How I Survived Irish Twins–and You Can too

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Do you have Irish Twins--or 2 kids born less than a year apart? What about 2 under 2? These 7 tips are sure to improve your life and help you survive those early years.

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I had 3 kids in 4 years.  When my youngest son was born, my oldest had just turned 4 and my second son was four days shy of his first birthday.

When I try to look back on those days—it’s from an out-of-body perspective because I don’t remember squat.

I just survived.

Two kids in diapers, two kids who could barely walk, two kids who couldn’t feed themselves, two kids who wouldn’t sleep through the night…and the list could go on, but then that might sound like I’m complaining.

I’m not….because I was too busy surviving each day to build up any kind of regret or get a chip on my shoulder.

So now that I’m on the other side of those years and my kids are 7, 4, and 3—it’s a little easier to see what it was that made those days survivable.  In fact, that is the question I get asked the most—“How did you survive!?”

Well here are some of the tips, tricks, and tools that helped me get through those rough days in the beginning.

How to Survive 2 Babies at a Time:

  1. The 2 babies slept on opposite sides of the house—which means they never woke each other up. Our littlest guy slept in our room for about three months so when he woke up we’d obviously hear him and we had a baby monitor in our middle son’s room set on really low volume.
  2. We didn’t get dressed every day. My kids—especially the babies—spent a lot of time in their PJs.  Oh and me too.  Hah! Do you know how much time it takes to actually dress babies? Quite a bit—and when you are counting on having to change them 2 or 3 additional times throughout the day because of spit-ups or blow-outs—changing clothes takes forever and upsets kids when it’s not necessary.
  3. Speaking of wearing my PJs all day—I started showering at night right before bed. I feel like that helped me get a good night’s rest.  That worked for me, but it might not work for everyone.  Like my husband, showers help him wake up.
  4. We assigned the kids to a parent. I know this sounds ridiculous, but it is the best solution for keeping chaos under control for large families in public places.  For example, on the way to a family reunion I’d say, “I’ll take the baby and Ethan and you take Grant.”  This keeps us from both running around with our heads cut off for every little offense.  When Grant began pulling books off the shelf, I knew my husband was going to get it and when the baby cried, he knew I’d be taking care of it.  Perfect!!
  5. I was prepared to use some kind of baby carrier (we borrowed a Moby Wrap from a friend) but luckily Grant was walking at 10 months, so by the time Joseph came along 2 months later, he was pretty steady on his feet. Because of this, I never really had to carry 2 babies at a time. Unless we were trying to get somewhere fast or one (or both) of them were throwing a fit.  I know a lot of people swear by baby carriers, but I always found them to be cumbersome and in the way. At the grocery store, my oldest would walk, my middle son rode in the front of the cart and the baby was in the car seat in the back of the cart and I’d just pack my groceries around him.
  6. Keep diapers everywhere. You’re probably going to have 2 in diapers for close to a year (or more if your child is stubborn like mine was). We had a cute diaper basket in the living room with diapers, wipes, lotion, powder, and extra pants. I got the basket from TJ MAXX and it matched my décor. It was very handy to not have to run off to a bedroom during the 100 daily diaper changes.
  7. I coordinated naps immediately. I don’t remember how I did it though. I just did it because I had to survive. We all napped at the same time—the 3 boys each in their own bed and me in my bed.
Having Irish twins (siblings born less than a year apart) is not easy—but it’s also not impossible.

You can do it!  I always remember really needing to hear that in the early days. When people would see me with all my little babies in public they would look at me with equal parts horror and sympathy.

But then there were other times when kind strangers would give me a high-five and say, “you got this, sister!”  I loved that!  And now that I am mostly on the other side of things, I am always sure to encourage moms of many babies when I see them out and about.

Good for you, Momma—getting out of the house!  You are amazing!

So if you need to hear it—I’ll tell you now—

You got this!

Do you have Irish Twins--or 2 kids born less than a year apart? What about 2 under 2? These 7 tips are sure to improve your life and help you survive those early years.

4 comments

  1. Daughter of Yah says:

    Thank you for this post.
    We had 4 kids 3 and under so I understand and remember those days. Now we have 4 kids 7 and under so it’s much better. We did survive and our kids survived as well.

  2. Red says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. We are expecting a very unexpected Baby No. 2 less than 30 days after my son’s first birthday, right at the beginning of my husband’s second semester of Junior year nursing school, and of course I’m working… and we are a little overwhelmed with the possibilities. I’ve taken to scouring the internet for stories and posts just like this. Thank you again for sharing!

  3. Christel says:

    Thanks for your uplifting post! I have 2 boys, and we’re expecting another baby in March, and my second is only 4 months old. So they will be like 10 months apart and it scares the heck out of me!

    • Ally says:

      You got this 🙂 I don’t remember much from those early years. Just try to keep your sense of humor–my husband and I would look at each other during those crazy times and say, “Is this real life?!”

      Haha…feel free to reach out if you need support 🙂

      Blessings!

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