Have them close together. Leave a good gap. Opinions vary widely about when or if to have a second baby. Some people might not be fortunate enough to be able to have a second child or even one child. Some people are happy with the one and some people might decide they want many. As long as you and your other half are happy, that is all that matters. This post is just a little insight into the reality of having 2 children close together.
Highs of 2 under 2
- You have all the “stuff” – there’s the clothes (especially useful when you have 2 of the same sex but hey, it’s not like they have any say in what they wear as babies and nor do they care as long as they are warm). Then there’s the bouncer, newborn carseat, moses basket, bottles, steriliser, walker, playmat, etc that have probably not even been put away in the attic from baby no 1.
- The older sibling, while hugely upset and put out by this new addition, is unlikely to remember this in future. And they do get over it and eventually start to like their new sibling – I swear they do.
- They will probably be the best of pals once new baby is up and about. It could take a while!
- You’re already used to having feck all sleep so may as well just get on with it all in one go. And the older child still naps so that’s always a good thing.
- The older child has an established bedtime routine and it involves bed by 7pm in this house. And relax… newborns are easy (kind of).
- A ratio of 1 adult to 1 child is totally workable (when other half is working then things get a bit trickier but when they are home it’s fine!).
- They’ll be into the same cartoons and books in a couple of years.
- They both travel for free on airplanes! Yeah there is no way I would even contemplate it but you know, if you decided you wanted to bring them on hols!
- 2 under 2 can both go in (be confined to) the buggy when you are out and about, the older child has probably not worked out how to open the belts yet either.
- Toilet training is way way way out in the future.
- There is nothing cuter or more heart-melting than seeing a toddler trying to chat, or interact in a nice way, with his baby sibling.
Lows of 2 under 2
- Nappies – so many nappies, you may need an extra wheelie bin for the amount produced but still preferable to toilet training for now.
- The toddler tantrums – they take on epic proportions when the new baby arrives, now it may just be the stage they are at anyway but not always easy to deal with when you have a newborn as well. There will be times when you literally have one in each arm. It is understandable though, such a life changing event for a toddler.
- The swipes. Yes, your toddler may try to take a swipe at the newborn for some perceived insult – the baby may have inadvertently looked at his toy or taken up too much of mammy’s time or just existing can be an issue. You need eyes in the back of your head.
- The toddler that always sleeps through the night may decide that this is no longer for him… this lasted about 3 very long weeks here. He would only sleep if one of us was in the room with him – all night. There is no spare bed in his room, only his cot. The chair is not very comfortable for sleeping on – so my husband tells me!
- You need help, it can be very difficult to feed a baby while simultaneously entertaining a toddler. Forget about housework. We kept on the childminder 2 days a week and my mother was a godsend. Then went to all the parent and toddler groups to tire them out.
- Forget meeting people for lunch or tea, not worth it unless you can get at least one child minded. However, it’s very difficult to get anyone to agree to mind both children at once – 2 under 2 is not for the faint hearted.
- Back to the sleep thing again… I can guarantee they will not nap at the same time; in fact your toddler will make it very difficult for you to have any nap routine with your baby. Telling a toddler to be quiet because the baby is sleeping is like declaring a competition to make the most noise ever!
- The packing to go anywhere – nappies for both, wipes, change of clothes for both (toddlers still have the odd poonami and if it’s going to happen it will be when you are out!), snacks for toddler (thank god I managed the breastfeeding this time or else we’d have bottles too), soothers, teddy, baby carrier… the list is endless really. You will always forget something essential.
- Toddlers can run surprisingly fast on those little legs.
- Your social life is over for the foreseeable future.
Whatever you decide, don’t say I didn’t warn you. When all is said and done though, I wouldn’t have it any other way either!!!