I’ve been updating some of my blog posts this year (2021), and I stumbled upon this one… and you know what I miss are these days? It was so easy to take two kids out when they were little. Now I have an almost 5 year old and a 6 year old, and I can barely bargain with them to get out the door. They both can run in so many directions, they can team up with each other and they can fight.
I know it felt really overwhelming to be a new mom of two under two, but each passing month is new and different, and somehow – more challenging. You can do this, and then one day you’ll wonder how you did it, but you did. I did manage to take them both on a ferry ride this summer, and we did take them both on a plane at some point. It gets easier, and then harder, then easier, then harder.
- Flying with Carseats
- Adventures in Tandem Nursing: Breastfeeding a Baby AND a Toddler
- Board Games my 4 & 6 year old Love
- Books My Kids Love (Aged 4 & 5)
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. I do most of this solo because my husband works for the railway.
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.
This post might contain affiliate links. Purchases from these links provide a revenue to the blog at no additional cost to yourself. This was originally posted in June 12, 2017 and updated in 2021.
How to get out with 2 Under 2
When I originally wrote this blog post, I was a new mom. I have a secret now – everyone is different. This is what really worked for me as a mom to get out of the house solo with 2 under 2, but it might not work for you. We all have our limitations and these really change based on our personal mental health and well-being.
- Go with Friends (Bring an extra set of hands)
- Start with places your comfortable with
- Bring a stroller or a wagon
- Be comfortable feeding your baby
- Pack Ahead, and pre-pack your vehicle.
I also live in a centralized community where it rarely takes me more than 5-10 minutes to get anywhere… even a remote trail. So much of my experience leaving the house with kids meant a quick drive home to return. Even when I visit my family in Vancouver, I know that I can sit down in a quiet place and reset. In Prince George, I just come home when things go wrong. Things didn’t start going wrong till I had a 4- year old. What is it about 4- year olds?!
Go with Friends
One mom two kids is a lot. But two moms four kids is way easier.
My first outings as a new mom was with our local Hike it Baby Group that I was involved with. It was someone to talk to, someone else for the kids to talk to, and an extra set of eyes that noticed if someone was somewhere, and if someone needed something. When you go with another group of parents, it can be way easier and less stressful. Plus if you forget your wipes, you know you’re covered by someone else.
- Mom Friends: Just Keep Showing Up
- 6 things that are really hard about camping with kids
- How to Survive 2 under 2 – The First 3 Months
Start With Your Favourites
Return to familiar trails, local playgrounds, and places you’ve already been. This eases the experience because you know what to expect, what services you can find, and how it might all go down.
We really enjoy going to the big local park, and the dog park. They were familiar easy places in my community. As I got to know what parenting two under two was like, we started taking on new adventures and places we never been.
- Mastering the Art of Hiking with Toddlers
- 5 Amazing Places to Babywear #carryon
- My Secret to Happy Traveling with Young Children
Stroller is your Friend
I was stubborn for the longest time and tried to baby wear and carry all the things, but there’s a certain point in this journey of parenting two young, fast, and big kids that you just need to embrace the stroller. Be smart, push the heavy, carry the light, and find a way to do it all without getting touched out.
- Do you need a Double Stroller for 2 under 2?
- ZOE XL2 BEST v2 Review
- 1+1 = Mini Board! [Bumbleride Mini Board Review & Giveaway]
I wish I bought a double stroller sooner… and if I was doing it again in 2022, I might consider a wagon. I have a Costco wagon and it did a great job for many years in helping carry all the stuff to the playground, the beach, or even for a walk around the block.
Get Comfortable with Feedings
There’s no need to rush out of the house. I know that the mom groups make it seem like you get a prize for being the first one to hit up Target, but really take it slow. Be comfortable feeding your baby before you leave the house with two kids. You gotta heal, you gotta find your groove, and you gotta be able to do this at home before you tackle the outdoors.
I was a breastfeeding mother, so we definitely waited till that relationship was formed, and when things were rough, we would stay home and nurture that relationship more.
- Adventures in Tandem Nursing: Breastfeeding a Baby AND a Toddler
- Breastfeeding During the Second Trimester
Pack ahead of Time & Create a Car Station
I still do this in 2022, but this time it’s the trunk of my Truck and it’s full of swim gear, buckets, and a wagon. It has a few other essentials as well but keeping a go-bag in your vehicle with the things you might forget is so helpful. Also, snacks. All the snacks. I also always have a baby carrier in the truck. You never know when you’ll need it, or who will need it. These are my favourite snacks for in the vehicle
Pack your diaper bag ahead of time, or keep it stocked and ready to grab and go. When the opportunity to leave arrives the fewer things to do the easier and better it is to get out of the house. When it’s time to leave, we change the diapers, put them in sweaters, toss them in their car seats, and then we go. I have a backpack ready, or that I packed in the morning or the day before.
- Cloth Diapering 2 on the Go with Planet Wise Wet/Dry Bag
- 10 Other Things to Stash in Snack Bag Besides Snacks
- EcoMom Choice: Clek Convertible Carseat
- Just Make the Muffins, Bailey
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 my husband can help me load up the kids, or unload the kids from the car on his way to and from work/ 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.
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.
Just do it. Don’t over think it.
- The Art of Solo Parenting
- Sometimes Motherhood feels like a Broken Dream
- 6 years later: What I wish I knew in my first year of cloth diapering