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#1 of 20 Old 07-01-2014, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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2 Under 2

I think there are at least a few of us that have had 2 babes under two, or are currently expecting 2 under two. More experienced mamas, can you give out any tips? I remember with DD1 the time frame around the second birthday brought a lot of big changes-- moving into a bed, weaning, potty training. Right now I'm just wondering how I'm going to parent DD2 through those big transitions during late pregnancy/the newborn days. I'm a planner, what can I say!
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#2 of 20 Old 07-01-2014, 07:19 PM
 
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Following! I will have two under two for the first time! EEK!

Sewing, gardening, home birthing, co-sleeping, extended nursing, cloth diapering, baby-wearing, home schooling, attachment parenting busy mommy to dd1 (7), dd2 (4), ds (1) and two in heaven. 
 
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#3 of 20 Old 07-01-2014, 09:32 PM
 
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I can say I've btdt a couple times. Honestly, I can't remember much of it, except taking it one day at a time. Just accept that sometimes you will be really exhausted, and sometimes not much will get done, but as long as you take care of your children AND their mother, that is a monumental task to ask of anyone. It won't last forever, that is the truth, so try to relax and live in the moment and enjoy your children. And don't forget to sleep whenever you can get it. I don't have any specific advice, really, looking back that's what I take away from it all.

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
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#4 of 20 Old 07-02-2014, 06:31 AM
 
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I've not had 2 under 2, but pretty close. All my kids are 2 years apart, give or take a month or two. When my first was 22 months, my second came along (I guess that's technically 2 under 2) and I was so worried. My first had been a nightmare baby and was still having a lot of problems. We suspected autism based on a few different things she was doing (or not doing). So when #2 came along, I was scared. Not that he'd be a repeat of her, but that I couldn't handle a newborn/infant on top of my high maintenance daughter. She wasn't potty trained, she wasn't even really talking yet. She had out-of-body tantrums over the craziest things (not normal 2 year old tantrums).

So how did I do it? Haha! I have no idea! I just... did. The first couple months were hard. I had post partum depression and was recovering from a bad birth and unplanned c/s. But somehow, we did make it through. I don't remember it being horrific. I don't remember crying a lot or feeling out of control. I know the house wasn't always clean and I had to let go of some of my super-mom ideals. I spent a lot of time with a friend who had kids who were similar in age.

And around the time #2 started crawling, a wonderful thing happened. My daughter finally acknowledged him and started coming out of that secret little world she was living in. She started talking. She stopped lining up her toys. She potty-trained herself one night. It was like a miracle. I know this is off-topic, but I love remembering it and talking about it. It was like my son was sent just for her. Now they are best friends (and, sometimes, worst enemies). She is still a little "off", but only those closest to her would notice, and it's certainly no big deal.

So my advice is to not worry and to not spend too much time pre-planning. You'll spend some time in survival mode and go to bed pretty darn tired some nights. You might think you are going crazy from time to time, but it's so so worth it, especially when they get older. You will also have awesome moments when your heart melts and you will think you are the luckiest mom in the whole world

One more piece of advice- when you are faced with a situation where you pretty much have the choice of laughing or crying, just laugh. This usually involves some gigantic, horrific mess the kids have made while you are in bathroom or on the phone. Whether you laugh or cry, the mess will not go away and will have to be cleaned, so just laugh... it helps. But this is true even for one child.... It amazes me how much damage a child can do to a room in such a short amount of time!

Corrie, "trad" Catholic, wife to DH and Mom to DD (4/07), DS (2/09), DD (2/11), DD (4/13), two angel babies. 
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#5 of 20 Old 07-02-2014, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Cagnew-- I was really touched by your post. Thanks for being so real-- how refreshing! And I'm so happy you see change in your precious daughter. And the phrase "out of body tantrums" resonated-- my DD1 had those as a toddler, plus colic for the first 6 months of life. We didn't even CONSIDER adding a second to our family until she was 2 because of the stress of it all.

Gabeyho, I love your signature-- I can't add even a moment to my life by worrying. It was a timely reminder that worrying/over-planning reveals a lack of trust. And it's great to hear you don't remember-- must not have made too much of an impression (or maybe your memories were blocked, hahaha).
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#6 of 20 Old 07-02-2014, 09:18 PM
 
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Thanks Duchess! You really do forget it all once it passes. It's such a short span of time, even though it feels like it will never end at the time.

I'm glad you enjoy my signature! It's one of my favorite verses. Worrying is such a trap, so easy to fall into, and so hard to get out of, yet changes nothing and adds no value to our lives. It serves me well to be reminded often.

