Managing two kids under two?

Melissa - posted on 06/22/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

149

29

11

My daughter is almost 20 months and her baby brother is due in September. I currently stay at home with my daughter, while finishing my bachelors degree. I had been trying to find a job while I had extra money from our taxes to pay for day care. Now that I am pregnant I can't really work (I have sciatica). I was hoping to have my daughter in day care by the time the baby is born, but with my fiance's income alone its not worth the costs. I'm so worried because she is very independent and so smart that I forget she is still young. Then she has tantrums and doesn't listen to anything. She touches everything that she shouldn't even though she has tons of things to play with. I just feel overwhelmed with her being in this stage and a new little one who will need more of me. I will need to work eventually but how can I manage two little ones by myself? How do any of you ladies do it?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Sarah - posted on 06/22/2010

3,880

14

1082

Big thing that helps is to have a routine and schedule. The first couple of weeks I found to be the hardest. Everyone is adjusting to a new routine and a new person. Have your daughter be your little helper. She will love that and that will keep her occupied. That can also give you a few extra minutes here and there to get things done. I do daycare and have 6 kids all 4 yrs and younger. I am always on the move and some days are better than others, but there are many laughs and smiles throughout our day. I try to have a general schedule. Breakfast is between a certain time and lunch is between a certain time. Depending on our day we may have breakfast or lunch a bit earlier or later, but I try to keep it pretty much at the same time each day. After lunch is always nap/quiet time for about 2 hrs. Then snack and outside play if it is nice. My older ones help with the littler ones. They will entertain for me when I am trying to make lunch. They will help get me things if I can't get up at the moment (ie: feeding a baby). Another thing I learned is that it is ok for them to cry. When my daughter was first born I was trying to tend to her the moment she needed me. Sometime this would mean leaving what my son and I were doing. Sometimes this is ok, but I learned that sometimes she can also wait a few minutes while I finished up tending to my son. With doing daycare and having 6 little kids there are times when everyone needs me. I am only one person and can only get to one at a time. I talk to them and let them know that I know they need me and that I will get to them as soon as I can(even when they can't understand I think just communicating with them helps). I have learned to not let the cries and noise bother me. I know they are crying because they need something. I know that as soon as I tend to them the cries will most likely stop. So I just work on going down the line and tending to who ever is next in line. Another thing to remember is that Sept. is a few months away. Some of the stages your daughter is in now she may not be in then. She will also have grown and developed even more.

Shalah - posted on 06/26/2010

59

7

3

I have five that are all 16-23 months apart. I just had to learn to accept a few things for it to work out. 1-The house will usually be a mess.2- I won't have much time for myself, so I have to make the most of the little I get.3-I will have to let other's help me. 4-This too shall pass.
They are all older now, from 8-14, and they all chip in to take care of daily life. When they were little, I was frazzled and overwhelmed, and I still feel that way sometimes, but I am very glad for all of them and wouldn't change a thing. Ask for help when you need it, from friends and family. The key is, just don't give up and you'll make it! They are my greatest challenge, but there is huge reward for it. Do your best and you've got it down.

Ella - posted on 06/26/2010

105

8

22

I agree with the other moms on this one. I can remember when my son was born I was so nervous. My daughter was only 15 months old and we lived in another state with no family. She was actually in the delivery room with me and her father when I gave birth and I just kept thinking if I dont help with her while giving birth I wont have help in the future. But it all worked out. She was already on a pretty good schedule so she always knew what to expect next and I just had to work on getting my son on the same schedule. Now they are 1 and 2 and my days are pretty smooth. Dont get stressed out worrying about things that may never happen just try and take it one day at a time. Goood luck

