Family with 2 kids

Mama of Multiples: Tips for Transitioning from 1 to 2 Kids

Before starting our family, my husband and I both knew we wanted more than one child! We both grew up with lots of siblings, so we both knew we wanted the same for our own family. When we became pregnant with our second baby during my husband's grad program, worries began to creep into my head. I started asking myself countless questions about how I was going to make it work with two little ones in our family! How would I balance my time evenly? Would my daughter be able to adapt and share with her new little brother? When I had my first baby, I could nap when she napped! So would this be possible with a second baby? Would I have issues with postpartum depression, or breastfeeding issues like I did with my first? Now that my sweet boy is about to turn 1, I’ve been able to reflect on how we’ve all been able to adapt and thrive together as a family. Here are some tips if you’re about to make that same leap from one to two little ones and become a mama to multiples!

Tips To Make Life Easier on You:

Prepare ready-to-go snacks 

I like to have organized bins with snacks that are ready-to-go for my toddler! In my pantry or cupboard, I always have a bin with raisins, granola bars, applesauce pouches, mini goldfish bags, etc. In the fridge, I like to have Gogurts, cut fruit, cheese sticks, hard-boiled eggs, etc. Having items that can quickly be grabbed when your child wants a snack but you’re busy with your other child has been a lifesaver for me!

Try babywearing 

Whether it’s a Solly wrap, traditional carrier, or ring sling, I recommend finding a carrier you feel comfortable using. I personally loved my Solly wrap. My second baby was very clingy, so being able to put him in that, let him sleep, and help my daughter at the same time was great! Just make sure you know how to wear your baby safely--you can read up on our Baby Carrier Guide! Or check out this guide to ensure you are keeping your newborn safe in their new wrap or carrier!

Invest in a double stroller

Oh boy do I wish I could go back and purchase a single-to-double modular stroller when I had my first baby! When I had my second, I considered spending the money on a new stroller, but with my husband in grad school, I didn’t want to spend the extra money when I already owned a stroller. I have definitely regretted this choice. There were so many times when my daughter was too tired to walk, so we would have to carry her. She would also get jealous that her brother got to ride in her old stroller and she didn’t. Although this was a great opportunity for teaching her about sharing, I still wish we had spent the money on a convertible, modular stroller like the UPPAbaby VISTA V2 or the Nuna Demi Grow.

Uppababy Vista V2 Stroller

Learn to prioritize 

I had to give up things in my life because I found there wasn’t enough time to give to both kids if I kept doing the things I was doing before. I had to remind myself this often--that my kids should always be the priority and all the extra stuff comes second. I also quickly learned that there aren’t enough hours in the day to keep the house completely tidy, play with my daughter, take care of a newborn, shower, run errands, and sleep. So I had to learn to prioritize my time. 

Redefine what makes a “successful” stay-at-home mom

Along with prioritizing our time, I had to redefine for myself what makes me a successful parent. Allow your house to be a little messy, allow the laundry to sit an extra day, allow yourself to get takeout if the thought of cooking dinner is causing you anxiety. Having those things accomplished is NOT what makes you successful as a parent. You will NEVER regret spending a few more minutes with each child, or extra time snuggling your newborn, even at the expense of a slightly (or even a VERY) messy house. Time spent together is what your kids will remember most. 

Remind yourself that every child is different

This has been very difficult for us! My daughter was a great sleeper. She started sleeping through the night at a young age, while my son is still not sleeping through the night. I quickly learned that things that worked for my daughter had no effect on my son. Remember that every child is different, with his or her own quirks, personalities, temperaments, and struggles. If something isn’t working with your second even if it worked for your first, try something new. Reach out to other parents for advice or support.

Give yourself extra time

I found that it always took me way longer to go anywhere or do anything than I thought it would. Buckling two kids into car seats and making sure I have snacks and diapers and extra clothes (just in case) is exhausting. If I gave myself an extra 20 minutes to leave the house, I found that I wasn’t as stressed about getting to appointments on time. Getting a car seat that's easy to get your kids into and out of is a plus as well. I definitely love the Baby Jogger City Turn Car Seat for this reason.

Baby Jogger City Turn Convertible car seat

Use grocery curbside pickup

This was a lifesaver for me. If I ran out of diapers, wipes, snacks for my daughter, toilet paper, etc., I could quickly get on my phone and place an order and pick my items up without having to haul everyone in the store. I’m pretty sure the Target curbside peeps know me by name by this point!

