Menu
transitioning to two kids

Two weeks. I cannot believe that it has been two weeks since my second son was brought into this world. Two weeks since my husband and I welcomed baby Simon, the final piece of our little family.

But, here is the whopper: It has been two weeks since I have been the mom of a toddler and a newborn. I am now responsible for taking care of two tiny humans.

It absolutely blows my mind how much my life has changed in the last two weeks. It's definitely not all rainbows and unicorns around here, but things are going pretty well. This is me being cautiously optimistic.

What I have done is learned a lot about myself, my kids and my new life in the last two weeks.


This newborn thing is easier the second time around

A million times easier. I know what to expect. I know not to freak out about every tiny noise he makes. I know the basics of taking care of a child. I didn't freak out the first time he spit up and the dog licked it off his face. I didn't stay up all night worrying when his baby acne popped up. I haven't called the pediatrician approximately six times a day to ask them questions about the color of his poop.

Multitasking is my jam

For real. I can feed a baby, wrangle shoes and clothes onto a toddler, pack a diaper bag, load everyone into a car with less than three tantrums without completely losing it and still make it to a certain destination no more than five minutes late. Sure, I might have to start the process two hours before we are supposed to be at said destination, but that's just a minor detail. And half of the time I might even be showered and look like a normal human as well.

My toddler needs time to adjust to a new baby

I knew this would be tough and we tried to prepare him, but there is only so much a 3-year-old can grasp about that concept. He says that he "doesn't wike" his little brother, but I have seen him sneak a few kisses when he thinks we can't see him. His whining has reached a new level. His fake crying has gotten even worse. His acting skills could use some work. We try to spend as much time with him as possible so he knows that he hasn't been replaced, but it's been tough on all of us.

Exhaustion is real


Why do we seem to forget the hardest parts of having a newborn? The baby eats every three hours. My husband and I split feeding shifts, but we are both feeling the effects of new baby exhaustion and an extra cranky, super clingy toddler. I am surviving on caffeine, Netflix and the hope that this baby will be sleeping through the night before I go back to my full-time job.

The Minion movies have saved my life

Henry has watched every version of all three Minion movies multiple times over the last two weeks. Screen time for the win. And mom's sanity. Call me a bad mom but we all need a break every now and then. And I hid the trumpet he likes to play while the baby is sleeping. I also consider that a win.

C-sections are painful

I had to walk back to the operating room past tables full of medical instruments that would be used to cut me open. I swear there were 30 pairs of evil looking scissors sitting on one table. At one point, I had someone sitting on top of me pushing the baby down into the birth canal. Then they removed the baby, put all my organs back in place and sewed me back up. So, yes, I spent some time in pain, while trying to keep two children alive. I feel like I sort of held it together. We are all still alive, no one lost an appendage and I am high-fiving myself right now.

I need to let my body heal

Right now it is a hot mess. I feel like my organs are still kind of jiggling around trying to figure out where they are supposed to be. When I look in the mirror, I don't really see myself. I see a very tired version of me with bags under my eyes and about 40 extra pounds. It's hard. Really hard. I want to be me again. The version that really had everything together and still felt good about herself and her body. But, since this is the second go-round, I now know it takes time. I will get back there.

I have so much love in my heart

I know, very cliche. But I was honestly worried that I might not be able to love another child as much as I love Henry. But I was so wrong. My heart has grown. Kind of like the Grinch.

Life with a newborn and a toddler isn't easy, but it's my new normal. A new challenge. And I love it. It's going to be hard. And I know that I won't end every day with a smile. But it's so worth it.

Adjusting to life as a mama of two? Here are some of our favorite products that can help.

Bökee bottle prep accessory

B\u00f6kee

You need more hands than ever these days, mama. This simple silicone gadget suctions to the counter to help you prep bottles and sippy cups with one arm while conducting all the business with the other.

$20

BABYBJÖRN bouncer bliss

BABYBJ\u00d6RN Bouncer Bliss

Give your arms a break while also giving the new siblings a safe and cozy opportunity to bond. This classic bouncer also converts to a toddler chair to get extra years of mileage.

$250

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags mama necklace

Celebrate yourself, mama. You've earned it. This delicate gold 'mama' necklace proudly displays the best title you've ever had.

$105

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

14 Toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

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.

Shop

Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.



Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners
Chrissy Teigen/Instagram

When Chrissy Teigen announced her third pregnancy earlier this year we were so happy for her and now our hearts are with her as she is going through a pain that is unimaginable for many, but one that so many other mothers know.

Halfway through a high-risk pregnancy complicated by placenta issues, Teigen announced late Wednesday that she has suffered a pregnancy loss.

Our deepest condolences go out to Chrissy and her husband, John Legend (who has been by her side in the hospital for several days now).

In a social media post, Teigen explained she named this baby Jack.

FEATURED VIDEO

"We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we've never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn't enough," she wrote.

She continued: "We never decide on our babies' names until the last possible moment after they're born, just before we leave the hospital. But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack. So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever."

Keep reading Show less
News