How to survive two under two on barely any sleep

2under2IT is no secret that as a new mum of ONE baby I struggled.  My baby did not like to sleep so I was tired. Very tired.

Then, just when I thought (in a Greg Wallace voice) parenting just doesn’t get tougher than this…baby two arrived eighteen months later….and I realised that actually yes, it really does..

If you are considering a second child then here are a few tips!!

  1. Do not bother trying to get anything done ever. While it is tricky to get stuff done with one baby, with two it is practically impossible. In fact, don’t even bother sitting down because as soon as you do someone will need you to do something. I have lost entire days trying to get things done and achieved nothing. You think, ‘I know; I’ll write a list, get organised, tick things off as I go along.’ Easy, right? Wrong. Five days later you realise you haven’t even managed to finish writing the bloody list. So I suggest doing what you can when you can. Better still just use this list:

1. Get up

2. Look after the children.

Anything achieved alongside this list is automatically a bonus.

2) Don’t buy a double buggy. You will use it once, realise it is really heavy and annoying and sell it on Ebay.

3) Do not try to get anywhere on time. With two babies on the go, everything takes ages. ‘Popping out’ becomes a distant memory.

I remember a time when nipping out for milk simply meant taking clothes out of the wardrobe, putting them on, grabbing my bag and leaving the house.

Now it can take hours as I desperately attempt to scrub baby snot from my clothes with baby wipes, clean bums, clean teeth, change nappies, feed baby, break up fights, chase toddler, dress toddler, dress baby, leave house, forget bag, return to house, leave house, forget baby, return to house, get baby, leave house and then when I finally get to shop, I have forgotten what the hell I went for.

Better still, just don’t bother leaving the house at all.

4) Someone always wants something from you. A banana, a biscuit, a drink, a dummy, a poo, a wee, a wipe, dinner, lunch, breakfast, a snack, toys, clothes. Take me outside, take me home, take me to the toilet, take me to the park? Story, piggyback, Play Doh, song. You life becomes an endless cycle of getting stuff for small people.

Some days you’ll want to quit. Other days you’ll want to scream.  But you still get them the stuff. Because at the end of the day, it is far easier than being asked for the fucking stuff, over and over again, for the rest of your life.

5) When you are expecting your second baby you will secretly worry whether you will love them as much as you love your first. Surely, it must be impossible to love another human being as much as you love your firstborn? There could never be a baby as cute, or as funny, or as beautiful. Then baby two arrives and they are just as cute, just as funny and just as beautiful. And before you know it, you can’t imagine life without them.

6) Get an extra pair of eyes to put in the back of your head because, at one point, your children will try to kill each other. Not intentionally, of course. But toddlers seem to be under the impression that ‘dangerous’ means fun. For example; “It will be so funny to whack my sister over the head with a mug.” And “I wonder what will happen if I stick this pencil right up my sister’s nose.”

7) Buy two of everything. They always want what the other one has. Toddler could pick up a dead frog and Baby would still drop whatever she was doing and decide she desperately wants that dead frog more than anything in the world. You can tell them to share until you are blue in the face. But apparently ‘share’ is toddler speak for ‘snatch’. I would also suggest that all the children’s cups and bowls are the same colour. We have a single blue bowl that is currently making my life hell.

Having two children close in age can be exhausting and frustrating. It is rare that a day goes by where I haven’t silently sworn about something. But mostly, it is pretty amazing.  And there is a great comfort in knowing that no matter what, they will always have each other.

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When they are not trying to kill each other, they are best friends…at least until they both want the blue bowl.

So how do you survive with two children under two?

Coffee, a sense of humour and shit loads of blue bowls.


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Check out my book that contains no baby sleep advice whatsoever… Just lots of laughs and stories about surviving the sleepless nights from someone who has been there!

Sleep Is For The Weak: How To Survive When Your Baby Won’t Go The FzZk To Sleep at book shops or on Amazon now!!

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30 thoughts on “How to survive two under two on barely any sleep

  1. Mine are 20 months apart and I thought it would be some kind of easy thing. Never knew how hard I would work pleasing two kids with completely different needs on pretty much zero sleep. The little one was a terrible sleeper and the older one starting waking at 5am. I recall thinking of ways to hurt myself so I could have some time in hospital for a holiday! At 6 and 4 they are still bickering and trying to kill each other but the age gap is really good. They always have someone by their side (even if its to annoy) and my nappy days are gone!

