SAHM Diaries: Tips for Taking Care of Two Babies

With my second child on the way, I decided I had the "Mom thing" down: Thanks to my firstborn, Isabel, I was already primed on all the baby tasks I needed to know, from how to successfully breastfeed to how to quiet a sobbing infant. Of course, all of this confidence quickly eroded when my second child, Fiona, was born. As a stay-at-home mom, I was left overwhelmed by the diapers and potty training, the nursing and toddler tantrums, not to mention the ever-changing nap schedule. But while having two kids meant double the work, it also meant double the fun. By following this advice, I survived -- and thrived:

 

Let it slide. With two small children scampering around your house, you can say goodbye to clean floors. And that’s okay! Your home should be safe for your babies to play in, but it doesn’t need to be spotless. Mine certainly wasn’t! With two tiny tots, cleaning (along with other tasks, such as cooking) definitely took a back seat.

Take group naps. After trying to juggle different nap times, I decided to rearrange our schedule so that their nap times coincided. I also tried to grab a few zzz’s when both girls were sleeping. Their napping schedules didn’t always match up perfectly, but even if my second baby’s nap was short-lived, at least her big sister got some much-needed rest, which greatly improved her mood later in the day.

Enlist a mother’s helper. Sure, it would be great to have a teen from down the street come in a few days a week to help out with the little ones, but if that’s not an option, look to your oldest! When my hands were full with Fiona, I was lucky enough to recruit Isabel to help me with little tasks during the day. As a 2.5-year-old, she was able to fetch diapers, put toys in a basket, and even sing a lullaby to her new baby sister.

Draw the line. As a stay-at-home mom of two, my energy was limited. Having two little ones emboldened me to say “no” to requests, visits, and other demands that I usually might have agreed to. The truth is, I didn’t have time to volunteer the way I did when Isabel was born and I didn’t have the stamina to entertain as many friends as before. And I’ve learned that there is nothing wrong with that. Staying at home with my girls was my reward -- one I wouldn’t trade.

You can expect the first few months of having two children at home to be a bit hectic. But once you settle into a schedule, you’ll find that being a stay-at-home mom for more than one child is more fun than you had imagined!

A Day in the Life of a SAHD of Twins

Before I became a new dad, my time was my own. But now that my twin boys -- Carter and Camden -- are in my life, those days are long gone. Staying at home to take care of my 4-month-old twins while my wife is working has proven to be a lot of work -- and a lot of fun. Here’s how a typical day unfolds in our house:

6:00 a.m.

My boys are already wide-awake. I take them out of the crib and prep for the first diaper change of the day. Before my new babies were born, I’d never changed a Pampers diaper in my life. But after four months with twins, I feel like I’ve mastered this and other baby care basics.

6:30 a.m.

We head to the kitchen for breakfast. The boys are making “feed-me-now!” noises as they kick in their bouncy seats that I’ve set on the floor. I look forward to the day when they can eat in their highchairs, but for now, I’ve found the best and safest way to give bottles at the same time to these two little guys is by sitting cross-legged on the kitchen floor with the boys in their bouncy seats in front of me. After they eat, each kid gets his own pat-on-the-back session, since I haven’t mastered the art of burping two babies at once.

7:30 a.m.

Carter had a bowel movement, so it’s time for another diaper change. Both boys are starting to get fussy, which means they’re ready for their morning nap -- and so am I. I snuggle back into bed to grab a little bit of sleep. I’ve learned that snoozing when the babies nap is the number one way for a new dad of multiples to stay sane!

9:00 a.m.

It’s time for another feeding, more diaper changes, and some playtime. Today, I break out the baby activity mats, which are always a hit. The stimulation from the different textures, shapes, and sounds keeps them busy while boosting their baby development. We also read together often.A note to stay-at-home dads: The sports section of the newspaper counts!).

10:30 a.m.

At this age, my sons still need to nap often. And that’s fine with me! I settle them down for their second nap of the day, and use the free time to catch up on my to-do list.

12:00 p.m.

We all need some fresh air, so I strap the twins into their double-jogger stroller, and we head to a nearby park. We say hi to the neighborhood dogs as we go, and I point out the really cool cars that we see. Research shows the more I talk to the new babies now (even if they don’t understand much about sports cars), the better their vocabulary will be when they’re older.

2:30 p.m.

Once this round of feeding and diaper changes is over, the boys and I head to the grocery store to get food for tonight’s dinner. At the store, I strap one new baby into a front carrier while the other stays in the portable car seat now attached to the cart. I’m grateful there aren’t many items on my list!

4:30 p.m.

The boys are hungry and tired again by the time we get home, so it’s another round of bottles, then a quick nap while dinner is fixed.

6:00 p.m.

My sons play on their activity mats and get a baby bath before bedtime. After one more feeding and a quick diaper check, the boys are down for the night. I’m thinking of turning in as well. Tomorrow is another busy day for this SAHD!