’s diaper size doesn’t completely drown your new baby, just use one size. My son (the second) started wearing size four diapers at two months old because it was just easier. You don’t have to worry about stocking your diaper bag with two sizes or buying two sizes at the store. The bigger diapers also prevented a lot of blowouts.
Get Your Oldest a Small Backpack.
As soon as your oldest can walk well enough to carry something, get a small backpack. I was so tired of lugging around a huge diaper bag filled with enough things for both kids. I bought my daughter her own little backpack and packed all of the things that she could carry in her bag. She loved it and felt like a big girl. I loved it because I didn’t have as much to carry around.
Potty Train at the Same Time.
This sounds crazy but hear me out. My kids are a year and seventeen days apart. I have tried since my daughter (the oldest) was two years old to get her interested in potty training and she just refused. She found the diaper way more convenient since she didn’t have to stop playing to go. All the potty training methods failed with her because she would just dig a diaper out and use it no matter what. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago when my son suddenly decided to go potty in the toilet that she suddenly wanted to be a “big girl.” Now it is a competition for them and they are about 70% potty trained. They have fun going together and helping each other out. Thank goodness!
Learn to Let It Go.
The most important tip I can give you is to learn to let things go. Two kids this close in age means lots of messes and trouble. It means two kids that can’t communicate so there is a lot of frustration from everyone. My house is a constant mess and I have a whole Pinterest board with ideas for when my kids finally stop coloring on everything. Some days I wish we could all go back to bed and start the day over. Some days the iPad is the parent so that I can get through the mountain of laundry. Some days I see the promise that they will be best friends and it makes the hard days worth it.