16 Comments

View replies by

Sheri - posted on 06/27/2010

77

30

1

My 2 are 22 months apart and yes it is hard cause my 2 yr old is at that stage where she listens to Daddy and not me, so its fustrating for me but she is one a set routine now and when its really hot out she sleeps pretty much all afternoon and has just last week started sleeping through the night. My 3 month old son is not quite yet sleeping through the night but does only wake up at about 4am for a bottle. My advice to you is have your daughter help out with the baby when he/she comes. I ask my daughter to get me a diaper when I need to change my son and she does and also will take the dirty diapers and throw them in the garbage. Also, If I am busy getting her lunch or doing something and he starts to cry she will give him his bottle or carefully bounce him in is chair to calm him down. She does have her days where she will absolutely not listen to me or do anything for me but then she is only 2. I do do time outs with her and we also do spank her when she is being bad. I also make a point of going uptown or doing something every morning with both of them. I also have a double stroller and am planning on going for walks every morning with them as my daughter doesn't walk for long distances and would rather ride in a stroller than walk. Somedays we go to the park to play and others we go to a family fun centre in our area where she can run around and play with other kids. We are in the same boat as u with the daycare/dayhome option as we can't afford it yet with just my husband working and my maternity/parental leave from the gov of canada.
Also, I have very little patience and get fustrated by my girl easy.

Hope this helps you

Valerie - posted on 06/27/2010

47

3

0

The best thing I can suggest is dig into your sense of humor. It gets a little chaotic with 2 under 2 (I've got a 22 month old and a 2 month old right now). Also, getting everyone on a schedule works wonders.

Chelsey - posted on 06/26/2010

188

0

26

My daughters are 18 months apart and it was definately tiring when I brought my youngest home. I just got my elder daughter to help out as much as possible because then she felt included when I had to deal with the baby. I made it into a game to see who could get the diapers faster or who could make the best funny faces at the baby etc. At first it reallly sucked because they were on different nap schedules but eventually they evened out. They are now 3 years and 19 months and are very close and play great together...I couldn't imagine not having them close in age!!!

Viki - posted on 06/26/2010

29

56

2

Hey, my 2 are only 11 months apart & somehow you make it work!!! :) my little man has been fab. He changed from a very needy first born to a big brother that loves his little sis. I agree with the others, a routine has been great at night times dinner, play, bath then bed. Somehow they are both sleeping through the night. A novalty for me as my son has only just started after a year of interuped nights!!! just remember when baby sleeps to make time for your older child, if they both sleep make time for you & get your head down :0)
It does get easier but you will have days you'll want to sell them on ebay.....

Lucy - posted on 06/26/2010

591

33

23

My two are 16 months apart, and yes, that first year is hard (but we all survived!), but I feel in the long run, the benefits are worth the hard slog at the beginning!

The other ladies are right about routine- This will keep you sane, and if you establish it before the baby is born it will give your eldest a sense of security about having to "share" you with a sibling.

I see what you are saying about day care, you will definitely feel there is not enough of you to go around for a while, but I would say that the time your eldest spends in day care should be limited to no more than a couple of mornings or afternoons a week. Remember, your little one is used to having you all to herself, and a new arrival who needs mummy's attention too will be difficult enough for her to cope with without her also feeling she is being taken away to day care. To children of that age, illogical as it may seem, this could feel like a punishment!

My kids (now 4 and nearly 3) are the best of friends, and there were never any jealousy issues between them, and I think this is because we involved Ivy with her new brother as much as possible from day one. When I was breast feeding, I would have Ivy snuggled up to the other side of me for a story or chat. I also bathed them together, and encouraged Ivy to help with cuddling and soothing Rowan if he was cranky.

My saving grace was (and still is) that both my little ones are good sleepers, and were soon in a routine of having their day time naps at the same time. When you are still doing night feeds, this is a life saver!

Also, a great trick that worked with our daughter was for her to have a weekly "Daddy date" which we made a big deal of, so she loved it and I had a little time to focus on Rowan and chill a bit, without Ivy feeling she was missing out. We actually still do this every couple of weeks for both of the kids (individually), and they consider it a real treat.

Overall, take the rough with the smooth and enjoy!

