I know there are many mamas with kids who are less than 2 years apart, and I even have some family and friends who are very close to having same (!!!), so I thought it might be helpful to share some of my baby and toddler favorites for families with two under 2, or kids otherwise close in age!
Right now, my toddler, Noah, is 2 1/2 years old and my baby, Niko, is 9 months old. They are 20 months apart in age. My days mainly consist of chasing the quite energetic toddler around while tending to the happy, yet attention-hungry (and hungry in general) baby. Life can get pretty demanding, and I find myself sometimes at the end of the day wondering what I was even able to get done. In reality, sometimes it’s nothing aside from general parenting, playing with toys and reading books. Because, SAHM life.
So, the favorite things that I’m including in this post today have been a huge help to me in making my life easier and my kids happy, and whether you have one child or seven (bless you!!), most of these work wonderfully for the infant months through toddlerhood!
I have to admit, I was SO against using a double stroller. The thought of it gave me anxiety! I pictured trying to maneuver this huge, bulky, heavy stroller around, never being able to fit through doorways or crowds, and just stress, stress, stress. But the City Mini Double is actually a joy to travel with! It fits through a standard doorway, and it’s rides so smoothly, it feels like I’m pushing an infant rather than two 20+ lb. kids around! The only thing is that it’s heavy and awkward to unfold, but it’s really the only negative I’ve found in a slew of positives. Oh, and it can be adapted to carry an infant seat, as well!
As I mentioned above, I do love the maneuverability of the Baby Jogger double stroller; however, on most days when I’m out running errands or taking the kids to the park/soccer/gym class, I tend to let Noah walk or ride in a carriage and I carry Niko in the ErgoBaby carrier. It makes life SO MUCH EASIER. I can’t even tell you. While I use the double stroller mainly for walks and events, I use the carrier for quite literally everything else. This particular one is great because it’s ergonomic, so baby is always comfortable, and it provides varying options of carrying, from a rear-facing infant hold (with an additional insert) to front-facing and even back-wearing, and it can hold infants and toddlers up to 33 pounds. Serious lifesaver for any mom with even one baby, but even more so for moms of two (or more)!
This activity jumper seat was a lifesaver when Noah was little, and is still to this day with Niko. He has toys to entertain him wherever he turns, but he’s also upright and moving, which helps strengthen his muscles. I’ll even take it into the kitchen if I’m cooking so he can watch and interact with me without getting bored. The best part is that you can raise the seat so that it grows with baby as he/she gets taller!
P.S. ~ I bought this for about $100.00 at Babies R’ Us, but just noticed that Amazon has it for half the price!
Niko LOVES his banana toothbrush. I usually give this to him when I’m preparing a meal to keep him entertained so I can focus on getting their food ready. It’s also great in a restaurant while we’re waiting for our food to arrive. It keeps him quiet and happy, and gives him something to chew on if he’s getting hungry in the meantime. And win-win because he’s brushing his teeth at the same time, so it’s teaching him hygiene, too! (In theory, at least. We still brush our teeth with his real toothbrush in the morning and before bed.)
Both the baby and the toddler LOVE this book. It keeps them entertained at home, in the car, wherever they need to be entertained. We’ve had it for what seems like forever and neither of them has tired of it. It has lots of bright colors and things to look at, little spinning objects and buttons to touch, colorful lights, nursery rhymes, songs and animal sounds. So much for them to do! This is good stuff right here.
We go out to eat quite a bit, and these disposable placemats are a life saver for babies or kids who can’t be trusted with a porcelain dish! They cover the table so there’s no worry about germs (or a mess), and baby can eat in peace. We have the Mickey & Friends placemats, but there are a few different options, all of which have fun little activities to entertain them during meal time.
I give Niko the Happy Baby pouches and Noah the Happy Tot pouches when we’re on the go. They’re a great, healthy snack! They have a lot of delicious fruit and veggie combos for babies ranging in age from 4 months (Stage 1) all the way up through toddlerhood. The Stage 4 (Happy Tot) pouches also have Super Foods varieties that contain additional healthy foods like chia seeds. And, they’ve recently come out with a new Clearly Crafted line that the boys LOVE. Of course, all of the Happy Baby line is 100% organic.
If you have any favorites, please leave them in the comments below so any interested moms can check them out (myself included)!