  2. 25 month old and 3 month old. My advice? Lower your standards and expectations until they’re on the floor! Like you say, get up and keep everyone alive. That’s winning!

  3. Can relate with most of the numbers.my advice to mums with 2 under 2, sometimes it helps asking sister for help in housecleaning. Or she can play with the kids while you do a bit of work. And you get to talk with a grown up that isnt your partner!

  4. I’m a mum of four. 3 are age 3 and under. We escaped domestic abuse last year, and since have moved 3 times. I gave birth to the fourth 6 months ago. I don’t think I have had one good night’s sleep for over three years. I’ve decorated, carpeted whilst in between all of their needs and fighting court battles. It’s not a sob story……I’m trying to say parents are amazing. They are resilient, strong and warriors because we love our children. We will ultimately do whatever is required. ……

  5. I am a 21 year old mother of two children (girls to be precise) and they are aged 3 and 4… I am pregnant with baby number 3 and my life seems to be a LIVING HELL. I started my pregnancy in a bad way, in and out of the hospital… constantly poorly, I’m now almost 13 weeks… Just the other day, I passed out without warning and my damage… a broken rib and neck muscle damage… Baby is fine and it was put down to the fact I have a UTI… my children are purely the spawn of Satan! I cannot get through one day without my youngest starting a fight with my eldest or having to shout at them both… who knew that 2 toddlers and a pregnancy could be so exhausting x

  6. To Kate William,I admire u alot,u are abrillant women n you organised person,I m milly from Malaysia,congratulations on the arrival of your2nd one whether prince or princess kate you are .beautifull in all ways,and iwas A great admirer of lady Diana,till today she is in my heart,tq Kate continue your good parental values,Prince William congratulations To the arrival of your new baby,thank youmildred from Malaysia,

  7. As a mummy of 11 children and dont think there are no useful tips here really. Not have a double bubby? well cant not have one really can you, they are handy to have, Ive got buggies of all shapes and sizes. I had 5 children in 5 years, yes our oldest turned 5 the week our 5th was born and I turned 25 the same week.
    Our oldest 2 were not 2 under 2 but in fact 2 under 1!! our oldest was 11wks old when I conceived our second, I had no probs even with those 5 getting anywhere on time and I had no help. We now have 11 and they go like this 18,17,15,14,13,10,8,6,4,2,7mths and I hope for more soon Im now 38. People ask how do you do it, well you just do 🙂 But when I read the story on the daily mail about Kate having two and how hard it was I did giggle. A few weeks ago during the school holidays 3 kids went to play at a friends leaving me only 8 suddenly it seemed so quite I was thinking, where is everyone 😛 LOL
    I guess its all relative to what your used to. My days are spent running kids to high school after school jobs, uni, helping them learn to drive, helping kids with homework, talking to teachers, running to kindy, shopping, all whilst breastfeeding, cleaning, cooking, washing, and all the normal stuff you have to get done juggling teenagers, primary school kids, 2 pre-schoolers and a baby and yes I’d love more 🙂
    so when I see articles about how hard it is to have 2 under 2 I have to laugh, 2 under 2? piece of cake 😉

    • That’s great that you find it all so ‘easy’ but you mention how you laugh at others who are struggling. Twice. It isn’t helpful. Wonder why you replied (other than to gloat). This is meant to be a supportive piece.

  8. I had 2 under 2, 21 months apart. they’re now 3 and 4 and it’s slightly easier… at times… Did I mention I also have a 10 year old pre teen… yep just kill me now!

  9. I love your reading your posts they never fail to make me laugh! If I were you I’d chuck the blue bowl in the bin, anything for a quiet life!! So glad I’m not alone, thanks ☺ x

  10. I had two under two. 20 months apart and now at 3 and 4 it’s still tough. They do want all the sodding time. They row. They squabble. But they also love each other. Which makes up for all of the above.

  11. I only have 1 toddler (for whom sleep is time wasted, blankets are cages to be escaped, socks are a source of itchiness and long sleeves a nuisance), and already your post sounds like my life!!! I adore your writing and look forward to every post, makes me feel like my crazy home is part of a network of crazy home islands. I’m tired, and might not be making any sense, but thank you. 🙂

  12. This is both lovely and funny! Two under two certainly sounds like full-on and I take my hat off to you (and Kate!) But think it is so, so nice how close siblings can grow up together with lots in common too – not least the love of a blue bowl!

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