I’ll never forget that afternoon in May. My husband and I took Little Boy for his 9-month checkup with our family doctor. I wasn’t feeling well that day, but as we mommas often do, I persevered in order to make sure that Little Boy was in tiptop shape and meeting the appropriate milestones.
Little Boy was doing great. A chubby, giggly, smiling baby as always.
“And how are you doing,” Dr. B. asked me. She was the doctor who cared for me when I first learned I was pregnant with Little Boy. She even delivered him at the hospital. It was safe to say she knew me pretty well by then.
I confessed that I hadn’t been feeling well for the past week or so. I was tired, a little cranky, hand’t been eating well, and just not feeling like myself overall. As we continued to talk about it, I got a sinking feeling in my stomach – I had lost track of my cycle. “Let’s have you take a pregnancy test… just to rule it out so you won’t be worrying about it,” said Dr. B. She was trying to make me feel better, but I could tell she already knew.
A few minutes later, I heard it: “Rock-a-bye baby, on the tree top! When the wind blooooowwwwsss….” It was the nurse. She read the results of my pregnancy test and began singing to me as she came down to the hall towards the examining room. My husband and I looked at each other with a matching wide-eyed, open mouth stare. “Are you serious?!” – we shouted in unison.
Soon after, I went for an ultrasound to get an estimated due date. I was in love and amazement at the first photo of baby #2, and then I did the math: 16 ½ months apart. It was official… We were going to be the parents of 2 Under 2!
At first I was nervous – worried – about how I would manage two little babies. Now that Little Boy and Little Girl are 4 and 2 ½, I can say that things are going much easier and quicker than I thought they would. In fact, dare I say it, having 2 under 2 is the best thing to happen to our family!
Here’s why I love having two children close in age:
My littles are best friends.
They don’t remember life without one another, and therefore are part of eachother’s greatest memories. I still remember Little Girl’s first laugh. She was watching her brother peek and poke at her in her rocker. They’ve been inseparable ever since.
They have many of the same friends.
Planning birthday parties and play dates are pretty easy with two close in age, because they play with children within the same age range. I don’t have to worry about one feeling left out because they can’t keep up with what their sibling and friends are doing.
My littles are about the same size.
Little boy is the oldest, but takes after my husband who is of average height. Little girl takes after me, and is taller than most children her age (95th percentile!). Because of this, they are the same height and weight. Judging the suitability of playground equipment is easier when they can play in the same area. Shopping for diapers, clothing, and shoes isn’t very stressful, because I only have to remember one size! Meal prep is quick, because I don’t have to worry about nursing, formula, or purees anymore. They both eat solids and tend to like most of the same things – whatever I prepare, I just do it twice.
They have the same sleeping schedule.
(This probably should have been #1) One of the first things on my agenda when we came home with Little Girl, was to figure out the sleep routine. BEST. DECISION. EVER. Although as an infant, Little Girl was taking short naps in the morning and evening, I eventually figured out how to time it so her longest stretches of sleep were during Little Boy’s nap and bedtime. Once she graduated to taking only one nap, it coincided perfectly with her brother’s. It took me some time and tweaking, but I have to admit that getting it figured out is what saved me during those early months. To this day, they have identical eating, sleeping, and bathroom time routines. It just became their natural rhythm. This is especially helpful with planning outings and trips with them.
They will go through phases together.
Despite having two children, we will only have to go through the potty training and “terrible toddler” years once. Although those phases will be longer, once we’re done we can focus on what’s next. Planning an art project or messy activity for a rainy afternoon is easy, because what is age appropriate for one is pretty much appropriate for the other with slight modifications. Also, Little Girl will be one grade behind Little Boy in school. That should make it easier to attend report card conferences and school events. They learn a lot from each other as toddlers, and my hope is that they will continue to help one another as they are going through school.
I could easily think of a million more, though. While it might not be right for every family, it has been a perfect fit for us. If you are expecting another baby while rocking one who is still little, don’t fret! It gets easier with time. Just take it a day at a time.
What is your experience?
- Are you thinking about planning for two under two? Or even three under three?
- Do you already have children close in age? If so, what do you enjoy about it?
- Do you have larger gaps in age between your children? What are some things you enjoy about that?
Please share in the comments.
Thanks for reading,
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