Hey there, mama! This post is a continuation from our article on Transitioning to Two Kids. Here you’ll find even more advice, tips and encouragements from moms of multiples about transitioning from one to two kids. I’m so grateful for these moms who have gone before us! Hope this is helpful on your journey to multiple kiddos.
No two infants are alike. What worked for one may not work for the other. What one hated in toys and food the other other may absolutely love!Jessica Gruber, mom of 3, web and brand specialist at Buzzworks
It was seriously the hardest thing I have ever done. I would tell myself to quit the comparison game. Just because your friend has 2 kids and seems to have it all together, doesn’t mean she had it all together when she was at the same stage.Sara Hickman, mom and artist at Sara Hickman Designs
With our oldest, we did more as a family with the routines: bath time, bed time, etc. Now with two we’ve had to embrace “divide and conquer” and not feel bad about it. I’ll do baths while my husband cleans the kitchen from dinner so that at the end of the day we have a little more quality time just the two of us.Kristin, mom of Rowan (3) and Kate (1)
If I could go back, I’d tell myself that most people go through some marriage bumps once the dust settles (around month 2-3) because it’s a big transition. We weren’t prepared for that so it really threw us off (along with the extra hormones I felt this time!) and the more we talked to parents, young and old, everyone seemed to say they went through the same thing after a new baby was born. Made me feel a lot more normal!Hannah, mom of Sarah Kate (2.5) and Summer (10 months)
It was not at all like I pictured. The house is a little messier, I don’t shower enough, and man do I love the instant pot to help get meals on the table. It was helpful to have people bring me meals when my second was a newborn, but it was even more beneficial when I had meals coming for lunch or brunch when baby was about 3-5 months old and I was in the throws of postpartum depression. I had to suck up my pride and ask people if they could serve me. “Hey you want to come over and hangout with my baby so I can grab a nap, a shower or eat?” I was so lost and so overwhelmed and so upset about having PPD. Your hormones are all over the place and it is completely normal. So let people serve you, because believe it or not, they really want to! You have a community and a tribe for a reason, never feel bad for reaching out to them. They DO NOT care that your house is a mess or that the dishes haven’t been done. Friends came over, they did my dishes, they loved on me, my toddler, the baby and they prayed with and over my family!Stephanie, mom of Caroline (3) and TJ (8 months)
We got our oldest a doll. We practiced diaper changes and feedings and caring for a baby with the doll before Baby was born. And then they have someone to take care of while you are caring for the baby. It really helped my daughter and my nephew with the second baby.Amanda Ostrander, mom of 2, teacher-turned-homeschooler at Raising A to Z
I think the hardest part for me is making sure each child feels adequately loved and treated/loved equally. I’ve felt a lot more mom guilt this time around because each child is constantly reminding you that “even though you just played with me for an hour if you have time to tend to my sibling then it must mean you had more time to be with me.” And that I’m never going to be able to give my second the same undivided attention as my first and that feels hard too. I have to trust the order God has given me my children and trust that the energy and love I do give them that He can multiply it or make it sufficient. Oh, and not being able to use all the nap times for my own personal time. Archer is currently transitioning out of naps and even though we try to implement some “quiet play time” in his room it doesn’t always work perfectly to give me a break from both children at the same time.
I HAD to find a way to get alone time with Adaline (baby #2). I was having a harder time bonding/being present with her and Archer still had the same level of need for attention that he did before she came! We had some missteps figuring out what kind of program would be helpful for him but he’s in a preschool 2 half days a week now and it’s been such a blessing for all of us. I think it can feel shameful that I couldn’t be the best mom with both my kids home with me at all times but we got a lot of advice and this was something that was suggested to us and we all are grateful for his school.
I’ve also had to be even more intentional with my alone time and what I do with it compared to when it was just Archer. There’s just a lot less of natural alone time or time that’s not spent doing laundry and dishes and cleaning (it increases exponentially with each child I’m certain). If I don’t use some of my alone time in the week/month diving deeper with God through journaling or prayer I become a wreck emotionally much quicker. I have to do regular self care (going on a walk by myself, getting coffee with a friend) but that just doesn’t sustain me as long as it used to!Brittany, mom of Archer (4) & Adaline (15 months)
Pray a lot. Give yourself grace and time for the transition. Do your best and let God do the rest! Oh and remember that your mistakes are sometimes your biggest blessings if you demonstrate to your children how to overcome them God’s way.Bobbi Schaben, mom of four and writer at BobbiSchaben.com
For me the hardest thing was not having enough time for Sophie (my oldest daughter). Then I decided that I needed to have more time just with her, doing things that we used to do just us two like Tuesday go to the movies or go get ice cream like old times. I started putting Tommy (baby #2) to bed earlier so I go help her go to sleep and since then it’s much much better. It was super super hard, way more than I imagined…Sophie is a very confident and strong little girl and I thought she would be fine but she wasn’t.Juliana, mom of Sophie (5) and Tommy (6 months)
I gave birth to my little girl when my little boy was a few months shy of 2. I thought a lot about those initial first few weeks beforehand: how to introduce them, how long to stay in the hospital, activities for him while I breastfed. Their first meeting was so adorable – he stroked her little hand and gave her the gentlest kiss. What I didn’t consider beforehand was when she started moving (at 4 months!). Suddenly she wasn’t just a sleeping baby in the carrier, but another person, vying for attention, grabbing his toys and taking up the time that was “for him.”
If I could do it again I would definitely be more mindful of individual time for my son every day (that I was truly focused on him), and preparing the home so that they could have space to move but be separate (baby gates, play pen etc.). We have tables that are out of baby’s reach that he can play on with his small world play which has been very helpful.
Also I can’t stress enough how useful a good baby carrier is when you have 2. They are now at an age (3 and 1) where they play together (at least some of the time) and it is so fun to witness this new phase.Holly, mom of 2, pediatric occupational therapist who blogs at OTholly.com