I first wrote about parenting two under two when Elijah was two weeks old. I wrote about how everything was an organised chaos and a bit of a whirlwind. But now I’ve settled into parenting two under two, I thought I would write a little update.
First of all, I would like to clear something up about this little myth other parents who already have more than one child tell you about when you go from one to two children. This myth works around the word ‘routine’. The second baby apparently slots into your world no questions asked, because ‘they just have to fit into your ‘routine’. Well from my personal experience, that is a load of rubbish.
The fabulous routine we once had was shattered, broken into tiny, unrecognisable pieces and then trampled on. I spent most of my time ‘winging it’ and hoping for the best. Some days went so well, I felt a bit like making myself a cape, other days went so horrendously I felt like crying into my third cup of cold tea and that was only at 9am. No matter how hard I tried to establish a routine, it just wouldn’t happen and eventually I gave up trying to have one. The only part of our routine from the old world that did manage to make it to the new world, was the bedtime routine, but of course the baby wasn’t too fussed on that either so he would end up being jiggled around while I carried on with our bedtime stories.
Then magically one day around four and a half months in, a new routine was born. I didn’t force it, in fact I did sod all to establish it, but none the less it appeared and some sort of normality was restored. Now at 9:30am, the baby has a nap until well after lunch and after lunch the toddler has a nap… sometimes. We now manage to leave the house in under 10 minutes, granted somebody is always crying for whatever reason (normally because I’ve put a coat on the non-crying child first) but we manage to leave the house in under 10 minutes nonetheless. A vast improvement from the hour it took us as the start.
The bedtime routine that made its way to the new world (what a tough cookie) is even acknowledged by the baby now. He has even started to enjoy the books enough to make it through all of them and most importantly, he sometimes actually goes to sleep when we put him into his bed. Although admittedly he does more often than not need an extra cuddle before he settles down to sleep.
While I do believe that some subsequent babies do slot into the perfectly structured routine the child before them has, I feel they are possibly the minority… a bit like the legendary babies who sleep through the night from six weeks and the toddlers that never have a tantrum.
So yes, life is made easier by a good routine when you have two under two, but don’t panic if you haven’t got a routine by the end of month one, two or six. Not all babies are mythical unicorns after all.
What are your thoughts on the second child falling into an established routine?