Two under Two

Motherhood

Recently a sweet friend of mine encouraged me to “share the journey along the way”. Shortly after that conversation, I sat down to write this blog post- partially for her, partially for you readers, but mostly for myself.

I love this blog. I love having these awesome “aha!” moments of mommy hood and sharing them, in hopes it’ll help another mommy out. I wait until I feel like I’ve mastered (or at least have decent experience in 😅) a certain area of raising littles and then write it out here for the world to read! But to be honest, I haven’t had many of those “aha” moments with two under two. Let’s face it-two babies is HARD. Some days I’m feeding one baby in my arms while rocking the other in a bouncer with my foot and I think I’m killing it. Then the next day we sit on the couch for hours watching a Disney movie because I don’t have the energy for much else.

But even in the midst of the chaos, there have been moments that I have little revelations. Little moments where I think “this is what parents really need to hear.” So I’m here to tell you what I needed to know myself.

1. Give Yourself Grace

Don’t feel like you have to have it all together when people see you. You just had a baby. Not long after your first baby, mind you. Your body is still healing. Emotionally, you’re still adjusting. You’re not expected to be the mom wearing makeup, going to the gym, and baking cookies for the holiday party. The time for that will come. For now, focus on getting as much rest as you can. Bond with your new baby and cuddle as much as time will allow.

2. Remind Yourself It’s Just a Phase

This time around, the phrase “it goes by so fast” has so much more meaning. With your first child you hear it repeatedly, but the weight of it doesn’t quite sink in until their first birthday where you’re left wondering where all the time went.

On the days when your toddler is having tantrum after tantrum, the baby won’t let you put him down, and you barely get enough sleep to function, remember that it’s just a phase. Three days from now, your toddler will learn new words to communicate her feelings. The baby will learn to self-soothe. And you might get lucky enough to get an 8-hour stretch of sleep at night too! So much changes in a matter of a few days. Take a deep breath and remember that.

3. Cut Corners Where You Can

Don’t try to do it all. If it’s stressing you out, find a way to make it less stressful. If it’s the dishes, use paper plates for a little while. If you can’t manage to get dinner together while taking care of two kids, buy some frozen meals.

The family will adjust.

What’s more important is your mental health and well-being. If there’s something that can be done to make your life a teensy bit easier, you deserve to do it.

4. Sit Down and Play Tea Party for the 500th Time

When all else fails, drop everything else and sit down to play. What I learned is that when the kids are crying and I can’t figure out what they need, it’s most likely my attention. So put the work down and be present with them for a little while. Not only will it make the crying stop, but forgetting your responsibilities for a short time can actually do you some good.

Time is truly a thief. So embrace those tiny moments (and tiny humans) as much as you can.

How We Successfully Weaned Our Baby off the Pacifier

Motherhood

If you’re here, it’s most likely because you too have a pacifier-obsessed child and no clue how or when to break the habit. Like everything else about parenting, you’ll find an overwhelming amount of different opinions when it comes to ending pacifier use. We were able to successfully get rid of pacifiers after just 3 days! So I figured I would share information on what we did, in case you were needing to hear another success story 😉

1. Make the decision to quit

This is important! We chose to get rid of the pacifier when our daughter turned a year old, as was recommended by her dentist. Whenever it is you decide, stick with your decision! If you try to take it away and then later regret it and give the pacifier back, it will only make it harder when you decide to take it away again. Breathe through the crying and remind yourself that this is just a phase that will pass.

2. Reduce pacifier use

As a newborn, we pretty much let London have her pacifier whenever. As she got older however, we started to minimize the use to just naps and bedtime. This was really really helpful, as it let her slowly get used to the idea of not having that security. If she got fussy during the day, we would distract her by singing her favorite songs or pulling out a toy. It was surprising to see how she really didn’t need the pacifier during the day as much as we were giving it to her.

3. Eliminate use and replace

Once she was down to only using the pacifier for naps and bedtime, we hid the wubbanub and decided to see how she would do without it completely. This was the harder part of the process. She cried whenever we tried to put her down for the first three days. On the bright side, the length of time she spent crying did go down each day. Reality is, your baby will cry that first nap or two (or day or two), but rest assured that they are capable of falling asleep without the paci. They just need to realize that themselves 😊

4. Be patient

I don’t regret introducing the pacifier, as I do believe it has its benefits (like reducing the risk of SIDS). So I just accepted that breaking the habit was going to be one of those things that you dread and then look back on and laugh once it’s all passed. For most babies, it will be a rough transition. But you and your baby will make it through and be happier in the end 😊

I hope this information is helpful to at least one other parent out there. If it was, leave a note in the comments! I would love to hear how the process went for you!

Tips for Traveling with a Baby

Motherhood

At this point, London is kind of in between the baby stage and toddler stage. But she is definitely a pro in traveling, having gone on 8 flights in her first year of life! My family lives in Florida, so we try to make a trip every other month or so. While it definitely brings its challenges, flying with a baby is do-able and shouldn’t stop you from taking part in these experiences. I thought I’d share some of the tips I’ve figured out along the way, in case you have a trip coming up yourself!

1. Have a designated “travel stroller”

This will definitely come in handy while you’re navigating the airport. (If your baby is small enough to wear in a carrier, even better!) Most airlines will allow you to bring a stroller all the way to the gate, and then they’ll check it for you before take-off. As soon as you get off the flight, the stroller will be waiting for you outside the plane. I can’t tell you how much easier this makes my life when my arms are tired from juggling my child, carry on bag, and 10,000 snacks. Side note: if you can, get a cheap stroller that you wouldn’t mind getting a little beat up. It will be checked at the bottom of the plane, along with everyone’s luggage. And most airlines will tell you they aren’t responsible for any damage that might be done.

2. Bring something for their ears

This can be a pacifier, bottle, sippy cup, or even the boob if they’re still nursing! The changes in the air pressure will affect them the same way it does to you, but they’re a little less tolerant. I recommend having one of the above ready during take-off and landing, so that they will be as comfortable as possible.

3. Late flights are easier

If you can snag that red-eye, do it! Not only will you save a few bucks, but I’ve found that babies will generally sleep the entire flight, if it happens to be after their bed time. As long as you bring a blanket to keep them comfortable, this will be the easiest flight to manage. Side note: these flights tend to be less crowded, so ask the flight attendant if there is an empty row you can move to. The extra room will be helpful!

4. Keep them busy

If the red-eye doesn’t work for you and your baby will be awake during your flight, bring enough things to keep them entertained. For us, this is lots of snacks, books, small toys that don’t make a lot of noise, etc. Keep them in your bag and pull them out when your little one starts to get fussy. They’ll be intrigued and you’ll feel like Mary Poppins!

5. Always carry sanitizing wipes

I know, this sounds like common sense. But airports are filled with so many germs and having a sick baby is worse than having a baby that cries on a plane. I keep a pack of Lysol wipes with me and wipe everything down I know London will be touching, from the seat to the folding tray. Yes, I know germs are helpful in building immunity, but we can do that after we get have successfully made it through this flight. One challenge at a time.