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Two Under Two: Handling the Chaos and Reaping the Benefits!

April 16, 2012

Maybe you’re still learning the ropes with your first baby, and already pregnant with your second. Or perhaps your little one just celebrated six months and you’re already thinking about when you might start trying for a second. As the median age of first-time moms rises, a lot of women are considering optimizing their fertile years and having two children under the age of two. Whether you’re already headed down the path, or just tossing around the idea, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to tackle the challenge. Luckily, we’ll tell you about a few strategies, and even some unexpected benefits!

With two tiny ones at home, multi-tasking becomes the name of the game. Your infant and toddler are both at their neediest, and both sets of needs at once can be tough. The first thing you’ll want to do is booby trap your home with solutions to both of your children’s needs. Divide your home into zones where much of your daily activities take place. You might have a kitchen zone, a family room zone, a bedroom zone, and a basement zone. Have a stash of diaper change supplies in each zone, in addition to a comfortable spot for breastfeeding, some toddler-friendly snacks and games, and safe spots to contain your little ones when you need to turn your back for a minute, like a bouncer or an Exersaucer.

You’ll also become accustomed to prioritizing right in the moment. When your baby has a diaper blowout and your toddler ignites a tantrum right at the same time, you may feel like melting down yourself! But remember that you can only do one thing at a time. Identify the most immediate need and tend to it expediently, while putting your other child in her secure spot and reminding her that you’ll tend to her as soon as you’re finished. Don’t feel guilty about making one child wait; learning to share time, space, and attention with their siblings is an important lesson for both of your kids!

And check out the silver lining! Having two children so close in age means that they’ll enjoy many of the same activities at the same time. Your toy stash can really work for both kids at the same time, as their proximity, developmentally speaking, will mean that they’ll each enjoy the same music-makers, learning toys, and building blocks. Plus, they’ll enjoy many of the same activities throughout their lives. Taking two toddlers to a toddler-oriented park, or two “big kids” to a science museum means that you’ll always have two engaged kids, and won’t need to think of ways to entertain an older or younger child who might feel “aged out”. They may even share friends and clothes as they grow!

So while it might seem daunting, and it is, having two under two is a practice that is increasing in popularity and CAN be done! A little preparation and strategy go a long way, and in the long run, you may have two kids who are the best of friends!

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