5 Must-Haves to Ease the Newborn and Toddler Juggle

The only gear you really need for Baby #2.

5 Must-Haves to Ease the Newborn and Toddler Juggle

Before the birth of my second child, I had been warned at least a dozen times about the chaos headed my way with two young children. But still, I wondered, what exactly made the addition of one child into the family dynamic so difficult?

After two months of juggling a newborn and a toddler full time, I understand what the fuss is all about. Adding another baby into the mix is complicated – it’s tremendously time consuming, emotional, and it throws the existing status quo out the window (and down the block). My three-year-old daughter loves her new title of big sis, but it’s been a huge adjustment for her. The three-year age gap between my children is definitely helpful, but it’s a daily challenge to meet both of their needs. Inevitably my daughter has an insatiable appetite for a snack the moment I sit down to nurse, for example.


But just as I learned how to parent the first time, I’m now learning to parent two. And I’m slowly finding my way through the newborn haze, while learning the best methods for keeping everyone happy. Here’s 5 products that have proven to be invaluable when balancing a newborn and toddler.

  1. Skip Hop Explore & More Amazing Arch Activity Gym

    This is not your average, run of the mill activity gym. No, Skip Hop has created a two-position arch shaped gym to entertain baby with a number of interactive features, bright colors, and a sly parent pocket for recording the fun (doubles as a mirror for baby). The mat entertains both my daughter and the baby - she loves the mirror (what three-year-old doesn’t?) and watching her brother swipe and reach for hanging objects. Playing with the mat requires my undivided attention, but it’s great to watch them interact and give my back a rest at the same time! $90. Buy it here.

  1. Lily Jade Diaper BagMy rule of thumb for living in New York City is less is more, especially when it pertains to baby gear. I rarely used a diaper bag with my daughter, but figured I would at least need a functional bag with the second to keep everything organized. My Lily Jade “McKenna” bag is perfectly suited for city living – it’s compact, stylish, and the cross body feature allows me to push a stroller, hold a hand, and navigate the busy streets safely. $180. Buy it here.

  1. Ergobaby 3 Position Adapt Baby Carrier

    Since the birth of my son, I have a newfound appreciation for baby carriers. When he’s fussy late in the day, my three-year-old needs to eat dinner and I still haven’t found time to switch the laundry, I turn to my Ergobaby Adapt Carrier. Ergobaby’s first insert-less carrier is adaptable for a growing baby and can be positioned front inward, back, and hip carry. I’ve tried a ton of different carriers throughout my three years of motherhood and this one is incredibly comfortable (I have a 14lb two month old!) and easy to use. $145. Buy it here.

  1. Mamaroo Infant SeatThe Mamaroo infant seat by 4Moms is one of my favorite new baby products. The infant seat mimics the real movements of mom (both in and out of utero) and it serves as the perfect “helper” when life gets hectic with two young kids. I can safely buckle my son into the seat and help my daughter with whatever she needs at the moment – which thankfully sometimes is just a hug! $269. Buy it here.

  1. BuggyBoard

    Traveling the streets of NYC with a newborn and a toddler has become infinitely easier with the help of the BuggyBoard, a universal toddler board. My daughter is at the age where she doesn’t need to sit in a stroller, but can’t necessarily walk the entire distance. The BuggyBoard, which adapts to 90 percent of the strollers on the market, allows your toddler to safely ride between you and the seated infant - problem solved! $89.99. Buy it here.

In This Article

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

    They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

    With fall 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 outside-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.

    Wooden doll stroller

    Janod wooden 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.


    Detective set

    Plan Toys detective 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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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!


    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.


    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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