2 Vs. 1: Playing The 2 Under 2 Game

Hello, my Gals! It’s been a minute, or two!

Potty training, bed training, teething, and just generally trying to keep the house in a state of somewhat organized chaos keeps me busy. I’m sure you understand.

A lot of people told me that having 2 under 2 would be hard, but honestly, it’s not quite as difficult as I’d worried it would be! It’s busy, that’s for dang sure. I’m twice as tired, but my heart is twice as full. ❤ And so far (for me, at least), it’s been pretty manageable!

Of course as with all things babies and kids, it’s all subject to change! But for now I’m taking what I can get!

When I was still pregnant with Mikey I tried reading all sorts of material on how to handle 2 under 2, and there’s some good stuff out there! So I thought I might throw in my two cents into the two-under-two tip jar and tell you all how I personally have been doing with this crazy beautiful little adventure.

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A fairly recent picture of Vinny saying “Good Night” to his little brother ❤

Pregnancy

So here’s something I didn’t find much information on: How to be pregnant with a baby under 12-18 months!

Let me just tell you, it’s  e x h a u s t i n g.

A good friend of mine online who also has two under two said that she was much more tired while pregnant while caring for a toddler than she was with a newborn waking up every few hours and a toddler. The same was true for me! So if you’re in that boat right now worrying about how you’re going to tread water once baby number two comes, rest assured after a while it feels like smooth sailing in comparison.

What really helped me out was having Vinny in a good routine. At the time he was taking two naps a day for at least 2 hours at a time, so I was able to rest when I was feeling sick and when I was generally exhausted later on. Having a “First (Trimester) Aid Kit” by my side with some gin-gins, saltines, ginger ale, etc was also helpful while I was playing with him so when I was feeling ill I could grab something without having to leave him unattended.

And of course my village came in clutch a bunch of times to get supplies, help with Vinny, and help me clean up every now and then.

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“Hello in there!”

As far as preparing him for his soon-to-be sibling, Vinny was only about 10 months old when we found out we were going to have another baby. I can’t say for sure how much he understood about the situation, if anything at all at the time, but regardless, I would show him my app with “pictures” of the baby, point at my belly and tell him his little sister or brother was in there.

I also brought him to a few of my OB appointments, in particular the first Doppler appointment, the first ultrasound screening, and the anatomy/gender reveal ultrasound. Again, I’m not sure what he got from that exactly, but I like to think it helped start some kind of bond beforehand.

I brought him to a few bonus appointments towards the end of the pregnancy, where he would “help” the doctors measure my belly and watch them in awe as they ran the Doppler over it, listening to baby’s heartbeat.

First Meeting

Vinny was 18 months and 2 days old when Mikey was born, so he was still practically a baby himself. But I have to say, I think he took to his new sibling fairly well.

My in-laws graciously agreed to look after him at their house while we were at the hospital, and for one additional day after. The day after Mikey was born, his Gram and Pop brought him to see us, and his new brother.

This visit wasn’t very long, as Vinny quickly became overwhelmed, so it was kind of a “Hi/Bye” thing.

Then when he got home, we made sure to go to him and give him lots of hugs and kisses. Instead of “forcing” Mikey on him, for lack of a better word, we kept him in a cot in the living room for Vinny to interact with him on his own terms.

I feel like this slow approach really helped in giving Vinny more of a sense of “control” over the situation, if that makes sense. Over time, Vinny began to seek out Mikey and want to interact with him, and occasionally he would share my lap with him.

I also tried to include Vinny in as much to do with caring for Mikey as possible, so he didn’t feel slighted that Mikey was getting so much more attention.

For instance, if Mikey needed his diaper changed, I would ask Vinny to “help” me by taking wipes out of the container (one of his favorite forbidden activities) and hand them to me so I could clean Mikey up. Then we would walk to the trash bin together and I’d have Vinny lift the top so I could throw the dirty diaper away.

I can’t say for sure, but I think he liked the feeling of taking charge in a way, and to this day if we’re in the other room and Mikey fusses, I can say to Vinny, “Mikey needs our help, let’s go help him!” and he will lead the way to the rescue.

Of course, he still had his jealous moments, and he still does once in a while, but generally he seems to adore his little brother.

The Fourth Trimester And Beyond

My three biggest tips for anyone considering or about to embark on 2 under 2 life are try to get on a schedule, get your little one comfortable with independent play, and learn to read a book one-handed.

I breast-fed for about 3 months, until the well ran dry due to the flu and a stomach bug not long after. Vinny has always loved and still loves sitting on my lap and being read to, and while I was nursing was no exception.

The cross-cradle hold was my breastfeeding position of choice before, as it’s the most comfortable for me, and it kept one hand/arm relatively free, which helped me be able to read to Vinny while feeding his brother. Vinny could sit snuggled up to me, or even on half of my lap, and I would hold the book with one hand and hold Mikey to me with the other. I quickly got good at turning pages one-handed, when Vinny didn’t feel like turning them for me.

