7 secret tricks and tips from parents of more than one kid

Wondering how you'll juggle two kids? Real parents dish on how to conquer life with more than one kid.
tips from parents of lots of kids

Photo: @dana_fay via Instagram

1. “The first week with the new baby was the hardest: I was trying to recover while spending time with my toddler, who only wanted to be with me. Eventually, we fell into a good routine. During the evenings, besides breastfeeding, my husband took care of the baby so I could do bedtime and have quality time with the older one.”—Abbie, mom of two

2. “When you’re home on your own with both children, get the older one to be your helper and have her fetch diapers, pick out baby clothes or whatever other age-appropriate ‘jobs’ you can think of.”—Lea, mom of two

3. “Always keep a hand free when you’re out with both kids: Use a baby carrier, try a backpack instead of a shoulder diaper bag, and get a stroller with one big crossbar handle so you can steer one-handed.”—Allison, mom of three

4. “I know this is a game for your cat, but we bought a laser pointer, and I made our older kid chase the dot around the house while I nursed the baby.”—Jen, mom of two

5. “Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty about keeping your older child in daycare, if you can afford it. It can help the older kid adapt by keeping some part of her routine the same, and it gives you time to get to know your newborn, one-on-one.”—Kalli, mom of two

6. “If family or friends offer help, ask them to do things that genuinely lighten your load, even if it’s not what they’ve offered. If you have a partner in the picture, ‘divide and cuddle,’ and have each kid spend some time alone with each parent, including giving the non-breastfeeding parent some important alone time with the infant. And hang out with families with twins or three-plus kids to help keep things in perspective!”—Patrick, dad of two

7. “I would make a ‘mystery box’ with simple things to occupy my toddler: muffin tins, pompom balls, paper cups with rice, whatever weird thing she was into. Or I would build a little cave filled with stuffies and books. Sometimes I’d even plop her into the empty bathtub in her bathing suit with a small bowl of water (so she couldn’t drown, but could still splash around and have fun).”—Grace, mom of two

8. “I’ve found the only stress-free way to get healthy meals on the table is to prep dinner mid-morning, when the baby is sleeping and the toddler is settled with a craft.”—Eve, mom of five

version of this article appeared in our November 2016 issue with the headline “Secret tricks and tips from parents of more than one kid,” p. 84.

Read more:
How do you know you’re ready for a second baby?
7 milestones for parents of two
What’s the best age gap between kids?

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