If you follow my blog, you’ve probably seen my Month 2 Must-Haves post after we had our first child in 2015. Now with Baby #2, that list continues to hold (mostly) true (I’ve reused a lot of the same goodies), but with a few important additions that have made mothering 2 children below 2 better. Do note that the items below have come in handy to me as a new-mom-of-multiple-kids, but they are sure to be useful to any mom if the need presents itself.
#1: The Baby K’Tan Active
This was a gift from my wonderful friends and I use it nearly every single day – and have since week 2 of my little girl’s journey in this big bad world. With our first, we only had the MOBY Wrap and the MOBY Go carriers. The GO is the most ergonomic, deliciously comfortable carrier I have ever used, but it’s only good for bigger babies (15-45 lbs; aka 6.8kg-20.4kg) and doesn’t fit an infant insert, so we were stuck with the wrap, and while the wrap is gorgeous, it’s just not conducive to tropical weather (in my honest opinion). The material is thick, and the cloth goes for yards, with a more complex wrapping design. Suffice to say, I basically carried Lucas around everywhere until he hit 15-lbs. Enter the Baby K’Tan! I told my friends I wanted a carrier that was easy to put on, lightweight, low-fuss, but still ergonomic and cozy for both myself and baby; and I wanted one that could work from Day 1 ideally. That’s when one of my best friends, Katrina, introduced me to the K’Tan Active. This thing is everything I asked for: the material is light and breezy (like the sturdy, elastic netting on a light pair of running shoes), but cozy at the same time. The fabric is moisture-wicking (perfect for days out in the sun or in the tropics in general), and my favorite thing about it is how easy it is to put on. No need to tie knots yourself, just put the loops over your head and arms, and let the fabric work its magic as it stretches to accommodate both your body and baby’s. This product goes from birth to 35-lbs, and I’m almost tempted to get a second for days when the first is in the wash.
#2: Google Chromecast
My husband and I, for the longest time, had a pretty strict no-screens policy with our first. And when screens were finally introduced, it was a very closely mediated experience. From months 10 onwards, Lucas was allowed to listen to Spotify playlists of Disney, classical, or sleepytime music; then from month 12 he was allowed to control the app to self select songs; then from month 13 we let him watch his first show on TV, and so on. YouTube, for example, was only introduced after month 18, and only for videos we had pre-selected for him. Lastly, he was never allowed screen time except for weekends. We found the setup ideal because we feel there’s just so much on the internet and on screens that poses mental and physical health “risks” if you will, for young impressionable children. We didn’t want to encourage addictive behavior and get him hooked on the instant gratification afforded by these devices. And we still believe strongly in this low screen time approach to parenting. However, I have to admit that now with 2 under 2, screens do come in handy — especially when on vacation and you need a little bit of extra help keeping Baby #1 quiet and behaved so you can focus on tasks for yourself or Baby #2. To make sure we are able to police Lucas’ screen time, we have hooked up a Chromecast and saved a bunch of educational shows and toddler-suitable movies off of Netflix. Once or twice a day, we will put on a couple of these shows/movies so that I can nurse in peace, and he can fall asleep to his favorite music or characters. This keeps the phone out of Lucas’ hands, and leaves the control of content with us (which is my biggest gripe with YouTube, all the Suggested Video algorithms are fine for adult consumers of media, but for little kids? Better not).
#3: YouTube Body Weight Workouts
When you have one kid, working out almost the same ways you used to is still possible. When he’s sleeping, you can still workout for 30 minutes to an hour uninterrupted. But with 2 kids, that becomes increasingly difficult. That’s where burst workouts come in. I’ve taken to trying to fit in as many short, targeted workouts as I can 3-5 times a week (and if I’m lucky and the kids are napping at the same time, I can even try to fit in a run). So here are just some of my favorites:
- Blogilates 6 Minutes to Sexy…Arms, Thighs, Butt, Waist, Abs — Cassie is a lot perkier than I am and so it’s sometimes difficult for me to watch her videos, but I do love these short fire-starters that really get both my heart rate going and my muscles aching
- Heather Catlin’s 5 Minute Maternity Workouts — These are technically prenatal workouts, but I think they’re great for postpartum as well. If you feel stronger and more balanced postpartum (and you have experience with different fitness moves and know proper form) then you can always do the non-modified versions of her moves. I tend to opt for full push-ups and further angled wall-pushes than she does for example as I feel more confident postpartum to do those moves
- Sarah Beth Yoga’s Postnatal Upper Body Routine — Having 2 babies (1 nearly 6kg, the other 12.5kg haha), I spend a lot of time carrying/wrestling/changing/generally caring for them, which can put a lot of strain on my back, arms, and shoulders. Couple that with all the strange positions you put your body in to breastfeed in the wee hours of the morning, and suddenly you’re sore and out of alignment 90% of the time. As such, I find yoga to be a huge help in realigning, relaxing the body, and stretching out all those stiff spots. This particular routine is tailored to a new mama’s needs, and is very useful in relieving those postpartum aches, pains, and even anxieties
PS/Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and I have not been gifted any of these items from brands. What I’ve written above is my honest opinion on the things I like to use as a mama