This skill also came in handy when Vinny didn’t feel like helping with diaper duty because he had only heard “Giraffes Can’t Dance” three times that morning and he was wayyy overdue for a fourth and fifth reading.

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Sometimes it’s so chill being in the #2under2club

If your little one doesn’t love reading already, I recommend helping them fall in love with it as soon as possible! I feel Vinny’s love of reading was pivotal in helping us survive those early days after Dad went back to work and Mikey was constantly feeding. While he was listening, he wasn’t getting up and getting into trouble.

As I was saying about schedules, having Vinny in a routine was also wicked helpful. When Mikey came, Vinny was waking up at 8, napping from 12-3, and going to bed at 7, and eating at the same times each day.

Because of this rhythm, I even think I was able to get Mikey on some kind of loose schedule without even trying.

At one point, he and Mikey even started napping at the same time each day! I’m going to chalk that up to luck to be perfectly honest, but if you can somehow manage it, it’s awesome! This was how I was able to get a load of laundry and the daily dishes done lol!

It didn’t go a hundred percent smoothly all of the time, but most of the time I was able to tend to Vinny when he needed food, nap, etc and get to Mikey before he got too upset because Vinny was used to doing things at a certain time.

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besos ❤

While I was still pregnant, I soaked up as much one-on-one time with Vinny as I could. Those days were really special to me, and I’ll cherish them forever.

However, I also knew that he was soon going to go through a major life change, and he would have to learn to share me. To make this transition easier on him, I tried to get him used to playing by himself as much as I could.

I would give him his own space with his own toys and encourage him to play with them. At first, he only wanted to interact with me, but eventually he would stack his blocks, use his shape-sorters, and attempt puzzles on his own. These would keep him happy for a good half hour at a time, which was enough time to get Mikey through one feeding before Vinny wanted something more or it was time for his own feeding.

I would also try to give Mikey tummy time each time I needed to tend to Vinny, whether it was to set him up with his lunch, snack, naptime, etc. Because it would take about a minute or two each time, it was the perfect amount of time to let Mikey work it out and I was able to get back to him before he got too too upset.

One quick side note: I highly recommend meal-prepping if you can! Starting while pregnant. I made several freezer meals in my third trimester from my Pinterest List, and would prep ingredients and quick snacks once a week after Mikey was born, and it made a tremendous difference in getting everyone fed quickly and efficiently.

Crock Pots are also a beautiful thing. Just saying!

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Bouncing’s Always Better With A Buddy And Your Big Brother ❤

So that’s more or less my advice on how to navigate all this wonderful madness! Of course there are good days and bad days, and lately it’s been more challenging with all of the training and teething, but you just need to roll with the punches and soak up all the preciousness.

Because with all of the rough moments, there are plenty of Kodak ones as well.

And as we all know, the days are long, but the years are short. Someday we’ll miss this.

What are your biggest fears about having 2 under 2? Any moms happen to be reading this who already have 2 under 2? If so, what are your words of wisdom? Let us know in the comments!

Thanks for reading, my gals! 😘😘

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My Toddler’s Overnight Bag

Hello, my gals! 😁❤️

38 weeks today!! 😨🤯🤰🏻 Things are getting a lil real!!

🤕Lately I’ve been having a hard time getting around due to a lot of lightening crotch, and apparently little Miguel’s head is resting pretty low these days so he’s getting ready! ⏱⏱

I’ve slowly been preparing things for baby number 2️⃣ this past month between getting out his bassinet and living room cot, setting up his diaper and clothing station in our bedroom, getting some freezer meals prepped, and as you saw in my “What’s In My Hospital Bag” post, the hospital bags.

Last week I couldn’t help but feel like I was missing something, and then it hit me–Vinny needs his sleepover bag! 😱😱

My in-laws have graciously agreed to keep Vinny at their house for the 2-3 days my husband and I will be at the hospital with baby Mikey 🤱🏻👪💚 And since it’s getting down to the wire, I knew I had to be prepared in case the unexpected happens.

I figured I might make a post about what I put in his overnight bag because I don’t think I’ve seen anything like this out there, and if any of you Mamas getting ready for baby number 2, 3, 4, etc are having your little ones stay over a relative’s house, maybe this will help be a guideline for what to send along with your toddler!


👕Clothes👖

I packed enough clothes to last 3️⃣ days.

The first thing I packed for him was the onesie, and I made sure to provide two for each day in the very likely event he gets one dirty. 😅 I included three short sleeve and three long sleeve onesies for him.

I also included his “Meeting Mikey” outfit in the bag. 😍 This is what he will wear to the hospital to meet his little brother and for all of the pictures we’ll be taking of them together 📸💚💙

I packed a couple pairs of pants. One pair of “Kicking Around The House” track pants, and one nice pair of nice khakis in case my in-laws want to take him out of the house. He also has the jeans to reuse if needed.

