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This is two kids under two: Lots of love, little sleep 💜

Twice the baby love makes two kids under two a pretty special club to be a part of.

This is two kids under two: Lots of love, little sleep 💜

“Mommy peas upy,” says my 20-month-old, Vivienne, stretching what is left of her Michelin-arms up high—she has four rolls remaining which for her age is quite impressive (thank goodness! I pray for those rolls each night like the Judy Blume character Magaret Simon prays to increase her bust size!).


The problem: my 2-month-old is peacefully sleeping on my chest, fastened tightly into her Bjorn. I try to avoid picking Vivienne up, taking her hand and walking with her, but she quickly retorts. “Peas! Upy upy” and I find myself lifting her up—both girls on me—sweat dripping from my forehead.

I check to make sure the littlest one is okay. I feel for her little limber hand. Not squished. Phew. Her little sweet legs: not squished either. I am good.

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I feel myself sinking under their weight. Perhaps one day, I will be hunchback. Quasimodo you will meet your match—but it will be worth it. I hope. I have found myself in this situation more than not since my littlest was born.

If this is you, welcome to the club.

Here are five ways you know you have two babies under two:

1. A carrier is a must

My girls are 18 months apart and yes I actually am one of those crazy ladies that tried for the second one. In fact, it took me six months to get pregnant—meaning I got the baby bug even earlier. Crazy? Perhaps. But I love babies and missed the sweet infant smell, skin-to-skin.

Babies: I want them.

My 20-month-old is in a lot of toddler classes and in order for us to resume our schedule post-baby sister, I bring my littlest to her classes attached to my chest. Heading out into the big, germ-filled world would have been a no no for baby number one—especially without proper vaccinations.

Now, this is what I call survival.

I have been in the Bjorn chasing my daughter through jungle gyms. I am following her up to the top and watching every maneuver to make sure the baby on my chest is okay. I slither through, slowly down slides shoes bracing my landing, and crawl through tunnels. I have actually become a ninja master of this craft.

If this is you, this is a common skill for having two kids under two.

2. Your older child has mastered the death stare

Jealousy doesn’t look good on anyone, even an adorable 18-month-old. I find that my daughter, who is so sweet-natured and loves sharing with other kids, has not been as welcoming to her baby sister as I’d expect. She gives the baby death stares so fierce that you would never believe them.

Every time I change the baby, feed the baby, burp the baby, (see a trend…) my big girl wants to be picked up too. Now, if I were an octopus this could work. Sadly, I am not.

On particularly demanding days when I focus more attention on my newborn, my 20-month-old wakes up crying in the middle of the night, probably because she had a nightmare that this unwelcome baby keeps following her everywhere. Then she wakes up and Not. That. Baby. Again. Death stare.

If this is your eldest, this is unfortunately common for two kids under two.

I hear it gets better. Let us hope. ?

3. At any given time, someone is usually up, needs a diaper change or SOMETHING, or is crying

One wants this, the other needs something else. Both need you. Both can’t be trusted alone. Crying. Chaos. Ah.

That about sums it up for two kids under two.

4. Self-care takes a backseat—FOR NOW

The only two things I’m sure I do every day is take a shower and brush my teeth—the musts! Makeup? Eyebrow waxing? Shaving? Who has the time?

Not I. I am rocking the permanent-puffiness-under-the-eye look. It’s so in right now.

Welcome to two under two.

5. So much love, laughter and cuteness. Double the babies, double the love.

I still love it. I love motherhood. My girls are hands down the best things that ever happened to me. Whether it is my infant making T-Rex noises or my eldest running in circles screaming “circle, circle, circle,” I really enjoy these little people I get to help mold.

When my eldest gives me a kiss or my littlest lays peacefully on my chest making me feel their love, it just makes all in the world seem right. I am where I want to be: motherhood.

If this is you, this is why two kids under two is completely worth it.

So give me spit-up, poop blowouts, heavy lifting, and no me time—twice the baby love makes two kids under two a pretty special club to be a part of.

After 4 kids, this is still the best baby gear item I’ve ever purchased

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work.

I have four kids 8 and under, so you might expect that my house is teeming with baby gear and kid toys.

But it turns out that for me, the more kids I have, the more I simplify our stuff. At this point, I'm down to the absolute essentials, the gear that I can't live without and the toys my kids actually play with. And so when a mama-to-be asks me what things are worth registering for, there are only a few must-haves on my list.

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer seat is on the top of my list—totally worth it and an absolute must-have for any new mama.

In fact, since I first splurged on my first BABYBJÖRN bouncer eight years ago (it definitely felt like a splurge at the time, but the five star reviews were really compelling), the bouncer seat has become the most-used product in our house for baby's first year.

We've actually invested in a second one so that we didn't have to keep moving ours from the bedroom to the living room when we change locations.

BABYBJÖRN bouncer bliss

baby bjorn bouncer

The utility of the seat might seem counterintuitive—it has no mechanical parts, so your baby is instead gently bounced by her own movements. In a world where many baby products are touted for their ability to mechanically rock baby to sleep, I get that many moms might not find the "no-motion" bouncer that compelling. But it turns out that the seat is quite reactive to baby's little kicks, and it has helped my kids to learn how to self-soothe.

$200

Lightweight + compact:

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer is super lightweight, and it also folds flat in a second. Because of those features, we've frequently stored it under the couch, in a suitcase or in the back of the car. It folds completely flat, which I love.

Entertainment zone:

Is the toy bar worth it? The toy bar is totally worth it. Not only is the toy bar adorable, but it's one of the first toys that my babies actually play with once they discover the world beyond my boobs. The toys spin and are close to eye level so they have frequently kept my baby entertained while I cook or take a quick shower.

Great style:

This is not a small detail to me–the BABYBJÖRN bouncer is seriously stylish. I am done with baby gear and toys that make my house look like a theme park. The elegant European design honestly just looks good in my living room and I appreciate that parents can enjoy it as much as baby.

It's adjustable:

With three height settings that let you prop baby up to be entertained, or lay back to rest, we get years of use. And the bouncer can actually be adjusted for bigger kids and used from newborn to toddler age. It's that good.

It just works:

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work. But I have used the seat as a safe space to put baby while I've worked (I once rocked my baby in it with my foot while I reported on a breaking news story for the Washington Post), and as a cozy spot for my second child to lay while his big brother played nearby. It's held up for almost a decade with almost-constant use.

So for me, looking back on what I thought was a splurge eight years ago, was actually one of the best investments in baby gear I ever made.

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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