Fiona - posted on 06/26/2010

16

1

0

I had the same thoughts. My boys are 19 months apart and my oldest was head strong and very determined..I was wondering how we were going to cope. We don't have family locally either to help out. I tried to prepare our oldest son to be as independant as possible (within reason) so that he was not shocked when I suddenly had another baby to look after. I also spent time before the baby was due to work on discipline- although that was always there. You get into a pattern and I tried to time their feeds/meals together to make my life easier. The most important thing to me though was ensuring they both had their daytime sleep at the same time so I could sleep too. I thought a 19 month gap was going to be a nightmare and it really wasn't that bad. We are now contemplating baby number 3 with a similar age gap so can't be all that bad. I was fortunate enough to put our oldest son in daycare for a couple of days a week but friends also offered to have him over for play dates with their kids so I could rest. Once the youngest was sleeping through the night it was way easier. Good Luck!

Chelle - posted on 06/25/2010

203

23

29

A lot of people have told me that baby number two will be easier than baby number one, mainly because on some level, you already know what to expect. Of course there will be some variances but on the whole, you've done this before :)

I am also in the same boat. There will be around 2 years gap once my second one is born. Although i am not sure how my little loch monkey will take this change part of me is really looking forward to expanding our family and seeing the two of them interact. I love the idea of him having a brother or sister to pal around with later.

I also planned to involve him in the day to day care of his sibling as much as possible. He is a great little helper now and i know he will enjoy helping out when baby comes. I think it will make him feel like an important big little brother.

Its very cute at the moment when i talk to him about the baby. I will say, "can you give the baby a kiss", and he will pull up my top and kiss my bare belly. He seems to understand the association with a belly and a baby being in it but not necessarily mine, as at times he will pull up his own top and point to it and say "bub?"

I can't wait to see what he does when he can feel the baby kick! That should be very soon now :)

Melissa - posted on 06/24/2010

149

29

11

Thanks everyone! My main fear is that I'll burnout. My sciatica is pregnancy induced, so once the baby is born, I'll be able to chase my daughter if necessary. I just get overwhelmed because I don't really get any breaks. I guess that's the joy of motherhood!

Belinda - posted on 06/24/2010

2

10

0

you will be fine! my 2 are only 14months apart! once u have your new baby get a routine going and u will be fine I was really afraid of how i was going to cope when i was pregnant with my 2nd but it is actually great they both are in bet by 7pm and dont vary from their routine!

Lenili - posted on 06/22/2010

8

12

1

If anybody can do it! it is us MOTHERS! I found out i was pregnant with my daughter when my son was only 6 months. When she was born Malik was 15 months, now that was quite a challenge and I remember thinking the same way you did found myself freaked out. It wasn't as bad as I had made it out to be. I was alone my family lived 2 hours from me and my husband worked all day so I was the only one who was at home to take care of them. I never got to sleep, nor did i ever had a warm meal, showers were short, house work and laundry I never had time to catch up on it..I was always playing catch up, but I made it work and i know you will!!!

Alison - posted on 06/22/2010

0

0

2

Hi There... My oldest just turned two and i now have a two month old. I am experiencing the same thing with my little girl. in to every thing..... I take a time out even if they are crying,,, it helps 2-5 min to collect your self rily helps. I agree with the others too keep a schedule. (EASY) eat- activity- sleep- you time.

[deleted account]

It can get a little crazy with 2 kids under 2. My boys are 24 months apart. A schedule really helps. Try to have your daughter on a very good sleep schedule before the baby is born. When the baby is born try to get it on a sleep schedule as soon as possible. (The book Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child really helped us with this) I have always tried to get the boys to nap the same time in the afternoon so that gave me some time to myself. Also, accept help from friends and family. Your daughter may change too when the baby is born. She will be the big sister and want to help. She may be jealous at first, but make sure she is getting attention too and she will be fine. Include her in on changing the baby, bathing, dressing... etc and she will feel like a big girl.

Once a month my husband and I have a date night. This has really helped me to feel alive again and has helped our marriage stay and grow stronger. I am really fortunate to have a very hands on husband. He helps me a lot with the boys. He is the one that gets up with them in the morning and gets them breakfast before work. This gives me a little extra time to sleep.
Will you feel overwhelmed at times? Yes, of course but you definitely can do it! Best wishes.

Medic - posted on 06/22/2010

3,922

19

552

Have a schedule....mine are farther apart than yours but we just have a schedule and stick to it. My kids are 3 years and 4 months apart and my youngest is 5 months now so I just keep things moving and my oldest knows what to expect every day.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms