Getting out of the house can take f-o-r-e-v-e-r with little ones. The best way to get out of the house is to be as efficient and prepared as possible. One major step? The diaper bag. Diaper bag=lifeline. So when you have two in diapers, you want to have all your basic supplies packed and ready to go. Let’s talk about all the diaper bag essentials for a toddler and a newborn.
By the way, if you also are preparing to have two under two, check out my post on what to expect here.
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You don’t need to go out and buy an extra diaper bag
Now maybe some of you laughed at that but I sincerely considered that possibility when I was pregnant with our second child.
I mean, so much stuff is needed for just one kid in diapers, I would need another bag right?
A lot of the diaper bag essentials for a toddler and a newborn will be shared so you aren’t going to be adding too much.
Besides, you’re going to look really goofy chasing kids at the park with two bags on you. 🙂
Save your money and use the diaper bag you have
This tip would have come in handy about 18 months ago. I spent hours looking on the internet for an “extra-large” diaper bag that didn’t cost at least $100.
I couldn’t find one nor did I need it. The only reason I would suggest for you to buy a different bag is if you don’t already have a backpack style diaper bag.
When you have two in diapers, you need all the free hands you can get!
This is the closest style of bag I found that I have used for both of my children at the same time. The price range is about $30 and has served me well. There is still a good amount of space even with two sets of diapers and clothes inside.
Plus, it’s leopard-you’re welcome.
Make it part of your routine to check and restock your diaper bag
Sometimes Ol’ Reliable (aka your diaper bag) becomes a black hole for whatever storage is needed on the go.
I seriously feel like Mary Poppins pulling stuff out of the bottom of my diaper bag sometimes!
Try to get into a rhythm of once a month, once a season, or whatever frequency works for you, to check and reorganize your diaper bag.
For me, anytime my children are growing into a new size of diaper or clothing is a good reminder to double check that I have the right sizes in my bag.
Here’s my list of diaper bag essentials for a toddler and a newborn:
Toddler sized diapers (1-2 diapers for every 2 hours)
Baby sized diapers (1-2 diapers for every 2 hours)
I was not even 7 months postpartum before I became pregnant again with our second child. Though my husband and I were very excited, a sudden overwhelming feeling of fear seeped in. We were going to have two under two!
How are we going to handle having two babies less than 16 months apart???
So what about you-are you feeling a little bit panicky right now? Wondering what it takes to get ready for kids close in age?
I think most of us on this side of things would say that there’s only so much preparing you can do. As much as possible, roll with it and relax. You already have at least one baby under your belt, you’ve got this!
Nesting is going to look a little different this time around, a little less polished maybe. But that is totally okay. Here is probably going to be my biggest tip for you:
Cut yourself some slack!
You absolutely cannot compare to how it was to prepare for your first baby. At that point in general you could go to the bathroom, shower, and eat on your terms. Nowadays, you have a little one to chase around with your growing belly.
Maybe you were like me and for awhile you are pregnant AND breastfeeding at the same time (don’t worry, my doctors were totally okay with it)!
You get my point? Shift your mindset to not set up expectations for yourself so high that you are left frustrated.
So with that being said, let’s dive in.
Still createa baby registry, even if you don’t share it with others.
Well-meaning people would often say to me “At least you have all the stuff you need already.”. To an extent, that’s true. But I still found myself needing either a few things or two sets of some things for my two under two.
Depending on the age of your older child, you may find that you need two of:
Highchair/booster seat (ours was a 4 in 1 highchair so that I personally didn’t need two)
Sound machines (if not sharing a room with older sibling)
This all depends on your personal setup for home or away, but with essentially two babies you need two of everything basically.
Remember, with creating a registry you will be eligible for any offers or discounts that come with completion. A friend of mine created a registry but didn’t share it with other people but was still able to use all the benefits included.
My registry was still active from our first child, so I was able to very easily edit my list for what I needed versus starting from scratch.
If someone offers to host a “Sprinkle” for you, take them up on it!
In case you aren’t familiar with the term, a sprinkle is a smaller scale baby shower for someone that has already had children before. I know some mommas aren’t into having a lot of attention be on them, but the focus is to celebrate this new baby coming as well as support for the momma.
My mom was very gracious to offer to host a sprinkle for me (thanks Mom!). It was really nice to take a break from nesting to celebrate and be around people who love me.
You already are going to have your hands full when you have two under two, don’t be afraid to let people bless you.
Invest in a double stroller.
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Yes, your oldest may be walking (more like running) regularly but they sometimes get tuckered out too. On family walks my oldest will walk for a little bit but eventually needs a break.
Feel free to ask parents at the park or on the street how they like their double stroller. We have done that before and usually parents are more than happy to chat with you.
It seriously feels like a secret club; having two under two. Parents that are in this club just get it like no one else does.
This is the stroller that we have:
I can fold and unfold this thing one handed. What I really like is that it works with Graco’s Click-Connect System. I was able to use the baby car seat for baby #2 and click it onto the stroller all without waking her up. I highly recommend this one.
Organize hand-me-downs as you do laundry.
Maybe you have been doing this all along, or maybe you still have a newborn and wrapping your head around being pregnant again. No worries!
Having two under two means that there’s a good chance that the older one’s clothes are still in style and not lost in the dungeon of storage.
We all know kids outgrow sizes overnight sometimes. Keep using unscented laundry detergent (or pick it back up), and as baby #1 outgrows items, either hang it up in baby #2’s nursery or put it in a bin for later.
I still organize my hand me downs for my second child this way; sorting as I put away clean laundry. Because do you really have the time to dedicate a whole day for this task? Probably not.
Don’t sweat if thesecond nursery isn’t absolutely perfect in time for the baby.
