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Quite honestly I have no idea, and the thought of a surprise pregnancy right now is enough to give me the hives. But Julia Ladewski, author of Work Wife Mom… Life! handles it with aplomb. She gave Green Baby Green Mama the scoop on what it’s really like with two kiddos under two. (Thank you Julia!)

Just days before my daughter turned 1.
Days before my first Mother’s Day.
The day before my daughters first unassisted wobbly steps.
I had a feeling and took “the test”.  At work. I had the gut feeling and I couldn’t let it rest.

Upon seeing that 8 letter word written so clearly across the digital reader, I wrapped the test up in a tin and tied it with a bow. My Mother’s Day gift to my husband.

While I loved being pregnant and I would’ve gotten pregnant 9 months ago, it was still a surprise. I couldn’t believe I was going to be a mom of 2 under 2.

Two under two.  Yikes.

Initially, the thought of having kids so close together seemed, well, practical. I mean, I’m used to the newborn stage, we have clothes, and cribs and bibs and bottles and everything else.  The older child will have only been an “only child” for a mere 20 months, so hardly a chance of feeling “spoiled”.

And then, it hit me. 2 in diapers. A 20 month old in a bed so the baby can have the crib. A still very dependent toddler and a newborn. The thought of potty training?  Oh dear, what have I gotten myself into??

(Sigh.)

And as 16 months have passed since the day I became a mom of two, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I quickly learned that as the baby grew, I could get them to take an afternoon nap at the same time. That was a relief just to simply have an hour (or two) to rest and have a little peace and quiet.

We transitioned from a crib to a bed at the right time. At 18 months, my daughter was sleeping in a toddler bed. She hadn’t gotten so attached to the crib that we couldn’t break her from it. 18 months was a great stage to really make her feel like a “big girl”. While we broke the bottle habit and one year old, I think this age again provides a great opportunity to show the toddler that babies are for bottles, not big kids. I’ve seen three-and-a-half year old kids still using a bottle because the parents didn’t have a reason to take it away when the child was younger and as they got older, the transition got more difficult.

Two in diapers wasn’t a huge deal for us. You’re already changing one diaper… what’s one more? The key for us… cloth diapers. Saved us tons of money. And no, the “extra” laundering wasn’t a big deal.

When baby napped or had floor time, it was a great opportunity to do crafts with the toddler, or have special one-on-one time.  I also enjoyed reading bedtime stories to both of them together. Bath time is another event that is great when they can do it together. I would also set up my toddler’s meal and have her sit down to eat while I nursed the baby. That way she was occupied and didn’t disrupt our nursing time.

Having kids close in age takes some creativity.  A lot of killing-two-birds-with-one-stone kind of things. And patience and love. But what Mom doesn’t need those two things?

What tips and tricks do you have for managing a toddler and a newborn?

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