When I found out I was pregnant 5.5 months postpartum, I panicked a little to say the least. Initially I was pretty consumed by morning sickness and caring for a baby at the same time. But what I was really worried about was how I was going to take care of a newborn and 14 month old, at the same time. I think it’s crucial to have a loose routine when you have babies in general AND so close together, to avoid burnout, worsen postpartum depression and anxiety (if you have those) and to maintain peace in your home. I know there are mamas who might disagree with me about routine but since I personally struggle with postpartum depression and anxiety, routine is a non-negotiable for us in our home. I need it to survive! There are a few things to keep in mind when you are creating a flow to your day, with your baby (babies).
What is the age gap between your babies? When Jack was born, Hudson wasn’t even walking yet. He started a few weeks later but having 2 babies who need to be carried versus having one who can walk is a big deal. It impacts where you can go, on your own with two babies, easily. If you are someone who needs to get out of the house often, you’ll have to think about how you can accomplish this with 2 babies that don’t walk. You may also think about how important it is to get your older one out of the home so they don’t go stir crazy. How will that affect your overall day? We are looking at daycare (literally right down the street) a few hours a week for Hudson, to get him out of the house AND to give mama a break!
Does your oldest sleep well or nap consistently and what is your plan to get the 2nd baby to sleep? Obviously, every mother’s dream when she has 2 babies close together is to get them on a simultaneous napping schedule. This is very good for a few reasons. 1) Mama gets a BREAK! 2)Babies don’t wake each other up! It’s a gong show around here on any given day but I find when I can get both boys to nap at the same time, they nap much better, much longer and wake up much more rested. We’ve been lightly sleep training Jack since he was 6 weeks old. But even before the I was already doing a sleep routine for naps and bedtime. Sometimes it works great and sometimes he only catnaps. What I know is that I’m giving him a solid foundation for better sleep as he grows. Hudson takes one big nap everyday. It can be hit or miss but 75% of the time I can get 2.5 hours out of him. It takes a lot of work to get sleep configured with 2 little guys and you can read more about what I’ve been doing in regards to that in an upcoming blog post!
Another thing to think about: What is important to you, in terms of the structure of your day? For me right now, I have super simple goals. Get everyone dressed in normal clothing. Get both boys to take at least one decent nap. Have my house somewhat clean. Have something for dinner, for my husband when he gets home. Naps and dinner don’t always happen the way I’d like them to. My husband also works late some nights and both boys are bed by the time he gets home. But having some simple goals help me feel like my day isn’t complete chaos.
Here is an idea of a schedule that we loosely follow/adapted in the last 9 weeks.
6:30-Husband and I are up and getting ready for the day. I try to put regular clothes on every day, wash my face etc. so I don’t feel like a bum all day.
7-Dave gets Hudson up, changes his diaper, Hudson gets his morning milk while I do the same with Jack
7:30-Dave is off to work.
8-Jack is down for a nap (usually always an hour after he wakes up)
8:30-Breakfast for Hudson
9-11-Clean up breakfast, dress Hudson, tidy house, Hudson watches Blippi, plays or follows me around the house as I clean, fold laundry, whatever. I wake Jack up at 10 to feed him, do tummy time and tire him out so that he’s ready for another nap around the time Hudson is.
11-11:15 Hudson gets a snack and milk. While he eats, I get his room ready for nap as well as Jack’s. Sound machines on and room dark. While Jack chills in the mamaroo, I clean Hudson up, change his diaper and into his crib for nap by 11:30. I’ll change Jack, top him up with a bottle and rock him until he’s almost asleep. Sometimes I’ll put Jack down first if he’s struggling to stay awake.
1130-1:30-This is an ideal window of time for me to get a break. It’s not exact every day but I can usually get an hour to myself. What I do during this time varies. I rarely nap although I probably should. I usually eat, watch some netflix, catch up on texts, call my mom or tidy around the house. Whatever I do, I try to do something for myself!
1:30-Boys are awake. I change both and feed Jack while Hudson plays.
2-Hudson has lunch
2:30-Clean Hudson up, he plays while I put Jack down for another nap.
3:30/4-This is the time of day when things can get a little dicey. After this point, Jack usually refuses to nap and both boys get cranky. My goal at this point of the day is to get Jack to 5pm with a catnap so that he can go 5-6:30.
4:30/5-I set Hudson up with toys or Blippi and put Jack in the mammroo with me in the kitchen, while I prep/cook dinner.
6-7-Bedtime routines! Baths, pj’s, bottles, play, then to bed!
*If Dave is home at this point, he’s usually putting Hudson to bed while I put Jack to bed. If Dave is not home, I put Hudson to bed first, while Jack chills with us in his bouncy. Then I’ll do Jack’s routine.
75% of the time, both boys are asleep by 7/730 pm every night. Jack still needs a lot of resettling at this point but since he’s found his hands, he does really well at self soothing. Dave and I work together to stay organized and not have lots of work leftover at the end of the night. We try to make sure the house is picked up, kitchen is clean and things are ready for the next day so that we can relax for at least an hour before we head to bed. That doesn’t always happen and sometimes evenings are regular gong show where we literally collapse into bed exhausted. But I do think organization, thinking/planning ahead and realistic goals are super important when you are considering a routine with your littles.
I hope you’ve found some of this helpful, especially if you are in the same boat as me, with 2 babies so close together! Do you love routine? What are some ways you stay organized with little ones at home? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!