10 Tips: Transition From 1 to 2 Kids.

All of our children are 20 months apart (except 2 and 3 are 28 months apart b/c baby 3 was my VBA2C baby and I took more time). It’s hard. So hard. Here are some things in hindsight that helped (and wished I would have known beforehand).

1. Let go of expectations. If you EXPECT both children to nap at the same time, when they don’t, you will get so frustrated. If you don’t expect it, you will be (more) OK that they don’t and when they DO it will be wonderful.

2. Be open to change. For example, what might work for a few months with sleeping arrangements, may change and that’s OK. Your older one may be going through a growth spurt or your younger one teething. (I suggest The No Cry Sleep Solution for sleeping ‘issues’).

3. Your older child, who has been your baby, will all of a sudden seem huge compared to your baby. Don’t forget they are still a baby too. You now will be holding your new baby…a lot. Don’t forget to snuggle your other baby as well.

4. Have things just for your older child to do. Also, when your younger child starts crawling, take your toddler’s activities up to the table. That way the little one won’t be frustrating the older child by knocking over their action figures, knocking down their castle or crumbling their art work!

5. Encourage them to be friends. Around the time your younger child is 18 months to 2 years, you may notice them starting to really be able to play together.

6. Babywear. Buy a sling or wrap that you like and wear your baby. This lets you and baby bond while you have your hands free to take care of your toddler/other child.

7. Strollers are OK too! So it TV. Yep, I heard a mom once say she gives her self a 6 month ‘TV is OK’ post partum allowance. Nick Jr. is great!

8. Take breaks. Yes, you…the mommy. You need breaks too. Take a bath when hubby gets home, go read a book, have a girl’s night or date night, or whatever else you like.

9. Speaking of date night…don’t forget your husband! You two still need time! Even if it’s super late, it is worth is.

10. Ask for and accept help! This is so important and hardly done. Women (like me) have a hard time asking for help. Family, friends and church members WANT to have the opportunity to serve and help. Let them. Tell them exactly what you need (meals, driving older kids to and from school, help with the toddler so you can nap with baby, help with both so you can shower, etc.)

Transitioning from zero to one or 1 to two or three to four kids can be easy or challenging depending on many factors. Do what will help and don’t forget to ask for help! If you have any other tips that have helped you, please share in the comments.

*Thank you Katelyn Demidow and Shannon L for your pictures


  • Jasmine Sassack

    As a mother of two and babywearing educator I can not agree more with number 6! For me, the transition to life with my firstborn was effortless. But the second one threw me for a total loop, including some major baby blues. Babywearing saved me!

  • Paala

    Excellent post. I recently transitioned from one to two and I wish I would have known all of these beforehand as well. #10 still gets me. I just cannot accept help even though I know it will make things easier on me. Sigh.

  • ellie

    After my second was born I felt like all I was doing was nursing the baby and getting food/drink/snacks for my toddler. I wish I would have spent a month or two before the baby was born helping him practice pouring his own juice, providing a step stool to get his own water, and reorganizing the kitchen so there was drawer of healthy snacks down low that he could get all by himself. After the baby was born and I realized that was needed I just had NO time or patience to deal with all the spills and mistakes and messes and extra work that that entails.
    And I so love you that you said TV is ok! When I only had one he NEVER watched TV! (We don’t even own a TV.) But our Netflix subscription is worth every penny just for the fact that when I need him to be happy on his own there are always mommy-approved shows with no commercials available.
    Oh, one more tip … paper plates a pretty awesome. 😉

  • allison

    My husband and i are considering trying for baby #2 our daughter is 18 months now. I was wondering about sleeping arangements, all our family lives out of town so we would like to keep the 3rd bedroom as a guest room. with our daughter she was in her crib in her own room the night she came home from the hospital we are hoping we can do this with baby #2 and have them share a room. has anyone done this affectively?

  • motherjoy

    Ellie, that is great advice! My son is six, and we are expecting our second baby in august. He is already very independent, but i am going to make sure to have a drawer and shelf in the fridge and lower cabinet for his snacks and things.

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