Becoming a mom for the second time can be surreal. You finally got the hang of handling one child, now a second one is about to make his or her entrance! Between car seat safety, feeding tricks and tips, sleep solutions, and managing the chaos of the household, moms of two need all the hacks they can get! There’s always an easier way to do things that we haven’t thought of yet - which is why we need the advice of seasoned moms who have been in our shoes already.
Some hacks are useless once you’ve mastered them, especially when the tried and true way gets results every time. There is a hack for everything, from cutting vegetables, to saving money when grocery shopping, to making household chores take less time. For moms, simpler and easier is always best! We want results and we want efficiency. All the better if there’s time for a nap, or at least a coffee!
Whether there are a few years between your kids, you’re expecting twins, or you’ll be joining the two under two club with a second pregnancy, these hacks might change your life! Keep reading for fifteen fool-proof hacks for moms of two.
15 Always Wear The Baby
Whether there are ten years or ten months between your two, plan on wearing your newest addition everywhere. Parks, playdates, even grocery shopping will never be the same now that you have two tagalongs. When babies are super small, they’ll sleep quite cozily snuggled up against mom or dad. When they get older and start mouthing on every germy surface, wearing them will prevent the grossness from being ingested.
Baby wearing is also every toddler mom’s secret to containing a runner. While wearing the newest addition, you’ll have hands free to hang onto the older child. You’ll also be able to follow your little explorer without worrying about navigating with a stroller, or dragging along an infant car seat. Those things are too bulky and uncomfortable to carry far, anyway!
14 One Size Fits All
Two words: cloth diapers. Yes, there’s the indisputable ick factor but let’s be honest- having kids is gross no matter what. If stocking up on two different sizes of economy packs of diapers every week doesn’t sound like much fun, then buying a set of one size cloth diapers will be a lifesaver. With two in diapers, it pays to be prepared.
One-size varieties of diapers come in pocket style, which have an outer pocket that holds absorbent inserts, and adjust to fit babies from around 8 pounds to nearly 40. There are also flat and pre-fold diapers that can be used with adjustable one-size covers, and even all-in-ones that don’t come apart to wash. Cloth diapering means no running to the store at 2am for more diapers, and it also means you can reuse your diaper stash for subsequent kids, whether they’re close in age or not.
13 Snacks Are The Key
First time moms usually learn this quickly. But then we seem to forget it later on when more kids are added to the mix. Prepping bottles (or packing a change of nursing pads) is just what you do with a newborn. But older kids benefit from a well-packed snack bag, too. If you have errands to run, or aren’t sure what the plan is for meal time, it’s so worth prepping some easy snacks ahead of time.
A well-timed snack can cool down sibling feuds, prevent toddler meltdowns, distract teething infants, and give you a moment to breathe. Include some snacks for you too, just make sure it’s not something the kids will want to steal away! Or pack them the same, to prevent any fights over who has the best snack.
12 Emergency Preparedness Helps
Kids always get sick or have an accident when we least expect it. So it pays to be prepared for anything. Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle at all times, and you won’t have to suffer meltdowns when the day doesn’t go as planned. Keep a bin, basket, or storage tub in the trunk of your car with a collection of essentials and supplies.
Pack extra diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes for each child. Bonus points for shelf-stable snacks that can be replenished monthly, or whenever you remember. Include bottled water for drinking and for mess cleanup when necessary. A change of clothes for mom is a good idea too, as is a blanket in case a little one needs bundling. When a disaster rolls around, you’ll be thankful you thought ahead!
11 Yes, You Need A Cart
Schlepping around an infant seat practically requires a cart for even the briefest of shopping trips. But if you’re wearing a baby and have an older child that walks, do you really need the cart for short trips? The short answer? Yes. Older sibling duos will likely request your store’s famous race car cart, or the one with steering wheels or extra seats. Whenever there’s the option of strapping one or more of your kids into their seat, do it!
Even if they decide to bail out later, you’ll have a repository for unwanted snacks, drink cups, dropped pacifiers, stuffed diaper bags, discarded sweaters, and your actual purchases. Bonus if you have an overly tired child who can fall asleep anywhere- pack a blanket for a comfy cart nap while you take care of business.
10 Give Your Big Kid Something Special
When you’re expecting a new baby, a huge part of prepping is getting the big sibling ready! A fun and special trick for helping big sibs adjust to the baby is making them a big sis or big bro kit. You can include some of their favorite snacks, a small toy, and movie or game that they’ll love. Especially when baby is getting all kinds of swag, it’s nice for the big sibling to feel special too!
Another practical and super special big sibling gift? A set of headphones will save you lots of tears. Especially when the younger sibling is very new, having a little brother or sister can be extra loud. Block out the noise and enjoy iPad games, or download a super special big brother or sister playlist for them to enjoy while playing quiet games.
9 Montessori Your Home
If you’re not familiar with Montessori learning, a huge component of the method is allowing kids to do things for themselves. Your older sibling might be two or ten, but the concept is the same for any age. Allow your older child the freedom to do things for himself. Stock healthy snacks where he can reach them while you tend to the baby. Make sure clothing is easy to put on and take off, and shoes are manageable with minimal help.
Foster your older child’s independence, and not only is there less demand on mom for help with everything, he’ll also learn to problem solve on his own. Every little kid wants to be a big kid, so give him little ways to work toward that goal! This way, you’re teaching valuable skills while getting everyone’s needs taken care of.
