Thursday, 18 August 2016

10 Tips for 2 Under 2

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Let's be real for a moment. Having your first child is like culture shock. Unless you are used to spending a lot of time at home, not sleeping, and being a human milk machine 24/7, you know what I am talking about. The greatest thing on the face of the earth has landed in your arms but, oh golly, how life has changed.
With baby number two (both our boys being under 2) we experienced a lot of  the same kind of changes... but we were much more prepared for what life was going to be like. You are so used to nap times and nursing schedules,  little to no "you time," and everything takes twice as long as it use to.
However, there are a few things that were a total must-have with baby number two compared to baby number one. With baby number one, your house is still quiet most of the time... you can lay your infant on the floor without fear that someone will sit on them and after you get through those first few months and baby is on a bit of nap schedule (hopefully) you even have time to jump in the shower
With two kids, however,  you can say goodbye to all of the above. So to help you out, here's how to get just a bit of your sanity back with two kids:
  1. Solly Baby Wrap: get a wrap if it is the last thing you do. I rarely wore our first son in a wrap. I was nervous he was uncomfortable and loved the idea of him lying on his play mat and being stimulated by the colours and lights of his toys. With baby number two, the play mat isn't even out, since my eldest won't stop jumping on it and grabbing every hanging toy. Basically, in order for my infant to stay alive, he pretty much needs to be on me at all times. Get a wrap!
  2. Double stroller: I would never leave my house if I didn't own a double stroller. When we go out, my son LOVES to walk, so most of the time I give him the benefit of the doubt and let him walk. But with the terrible twos just around the corner, I have that second seat in place, just in case, someone has a meltdown in the grocery store. Here's hoping your kid loves the stroller.
  3. Dry shampoo: Your saving grace. Showers are so overrated.
  4. Ready made dinners: Do yourself a favor and before your baby is born, pack a freezer full of Costco ready made meals. Just like with baby number one, I am sure you understand how helpful these can be. But even with baby number one, Sean and I would easily just skip a meal or eat peanut butter toast if we couldn't find anything in the moment. With a toddler, it's not as easy. He needs to eat, so why not a scrumptious ready made Costco lasagna?
  5. Aleva Toy Wipes: These wipes you can find specifically at Superstore. They are natural wipes meant for toys and pacifiers. But considering you are putting the paci back in your kids mouth I am assuming they are somewhat safe. So not only do I use these wipes for toys and pacifiers, I use them for both my kids hands after being on the playground or being at the store. They basically have become our wet wipes but a more pricey alternative. But while the babe is young I love the idea of a more natural cleaner.
  6. Soother: We never used a soother with my first born for the first 3 months, and we were somewhat ok with his cries day and night. But with my second, I would do anything to stop the screams, since the mere thought of my second boy waking up my first from his nap was the death of me. The soother was an incredible tool for those times I just need my littlest to "shhh" while my first born slept. We also love the Natursutten soothers!
  7. Help: Maybe not as easy to access but with baby number two, help is a must. It is hands down hard work! Thankfully we already have our first born in daycare one day a week. I literally crave that one day with just me and baby. It feels like I could do anything on those days. Help is a must. Either pay for it, ask for it, do what it takes to get it because it is incredibly helpful for your mental well being and everyone involved.
  8. Sound machine: This was another thing we used with our first, but with our second we got a much louder one. Basically, anything that will drain out the noise that your toddler is making since tossing toys and yelling your name is not going to go away overnight.
  9. A "person": Tell me you have all seen Grey's Anatomy? Someone you can talk to about everything. Whether that be a counsellor, a friend, a family member. Find someone you can talk to and share all of your feelings with because there will be tears and there will be hard times. If you can find someone you truly trust and is trustworthy to share these hard moments with, I promise things will feel better.
  10. Feeding/nursing activities: Feeding activities for your toddler. Make a list of about 5 things you can turn to when your toddler is demanding your attention during nursing/feeding times with your newborn. Ours are as follows: 1. Books 2. Colouring 3. Playdoh 4. Looking at photos 5. T.V. And yes, truth be told, T.V. is usually the saving grace, but we try our very best to work through the list. Another thing we bought were magic markers. These markers only show colour on the colouring books that are made for them. In other words, if you're nursing and your toddler takes off with the markers to their bedroom, no need to dart after them in fear that someone will draw all over your wall.
We're all in this together, so here's hoping these tips will help ease you into life with baby number two! Good luck!

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