Parenting is hard. Childbirth is hard. And when you're doing both of those at once, it can feel like you're on the verge of a nervous breakdown every day (take it from someone who was there and made it to the other side!). We've got some tips and tricks for surviving the first year with two under two, in addition to answers to all your most burning questions about life as a parent with another baby on board. So buckle up, because we're going deep into parenthood's wildest ride yet.
It's okay to get help.
When it comes to parenting two children under two, it's important that you realize that you are not alone. While this may be your first time around the block when it comes to raising small humans, there are people in your community who can help support and assist you along the way. Below I've outlined some of the different resources available for parents of two under two:
Family and friends: You might not have thought about enlisting their assistance at first, but family members and close friends may be able to lend a hand with babysitting or other duties around the house while you take a much-needed break. Even if they don't have children themselves, they know how stressful having a newborn can be on families—and they're likely more than willing to help out!
Hire an experienced sitter or nanny: If you'd rather bring in someone else than ask family members or friends for assistance (or if no one is available), hiring an experienced nanny or sitter will ensure both babies get enough attention while allowing parents some time away as well. These services aren't cheap; however, there are plenty of options available at reasonable rates if cost is an issue for your family.
If you're breastfeeding, work with a lactation consultant. Email us for a referral if you need one!
If you're struggling with both or one of your children's sleep, work with a sleep coach. Erin works with newborns, and both Erin and other LCS team members work with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers through age 10.
Find a parent’s group: If you don't have many friends with children, joining a local parent's group or moms' club can be an excellent way to meet other parents who are in similar situations as well as find out about local resources such as daycare centers and activities for babies.
You're not alone.
Many parents find having a second child a welcome change to their lives, but the adjustment period can be challenging. You might feel overwhelmed, anxious and exhausted—and it's easy to feel isolated and alone. But know that you have support available if you need it. Here are some resources:
Talk to other parents with experience. Don't hesitate to ask questions! In addition to asking friends and family who've had one or two kids (they may also have some great stories), consider reaching out more broadly by joining parenting groups online or attending meetups for young families in your area so that you can learn from people who've been there before you.
Talk with your doctor or pediatrician about any questions or concerns related to parenting 2 under 2—being open about these things will help ensure that both children receive the best care possible during this time period—and remember that it’s okay if what works for others doesn't work for your family! Your doctor likely has plenty of experience working with families similar in size and structure as yours; he or she can offer advice based on his/her own experiences dealing with similar problems before they became yours too!
Remember they won't be this little - and needy - forever.
When you think about it, the fact that they're so small and helpless is actually pretty miraculous. It's easy to forget how quickly their bodies will grow up, but when you do, it can help you realize that there's a lot more fun ahead for both of you.
You'll be able to see them off at school one day soon (or maybe even start sending them themselves), and enjoy getting back your evenings and weekends – assuming they don't want to spend every waking moment with their friends or doing other things outside of your control!
They may even learn a few things on their own: Did you know that by teaching them how to use cutlery while they're still little, they'll have an easier time learning how not to stab themselves in the eye when they get older? We didn't either!
Your older child will still want attention.
You’re doing the right thing by giving your older child some attention, but keep in mind that this will mean your older child is going to feel left out. Don’t worry about it – you can make up for it later!
Your older child may also want to help with the baby. Even if you do not have time for this now, it’s good for them to see how much work a newborn takes!
Your older child may act out...or play more gently.
Your older child may act out because they are jealous of the new baby. They may also be scared of the newborn and therefore more likely to lash out at other family members or even themselves.
Another common scenario is that your toddler gets bored with his toys and needs something else to play with. Sometimes, this boredom manifests itself in behavior problems such as tantrums or aggression toward you, your partner or other siblings in the household (including pets).