I included a couple of t-shirts as backup, but the onesies can also be used as a top if needed. I will leave the outfit combination in Gram-Gram and Pop-Pop’s capable hands. 😁

💤I packed a couple pairs of pajamas. I sent one pair of warm footie pajamas and another pair of cotton Batman jammies. He also often just wears onesies to bed, so again, whichever he sleeps in is at the grandparents’ discretion.

In order to fit three days of clothes and jammies, plus backup clothes into this diaper backpack, I used the Konmari method of folding. 🧺 I had pretty much binged Tidying Up With Marie Kondo when it came out and now I am absolutely infatuated with the Konmari method! 😍🤩It’s seriously life-changing! I’m slowly working on incorporating it all over the house. 🏠🧹🧽📦

Like seriously, if I had tried to fold these the way I used to, they never would have fit in this bag! 😤😤It’s crazy!

I was able to tuck all of his onesies in a mesh compartment in the bag and the rest of this clothes in the actual bag next to and on top of a fresh pack of wipies.


👶🏻Diapers and Wipes🧻

I packed enough diapers for 3️⃣ days and a whole new pack of wipes. Vinny will go through up to 4️⃣ diapers in a day, so I fit 12 size 5’s in the front pouch of the bag, three overnights in a zipper compartment of the inside, and the wipes inside of the bag next to and underneath his clothes.


Toys and “Wubbies”

Vinny’s loving Gram and Pop-Pop have a lovely assortment of toys and books ready for their grandbabies in their living room, all of which Vinny loves, so luckily I didn’t have to pack much in this regard. 🙏🏼

🧸He does, however, have two “Babies” he sleeps with at night, a black teddy bear and this little white one. He prefers to sleep with both, but will be okay with at least one. So I’ve packed this little guy so he has something to remind him of home at night and help him sleep. 🐻💤


🍎Food, Supplies, Etc🍼

Being 18 months old, Vinny has been eating “people food” exclusively for a while now, so he will be able to eat some of whatever Gram-Gram and Pop-Pop eat, and they always have healthy snacks to offer him such as bananas and apples. 🍌🍎😋

I did pack three days worth of his absolute favorite snack, these Earth’s Best strawberry cereal bars. 🤤😋 These things are like crack to him. I try to limit him to two a day because although they’re made with relatively good ingredients, they’re still a little sugary 😬😬 But I figure it will be a little something to provide comfort to him while he’s away from home.

🥛He also has flax milk that he drinks with dinner that I supplement with vitamin D, DHA, and Probiotic, so we’ll likely drop off a carton in the next few days so they have that on hand, and we will be able to fit his vial of vit. D, DHA, and a packet of probiotic with administration instructions in one of the “hidden” compartments of the bag.

Also not pictured are his ibuprofen and syringe (in case of teething), eating utensils, binkies, and toothpaste and toothbrush. I was able to fit these things in the “hidden” compartments.

I may also send along a small, separate bag with a pair of snow pants and his winter boots 🥾 in case they want to take him outside, as it’s snowy where we live right now. He will be wearing his winter jacket whenever the time comes so he’ll have that prepared.


Misc💁🏻‍♀️

So that was about it for what I packed for our little one, but of course every child’s needs may vary.

For instance, the people taking your little one may not have toys and books available, so I would suggest sending a few favorite toys and books along with the clothes and necessities. If you need to include these in a separate bag, that’s totally fine!

Much like we’re sending winter play clothes, it might be a good idea to send some seasonal play clothes as well, like bathing suits (along with sunscreen and big spray!) in the summer, or a raincoat and rain boots if you have a rainy season so that your trusted guardians can get outdoors with your littles. ☀️🌨🌧

💊And if your child has medicines they need to take, it would be a good idea to get a separate baggie for these with instructions if necessary. You could also include a list of any food allergies or anything else your guardian should know before feeding or administering medications, etc.

It would also be helpful to do a quick write-up of your child’s daily routine for your babysitter so that they can anticipate his or her needs. 📋✅

If you can arrange to drop off a car seat and booster/high chair ahead of time, or if you can get assistance with loading up the car real quick when the time comes so that your sitter has these at the ready, these will definitely be helpful!


And that’s about it, I think! No matter how much I prepare, I always feel like I’m still missing something 😅😅

I’m definitely getting anxious the closer it gets! But getting little things like this out of the way helps. ☺️☺️

💬 What do you think of these lists? Am I missing anything? What would you include in your toddler’s bag? Have you tried the Konmari method? If so, how has it helped you, or not helped you? Let us know!

Thanks for reading, my gals! 😘😘

👀If you’re new here, and this content or any of my upcoming content interests you, make sure you add your email and follow so you don’t miss any updates! 😁😁 And if you’re already following, thank you and bless your heart and soul! 🙏🏼🥰🤗

📋 Upcoming Content: My (Stay-At-Home) Mom Guilt, My Son’s “Home-Nursery-School Curriculum,” and My Bedside Nursery Corner (Second Baby)