Does this thing still even work? I guess we will find out!
Well, Reagan just turned two and Everett is now eight months old…and we are STILL ALIVE YALL! We have survived eight months of two under 18 months (16 months if you want to get technical) thus far. We fall into an elite group known as “baby bunchers” referring to families that have two children less than two years apart.
I remember when I found out we were expecting again, the first thing I did was try to find other baby bunchers on line. I scourged the internet for a blog, website, Facebook group, ANYTHING that might be of help. I desperately wanted insight into the day to day life of two so close together. Honestly, I didn’t find much and I was sort of surprised by that. And annoyed. I felt as though my fellow millennials had failed me.
Now, I understand. Moms with two children so close together are BUSY! I would like to apologize to every blogger, abandoned Facebook group page, and website that I found and left frustrated by the lack of updated information. I now realize that you are too busy to sit down and write REAL thoughts! My apologies friends.
With that said, I want to share a few thoughts for others who may be in my same shoes that I was a year ago.
First, I have survived. You will survive, too! Honestly, the age gap is scarier than it sounds. I really thought the first three months were going to be the worst of it. Now that Everett is crawling, I have changed my mind. Having two fully mobile children running in two different directions will the hardest. Yes, the first three months are going to be tiresome. It is a transition for everyone – you, baby, toddler, husband. I would highly recommend your spouse or significant other takes TWO weeks off it possible. Physically, you will bounce back faster this time (I did anyways), but you also have a young toddler under foot who is used to being the center of the universe. This is where Dad comes in. I took care of baby and myself for the most part and my husband handled the toddler. We were lucky enough to have my mom stay with us the first night or two and lots of friends and family helped keep us well fed the first few weeks. It was SUCH a blessing!
One of the nicest things about having children so close together is that you haven’t forgotten much yet. You still remember how to feed a baby. You remember how to swaddle and change a diaper. There isn’t a re-learning curve, which I enjoy. Actually, now the thought of having a baby and one in school sounds much harder!
It only took all of two days to learn that all babies are different, including the ones you give birth to. For example, Reagan slept pretty well in our bassinet. Everett hated it. HAAAATTTTTTEEEEEDDDD. IT. We ended up co-sleeping the first 8 weeks or so because it was the only way any of us got some rest. Another difference between your first and second child is how much more you trust your mom instincts. I was WAY too nervous to co-sleep with Reagan at that age! Around 8 weeks we transitioned him to a rock and play, and by 3 months he was starting to at least start off sleeping in his crib. Everett also followed a different eating pattern. I nursed on demand with both, but those first few weeks with Everett, on demand was more like just feeding him ALL the time. He just kind of grazed ALL day the first 2 months. Reagan was a textbook, every 2 hour eater.
One thing I had been really worried about prior to Everett’s arrival was how to entertain Reagan while I was nursing. Honestly, I made this to out to be a bigger deal than it was. I had really great intentions of creating a “nursing basket” with “special” toys and books she could have while I was feeding Everett. Yeah….that didn’t happen, but it wasn’t really needed anyways. Thankfully, we didn’t have any jealousy issues. I usually only had to entertain her for 2 – 3 feeding during the day. I rotated between TV time, reading books and playing on the floor with her. It wasn’t the most comfortable nursing position, but it worked.
Another thing you learn to do with your second, nurse on the go! Nurse anywhere. On the floor. In the bathroom. With a toddler in your lap. Gone are the days of settling into your “nursing chair” staring at your sweet newborn. You nurse anywhere and everywhere. As long as the toddler isn’t making a mess and the baby is eating, you are wining!
Now, our first real outing was terrible. By “our” I mean just myself and both children. I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing, so I decided to go to Target to get a few things. I mean really, who doesn’t love Target?! Anyways, I plan this outing in the morning so Reagan will be pleasant and Everett will be sleeping. Home in time for lunch. I got this.
In true toddler fashion, Reagan sleeps in an hour later than normal, throwing off the entire schedule. I rally. We are still going to go. I get everyone changed and ready (45 minute process). I am planning on being back home around 12:30-1 in time for lunch instead of 11:30-12 since Reagan slept later. BAD DECISION. We are halfway through our Target list when Reagan runs out of snacks (approx. 11:30). She is now whining and reaching for EVERYTHING on the shelves because she is “starving.” In toddler land, sleeping late and therefore eating breakfast late does NOT mean lunch should be eaten late. In the midst of her whining, she wakes up Everett. Also, in my attempts to keep her quiet, our short Target list has taken at least twice as long as it should have. I hustle to get checked out before Everett realized he is hungry. Of course, the minute we get in line he realizes he, too, is starving and needs to let the entire world know that he may die of starvation! The cashier didn’t seem to hear him or wasn’t capable of working at a normal human speed. I felt like she moved in slow motion, like the sloths in the zoo movie previews. Both of my children are now crying/screaming. I want to cry, too. The cashier is asking me the DUMBEST QUESTIONS EVER.
“Do you want these clothes on hangers?”
WHY ARE YOU ASKING ME STUPID QUESTIONS?! PUT THEM CLOTHES IN THE DAMN BAG WOMAN. NOW!
I didn’t actually say that, but I wanted, too. Seriously lady. Do you not see the melt downs happening? Please, for the love, go faster!!!!!! We finally get out of the store and to the car. I get Reagan buckled into her car seat. I go to get Everett out of his car seat to feed him when I find POOP. EVERYWHERE. Him. Me. Clothes. Carseat. Total poop blow out. Reagan is now screaming. Everett is still screaming. I clean him up and his car seat out the best I can, feed him, Reagan falls asleep in her car seat while waiting, and then I put Everett back in the car seat so we can go home. Whew. We lived.
We didn’t go back to Target for a long, long, LONG time😉
Over all, having two so close has its hard moments – when they both need you at the same exact moment, when they both get sick (also at the same time), logistical struggles sometimes of cart vs. stroller vs. baby wearing vs. walking vs. every combination of those. BUT for the most part if is just BUSIER. You no longer have the luxury of resting for a few minutes while the toddler naps because you now have an infant to take care of. This also means less gets done around the house. I have come to peace with that. This is a stage of life where the floors will always be dirty. I can sweep twice a day and still step on a cheerio or raisin, but it won’t be like this forever. It is already going by way too fast.
I am happy to answer questions about life with two under two! Email. Comment here. Smoke Signals. Whatever🙂