Whether you’re having twins or expecting your children in quick succession, having two children in less than two years is a beautiful whirlwind. Our first two children are 14 months apart, and our third came along under the three year mark, so I definitely understand the chaos of having multiple minis underfoot, but, like everything, it’s easier when you’re prepared. So here’s my list of essentials for two-under-two.
Firstly, look on the bright side. One can’t plan having twins, and often if a second pregnancy comes along while the first baby is still in the newborn stage, it was a surprise, but having your children this close can be wonderful. Your children will always have a built-in best friend and teammate. Sure they can team up against you, but let’s not focus on that! With minimal (if any) space between your children, they’re really a peer group, which comes with plenty of benefits.
- You won’t have to store hand-me-downs for long. Yay for more storage space!
- Your kids can share toys and books, as they’ll be in the same developmental stage and likely be interested in the same things. This means having less stuff as you have more kids. Magic!
- You’ll be finished with the challenging stages of childrearing faster than if your children were more spread out. I do not miss the sleepless nights of newborns!
- Your children can be together, or at least overlap one another for day care, play groups, sports, music, and school. Transitions have been made all the smoother knowing a sibling is along for the journey.
- As a parent, you are already in the trenches of parenting a newborn, so by some logic, it makes sense to stay there for another year, rather than come completely out, only to jump back in a few years later. I often said if we had our kids further apart, I would have lost my nerve after our first!
Practically speaking, having several tiny humans in your care requires more than a positive attitude. Luckily, there are a lot of things to prepare your home, your nursery, and yourself for the pending chaos.
For twins or siblings who are both under two years, a double stroller is a must. Because I use my stroller every day for errands and in lieu of a car, I prefer the tandem seating as opposed to side-by-side. My favourite double strollers are the UPPAbaby VISTA and the Baby Jogger City Select, as they can both be used as a single stroller, and accommodate up to three kids.
If you have multiples, you need to consider if your vehicle can handle the car seats required. If you don’t have a minivan, this is particularly important. We have three children but don’t own a minivan, meaning we needed to fit three car seats across the back of our mid-sized SUV. The Diono Radian birth-to-booster car seats are designed to do just that, and so we promptly bought three. If you’re only considering car seats for two children, you can be more flexible. An infant car seat doesn’t expire for at least six years (depending on manufacturer) in Canada, which means it can easily be handed down to a second sibling, but if your children are twins or very close in age, you may find yourself buying two.
If your children will be sharing a room, consider that they can share practically everything. Even with twins, you’ll only need one activity mat, one dresser, one changing table, one diaper bag, one glider, etc. At a time where it probably feels like you need to buy double of everything, this is a relief! Many parents of twins even prefer to keep their twins in the same crib until they begin to roll over and require more space.
As a mom of three-under-three, I can honestly say I wouldn’t have it any other way. You might find yourself going through linens and diapers like crazy for a few years (did I mention that you should stock up on those?), and sure, you’ll be short on sleep for a while, but your children will always have someone to walk beside, and that’s pretty special.
Emily is a Montreal-based writer and blogger, but most importantly, a mom of three littles (age five and under). She geeks out over cloth diapers, lattes, and will do just about anything to travel. You can find her on Instagram @emmorrice where she profusely overgrams pictures of her meals, kids and city.