As soon as someone sees you with an infant AND a pregnant belly.. the horror stories, scary moments, bad advice, and mom guilt start pouring in. You will hear that it is going to be SO. FREAKING. HARD., that you are taking away the attention of your first baby by adding another, that you will probably not leave the house again until they are in kindergarten, or that you must just be clinicly insane.
I heard all of this and more.
I was terrified, feeling guilty, and on top of it.. sick to my stomach, daily, no matter what I ate, when I ate it, how I ate it, etc.
Then it happened. When Camden was just shy of 14 months old, Lilian made her entrance into the world.
Here are some of the pros that I have found come with having had two under two.
- Pregnancy. While I was incredibly sick and tired during pregnancy, I did not have an older child begging me to play or go places or do things. I had an infant that was happy with playing at home, took two naps a day, and was generally easy to please. This made pregnancy a lot easier.
- Sibling rivalry. Camden was still very young when Lily was born, so there was little to no jealousy. He had 14 months of only child life before having a baby sister and will probably never remember life before her. I did not deal with jealousy, tantrums because the baby got attention, sibling rivalry, or any of the things that sometimes come with having an older child when a sibling arrives.
- Naps. Newborn babies nap a lot. Camden still took two naps at the time. This allowed for twice a day, usually, when both kids were asleep. When Lily transitioned into two naps a day, Camden was also transitioning into one nap a day, but at least one of those naps was at the same time.
- Built in best friends. They are growing up together. Everyday they learn new things, explore, play, and genuinely grow up together side by side. There are plenty of moments when they do not get along, as little people with few words cannot always express what they want so they hit, push, and bite instead. But for the most part, they get along and make each other giggle in the most innocent and sweet way.
- Early bedtimes. Being so young and so close together, they have the same bedtime routine and a bedtime that is only about 15-30 mins (depending on how many books I read) apart. This means.. I have a lot of quiet time at the end of the time thanks to early bedtimes for both children.
- Diapers. Everyone always said that having two close together sounded like a lot of diapers. BUT what is the difference between changing one childs diapers and then another.. as opposed to getting one child potty trained and THEN starting over with diapers and a newborn.. I may change double the diapers now, but I will be done changing diapers long before those that have their kids spread out.
- Middle of the night feedings. Bringing a newborn baby home is exhausting. They eat, sleep (sometimes), and poop. Sounds easy, but it is tiring to be awoken in the middle of the night by the screaming of a human the size of a football. Having a 14 month old when I brought home baby number two meant that I had barely been out of the newborn stage.. so while I may be extra tired some days, I had not really been out of the midnight wake up mode for long (if at all) so I didn’t have to readjust to middle of the night feedings.
- Baby mode. I already had to pack a bag with diapers, bottles, wipes, snacks, toys, books, formula, etc. etc. etc. every time I left the house. Adding a second baby just meant packing more of what I already had packed. I never had to retrain my brain to pack necessities because I never stopped. I was already in baby mode.
I will never tell you that having two under two was all sunshine and rainbows. Because it wasn’t and it isn’t always. I have a lot of mom guilt over feeling like I stole Cams spotlight, like Lily wasn’t getting the best newborn days because I also had to care for Cam, like I wasn’t balancing them well enough. Some days I still feel that way, so I am working on getting in one on one time with each child doing something with just them that they will enjoy. I also struggle with them battling over things everyday, Lily just learning how to grab and run, while Cam gets frustrated and pushes.
But in my head, having two kids no matter what the age difference is a balancing act. Each age difference comes with different struggles. You will always be able to figure out what is needed from you because you’re the mom and moms know best.
Now everyone go get a second baby!