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
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#7 of 20 Old 07-03-2014, 09:15 AM
 
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I had 2 under two and that whole "the days are long but the years are short" thing really applied. Babywearing was very helpful so I'd recommend a good wrap (I love the Sleepy Wrap) and the ergo was a lifesaver for me. Some of my biggest obstacles were:
1. the toddler waking the baby or being extremely noisy as I was getting the baby to sleep and then messing up any chance I had at getting her down for a nap.


2. the toddler getting into trouble and/or desperately needing me to come rescue her from the top of the dresser or something always just after I'd set up camp on the couch and started the long process of nursing the newborn. (nursing wasn't very easy for me so it was an ordeal every time.)


Eventually I could run around doing stuff I needed to do WHILE nursing and it became much easier. The napping thing never got easier until the toddler started her first year at preschool and she was gone during the nap. Now they are 3 and 4 and the best of friends. I don't know how people do it with kids farther apart. I always think, "who do they play with?!" They do everything together, she share well, they get into these complicated and creative dramatic play scenarios, they build forts, they help each other, they comfort each other. It's awesome. As hard as the first few months/1st year is, if you can stick it out through that, it gets so much better in my experience.


One thing we did that I think helped a lot was when big sister came into meet the newborn we purposely had the newborn in a bassinet and I was there with open arms ready to receive the toddler. We sort of peaked over and discovered the baby together and took it really slowly. Eventually we decided to hold the baby together and check out her toes and belly button, etc. I believe it made a difference to not have her mommy's lab occupied by some new baby when she got to see me in the hospital. We also gave her some big stickers that she could use to decorate the baby and she stuck them on her blanket. With her sister covered in Elmo and not taking up her mommy's lap, she loved her right away! We never had any sibling rivalry issues when they were little. I also focused a lot on things like, during lunch I would say to my older girl, "Mmmm, carrots are so yummy. So sorry baby, you cannot eat carrots. You're too little. Only Lula and mommy can have carrots, right Lu? We can have carrots because we are big and we have teeth to chew. But babies cannot." She felt so close to me and like we were partners in all sorts of things like that and I think it helped to prevent jealousy. It's a great time to learn empathy for the toddler and if you can really channel how they talk to the infant, it's great practice. I would go on modeling, "So sorry sweet baby. Don't worry, you can have carrots some day when you're older like Lula! It's okay, don't be sad." I know it sounds a little over the top, but my toddler really picked it up and would start comforting the baby in that way with lots of things and reminding her that she'd get to try new things when she got older.
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#8 of 20 Old 07-03-2014, 09:32 AM
 
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Dot- I LOVE your sticker idea! That is so cute!

Corrie, "trad" Catholic, wife to DH and Mom to DD (4/07), DS (2/09), DD (2/11), DD (4/13), two angel babies. 
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#9 of 20 Old 07-03-2014, 10:10 AM
 
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I had two under two and now I am barely squeezing in the third before my second is two.

I have been planning on posting on here but haven't found time to sit and type on the computer. Dot-to-dot covered a lot of things I did. I would also me sure I mentioned when I chose the toddler over the baby out loud. "No baby. You have to wait right now so I can make Toddler something to eat." We make those sacrifices and our little a ones don't notice as much as when we have to tell them to wait on the baby. I thought verbalizing really helped.

Another thing I did was every couple of weeks spend a whole day one the floor playing. No chores or anything. Fun lunches. 100 percent kid day. I found on those days I remembered I really love my kids and they are the priority of my job. The house can wait... The kids will keep getting older no matter what I do today.

I transfered my Toddler to a bed at 19 months and it went fine. He never got out of bed and to this day he still whines in bed until I come and get him. I think I would never do it unless my child was used to just being laid down and falling asleep on their own. I waited for Potty training til 4 months after baby was born and made sure I had visitors to help watch and praise. I think it helped, but I also think I stated to early. lol. He was 99 percent poop trained immediately so I never went back to diapers even though here a year later he still has pee accidents.

MAKE FRIENDS WITH SMALL KIDS!!!! You need to have a least weekly contact with someone who you can have a complete two way conversation with. I am not a "spend time without your kids" mom really. But I do think it is vital to sanity to spend time with adults. I keep somewhat busy just going to playdates and stuff to see something besides the inside of my house or a grocery store. MOPS is a fantastic way to do this if you can find a local group. You can also look around at churches near you. Some might have Bible Study groups that provide child care.

When the day gets too rough to handle... go outside. I always take my kids out the moment I see the day going downhill. This gets harder during the fall/winter/spring when It is always raining but we have some friends and a couple indoor options.
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Last edited by sarahknavy; 07-03-2014 at 10:23 AM.
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#10 of 20 Old 07-03-2014, 10:50 AM
 
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We are really strict about bedtime and naptime here. I think that has made a big difference too.

