Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Timing is Everything

One of the challenges i'm having with two little ones is figuring out how to time our days. I don't like staying home all day, and it isn't good for the kids to be cooped up inside either. Stephanie and I were always out and about before Joseph arrived. We'd go to restaurants for breakfast and lunch, playdates, shopping trips, storytime at the library, etc. I still want to keep up that level of activity, but it's difficult to arrange things around Joseph's feeding. (He's not even on a nap schedule yet, so I can only imagine how much harder it will be once he is.)

He eats every three hours, and still protests any powder formula. But, if we're going off shopping, I have no way to warm up a cold bottle of liquid formula, so it has to be powder. He will eventually drink it all, but those feedings take 30-45 minutes at a time. If he was my only child, this would be no problem. I could feed him in the car, or at a coffee shop, and take my leisurely time. But my precocious 23 month old is not up for leisurely hang outs. She is busy busy busy, and trying to entertain her while simultaneously feeding the baby is difficult enough at home, never mind if we're out somewhere. 

I've been working on figuring this out, and I actually have (sort of) developed a system. If we're at someone's house for a playdate, or out to breakfast/lunch I can just bring a liquid bottle and heat it up in a mug of hot water. And during these times, there are always other adults and kids around, so Stephanie has plenty of entertainment. But for those mornings where it's just errands that need to be run, I make sure that we do only the things that can fit into that 2 hour time-frame between feedings. This way we'll be home again before he needs to eat, and I won't have to worry about Stephanie running crazily around Dunkin Donuts or Panera while I struggle to get Joseph to stop screaming and just drink the powder stuff. 

Getting errands done between feedings does require some prep and planning. Before I sit down for the first feeding, I make sure that the diaper bag is stocked and waiting to go, Stephanie and I are both ready to throw our coats and shoes on and head out the door, my lists are made and loaded onto my phone, and my coupons are organized and in the diaper bag. (I forgo a purse on errand days, and throw my wallet, phone and keys in the diaper bag.) Then, when Joseph has eaten and burped we can get in the car and head off to where we need to go. This morning we did a trip to the grocery store, and a stop at the library. We made it home afterwards with plenty of time to spare before Joseph started demanding more food. Success!

Having a baby and a toddler does require some extra thought and planning, but if i'm organized, it's totally do-able. We can still be active, get things done, and not be chained to our apartment all day long. I'd love to hear any tips and tricks that you have for being on-the-go with your children!



  1. You are way more organized than I am! My first, now almost 3, was so easy to put on a schedule but I'm having a hard time with my 3 month old. I just can't get a good system going so it makes leaving the house hard. I hate being stuck inside too so we are fumbling our way through it! I just keep reminding myself it will get easier!

    1. I have the same mantra...it will get easier! I definitely have my unorganized days, but I am trying to hard to make it so that we can get out every day. It's important for our mental health as mommies :)

  2. It takes a special person to wrangle little ones. That special sort of person isn't me. However, my mother was a stay-at-homer and she tells me often that she hated when school started every year. While all the other parents couldn't wait to get rid of their kids, she wanted us to be home, with our snotty noses and our messy rooms and our "read-it-agains". Hold on to these moments, even as challenging as they are, for all too soon they have evaporated.

    And kudos! Successes (especially the little ones) should be celebrated with abandon.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, and for stopping by! I love your line about celebrating successes with abandon...that's how what I strive to do. :)


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