Being a mom to two under two is something quite unique. Of course it is challenging. But it’s also something that can make you a better mom because you are basically in mommy bootcamp for a solid three years.
Between pregnancies and babies being born, you really get to experience it all in just a few years.
But it IS hard. And there are more than a few days that really challenge you.
Many mothers ask themselves, “When does two under two get easier?”
Well, I have the answer for you.
It’s when your toddler goes through these seven transitions.
When I was pregnant with my third (in about three years!) it seemed like my older two (ages 2 and 6 months at the time) were going through SO many changes.
And they were!
If you are able to push through these changes with your older baby, I promise you, you will be just fine!
And you will get through them!
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1. Eliminating the High Chair
This may seem like a small transition. And it is one of the smaller ones, for sure.
But do you remember what a big deal it was to switch seats back in elementary school? Your whole perspective of the classroom would change.
Well, that’s what it’s like for our kids. Except they’re not eight years old.
So switching seats for our little ones IS a really big deal to them.
So make it a big deal! Get them excited for the big switch!
I would certainly advise doing this at least two to four weeks before you plan on using the high chair with your baby.
You want to give enough time that your older child doesn’t think the baby is taking it from them.
Also, I know many people prefer not to use a booster seat for a variety of reasons.
And I totally get that.
But for me, having a booster seat for my older ones is essential, and I’ll tell you why:
It’s a safe, secure seat that I can buckle them into, in case I need to step out of the room for a minute.
Parenting two under two is not the same as many other ages gaps. There are often times when you have to leave your toddler for a minute so you can go put the baby up for nap.
It is incredibly helpful to have a safe spot for your toddler, so you can do such things without worry.
I just always make sure my toddler isn’t eating or in reach of chokable things when I have to step out quickly!
I have two of these boosters. We don’t need the trays, but the seats have been great!
My four year old has been using hers for years, and it has really held up! We moved my two year old into his about four months ago, and he’s loving it!
2. Bottle to Cup
If you listen to all of the baby experts, this should be done by now.
And if you are, then major props to you!
I usually transition my kids to cups around 12 months, despite baby experts saying to begin at six months.
Sometimes you really just need to pick what works for you!
I’ve always had a hard time teaching my kids how to use a straw cup. (I like to leave that task up to my husband!)
We have this old Skip Hop water bottle that might have been spill-resistant at one point, but definitely isn’t anymore.
But I like to use it for a little while because the straw is super easy for the baby to use. It’s silicone, and there’s not valve within the straw like a lot of other cups have.
It teaches the baby that he can get more milk or water easier through the straw than through the bottle.
Once this is accomplished, I use it for a couple weeks, and switch over to this Contigo straw cup.
The Contigo one also has a straw and is not at all messy!
I have them use this for about a year or so before having them use an open cup on the regular.
Now, if you have your tiny tot using an open cup, I truly applaud you. You have totally avoided all of the transitions I have listed above!
Personally, I was perpetually pregnant, very pregnant, or with a newborn for a lot of this with my kids, so I just did what worked for me!
Find what works for you and go for it!
Teaching your child to use a fork and spoon while nursing a newborn is not an easy task.
Getting over this hurdle will DEFINITELY make mealtime easier for you!
Do what you need to to get through it!
My two sons are exactly a year apart. When my younger son was about four months old and ready to try some baby food, my older one (a little under a year and a half) was throwing his plate off his high chair constantly.
And I mean constantly!
I decided to put the baby’s baby food on hold for a few months so I could focus on my older son.
I took the time with him to teach him what he needed to successfully eat independently.
Once I got him squared away, I began feeding my baby his baby food.
Again, this is a unique circumstance for mothers of two under two! Most parents have a kid who can fully eat independently when they are teaching their younger one to eat.
That just isn’t the case for us.
Remember that you’re mom, and you can make decisions that work for you and your kids!
4. Crib to Bed
My daughter was two and a half when my second son was born.
(And yes, if you’re tracking the math, I have done 2 under 2 twice!)
We needed the crib for the newest baby, so we made the transition to the bed for our daughter.