8 Color-Code All You Can
When siblings pass the toddler stage, it’s usually easier to buy two of everything the exact same, rather than risk being accused of favoritism! One solution is to color code everything possible. From socks to underwear, to cups and lunch boxes- give each child their own color or themed supplies to reduce bickering. It’s even easier if kids have a favorite color, but another option is to use stickers or name tags on items.
The same goes for buying multiples of the same outfit, or shoes for kids to match. Dressing siblings alike is adorable, sure, but when you’re scrounging around for the size 10 Frozen shoe and can only find the size 7, you’ll appreciate each child wearing distinctive clothing and shoes. Of course, if kids insist on matching, or share common interests, you can always resort to labeling everything!
7 Bring The Potty With You
Potty training toddlers everywhere are always in a rush to get to the bathroom. Eliminate accident worries by keeping a portable potty in your vehicle. Place a disposable trash bag in the potty for simpler cleanup, or use another mom hack and use coffee filters to lift out solids. If your child is out of diapers and you still have leftovers in stock, just place a disposable diaper in the bottom of the potty for super easy clean up. That way, kids don’t get used to being back in diapers, but cleanup is easier!
Make this hack even more helpful by including a cleanup kit in your potty area. Stock sanitizing wipes or sprays and paper towels for cleaning up potential messes. A scented spray might help too, particularly if you’re on a long trip without a way to dispose of trash!
6 Help The Big Kid Have Her Own Space
It’s hard to get organized at first with a newborn and older toddler or child. But once you’ve settled into a groove, it’s time to let the older sibling find a hobby! Whether that means park trips for curing cabin fever, enrolling in a part-time preschool program, or simply hanging out in his own room, your older kid will appreciate baby-free time every now and then!
This is even easier if you have a child who’s school age or up. Moms of two are prone to feeling like they’re struggling to split their time between a demanding little one and a seemingly self-sufficient older child. An older child might appreciate an extracurricular that lets them focus on a hobby, or a routine playdate with friends or an evening out with dad. This gives you a break too, since you only have one child to look after while the other is occupied!
5 Master The Wipes Box Travel Hack
It can be a hassle just getting two kids out of the house, let alone getting all their supplies ready. This hack is handy for prepping a change of clothes and a diapering kit that you can grab and go with. One mom mastered this technique by using hair ties to secure a small pack of wipes to the top of a standard wipes box. She added diapers in the bottom of the box, and a rolled-up change of clothes.
This hack works best for smaller babies, since you can fit more diapers plus outfits in the box. But it can work for at least a couple of diaper changes for babies who wear bigger sizes too. You could even use this technique for packing a cloth diaper pack, especially if you use flat or pre-fold diapers and covers.
4 Bath Time Laundry Basket Trick
Bathing two kids is definitely twice the chore! This hack works for moms of twins, and moms with a baby plus older child. A laundry basket works great for keeping both baby and toys contained, while allowing an older child his or her own space in the tub! Use a standard rectangular basket if your tub has the room, or a square or round one to give the second child more space.
If your tub isn’t big enough for both kids at once, plus a laundry basket, consider using a larger, hard-sided storage container to bathe baby in. If little ones can sit up, they might enjoy a few inches of water in their own personal tub next to their older sibling’s! Of course, make sure to keep an eye on baby using this hack, since it poses the same risks as the bath tub.
3 Reduce Grocery Shopping Stress
It pays to have a plan when attempting to grocery shop with two kids. Hopefully neither of them are runners, but these hacks might help keep them interested long enough to get the shopping done! Definitely get a cart, and try to wear your infant if at all possible. This keeps both kids corralled, but also separates them from each other to prevent any poking or prodding!
If you haven’t yet tried the Cheerio necklace hack, this is the best grocery shopping advice out there! String up Cheerio necklaces for each of your kids beforehand (or in the car before letting them loose in the store!), and they can munch while you shop. Other cereals and snacks like pretzels work well for this too - or if you’re brave, even round cookies.
2 Laundry Time Can Be Fun Time
Laundry is the bane of every mom’s existence! It piles up, it smells, it gets strewn all over the house and sometimes never even folded. But there are ways to make the laundry easier to get done and even get the kids eager to help. One way to reduce laundry stress is by attaching a delicates bag to your laundry basket. Clip it on the outside of the basket for socks that tend to go missing in the wash. When you’re ready to run a load, zip the bag and toss them in!
Another helpful laundry tip is to make a cardboard shirt folder that kids can use. This hack makes folding laundry a snap, even with little ones who struggle to fold. A piece of cardboard with strategically placed cuts makes a simple and fun way for kids to help fold their piles of t-shirts.
1 Babyproofing For Two
As new moms soon find out, babyproofing isn’t as simple as cabinet locks and outlet plugs. Toddlers, and some infants, are particularly sneaky when it comes to working their way into restricted areas. A super helpful babyproofing hack is to use cheap dollar store pet collars as simple snap-on baby locks. Loop one through cabinet door handles to keep kids from getting inside, and you’ll be able to access them easily by unbuckling.
Another important babyproofing element that’s often overlooked is securing furniture to the wall. This is called anchoring, and anchor hardware is widely available and cheap! Securing your furniture is one way to guarantee the safety of your toddler when she decides to scale the bookcase while you’re feeding the baby! Heavy furniture can easily tip, especially dressers with lots of drawers that a small child can slide open.