The best two under two schedule allows for mom to get time to herself, while meeting the needs of the children.
This is why I created the very best schedule for my two under two, and I want to share it with you!
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Can You Really Get Time to Yourself as a Mom of 2 Under 2?
The short answer? Yes!
It can take a little work to get into the swing of things, but if you work towards the goal of having time to yourself during nap each day, you can definitely do it.
Most days, I get about two hours to myself during nap time!
Why are synced naps an important part of the 2 under 2 schedule?
When your children are sleeping at the same time, it really is the only way for you to catch a break during the day.
Now, getting the kids to nap at the same time, can be a little tricky at first.
They both (most likely) need a nap at some point during the day.
Getting them to sleep at the same time will give you your breather!
In this FREE printable download, you will notice that in each version of the schedule, there is a block of the day that is dedicated to nap time for each child.
THAT is your precious time!
What if the baby isn’t napping?
Well, this is really your call.
But I can share what I do!
For my babies, I make sure three things have been fulfilled before I put them down for a nap.
I make sure they are actually tired and have completed their wake window.
I make sure that they have eaten, so they won’t be hungry.
During the awake time, I try to do something with them to get their energy out.
This might be tummy time, outside time, an outing, or just some play time.
If my babies have had some play, eaten and stayed awake through a wake window, they will almost certainly sleep at nap!
And if they don’t?
I give them time.
Sometimes they just need time to settle before falling asleep.
And if they’re really not sleeping?
I usually still leave them in their crib for a little while.
I want them to learn that this is time for them to be in their crib.
And I won’t be there in just five minutes if they stay awake.
It’s all about building habits and expectations!
If you’re continually having trouble getting your baby to sleep at nap time, you might need to consider adjusting wake windows or even the number of naps a day.
What if the toddler isn’t napping?
Again, your call!
Some people give up on the toddler nap when it seems like them stop sleeping at nap time.
Totally up to you.
But this is not me. I need nap time!
And actually, so do my kids…even if they’re not sleeping.
Just like the baby, make sure they’ve been fed, played hard, and that their wake window has been fulfilled.
Currently, my 2.5 year old is napping about 75% of the time.
The days he doesn’t sleep, he knows that he should still be calm in his crib.
He can play with his stuffed animals, and just get some rest.
I actually think he does get little bits of sleep here and there on these days.
I don’t want to give up on naps entirely just because he isn’t fully sleeping every single day!
Need some more help with toddler naps?
You could try a book box at the end of the crib or bed.
I use this at nighttime. My 2.5 year old can reach in for some books when he wakes up in the morning.
For him, it’s more of a distraction during nap time, so we put it away at nap.
But you could put the book basket there so your toddler has something to do during this quiet time.
You could even add a few quiet toys to the box.
When my daughter was three, she was having a hard time napping. I wasn’t quite ready to call it quits, though, because she really did need the rest.
You can read here about the five things I did to get her to keep napping!
A current method we are using with our four year old is using the nap timer on her sound machine.
For the first 30 minutes, while the color light is on, she should be resting. Every once in a while she’ll fall asleep. Most of the time, it’s just a quiet rest.
When the light goes off, she can get up and play or read quietly in her room until I come and get her.
The nap timer has been a really helpful tool! This sound machine has a number of great features, including an “okay to wake” timer!
Why do you streamline meals in the 2 under 2 schedule?
I keep saying 2 under 2 schedule, but there is a 3 under 3 schedule included in the download.
Well, because I want it to be helpful. But also because I know it works because I do it every day.
When I’m taking care of food for my three very small children (currently 1, 2, and 4), it can sometimes feel like I’m prepping entirely different meals for each of them.
This is due to preference, but also eating abilities.
My youngest is still learning to eat, while my four year old is able to eat just about anything. And my two year old is somewhere in the middle.
Streamlining mealtime is really a two-parter.
First, I try to do all, or at least almost all of the snacks and mealtimes at the same time.
Now, with a nursing baby, this might change things. But you could still nurse while your older child is sitting and eating, if they’re able to eat independently.
The second part of streamlining mealtime is to make the foods as similar as possible.
Again, preferences and eating abilities may inhibit this, but I try my best to do this.
It just makes things a lot easier!
For example, if a snack is going to be cheese and blueberries, I’ll dice both the cheese and blueberries small for my one year old.
My two year old can handle the slice of cheese, but I cut the blueberries in half for him.
My oldest gets the cheese slice and whole blueberries.
See? It’s the same food, just prepared a little differently.
I only need to grab two things from the fridge: the cheese and blueberries.
It sounds silly, but with mom brain, simple is SO helpful!
Dedicate Yourself to Figuring out Sleep
To truly get this schedule to work for you, I highly suggest figuring out sleep for your little ones, if you haven’t already.
If that’s not your thing, no judgment here. More like props…I don’t know how you do it!
I only need to think about those two things…rather than four or five different snacks among the three.
For me, sleep training is essential.
I need the sleep to function, but I also learned through sleep training my babies, how much better they did once we got the sleep figured out.
I also feel like having children SO close together necessitates the need for sleep training.
Believe me, we’ve been through bumps in the road where one or two and even three of mine were going through rough nights. These were short lived phases…I couldn’t imagine it being every night.
Again, absolutely no judgment from me if you don’t believe in sleep training or just don’t want to. I’m just sharing what has worked for my family!
We actually had a lot of trouble sleep training my second (after getting my oldest to sleep through the night at six weeks!).
You can read here about how I sleep trained him at 4 months old.
At that time, I just realized I was pregnant, again, and knew I had to get him to sleep through the night if I was to be at all functional the next day with a two year old, four month old, and pregnant belly!
Download Your FREE 2 Under 2 Schedule!
The download is really a four-pack of schedules.
It’s all based on the number of naps your children are currently taking.
There’s a sibling schedule for one taking three naps a day, and the other taking two naps.
There is another one with a two naps a day paired with a sibling taking one nap.
I’ve included another with a three napper combined with a one napper.
You’ll also see a schedule for a three under three family that includes a child taking three naps, another with two naps, and a third taking just one nap.
You might find that one schedule works great for your family now, and another one might be a better fit a few months from now.
These really are to grow into.
There are also blank, editable schedules included in the download, so you can adjust a schedule to make it the right fit for your family!
Download these Two Under Two Schedules today, so you can get some much-needed time to yourself, mama! You deserve it!
The Ultimate Guide to 2 under 2, 3 under 3 (and other Cluster Babies)
How to put Babies and Toddlers to Bed (Solo and Stress-Free)
How to Help Your 3 Year Old Nap: 5 Tried and True Strategies