(This article was written a while back when Kate (yep, we’re on informal terms – shared she was preggo with #2. At the time of this update, she has added a third, oy! Regardless of how many more royals are being created – this article is still applicable to give tips to handle 2 kids under 2!)
Big news came out of today for the royal family and it’s time for us to celebrate along with them. Cool, calm and collected is how Kate looked at her announcement of her baby princess. But, for those of us moms with two young kids, the truth that it’s not all that easy. Here is a fun little letter to give my thoughts on how to survive for 2 kids under 2.
Dear Your Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge (seems too formal, so I am going to call you Kate),
It happened! You had the world waiting and watching and sitting on the edge of our seats. We are so excited about the announcement of your baby girl!
It’s going to be a pretty exciting time for your family to enjoy it all. But, even though it may look easy to you – we all know it’s not. Having two kids is a game changer! As a certified sleep consultant, I’m going to talk about the survival tactics for the week and months ahead with two kids under two. I promise not to sugar coat it!
Tip 1: Take all the help you can get
Rumor has it that you have already hired a baby nurse so check the box! Recovering from a baby is hard – and takes a toll on your body. I am guessing you did not forget all those sleep deprived nights from when Prince George was a newborn. That’s totally normal and is even expected again.
Having a newborn with a young toddler is hard for even the best (on top of it all) moms. Take all the help you can get and god only knows there will be a ton of people (dignitaries, celebrities and commoners) that would love to come in and squeeze that new future princess.
Never pass up an opportunity for Aunt Pippa or Uncle Harry to take baby or toddler duty for a bit to allow you the opportunity to take a nap or a glorious shower in peace.
Oh, and also accept people’s offer to bring over dinner. You are a lady of class and grace so accepting other’s offers will make many people happy.
Tip 2: Two cribs are always better than one
Based on the fact that you live in a palace with nanny annexes and wings, I’m hoping you can splurge on two cribs. For everyone’s sake, DO NOT move Prince George out of his crib.
Many parents feel that an early transition to a toddler bed (aka early eviction from the crib) is necessary now that the new baby is here. Kate, please don’t do that! I’m pleading to you with the expertise from my own mistakes.
Moving a toddler too early from the crib can be a recipe for many sleep issues in the months ahead. Prince George won’t even be two when the baby comes so for sleep sake, keep him in that crib for as long as possible. (Yes, even when he starts being a royal rebel and learns how to climb out.)
Tip 3: Great sleep habits can start early
Hopefully those early weeks will be spent with a baby who sleeps the majority of the time. Until the baby is two months old, do whatever it takes to get her to sleep peacefully. To help establish healthy sleep habits from the start and prevent future bad habits from forming, after about two months, practice having your baby fall asleep independently for one nap a day.
Practice makes perfect!
Tip 4: Stop to smell the english roses
Fresh air and exercise can do everyone good. For some lucky parents – you have a baby who sleeps blissfully out and about but for others you have a baby who may be fussy.
Baby wearing may be your friend since you will probably be chasing around a 2 year old with a newborn in tow on many of those royal playdates.
Tip 5: Take some time for you and Prince William
Try to find some time for just you and your dreamy husband (aka the future King). Even if it is a short walk around the castle, catching up on the latest episode of Downton Abbey or a glass of wine – the little things will work wonders for your relationship.
Tip 6: Big brothers rock
Welcoming a baby sister into the family is a big time in Prince George’s life too. Make sure you include him in as much as possible to make sure that he receives the attention he craves.
Enlist Prince George’s help with the new baby. Even at age two, big brother can help in small ways like holding the baby’s silver rattle or fetching a new nappy or even a spit up cloth.
Tip 7: No need to be royally perfect all the time
Your natural beauty is something that makes many of us jealous. Don’t feel that you need to be so put together all the time. If you decide to go out in sweats with a little spit up on them (a new mom’s official uniform) or put your beautiful hair into a scrunchie and stack it on your head. We would be so delighted. Many moms rock that look and so can you – even if you get photographed in the magazines!
Tip 8: Love yourself
You may be tired from a long night with a fussy newborn or a toddler who is suddenly getting up earlier than normal because of all the family changes. Just do you your best and make sure you to give yourself a break. Ideally, you will get through this newborn period with nothing more than some good ol’ royal memories with two beautiful children!
There you have it, Kate. Hope these tips are helpful to understand what you are in for. Always look at the bright side – you probably won’t need to take too many pictures since the world will be watching!
In case things aren’t great in the sleep department, I’ll be here waiting for you to call.
Your friend from across the pond,