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Life with Two Under 2

Chaotic? Of course! How about some advice from Moms who have been there done that !

Spreading your love "A big issue was getting our older son, Oliver, to understand that his brother, Owen, wasn't a toy," recalls Sarah Bloom, of Houston, Texas.

The fix Shari Giti, Psy.D., a child and family therapist in Hermosa Beach, California, suggests that parents nix feelings of jealousy by giving the older child a special role to play. "I taught my 2-year-old to bring me a diaper when I needed one and gave her the job of 'greeter' every time her sister woke up from a nap," Dr. Giti says. "Instead of acting out, she focused on the tasks and proudly told visitors about her new job as the big sister."

Leaving the house "Packing up to get out the door for the playground is an hour-long effort," says Sarah Thompson, of Somis, California, whose son and daughter are 21 months apart.

The fix "We kept a second set of everything, like diapers, wipes, and juice boxes, in the back of the station wagon," says Carrie Le Chevallier, of Garner, North Carolina, whose adopted children, Lola and Diego, are only three months apart.

Going with a friend or joining a mom group helps too. Outings will be infinitely easier if you can turn to someone and ask, "Will you hold the baby for a minute?" Thompson joined a Friday-morning park group. After that, she and another mother would tag team the toddlers, allowing one of them to sit down to nurse or change a diaper.

Managing mealtime The differing food needs will make you feel like a short-order cook.

The fix Compromise! "For my older child, I made baby food instead of buying it," Franks says. "But when my daughter was born, there just was no way I could swing that, so I stocked up on store-bought baby food. I rationalized that my time was better spent bonding with my children than futzing with a blender." Rhett Ambrite taught her son to feed himself finger foods as soon as she could. Once the baby arrived, the Charleston, South Carolina, mom prepared plates ahead of time so she could pull them out of the fridge and warm them for her 18-month-old.

Sourced from parenting Network

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