Sharing my top tips of how to smoothly transition from one child to two children since it was one of the toughest transitions in my life…
I still can’t believe that I’m a mother of two little girls. As grateful as I am, it’s been a very difficult transition. My older daughter, Emma, is 2 and a half and is in the midst of the ‘terrible twos’. She’s sweet as pie one moment and the next moment is having a meltdown because she can’t put her sneaker on by herself. My newborn, Jordyn rarely lets me put her down and between the nursing, diaper changes and rocking to sleep she takes up almost all of my time. Emma has been getting jealous of the attention that Jordyn gets, so I’ve been doing my best to give her quality one-on-one time whenever possible (when someone else is around to be with Jordyn).
Since I had such a tough time transitioning from one child to two, I wanted to give some tips of ways to make the transition go smoother since many of you have been asking:
TIP 1: Freeze lots of meals before the baby arrives so you have healthy meals ready to heat up. If I thought I didn’t have any free time to cook dinner when I had one kid, I was seriously kidding myself because with two kids even the thought of trying to get dinner together is laughable. The month before my due date I made large batches of some of my favorite healthy meals (also toddler and husband approved) so that we had healthy meals to eat. I mostly made and froze dinner food, but I also made a huge batch of pancakes that I froze that we’re still enjoying for breakfast! My biggest piece of advice is to find meals that the whole family likes so you’re only making/heating up one meal for everyone. Also, don’t feel guilty about ordering in every night for months if you didn’t have time to freeze meals in advance. It’s all about just getting through these first few months!
TIP 2: Plan out activities for your older child before the baby arrives. I wanted to make sure I had some productive activities for Emma to do that would also keep her busy, such as painting, coloring, stickers and some new toys. All of these can keep a toddler busy and occupied while you’re dealing with the baby (getting them down for a nap, nursing etc).
TIP 3: Invest in a high quality double stroller: One thing that calms both of my children is going for an early evening walk. It’s not too hot out around 5pm and it gets the baby some fresh air right around when ‘witching hour’ is setting in. Emma loves seeing all the dogs on our block and it’s also good to get her some fresh air before dinner, bath and bed.
I LOVE the UPPAbaby VISTA! It’s the most flexible stroller because it has multiple configurations, making it perfect for both a newborn and toddler. All of the seating is super comfortable and it’s a sleek, fashionable stroller for me to push around ( it has 100% premium leather accents). The stroller isn’t too big, but large enough to fit both children. One feature I love is that it has an extra large basket for storage, which is perfect for holding my massive diaper bag! I also love the amount of storage space on the bottom because when I go food shopping with the kids I can leave both of them in the stroller and just put all of the groceries in the basket.
The UPPAbaby VISTA comes with a bassinet which has been perfect for Jordyn since birth. She lays on her back and the motion of the stroller really calms her, so it’s perfect for naps on the go. The bassinet easily detaches and so I can carry Jorydn into the house while still asleep without having to move or transfer her.
There’s also a Toddler Seat and RumbleSeat, so Emma and Jordyn can ride forwards, backwards, completely upright, reclined and anywhere in between. While Emma enjoys being completely upright and forward facing since she loves to look around, I keep Jordyn’s seat backwards (parent-facing) or reclined since she isn’t quite big enough to be completely upright.
In addition to having two seats for each child plus the bassinet option, I also have the infant car seat (the MESA), which attaches directly to the stroller so I never have to take Jordyn out of her car seat, making my life sooo much easier if she were to fall asleep in the car. The VISTA also comes with a bassinet bug shield, bassinet storage bag, toddler seat rain shield and toddler seat bug shield.
TIP 4: Find a good educational television show for your older child. I always said that I wouldn’t allow my toddler to watch more than one hour total of television per day, but I realized if it’s for my sanity I’ll allow an extra show; especially if it’s educational. I save ‘TV time’ for when I’m nursing Jordyn or trying to get her down for a nap. Emma’s favorite show lately is Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, which I highly recommend!
TIP 5: Plan some ‘mommy and me’ time with your older child. Even if it’s just going out for ice cream, pedicures, a park, the library or a museum for an hour; try to make them feel special by planning a fun activity where you’re not distracted by the baby. I’ll even take Emma to run some errands with me so I’m getting things checked off my ‘to-do list’ while spending time with her. Spending some alone time with each child is important to me.
TIP 6: Sign up for a mommy and me class with your baby. This is a great way to bond with your baby without your older child in the picture to steal your attention. It’s also a great way to meet moms with children of a similar age. Luckily Emma is in school/camp so it’s easy for me to get to a class with Jordyn on our own. If your older child isn’t in school, camp, or daycare see if a family member or babysitter can watch them for an hour so you can sneak away for a the class.
TIP 7: Include the toddler in ways to help with the baby. I try to make Emma a big part of every little process so she feels needed and helpful. This also makes her feel included in everything I’m doing. Emma brings me a diaper, hands me wipes, and puts the pacifier in Jordyn’s mouth when she is crying. I constantly praise her on what a wonderful and helpful big sister she is.
TIP 8: Try to be one step ahead of your kids at all times. This makes the day go so much smoother. For example, I try to get up and get ready before both kids wake up in the morning so once they’re up I’m already showered and dressed for the day (and if I’m lucky I got to make breakfast and pack Emma’s lunch for camp).
TIP 9: Go to sleep as soon as both kids are down at night. As exhausted as I was, I found myself playing on my phone in bed for over an hour (such a waste of time) when sleep is so precious. Keep your phone out of the bedroom and go to sleep as soon as both kids are sleeping! Also, cleaning the house can wait… your sleep is way more important!
I hope you found these tips to be helpful. If you have any tips I missed PLEASE leave them in the comments below… I’d love to hear!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of UPPAbaby. The opinions and text are all mine.