Now that I have 2 little munchkins to look after I’m rarely brave enough to leave the house much. When I do it’s a task to get everything together so I try and stay as organised as possible which is something I’ve always been good at even with kids. I don’t cope well with mess or things not being in their right place; this doesn’t apply to kids toys because that would be a bit of an oxymoron!
My newborn is 7 weeks old now and so I think I have a pretty good grasp on how to survive with both of them to look after. I know a few of my friends are about to have a similar age gap with their kids so I thought it might be a good idea to write about some of the things that are really helping me through very long days. (See my bog post ‘A Day in the Life of 2 Under 2‘).
1) Prep your Toddlers Lunch the Night Before
I try and prep Sadie’s lunch when I’m prepping our dinner the night before. This means less mess the next day as I will wash all the dishes after dinner so there isn’t any cleaning up the day of. I have an EasyMat so I put her lunch in that and then store it in the fridge ready to just grab the next day. This means if Lucas is being super-fussy and just wont be put down, I can feed Sadie quick and easy enough.
2) Meal Planning for Toddler and Us
If I do a meal plan then it makes it a lot easier to see what I need to prep or take out the freezer in advance. The last thing I want to be doing when I have a screaming newborn and a tantruming toddler is trying to decide what to feed Sadie or us or trying to prep an entire meal. If I know that Sadie will be having pasta, I’ll try and cook it while she’s having her morning nap, add the sauce and then just re-heat it later one.
3) Getting Out the House
There’s only so long that I can stay inside the house for before I start to go a little stir crazy. We live quite close to some local shops so it’s easy for me to just have a wander. I take maternity leave as an opportunity to sort things out in the house that you just never get around to…clearing out wardrobes, projects that need to get done, stuff that needs to be bought for the house etc. Tomorrow I’m going to buy some containers for her toys so I can store things into categories for her e.g. all the colouring stuff in one box etc.
4) Small Daily Tasks to Accomplish
This kind of links into number 4. I’ll set myself a little project to do each day; nothing huge, nothing that would stress me out, nothing that would take time away from the kids. It can be something so small like getting all the laundry sorted to actually doing nothing like having a nap or reading a chapter of my book. I feel like if I make myself little goals and achieve them then I feel like I’ve done something for myself and a bit more normal.
Lucas is the ‘easy’ one at the moment. He doesn’t really need anything from me other than milk, nappy changes and of course, lots of cuddles.
Sadie needs a lot more hands on time, she is 20 months old and has the attention span of a nat. She also likes to have a lot of adult interaction so I’m constantly going back and forth from colouring to building towers to playing tea party to playing with dolls. So when I can I’ll try and make playdates with friends so that she has someone to play with and I have someone to talk to. The bonus of that is that the adult friend always wants to cuddle the new baby so I sometimes get to have a whole cup of HOT tea 😀
6) Measuring out Formula for Night Feeds
Use a cheap formula storage pod and measure out the right amount of scoops in each section ready to just whack into the bottle. Do this when both kids are sleeping or settled so you can count accurately. This saves you a lot of time when making up the bottle, stops you from miscounting when they are screaming or when your half asleep and then theres no bug bulky formula canister on your kitchen sides.
7) Sterilising Bottles
If you’re using formula it’s a lot easier to get into a routine with feeds. Lucas is going every 3-4 hours so we know that he needs to have 6 bottles daily. To help with keeping on top of them we will wash them after our dinner every night. This way we have a complete set of bottles for the entire day and I don’t have to try and find a window in the day to wash 6 bottles!
We have the MAM bottles so if he does happen to need an extra bottle we can just wash one and self sterilise that one in the microwave.
Linking into number 6, we also have 2 of the formula pods that hold 3 portions each so we wash those at night too and then all the formula is ready for all the feeds the next day.
Lots and lots of wine.
I hope that this will help some of you guys out. The transition from 1 to 2 is an adjustment but I’m really enjoying it. I don’t quite have it all figured out just yet but I’m getting there!