Parenting styles have a lot to do with how things go. There is no right or wrong style per se, but perhaps a wrong or right style per person. For me, I need sleep at night. I need the time during naptime and I need an hour or two in the evenings without kids. So, I don't co-sleep past the first month or two. The baby goes in it's own bed next to mine until about 6 months. I don't wake them up to nurse (except maybe in the beginning). I do not do the all-night nursing thing. If they wake up, I nurse them and put them back down... no falling asleep with baby attached to the boob. It might mean more work in the beginning, but it's better in the long run. Around 6-8 months I move them out of the room and get up once or twice to nurse them if need be. We do not, however, stick them in a room and let them cry. We transition gently.

Kids all go down for a nap or rest time (for the older ones) around the same time every day when we are home. Bedtime is around 8pm... we are flexible on that... but when we put them to bed, they are expected to stay in bed. And they do

I know this might be way too strict for some people, but it's what works for us and what I need. The kids do well with it as well.

I have a friend who is way more attachment parenting than I am. Co-sleeps pretty much until another baby comes, and even still lets the kids sleep in their room. She is exhausted most of the time. I just couldn't do that.

Corrie, "trad" Catholic, wife to DH and Mom to DD (4/07), DS (2/09), DD (2/11), DD (4/13), two angel babies. 
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#11 of 20 Old 07-03-2014, 11:23 AM
 
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Another thing that helped us tremendously was to avoid the long drawn out potty training scenario that can last kids months and months on end. We used the 3 day potty training program and e-book. You can look it up online. It has worked amazingly well for both of my girls (both different personalities with different potty struggles). Both trained in under 3 days including naps and nighttime. I just did NOT have time to handle months of accidents or escorting her to the potty every half hour and managing every step of the way when I had a newborn. I can't say enough about this program. No shaming. No asking, "Do you have to potty?" No bribing them to sit. It works beautifully if you follow the book to a T.
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#12 of 20 Old 07-03-2014, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Love all this feedback. I think I found the transition from 1 to 2 so so hard that I may be extra nervous for no good reason. DD1 potty trained like a dream using the three day method. DD2 has not been so dreamy! But--she's ready so I will persist and she is making progress though it has been small. DD1's transition to a bed was hell on earth, seriously a living nightmare. As for DD2, when is the ideal time? Before baby #3 ? When we move when she's 2.5 and baby is 6 months? DD1 and DD2 will be room sharing...

I really love the ideas about verbalizing when I choose an elder child over the baby, taking planned days to make 100% kid days, and the bassinet idea. Those will really help DD2 who really enjoys being the baby!

I plan on joining MOPS in the fall. I do Bible Study Fellowship which is a God-send. I can have real adult conversation while my kids are being loved on and taught with excellence. We're really regimented with naps and bed times in our home and I'm curious how baby 3 will be. I had to stop BSF for a short period because it was right in the middle of naps and my kids just couldn't recover.

As far as attachment parenting goes, I carry my babies as often as they desire, I co-sleep for at least the first few weeks, I breastfeed, and I intentionally cultivate bonds. But both my children really thrive in a structured environment-- they need their own sleep space, a strict nap/bed time, and even a pretty controlled diet ( not scheduled, just no junk). I let those things fall into place over the course of time.

Anyway, this has all been so encouraging, which was the whole reason I tried a DDC. Thanks so much ladies! (And keep the ideas coming if you have more!)
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#13 of 20 Old 07-03-2014, 09:50 PM
 
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Mine are 22 months apart

I switched ds to a big bed about 5 months before dd was born because I didn't want him to associate the change with dd. it worked well.

One thing I do with 2 so close in age is make sure we go outside every day. I got a very good double stroller and it has been so worth the investment. Every day we go for a walk in the morning, which is great exercise. Then we come home, eat lunch, and watch tv (relax) for 1/2 hour, then we play in the yard until it's time for snack and ds (older ones) nap. There are many nice things about going outside so mich, one of which is that our house is kept pretty clean cuz we are often not in it. It works for us.
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#14 of 20 Old 07-03-2014, 10:57 PM
 
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My oldest two were 22 months apart. We just did anything we could to manage that first year or so. Babywearing DS (the baby) was a big help and the only way I could accomplish much of anything. I also transitioned dd to a "big girl" bed just a few months before DS was born so that helped too. The biggest survival tactic I had the first few weeks was getting dh to set up premade sippie cups and easy premade breakfast and lunches on the counter or in the fridge on the bottom shelf for the day. That helped keep food prep down for me and dd could grab out what I directed her to get if I happened to be stuck to ds for the morning. We also set up nursing/snack stations throughout the house with bottled waters, some of the drop in flavors for water, crackers and/or other small snacks. I could get crackers and water for myself while nursing plus I had extra to pass to dd if needed. A rolling bassinet was helpful too so I could move it to the bedroom at night or anywhere I was during the day. It also had a basket area underneath so I could store ds's diaper supplies with a couple burp cloths, outfits and blankets so I had whatever I needed at hand.
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#15 of 20 Old 07-04-2014, 07:49 PM
 
