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Life with 2 under 2 is a hoot. It’s exhausting, and kind of invigorating. There are nights with little sleeps, mornings with way too much screaming, and afternoons that drag on and on. I stay sane by getting out of the house with my 2 in tow. Getting outside with 2 under 2 is scary and intimidating, but you can do it. I admit to having hesitations most days. I dread changing diapers, dressing children and finding shoes for everyone. Fighting my toddler into a car seat while my newborn screams about her displeasure is less than enjoyable. Spending 15 minutes to put shoes back on, set up a stroller or wrap, and ensure everyone is ready to hit the trail is overwhelming. And then having to do it all in reverse… STOP THINKING ABOUT IT AND JUST DO IT. I guarantee, even if shit hits the fan, its worth it to get out with 2 under 2 because your toddler needs a little less Paw Patrol, and you need a little more social interaction. And if shit does hit the fan, you’ve got a funny story to tell (oh, and please do tell me in the comments!)
How to get out with 2 Under 2
Whether it’s a play date at the park, a birthday party, or a trip to the grocery store getting out with 2 under 2 is an overwhelming experience, but you just do it. Put the anxieties and stress aside and JUST DO IT. That’s the best tip I have and then I have these suggestions to make it a little more enjoyable and less stressful.
- Go with Friends: Hitting the trail with a group of friends is easier than bringing your significant other because moms are just in the know that you need help and provide the extra set of helping hands to keep the kids under control.
- Our first outings were with our local Hike it Baby group and I knew with 4-5-6 other women with toddlers, I would have all the support I would need. When I was trapped nursing the baby, another alert mama was able to chase my toddler off the cliff for me. Likewise, I could leave my stroller with the group to chase my toddler back onto the trail. Notice a trend… he doesn’t so much run away as he finds something much more interesting to explore.
Hike it Baby makes me a better mama. I love having casual drop in opportunities to get together. The no pressure to be on time, or be put together, or to have a cooperating toddler is totally my jam. Today, I loaded up the kids and got outside and it was worth every anxiety I had. This mama needs social interaction to be a better person, alone in my house my thoughts get the best of me. Thanks @kirstendshockey for having us join your family at the park. . . #hikeitbaby #hikeitbabypg #postpartum #getoutside #2under2 #cityofpg #optoutside #childhoodunplugged #postpartumhealth #outdoorfamilies #letthembelittle #momlife #bebetter #bepresent #takeonpg #familytime
- Ease in with your favourite trails/playgrounds: Return to the familiar trails because its just easy. You know the landscape, the benches, the length of time, etcetera. And so does the toddler. Choose these places first, and choose the easy favourite places. After that, do something new and different.
- The stroller is your friend: I never imagined I would love the stroller, but with 2 under 2 the stroller is a great safe space to put down a newborn to play, interact and chase the older child. Its cumbersome to do this while baby wearing a newborn.
- Chasing small children off boulders with an even smaller less-head controlled newborn strapped to you is less than enjoyable.
- We have gone without a stroller, it can be done, but it is just easier with one. If I don’t bring a double stroller, I opt to swap out the newborn to wear while the toddler rides in the stroller. Be smart, push the heavy and carry the light. However, you’ll notice I tend to wear Walter more, and thats mostly before it seems easier when mixing running and wrangling.
- Comfortable with feeding: before hitting the trails make sure you’ve figured out how to feed your newborn and your toddler.
- Whether it’s being comfortable breastfeeding or bottle feeding, being at ease with this will make for an easier journey. Also, don’t forget about the toddler because chances are the toddler will want to eat more than the newborn.
- Pack Ahead of Time: I find it helpful my vehicle is already packed with supplies for hikes and adventures and my diaper bag is mostly packed most of the time. With strollers, blankets, outside clothing and more already packed in the van, it’s just a matter of packing up the children and leaving when the time comes.
- Pro Tip: In my vehicle I keep GroVia Biosoakers (fits every size), change of clothing for everyone (just a t-shirt usually), First Aid Kit, Stash of Granola Bars, and a bag full of hats and gloves (the cold always surprises me).
Other random things I do.
- I leave when my husband leaves, or plan to come home when my husband is expected to be home. This way I can get at least one set of extra helping hands during the debacle. I always try to be home with groceries when he comes home because while it is possible to unload with 2 under 2, it’s a lot of work.
- I typically buckle in Little Miss into her seat and then chase down my toddler in the front lawn and buckle him in when leaving from home. When we return, I usually grab Little Miss first, and then unbuckle Little Man with one hand and help him down and into the house. [keep in mind I don’t use bucket seats, straight into a convertible Clek]
- Sometimes its easier to walk than drive, and we load up the double stroller and just go.
- Snacks & Food: I keep the front console of my minivan stuffed with snacks to share with the toddler, and myself. I take full advantage of any and all drive thru’s and bribe my toddler to cooperate on hikes and trails. #noshame.
Do you feel prepared? Think you can venture out on your own?What keeps you from leaving the house with kids in tow?
Trust in yourself. You are an amazing mama and you can do anything. You keep these children alive each day and give them the experiences to learn and grow and become amazing tiny humans. I love watching my child explore the outdoors, and be considerate little people when in shops and restaurants. Is it stressful? Yes. Are people judging me for having a toddler who acts like a toddler? Yes. But, at the end of the day, nobody really remembers me and if they do, they probably think, “woah, she’s crazy and that toddler smeared whip cream all over the chair, and that was kind of hilarious.” Nobody ever thinks I’m a bad mom for leaving the house and experiencing the world with kids in tow. It’s just one way I rock at motherhood.