Our eldest boy was born 13 September 2013 and your youngest boy was born 13 October 2014 – and there’s exactly a 13 month age gap – 13, Unlucky for some but not us.
One of the most challenging things about having two very small children is my inability to split myself into two – it’s physically impossible to do things for both boys at the same time. I’ve given up trying. When two children scream at the same time – which one do you go to first?! I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer on that one.
Breastfeeding was a nightmare for me second time round. My son was a big feeder and each session would last 40 minutes – which meant that once he’d latched on I was stuck on the sofa, unable to move. Meanwhile, my 13-month-old boy was having a field day on his own because he knew that I couldn’t get up to him. I opted to switch to bottle feeding after two weeks (but expressed for a while), I was much happier, and so were the boys. With one baby in his bouncer, I could hold his bottle, whilst with my other hand, I played puzzles or cars with my eldest.
Getting out of the house with two was an interesting challenge. We lived on the main road, with no fence from our drive to the road – it wasn’t too bad while I could strap our youngest into his car seat but once he had outgrown that I faced the juggle of two moving children. The decision of who went first was purely based on which child was the happiest that day and less likely to scream that I was out of sight for a millisecond.
Nappies. The endless cycle of changing nappies! My two children managed to get in sync so it actually made it slightly easier as I’d just change one after the other but once my youngest could crawl at around 8 months, it became more challenging. As soon as they realised what was happening one or the other would make a break for it.
My eldest soon learned that if he took a toy off the youngest it would make him cry. They’d both want what the other one had (this doesn’t go away either as they get older, it gets worse!).
Bed and bath time was an aerobic workout. I would lovingly place my youngest in his cot where he could wreak havoc whilst I bathed the older one, swiftly followed by me occupying the older one with toy and book bribes, whilst I bathed the younger one (occasionally he would try and launch a toy at his brother in the bath). I did try bathing them together but I end up getting wetter than they were!
There are so many articles written on top five tips to survive two under two so I thought I’d give mine. I have one tip – Do what you’ve got to do to survive.
If that means sticking your kids in front of CBeebies or Thomas the tank to ensure you get ten minutes peace to have a hot cuppa – do it and do not feel any guilt!
My eldest is now three and a half and my youngest is almost two and a half – I love my boys to bits and having them so close together is challenging but I wouldn’t change it for the world, and if I had to it again, I would
Remember there’s no right or wrong answer to parenting – it’s your journey, no one else’s.