As I am getting into the hang of manging two kids at a time… two to eat in the morning, two sets of diaper changes, two baths, two to get out the door, etc. I am relying on little tricks and some great products to help me. I’ll let you in on a few of my secrets:
1 – Using a sling, Baby Bjorn, wrap, etc. This has helped a ton as I can put Brooks on my chest to get things done around the house or to take him outside with Landon. It’s not as convenient to have Brooks in a stroller when I am out solo because with the wrap my hands are free to grab Landon easily in case he gets off the sidewalk and into the street. It’s also helpful in the evenings while I am prepping dinner and I think Brooks enjoys his time upright. 🙂
2 – Double baths – I give Brooks a bath about 2 times a week, on those nights we often let Landon have a bath – this is a treat for him since he usually showers with me, so he gets to have ALL of his bath toys out instead of just a couple in the shower. I get Landon ready and into the tub first and let him splash around for a while. Then I get Brooks started and I bath him in an infant bath in the shower (which is right next to my tub) this way I can keep an eye on Landon while I’m bathing Brooks. Then Brooks gets his final rinse in Landon’s bath water and I dress him (his stuff is already in the bathroom with us) while watching Landon. Then I can prop Brooks in the Boppy pillow on my bed while I finish Landon up.
3 – Morning Routine – We are still working to perfect this… and a lot depends on when Brooks last nursed. So if he’s nursed in the past hour and is still sleeping soundly, Landon and I leave Brooks in bed and go downstairs together. I get Landon set up with some cereal or oatmeal at the table while I pump. Then we play until Brooks wakes up. However, if Brooks is up and hungry with the rest of us, then I usually try to nurse him in bed first with Landon hanging out in there – this is often a challenge because Landon will be in there saying, “Mommy hungry. Food.” because he wants to go eat as well. So I at least get Brooks semi-fed and then we go downstairs and I let Landon eat while I finish feeding Brooks and then pump afterwards. This is probably one of my most hectic times of the day because I am NOT a morning person and there is a lot to do to get everyone situated!
4 – Super Helper – Getting Landon involved and making him my Super Helper has also been great! He is a pro at diaper changes, while I undress Brooks, Landon is already next to me getting out a diaper and wipe so I am ready to go and he throws out the dirty one while I am getting the clean one on. Or helping get Brooks’ paci or bottle whenever his little brother is fussing. Or helping “cook” or “clean” in the kitchen when I am working on a meal. I also ask him to check on Brooks and see what he’s doing. He just likes to have something to do and is really proud of himself for helping with Mr. B. I also love watching Landon adjust to his new role by being more patient as Mommy and Daddy can’t always meet his needs immediately.
I will say that with two kids, being able to let one kid cry it out for a few minutes is going to happen and if I have the mindset that things are going to get crazy a couple times a say, it helps me not get so overwhelmed. Other times, I just have to step away for a minute and let Dean take over. Being home with both of them most of the time lately, it’s easy for me to be fried at the end of the day and I just need a little me time – some kid free time where I don’t have a toddler shouting, “peek boo” and opening the door every time I am taking a bathroom break, or getting into everything on the counters and pulling everything out of the pantry while I am changing a mini-sized diaper.