Ask Kelsey: Transitioning From One Kid To Two Kids

transitioning from one kid to two kids

Today is a fun blog post...

Double the fun. 

Double the exhaustion. 

Double the memories. 

Double the complete exasperation. 

Double the snuggles. 

It’s all about transitioning from one kid to two kids! 

transitioning from one kid to two kids

We decided to try for baby #2 when Milo turned one-year-old and ended up getting pregnant super fast, so Dayton is about 21 months younger than Milo. So the transition from one kid to two kids happened while Milo still felt like a baby himself. 

Which means…in one sense, it was really easy on me. I didn’t have too long to get used to being a mom to one before becoming a mom to two.

In another sense, I definitely understand why some people wait until the first born is a bit older so they can be slightly more self-sufficient. I think the transition from one to two could have been a bit easier on me if I had waited another 6-12 months before trying for baby #2. 

But…my story is the only one I’ve experienced, so it’s what I’ll share! 

transitioning from one kid to two kids

Here’s what I wish someone had told me about transitioning from one to two kids:

The biggest transition is 0 kids to 1 kid. That’s just the way it worked for me! Zero kids = my time is my own. 1 baby = my time is (mostly) dedicated to the baby. That transition rocked my world. Ha! Anyone else? I was ready for childbirth and postpartum healing and all of that…but about 3 months into motherhood I was like, “wait, this is my new normal now? I just have this child who needs me ALL the time on every single day of the week?” 


Again…it rocked my world. But I eventually got used to it. 

So adding a second child to the mix wasn’t as big of a deal. 

If you’re a parent to one child, I’m confident you have what it takes to be a parent to two children. I really mean that. I think that if you can be a parent to one child, you can 1000% be a parent to two. You’ve got this. 

transitioning from one kid to two kids

Two kids don’t actually feel like double the work. It’s more like 1.4X the work. Here’s how I see it: you’re already a parent, which is an all-consuming task. The way your life worked before (spontaneous date nights, sleeping in, cooking dinner quietly, reading a book on a Saturday morning) has ended and you’re 100% into this parenthood lifestyle. So…adding one more child to the mix doesn’t add that much work. 

Do you know what I mean? 

You’re already doing bedtime with one child; adding a second one who needs a bath and a book and some snuggles is like 40% more time and energy, but definitely not 100% more time and energy.

transitioning from one kid to two kids

….except for outings. Haha. Maybe this is just me, but going on outings with two boys takes it out of me. 

transitioning from one kid to two kids

It takes a huge amount of energy to go out in the world with these two boys.

I wrote this blog post about it when I had two under two, and I still stand by each word I wrote! It’s a really rock solid plan for going out with a toddler and a baby. 

But…within about 6 months, those tricks didn’t work any more because Dayton was starting to crawl and walk, and Milo was potty training and needed to have a toilet nearby at all times. 

They grow so quickly and move from stage to stage, so I have to be ready to adapt with them. 

And 10 points for anyone who can explain this: why does packing for an outing with two kids take sooo much time? All the time. It doesn’t seem like it should take that long, but it just does. There are just so many things to remember! And according to my moms of 3 kids, each additional human = more prep time to get out the door. There are just so many things to remember. 

And sure, I can totally live without packing every single thing. But after one trip out when I forgot to check that there are wipes in the diaper bag and I was changing a stinky diaper with a roll of paper towels I found in your car? Let’s just say I’m careful to always triple check the diaper bag before I leave. 

You might be able to appreciate the baby stage better. It goes so quickly, but you don’t know that the first time around. I’ve noticed, from talking to some of my friends who have two children, that it’s a lot easier to enjoy the baby stage when you transition from one kid to two. 

Transitioning to two children helped me to slow down and savor it all. The nursing, the middle of the night snuggles, the teeny tiny diapers and loads and loads of teeny tiny baby clothes…it all goes SO dang fast.

After I had my second child, I was able to savor it all a little bit better. 

transitioning from one kid to two kids

You’ll spend more money on conveniences. This is a funny one, but I think it’s true for most people! 

When I had one baby, Nate and I would just figure out a way to make things work. For instance: we had a small car and didn’t really feel the need to get a bigger one. When we drove up to Dallas to visit my family, we would cram everything into that little car. (And that’s back when Nate was in a wheelchair…so it was really tight in there!) 

We would often forgo a babysitter and just bring the baby with us when we went out. 

I would squeeze in work during nap times or in the evenings after he went to bed.  

But when a second child came along? Forget it all! If there was a way to make our lives easier, we were sooo much more ready to splurge on it. 

We got a big SUV with a power lift gate (because if there’s an option to keep myself from exerting the energy it takes to open the trunk, I will take it, please and thank you.) 

We started paying for more childcare. I remember when we just had Milo, I would calculate the cost of hiring a sitter while we went out for dinner + a show and I couldn’t believe I needed to add an additional $100 to every dinner date we went on just to hire a sitter. Crazy! (That’s back in the day when we’d just go to a brewery and bring Milo in the stroller and call that our “date.”) 

Then I realized that dinner dates with no kids are the BEST and I will gladly pay an extra $100 for a quiet evening out. 

I think this was actually a really empowering thing about transitioning to two kids…I learned to accept the things that will make my life easier and just pay for them. And I have learned to outsource like a BOSS. It’s becoming one of my superpowers. 

transitioning from one kid to two kids

I’m a mom of two boys. (Still feels so funny to say!) They’re 21 months apart, so they’re not too far apart form being in the same stage of life. Right now they feel pretty far (Milo talks and communicates and eats with a fork and uses the toilet, and Dayton babbles and mashes his food on his shirt and uses diapers), but I think the gap will feel smaller and smaller as they grow. 

Here’s what I know for sure: I love being a mom to two boys. For any extra energy it takes out of me, it gives me double the love in return. I can hardly believe how much love I feel for both of them. (I mean…it shouldn’t be a surprise, right? But it honestly was to me!) 

They are absolutely wonderful. I feel like we’re all here now. I’ve shared this before, but when Dayton showed up in our lives and we brought him home from the hospital, it was the same feeling as when you’re meeting up with a bunch of friends for a trip, and you all arrive from different airports and you’re waiting for that one last friend to land…and then her plane arrives and you’re all there! And it just feels so fun! 

That’s how a family of four feels to me. 

I think that every new stage of parenthood has some challenges that require super-ninja skills…but every month of parenthood that you conquer makes your parenting muscles just a bit stronger and so you’re always ready for the next challenge. 

The transition from one to two had a few little road bumps, but Nate and I were both a lot better at figuring it out after the first two years of parenting were behind us. So we were up for the challenge, and it didn’t feel quite as challenging as that initial jolt into the beginning of parenting right when Milo was born. 

So…what about you? How many kids to you have? Which transition was the trickiest? I’d love to hear! 

Friends, I’m currently on a plane to NYC for a weekend getaway! I’m heading there to celebrate my sister’s 30th birthday (awww!) and I am SO pumped. The last time I was in New York was my first anniversary trip with Nate. Years ago! 

PS: Other Ask Kelsey Posts, like my 10-year acne story, and all about being a violinist.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

I agree! The transition from 0 to 1 was the hardest for me. It took me a long time before I was ready to think about baby 2.

1 year ago

3 to 4 kids for me. 🙂

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x