Thursday, December 8, 2011

how i do 2 under 2

It's no secret, we're nuts.  We had our babies 14 months apart.  Not on purpose, mind you, but that's what happened.  My greatest fear upon learning that I was pregnant again was not being able to physically manage babies so close in age. 

Some days, managing is all I can do.  Other days, I laugh at how scared I was. 

There are logistics involved, ya know?  Like how do you get the toddler and the infant out of the car at the babysitter?  Do you sit the baby on the ground while you get the toddler out?  Or do you get the toddler out first and hope he doesn't run away while you're getting the baby out?  What if it's snowing?  Then what?  You can't sit the baby seat in the snow.

What do you do with the danger-seeking toddler while you're nursing the baby?  Especially if he's in that it's-fun-to-run-on-the-couch stage. 

Well, you manage. 

You tell your car-loving toddler to admire the tires on your vehicle while you get the baby out. Or put him in.  Or you sit him in the yard and ask him to tell you about sticks and leaves.  I'm not sure about the snow thing, we haven't gotten there yet.  But I can, if necessary, carry them both and all their bags.  It ain't easy. 

If you're smart, you buy a baby jail.  I think I already alluded to us not being that smart (this post, second sentence).  We didn't buy a baby jail.  When Dexter was first born, I would put Theo in Dexter's crib and sit in the rocker in Dexter's room while I nursed.  Theo would play with toys.  It was about 1 minute before Theo showed me how easily he could throw his leg over the side of Dexter's crib.  So I sit on the floor of Theo's room and talk to him while he plays.  With the door shut.  If we don't do that, he will flee the room I'm in as fast as he can and climb a cabinet or two.

It's all about restraint.  When I was on maternity leave, I thought I would go crazy every day I was stuck inside the house by myself with them all day long.  So I strapped 'em in.  Carseats, shopping carts, the stroller.  Anywhere I could put them where they couldn't get away from me.  Bonus, they were stimulated by the new environments around them.  I was shocked that it was usually easier to manage them out of the house than when we stayed home. 

Then there's restraining them at home.  The swing.  The high chair.  The baby carrier (can't find a link to this).  The bouncy seat.  The bumbo.  The jumperoo.  Lots of places to sit these kids where they can't get away from me.  Hey Theo, sit in your booster seat at the kitchen table and read a book or two while mom attempts to throw something together for lunch.  Hey Dexter, sit in the Bumbo and grasp for Puffs while I update my blog do something really important.  Yep, restraint.  And yep, those are the actual products that saved my life  we use/used.  The swing in the link is a newer version.  I recommend all of these!

I do have some concerns about what I will do when Dexter outgrows his baby carseat.  Because once Dexter can sit in the shopping cart child seat, where does Theo go?  Not in the big part of the cart.  Oh, no.  I can see right where that's headed.  Maybe I'll just have to take my double stroller everywhere and pull a cart behind me?  Still haven't figured that one out. 

What I have figured out though, is that it's one day at a time.  Whatever it is, we'll figure it out when we get there.  It's not so bad.  I kinda wouldn't have it any other way.



  1. When the twins were both in baby carriers and I had to grocery shop, I did bring their double stroller in and pushed it while pulling the shopping cart. I would not recommend this. I crashed into displays quite a few times! Most grocery stores have shopping carts available with a contraption attached to them that has 2 seats to strap young kids in (I loved going to the wholesale clubs, cause their regular shopping carts are 2 seaters...every grocery store should have at least a few of these, since the ones with things attached are much more difficult to maneuver!). When Dex is old enough to go into the shopping cart, you can use one of these special contraption attached carts, put him in the regular seat in the cart and strap Theo in one of the seats on the attached contraption. Once the boys were old enough to be strapped into this, it made my life a whole lot easier! As far as staying at home goes, I would HIGHLY recommend making your house as baby proof as possible. My boys (now, more Wes then the older 2) have free roam on the main floor of my house. The bathroom door stays closed, gate on the stairs, all cabinets locked (except for the Tupperware cabinet...lots of fun and not breakable), anything breakable up high enough to be out of reach. We even put rubber bottoms on the legs of our chairs so they can't be pulled out, therefore the table can't be climbed on and we removed the stools from our breakfast bar so he's not climbing on the counter. I know for these reasons, my house isn't the prettiest it could be, but he's happy cause he can roam the house, and I'm happy cause I don't have to worry about being all over him all the time. And, I know that all of this is temporary, cause come 4-5 years old, they don't get into all the stuff anymore.
    Sorry for the small book, but hope some of my ideas and suggestions help! Have 2 under 2 is not easy, but it's completely manageable! Take it from me...I survived! :)

  2. The swing, the jumperoo, and the Pack n Play (which we call baby jail) are all life savers. Oh and our grocery store has those giant carts with the cozy coupe on the back.

  3. Shelley - very helpful, giving me some ideas for sure. Our house just isn't as kid-proofable as I need it to be. For instance, we have the litter box in the bathroom, so that door can't stay closed all the time. And the half bath has sliding (pocket) doors, so Theo can open those. The biggest safety thing I worry about is him falling off the couches, all of which he can easily climb up on. And I don't like it too much when he plays in the cat food/water bowls, but I guess it's not unsafe...LOL. The cats graze on their food all day so I can't put it up out of reach. They would be yelling at me nonstop. I get enough of that! Putting non-skid thingies on the kitchen chairs would be good though!