For some parents, the “terrible twos” come with a double-helping of coping mechanisms required; namely, another baby. Sometimes the best things in life have a tendency to double up!
If you find yourself coping with two children under the age of two, then life can quickly become overwhelming. Just as your eldest begins to move into the development stages of a toddler, you are thrown back into a life that revolves around the immediate needs of a newborn. You want to be able to parent both children with the same exemplary parenting skills you’ve always prided yourself on, but there’s no doubt about it – it’s tough at times. Rewarding and wonderful, but nevertheless, a real challenge.
There are undoubtedly benefits to having children this close together. For one thing, it will help foster a strong relationship between the two of them as they can bond over mutually shared experiences. Children with a large age gulf can sometimes struggle to relate to one another; there will be no such issues for your kids, which is something to welcome.
You’re still going to have to figure out how to juggle two children who are so close in age, but so the difference in need. It might be a huge task, but it’s undoubtedly one you’re more than ready for – you just need a few tips in the right direction.
Management Tip #1: Cook For Both
To prevent yourself having to prepare two meals three times a day, with a few tweaks, you can learn to cook for both kids at the same time. Obviously, this is when you have weaned your youngest!
To begin with, give yourself some background in what you need to know about making your own baby food. You will soon see that many of the steps required to do so are easily transferable between ages. By making your own food, you can add a little extra for your eldest (such as using carrots for the food for your youngest, but then just dicing them as a snack for your eldest) without having to worry about buying two of everything.
Management Tip #2: Double Up
As WiseMamma points out, there are double strollers available that can fit two children of different ages – perfect for when you’re heading out and about. You also don’t need to worry too much about separate bedrooms when your children are so close in age, nor do you have to constantly buy new car seats or even clothes – everything is much more easily transferred between each child without the need for endless individual purchases.
Encourage yourself to get into the habit of thinking twice about everything, buying for the moment for your eldest but also for the very near future for your youngest – it keeps everything nice and simple.
Management Tip #3: Time Spent Wisely
If you worry about dividing your time and attention between each child individually, you really don’t need to – it’s easier to do this with a close age difference than it is with a larger one. There are natural pauses in the life of your younger child (such as additional naps) which are perfect for bonding with your eldest, while playdates for them become bonding time with your youngest.
So while it’s undoubtedly a management challenge, there’s actually a multitude of ways in which two under two is actually the perfect fit for the modern parent. Enjoy it!