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Regarding moving little one into a big bed. We recently did this with out 2.5 year old (now just turned 3). She moved in with her big sis. They each got an owl whose face glows yellow when you squish him and he says, "Hoo Hoo! It's still nighttime. Go back to sleep now." and then he plays lullabies for a little while. You set it to the time you want and then at wake time he glow green and says, "It's okay to get up now!" The girls love their owl. Took a while for the 2.5 year old to get it. At first she came in to our room every time she squeezed him to tell us he was still yellow...at 1am....at 3am....at 4am... Yeah.


But after a while they both respected the owl and now if they get up too early but can't sleep they can get out a quiet game or puzzle and play together but they cannot come out and wake anyone up until the owl glows green at 6:30am. The little one was already in a toddler bed in her room and it was going fine but we needed her to join her sister to make room for this baby and we wanted to give ourselves lots of time for this transition. I absolutely love when we've put them to bed and they lay there whispering and cracking each other up. It's the sweetest thing. Sometimes they get way out of hand and we have switch off the nightlights promising to sneak in a turn them back on once they're asleep and that works fine. If you're interested, you can find the "Ok to Wake Owl" on Amazon.
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#16 of 20 Old 07-04-2014, 08:21 PM
 
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Wow! @Dot-to-Dot ! I NEED some of those owls!!! Thanks for the tip!

Sewing, gardening, home birthing, co-sleeping, extended nursing, cloth diapering, baby-wearing, home schooling, attachment parenting busy mommy to dd1 (7), dd2 (4), ds (1) and two in heaven. 
 
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#17 of 20 Old 07-04-2014, 08:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dot-to-Dot View Post
Regarding moving little one into a big bed. We recently did this with out 2.5 year old (now just turned 3). She moved in with her big sis. They each got an owl whose face glows yellow when you squish him and he says, "Hoo Hoo! It's still nighttime. Go back to sleep now." and then he plays lullabies for a little while. You set it to the time you want and then at wake time he glow green and says, "It's okay to get up now!" The girls love their owl. Took a while for the 2.5 year old to get it. At first she came in to our room every time she squeezed him to tell us he was still yellow...at 1am....at 3am....at 4am... Yeah.


But after a while they both respected the owl and now if they get up too early but can't sleep they can get out a quiet game or puzzle and play together but they cannot come out and wake anyone up until the owl glows green at 6:30am. The little one was already in a toddler bed in her room and it was going fine but we needed her to join her sister to make room for this baby and we wanted to give ourselves lots of time for this transition. I absolutely love when we've put them to bed and they lay there whispering and cracking each other up. It's the sweetest thing. Sometimes they get way out of hand and we have switch off the nightlights promising to sneak in a turn them back on once they're asleep and that works fine. If you're interested, you can find the "Ok to Wake Owl" on Amazon.
That is way cooler and more practical than the alarm clock...
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#18 of 20 Old 07-05-2014, 04:54 AM
 
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It's amazing how many neat clocks and things are on the market now! For our oldest, we simply put a small lamp on a timer (7 bucks at any home improvement store) and told him he could come get us when the light came on. Same idea as the owl and so forth, but way more bare-bones. Now, our younger child is constitutionally the latest sleeper in the family, so we never had to do a thing for her--other than occasionally wake her when she's just going too long!

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#19 of 20 Old 07-05-2014, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Tee Thats Me, that's how I did it for DD1. Hopefully DD2 will learn to just be quiet instead of crying until the light comes on. Our home has no soundproofing-- if someone as much passes gas we all know about it. If I get her at 5:30, it is a promise the next day she'll wake at 5:00, and so on and so forth.
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#20 of 20 Old 07-06-2014, 12:33 AM
 
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Oh, early risers are just the worst. My oldest has always been an early riser. Now almost twelve, he still wakes with the sun every day. It's helpful now because he gets a few chores done right away and I can rely on him to let the chickens out in the morning, but I can still hear him wandering around in the house and it wakes me up. Drives me crazy! None of the timers or anything ever helped with him when he was younger, because even if he stayed in his room, he would make the appropriate amount of noise to wake you and alert you that he is awake, but not so much noise that he could get in trouble. Argh! I never get to sleep in when he is around, so I will miss him but enjoy the extra sleep while he is at his grandparents' home the next couple weeks.

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
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