If you have major mom guilt over this one (or anything really), just know you are in good company! With your first baby, you probably had more time and let’s face it more money-hello diapers-to devote to creating the perfect nursery.
Something I told myself that may help you is that the child’s room will be in constant development just like how they constantly develop. Chances are your nursery for the older baby or now toddler has already evolved to their interests.
I really struggled with mom guilt over not being able to devote as much as effort to my second pregnancy as my first.
What’s wrong with me? Do I not love my secondchild as much as my first? Will they think I favor our oldest because their nursery isn’t Pinterest-perfect?
That’s silly, right? But that’s what happens when we leave our thoughts and hormones to their own devices!
To combat this, I would and still write letters to my children, explaining to them what’s all going on during this time. I write about being pregnant during COVID, having two under two, reminding them how much I love them even if I can’t do everything I would like to for them.
And you know what? Then I feel better! I am keeping all these letters and planning to give it to them down the road.
Use shortcuts for making a freezer meal stash.
If you can devote a day or an afternoon to make a huge batch of freezer meals to use after you give birth, that is great. But even if you can’t or don’t want to do that, break up making your stash over days or weeks.
Start or re-use old recipes that you like for freezer meals and buy double the ingredients; one for today’s meal and another to throw in a freezer bag for later on. Boom. Done.
Need a step easier than that? As you buy groceries, buy some sort of frozen meals every trip you can. I am a big Costco fan, so when we would make a run to the store I would buy smoothie mixes, waffles, pizzas, etc. in bulk.
Still not simple enough? I hear ya! Start building a stash of gift cards for restaurants to have on hand. Or ask for them as gifts for Christmas, birthdays, etc. My mom would give me a bunch of gift cards for places to eat when my children were born. They were seriously a Godsend to me (Again, thanks Mom!).
It’s also nice to have some extra meals available for whoever is taking care of your other children while you are in labor or at the hospital.
You probably already have a milk stash for your kiddo and don’t even know it!
Remember how I said earlier how I was breastfeeding and pregnant at the same time? It came in handy! I already had a good chunk of frozen breastmilk that my first child didn’t need but I could still hang onto for my next baby.
Reminder: frozen breastmilk is good for up to 6 months after the date that it was expressed.
Though I was able to thankfully breastfeed both of my children, I did have to supplement with formula for my second baby for a couple of days. Even after my milk fully came in, I still hung onto those cases of formula for quite awhile.
If you fed your baby formula, please comment to share your experience on how long normally formula has a shelf life for. It’s always good to know!
Definitely consider getting an additional breast pump if you plan to breastfeed.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I would be eligible for another pump through our insurance. I would double check this with your insurance if that is the case for you or not. My understanding was that I was able to obtain another one after one year of receiving a breast pump but that is because I was pregnant again.
This may seem unnecessary for you, but I liked having two different pumps. The older pump was still operable, but you need to routinely replace valves and other parts.
Especially for you working mommas, if you have two pumps you can leave one pump at home and have the other one in the car or at your work. You have enough things to carry between diaper bags, car seats, purses, etc. That’s one less thing to haul back to the car!
Prep any birth announcement or ceremonies beforehand as much as possible.
This tip will apply to you based off your cultural and religious views. For us, we observe infant baptism into the Christian faith.
I already scheduled a baptism date with my church that worked for both the pastor as well as the sponsors. I also bought any decorations I wanted and created a meal plan ahead of time. That might seem extreme but it was really nice to not have to completely scramble around after the baby was born.
But what about preparing the older sibling???
So this one is a biggie. There is so much that goes into this that I am going to create a follow up post that’s dedicated to this topic alone.
But for now, my #1 tip in regard to this is to make any big transitions for the older sibling BEFORE the baby arrives. Even if your oldest is going to fall in love with their new sibling, sharing the spotlight is going to rock their world.
If you try to transition anything of their current “normal” during this introductory phase, it can leave the older child feeling totally out of sync. Some transitions you may need to do are:
Weaning off breast and/or bottle
Sleeping in their own room
Car seat placement in the car
Changing from crib to toddler bed
Bed and nap time routines
Like I said, I will be going into greater detail on this in my next post. Stay tuned!
There is so much to do to get ready for any new addition to the family. It will be a lot of work and craziness but be prepared to have a lot of fun too. I wouldn’t change it for the world having our kids 15 months apart.
Please comment below on any tips you have to share or what you found most helpful. I so appreciate you taking the time to be here today, have a great day!
We did it….we survived our first month with a newborn and a toddler. I knew it was going to be challenging and exhausting but you just never know for sure until you hit the ground running.
I was nervous for months and shed tears with concern of how my son (my first baby) will react to my daughter. Will he hate her? Will he think I don’t love him anymore? Just how the heck do I prepare essentially an older baby for a younger baby?
I am so happy and grateful to report that my son is an amazing big brother. He is always giving her kisses and hugs, it’s seriously so sweet it will make you cry. I am not sure if it’s because he’s so little himself and/or his personality is why it’s working or what. But we definitely try to include him in as much of taking care of her as possible. A downside of him being so little is he isn’t fully aware of everything spatially so he tries to sit next to her and almost ends up sitting on her. Yikes. I’m definitely more on guard then ever before!
So am I exhausted? Oh yeah. Stressed? You betcha. Do we have a messier house? Yes like never before! But I also am trying to enjoy all the chaos, meltdowns, crying along with the smiles, hugs, and fun. Why? Because I know that this is a super special time in our lives with our babies. Soon enough they will be wanting to live their own lives; mommy and daddy will be the farthest thing from cool. But for now I get to sit and rock them to sleep, hold their hands and change their diapers. So many diapers….
If you are in the trenches of parenthood with me, take a moment to soak it all up through your baggy eyes and dark circles. Because one day we are going to wish we could go back in time to this very moment. -Kathy