Accept and ask for help

This will always be my greatest challenge. I have a hard time trusting others, and asking for help is really hard for me. I often feel like I’m a burden to others, even with the smallest thing like texting them to ask a question. So asking for help is still something I’m working on. However, I have found that accepting help allows others the chance to serve (which often makes them feel good) while also relieving stress that I’m creating for myself. It’s also important to reach out even if you just need to talk. Recently, I found myself chatting with a dear friend of mine. I was venting to her about some of my struggles, then found myself apologizing for sharing those things with her because I didn't want to be a burden. She said to me, “If someone came to you and needed to talk and opened up their heart to you about their challenges, fears, struggles and frustrations, would you be annoyed? Would you say ‘Uh! How dare they talk to me about their challenges?’ You wouldn't. You would want to listen and be there for them. So don’t ever feel like you need to apologize for needing to talk.” This was a great lesson for me. We can’t do this alone. Motherhood is challenging, and we need to do our best to support one another however we can.

Prioritize your relationship with your spouse or partner

Whether it’s your first baby or your 5th, giving your spouse time should be at the top or your list. Allow yourself to set aside some unnecessary things so that once the kids go to bed, you can spend some time together. Relationships can often be strengthened by having kids, but they can also be strained. Strive to find something you can do together, even if it’s just watching a movie together in the evening. Try to prioritize date night, and make it a habit. (Even if it’s date night at home). Put away your phones for an evening and enjoy one another. (For more ideas on how to strengthen your relationship with your spouse, check out this article from a relationship expert on

Prioritizing time with spouse

Find time for yourself

Whether it’s time with friends, spending time on a new hobby, taking a solo trip to your favorite store, or taking a nice relaxing bath with your favorite bath salts, make sure you give yourself time to unwind and relax. Everything we do is for everyone else, so take the time to do something that’s just for you. I’ve recently started going to a game night monthly with some of my girl friends in our neighborhood. Having one night to just go have fun has been a great way to relax and recharge. If you enjoy fitness, find a group class you can attend, such as HIGH or barre. Both are great ways to meet new friends and have some time away from your responsibilities.

Tips to Make the Adjustment Easier on Your Child:

Let them give a sibling gift

This is such a fun way to welcome your baby home! Before baby arrives, let your child pick out a gift that they want to give to the baby. My daughter gave our little boy a Cuddle and Kind doll. Although the baby will have no idea, it allows your child to share something special with their new little sibling! A fun way to do this is take them to the store with you and let them wander and look! Give them ideas of things the baby may like, and let them choose and wrap the gift themselves!

cuddle and kind hand knit dolls

Let them help

I can sometimes be very picky about how things get done. I’ve noticed that my daughter lights up when I allow her to help with chores or things. Allowing your child to help with the new baby (even if you have to redo the task when they aren’t looking) is a great way to help your child build a loving connection to their new little sibling. Let them organize the diapers, bring you wipes, or put socks on the baby’s feet before leaving the house. 

Provide a basket of books

Take a weekly trip to the local library with your child and let them pick out a handful of books. Create a basket they can go to when you are busy with the baby. I like to keep books in my bedroom for my daughter to read. This allows me to take a quick nap when our baby is napping and she can sit and look through her books. 

Spend one-on-one time with each child

Set aside time that you can spend alone with your oldest. Doing something special without the baby, like taking them to their favorite store or out to get an ice cream cone, reminds them that they are special and important too. My daughter and I love to have “girls trips” where we leave dad and little brother behind and we go out and do something fun. It’s important to have each parent do this. Daddy-daughter dates are just as important. As your baby gets older, make sure to do the same with them. Jealousy is real between siblings. That’s why giving children love, attention, and one-on-one time is essential.

Create an activity cart for independent play time

I purchased a three-tier cart awhile back and have transformed it into my daughter’s activity cart. I found dividers for the top tier with things like flashcards, play dough supplies, pens, crayons, colored pencils, and paints. The other tiers have coloring books, sticker books, and other larger activity items. This is a great way to encourage independent play time as well as limit screen time. When you’re busy with the baby, they can go find something and occupy their time until you are ready to give them your full undivided attention again. Check out this great tutorial on how to create your own activity cart from Rachel at the Artful Parent.

Art Cart Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

For me, the transition to one baby was a bit more challenging than from one to two. I had some postpartum depression, a traumatic birth experience, and struggles breastfeeding. If you had a not so great experience with the transition to one baby like I did, don’t let it worry you too much! Every baby and every birth is different, so the transition to two might be easier than you’d expect. I had so many comments such as, “Oh the transition from one to two is way hard! Good luck!” But with some guidance and direction, I was able to make the transition a bit smoother. Don’t let other people’s “advice” or comments stress you out. Because your experience will be unique and beautiful.

When all is said and done, remember to give yourself grace. Remind yourself that it’s ok when things don’t go as planned. Any transition, whether it’s from none to one or from four to five, is difficult in its own ways. But we moms are INCREDIBLE! We adapt, we learn, we grow, and we are always the first to serve and love our families and others who need us. Remind yourself that no matter how hard things may be on any particular day, that it’s just a small moment. It will pass. I’ve found that if I stop, close my eyes, and think of all the beautiful things about the stage I’m in right now, that I am able to move forward with peace and clarity of mind. Every stage of life is beautiful if only we strive to look for the beauty in it. 

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