What It’s Really Like
When we brought our newborn home and our oldest son met him, it was the cutest scene. Since that day, it has been so much fun watching our son go from ignoring him the first couple of weeks, to bonding with him and now wanting to sit right next to him when he watches Sesame Street. I look forward to them being best friends. This is the sweet part. However, on certain days, having two young children can be a logistical nightmare.
Imagine going to Marshalls with your toddler and infant. You find a random cart in the parking lot, so you put your toddler in the front of it and your infant’s seat in the cart’s basket. Now there’s no room in the cart, so as you shop you place your new sweaters, footie pajamas for the kids and holiday decorations under the cart. Some of the clothes fall onto the floor and get run over by the wheels, leaving tons of dirty little cart tire marks that you discover once you get home. Forget about that for now.
While you’re shopping, your toddler begs to get out of the cart, so you oblige him but then he cries because somehow he thought you were going to carry him around the store, shop and push the cart at the same time (he’s overdue for his nap). Once you’ve had enough, you check out and attempt to leave but the wheels on the cart automatically lock when you get to the front door and you can’t roll your kids to car. Dammit, you cart thieves. This shouldn’t be necessary. You can feel the bitter cold air and wind coming in. Your toddler is still crying because you won’t carry him and remember, he missed his nap. Let’s take inventory. You now have a huge diaper bag, heavy shopping bags to carry with holiday decorations and other stuff that you now wish you’d just left on the shelf, plus a crying toddler attempting to climb you, and a 17 lb infant in a car seat. I don’t know how much the car seat weighs by itself, but with the 17 lb infant inside, it feels like a total of 100 lbs. There is no one nearby to ask for help and you really wouldn’t want to. These are your kids and your unnecessary holiday decorations, sweaters and baby stuff. You stand there looking crazy, kinda laughing and feeling a bit sorry for yourself. What do you do? How did you get yourself into this quandary, anyway?
Clearly this happened to me. It was a few days ago. Long story short, I figured it out. We always do. When we got home, I even managed to get my sleeping toddler into the house along with my 100 lb infant and car seat combination, plus the bags. In the cold. All by myself.
With careful planning, I can probably avoid this exact scenario the next time I shop, by leaving the diaper bag in the car or not packing one at all. It’s easier for me to just keep the trunk stocked with the essentials. If someone has a blowout, we’ll just have to go to the car. Luckily, this isn’t a common occurrence when we’re out. I’ll also take the baby Bjorn to carry my infant on my body. This exact thing won’t happen again but there will be other scenarios. When you have an infant and a toddler these things happen.
Read on for more examples from other moms.
“Sometimes when I’m nursing my newborn, my oldest gets jealous and tries to sit on him, I mean on my lap. I’m not sure what her intentions are, actually. It’s hard to get her off of me. I feel really bad because I know she needs attention too, but the newborn is ALWAYS nursing.”
The fix: The best way to combat jealousy with my own toddler has been to give him some immediate affection and reassurance. When my hands or lap are occupied, I can still shower him with kisses. I’m learning that another way to combat jealousy is with alone time with my toddler. I make sure I always read a story with him before his nap. Sometimes it’s a super short story but if he picks a longer book and I don’t have the time, I just skip a bunch of pages and paragraphs. He hasn’t caught on yet. I also try to spend time each day teaching him something, dancing with him or just cuddling and watching Sesame Street. It doesn’t have to take long but it adds up.
“My infant had a diaper blowout and my 18 month old was having a meltdown in Toys R Us”
The fix: When something like this happens to me, I try to take care of the most immediate need first. That could mean carrying or rolling them both (kicking and screaming, in this case) to the nearest changing station. Then we can figure out what is causing the meltdown. That could take a while.
So clearly, caring for two babies at the same time can be a juggling act. There are so many great things, too. Here are just a few of the great things that come along with it.
Top 3 Benefits of Having Two Under Two
1. You’re already used to caring for a newborn and you have more confidence so you’ll know how to sleep train or what to do when your newborn gets the sniffles, for instance. It will also be nice to have the hard part over and done in a few years.
2. They’ll be besties and will likely have some similar interests. They’ll entertain each other and play reasonable well together (this is my hope).
3. Daycare, activities and school will require less traveling so you’ll have more time to do other things that you enjoy when you’re not taking care of family.
Experienced mamas, what are some other pros and cons of having two under two???