And it went great!
This was actually a multi-point transition, as she was switching bedrooms at the same time.
If I was to do it again, I wouldn’t change a thing!
Here’s what I did:
About a month or so before the baby was born, we moved her crib into her new room.
The room change was a big one for her, but the crib was entirely familiar.
After about two weeks or so in the crib in her new room, we switched her to her toddler bed (which we love, btw!) in the same spot in her new room.
Depending on the kid, I would keep the same process, but possibly modify the length of time for each phase.
My point was to make these changes slowly rather than all at once.
And it worked out!
5. Room Change
Whether your toddler is getting a new room OR a new roommate, this is yet another transition your toddler will need to over come.
If your toddler is getting a new bedroom, I certainly recommend baby steps to make the switch, like I described above.
If your toddler is getting a new roommate, then there are a few things you can do to prepare.
A few weeks before baby moves into the room, have your toddler help you rearrange the furniture so it can accommodate both children.
Give your toddler a few weeks to get used to the new set up before introducing the new baby to the room for regular sleep.
If you’re switching your toddler to a bed AND having the baby room with the toddler, I would again advise making just one move at a time.
First, rearrange furniture. Maybe have your toddler continue sleeping in his crib for a few nights.
When you’re ready, make the switch to the bed.
Give at least two weeks with your toddler in the bed before adding your baby to the crib. If you’re able to allow more than two weeks, that could be helpful!
Again, baby steps is the name of the game!
6. Nap Transitions
Like a gift from God, my oldest continued to take two naps a day until my older son was about a month old.
For me, that meant once school let out for the summer, I was able to take a preggo morning nap while my daughter napped. And then I could actually get things done when she napped in the afternoon.
It was amazing, and I never took it for granted.
What it also meant, though, was that I was trying to figure out nap timing when my oldest was going from two naps to one, while nursing and managing the sleep for a one month old.
This wasn’t the worst thing ever, but it was like a puzzle I had to figure out.
I used the Huckleberry app to help figure out nap times with my oldest.
You input the sleep times, and it calculates the ideal nap time and bedtime each day.
Now, it used to be a free feature. It looks like it’s now a paid feature.
But, it’s $10 a month, and you can cancel anytime.
I would have gladly spent the $10 to help figure out my toddler’s sleep situation!
I only use the app for a couple of weeks, and then would’ve paused the subscription.
(Although I would use it occasionally when my baby’s sleep was being difficult, or when he was going from three naps to two.)
Obviously, a newborn baby’s sleep is all over the place.
If you’re able to nail down a predictable sleep routine with your toddler, you are definitely setting yourself up for success!
7. Potty Training
Well, here’s the big one. Potty training.
Potty training is a whole thing!
However, the timing of the potty training seems to be an important part of it all.
Full disclosure: I’ve only potty-trained one kid so far. I’ve only been through it once, but getting ready to do it again, soon!
My oldest was two and a half when my second son was born.
Throughout that pregnancy I had convinced myself that I would have her potty trained a full month before the baby was due.
I mean, THREE in diapers?! That sounded crazy!
Spoiler alert: It was no big deal.
But then I got more pregnant. And larger. And less mobile.
I knew if she all of a sudden had to go to the bathroom, I would not physically be able to jump up and get her there asap.
So, I changed course. I decided to put it off until the baby was about a month old.
After the baby’s first month, my daughter was used to the baby being around.
I was feeling a LOT better! (Thank goodness!)
And our routine was returning to normal.
It seemed like the right time to potty train, and it was!
I was in the right head space for it, and she was definitely ready.
We really had no problems!
(Hopefully that continues with the rest of them!)
Once you successfully leap over that potty training hurtle, the #2under2 situation will be more manageable for you!
Moving past each of these transitions will absolutely make life with two under two easier for you!
Having a toddler who is able to feed and potty independently and sleep predictably will serve you well. And your toddler.
But just a reminder…babies don’t keep. As your toddler moves through these changes, she will be growing…and you know what that does to us moms!
Try to enjoy your two under two as they are…because they don’t stay that way for long!