I originally wrote this post in 2017, just three months after having my second, which was 19 months after my first. I didn’t intend to have 2 under 2, and I generally recommend you don’t because it has been the most physically and emotionally draining period of my life. I should have taken more time to rest, and care for myself as a mother and human who deserved a period of adjustment into motherhood
I know have a 4 & 6 year old at home, and reading this old post brought back a flood of memories. Each stage is hard in its own way, and as mother’s we will be challenged to grow with each of them. There’s no easier days ahead, there’s just different days and different challenges.
- Sometimes Motherhood feels like a Broken Dream
- Millennials Moms: Trapped at Home
- Motherhood Makes Mental Health Hard #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth
My littlest isn’t so little anymore. She’s now three months, and likely a whopping 14 pounds. She doesn’t fit into newborn cloth diapers anymore, and we’ve finally sold the stash of newborn aio cloth diapers. Sometimes, depending on the bulk of my flat diaper, I opened the rise snap of the OS covers to the middle rise during the flats and hand washing challenge. I’m quickly reminded how fleeting newborn hood is.
Somehow, I’ve survived the first three months with 2 under 2.
My biggest isn’t so little anymore. He’s almost 2, and a whopping 32+ pounds. He’s pushing the limits on his one-size cloth diapers, and I’m only buying bigger diapers for him (I would love suggestions for diapers that might work for him). For the most, he’s on an open rise setting. Next year, if he’s still in diapers, I’m not sure what will fit him. Toddlerhood feels even more fleeting. He’s growing up each day.
Somehow, I’m still around to tell you How to Survive 2 under 2.
2 Under 2 Survival
The last three months of my life with 2 under 2 has been a constant stream of diaper changes, feeding small children, and convincing them to go to sleep.
Changing Diapers isn’t so bad, most of the time. But the laundry piles up quickly, and the diapers are still in the dryer when the next load comes in. I change diapers every two hours, if not sooner for poops. My kids like to poop. Its why they are 85% + percentile kids (I think). Its not unusual to use 15 diapers a day between the two. I wash diapers every second day. When I use disposables, I take out the trash way too often.
Diapers aren’t even the bulk of my laundry. Small children make messes. Feeding toddlers is a constant game of guessing and playing with our food. Sleeves covered in spaghetti sauce, and pants caked in yogurt, the food battle doesn’t help the laundry situation. Maybe we need a super duper bib…
But its not just the toddler, newborns are messy too. She might not be able to sit on her own, but she can spit up. Little Man didn’t ever spit up like she does. If I’m not careful, I’m wishing I had brought a second shirt when we go out. We all go thru more changes of clothes than I care to wash. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have caught the post about my pile of laundry that’s still sitting on the living room chair one week later. #wehavetoomanyclothes
Sleep is and will always be my nightmare. I hate convincing small children to sleep. It brings me so much stress and anxiety. Sleep triggers my post partum aggression and makes me a mom I don’t want to be. I’m blessed and grateful Little Miss is an AMAZING sleeper. She sleeps longer and better than her brother ever has. It’s just who she is. But the toddler, he’s working on his two year molars, and any sleep habits we had formed are out the window. My babies will never cry it out, so this mama just has to keep cuddling. He falls asleep eventually, and he just needs his mama. It’s just who he is.
Oh, did I mention I’m tandem nursing. My toddler didn’t wean during my pregnancy. So it’s two nursing babies. More on that another time.
How to Survive 2 under 2.
3 months later, here are my top pieces of wisdom on how to survive 2 under 2.
Ask For Help
Ask for Help – I’m so not good at this. I’m sure you aren’t either. But asking for help will be the best thing you do. I need to ask for help more often.Especially when… doctors appointments, vaccinations, mental health appointments, bed time routine, grocery shopping, finding time to blog, the list goes on.
For me, meal planning is less about a strict routine and more about gentle flexibility. I pick out 4-5 meals to shop for and then make them when I want to. These meals usually rely on staple ingredients that I can cook from frozen or store in my freezer.
My craving changes daily, so I can’t set a month of meals and go with it. What if I don’t like that texture or flavour that week? Instead I have a gentle routine with myself, and a few easy-to-grab meals that are a great choice on weeknights. Also, give yourself grace and just make egg sandwiches some nights.
I also had a friend tell me she meal preps in the morning when the kids are happy. If you’re living that stay at home mom life, this can be a fantastic way to get dinner ready without cranky kids asking for snacks. Make breakfast, put them out to play, and then just prep dinner, toss it in the crockpot or fridge and reheat at 5pm.
Give into Cuddles
Give in to the Cuddles – I don’t really need to do this or that; sometimes, everyone just needs a cuddle on the couch, in the bed, or wherever. Sometimes, everyone just needs to have a rest together.
I also believe sleep when the baby’s sleep. The laundry, the chores, the cleaning it can all wait. Take care of yourself, rest and just enjoy these moments. I know that sounds cliche and overwhelming, but there will be times when you can catch up, and I don’t regret snuggles 6 years later.
- Bedtime makes me an Angry Mom.
- Solo Mama: Managing Toddler & Baby Bedtime
- How to Cope with a Toddler Who DOESN’T like Bedtime
Paw Patrol, Moana, and Sing – I’m no saint, and the past three months my toddler has watched more television than I care to admit. But, when the goings get rough, you just got to do what you can to stay sane. The TV mostly comes on when Little Miss is nursing and nursing and nursing. If Little Man is cranky pants tired, bored or whatever, that’s when I use the Paw Patrol Zombie to my advantage.
This is really helpful if you don’t have help, or your husband is not around.
Get out of the House
Get OUT of the HOUSE – This might just apply to me. I suffer from cabin fever syndrome hard (yes, I just made that up). My toddler thrives on social interaction and nature, just like me. As soon as my 6 weeks of self-care and baby-attention were up, we got back into the groove and hit up our mom groups, hike it baby groups and just anywhere.Even just the deck – I bought him a water table so we can be outside. He likes watching people, and driving his truck thru the dirt. I like having a break from noise, climbing, and whatever toddlers do in the house.
- Getting Out with 2 Under 2
- 5 Things About Travelling Alone with Toddlers that Suck
- Do you need a Double Stroller for 2 under 2?
CONTAINMENT IS KEY – How do you get out of the house with 2 under 2? You contain them. Strollers and baby wearing gizmos and you are good to go. DON’T EVER THINK TO LET YOUR TODDLER WALK ON HIS OWN… HE WILL RUN INTO TRAFFIC. #lessonlearnt #morethanonceOnly let him run in safe spaces, otherwise, strap that kid to your back or into the stroller.
This is why you need a double stroller, and this baby wearing minimal baby gear mama will talk you into one.
Did you survive 2 under 2? What’s your most helpful advice?
Honestly, don’t do it. Why would you put yourself thru chasing a rambunctious toddler while caring for a needy newborn? Sure, they’ll be BFF’s later in life, but its physically exhausting. Don’t ever go to anyone’s house that isn’t toddler proofed. Don’t ever expect to sleep. And purchase a lifetime supply of coffee. You can find some here on Well. ca. (I don’t drink that, but they don’t sell what I drink and I used to like that brand) or better yet subscribe to Amazon Subscribe & Save to have it delivered monthly! (Amazon doesn’t sell my coffee either)