Wow, your life really changes when you go from a family of three to a family of four! Two kids is a whole new ball game.  I feel like we barely made it out alive through Reid’s clingy-fussy-eating-all-day newborn stage while Ivy was a wild and destructive two year old.  Moms that have been there know. Let’s just say there was a lot of Curious George and Tablet time.  And once you add another kiddo in the mix, Lord have mercy. Medically, I am done at two. So good luck to you mommas out there with 3 and more!

Here are my top three items that helped us make it through we’re still using today..

  1. Baby Carrier
  2. Backpack Diaper Bag
  3. Busy Bags

Baby Carriers

These amazing inventions are life savers.  With a toddler and a baby I need to be as hands free as possible!  It is nearly impossible grocery shopping without it, especially since 99% of the time I am out by myself with the kids.  If I can wear Reid in his carrier and then put Ivy in the basket part of the cart, we are golden.

For the newborn stage, I bought this one.  Click the photo to see it on target.com.

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It is stretchy like a wrap, but structured and has buckles.  It worked great for us.  Big guy Reid is outgrowing it, so I will need a new one.  I’m thinking of ordering an Ergo because they’re also soft but structured.  A lot of moms go with a wrap style carrier like a Boba or Moby.  You can also make your own.

Basically, it depends on your preference, but get a carrier, STAT.

Backpack Diaper Bag

Using a backpack diaper bag is another way for me to keep my hands/arms free to wrangle in Ivy or carry Reid. I’ll warn you, I spent a pretty penny on mine. But it is EVERYTHING. Gorgeous, functional. trendy.. Here she is. It’s a Jujube BRB Legacy in ‘Queen of the Nile’.  You can click on the photo to go to their website.

bag

This bag has insulated side pockets, a padded back panel, comfy straps, removable changing pad, gold metal hardware, and a front ‘mommy pocket’ to keep your stuff separate.  I love it! I will say that two of my hardware pieces came off and one zipper is messed up already. I could have returned and received a new bag for free if I had sent it in within 90 days, but my time has since passed.

While this bag is flashy, really any backpack with a few different compartments would work, too!

Busy Bags

Busy bags/baskets have been great for keeping Ivy occupied while I was feeding Reid, at restaurants or Reid’s appointments.  I wish I took advantage of them more, but when I do, Ivy is happy and I am happy.

You can find about a million busy bag ideas on Pinterest, but basically it is a bag or a basket that contains fun items that your child can do by herself.  They’re kept separate for certain situations when you’re needing to play independently.  You can have separate bags for ‘when mommy is feeding the baby’, when you’re at a restaurant, when you’re at church, whatever you’d like.  But, the important thing is making the bag special.  Put things in it that your child does have access to any other time.  For my ‘out at restaurants’ bag, I use the 97 cent  Play Packs that you can get at Wal-Mart, Dollar Tree, and other stores.

playpacks
They come with stickers, a small coloring book, and a pack of 4 crayons.

You could put similar packs together yourself with crayons, coloring sheets, and stickers, but I like to buy these because they come with characters that Ivy likes and they’re cheap and easy.  Whenever I see them at the store I throw a couple in my cart.  It’s nice to have a fresh one each time we’re out to eat because Ivy goes through the stickers right away.

Here’s a pin from One Creative Mommy with a bunch of busy bag ideas!

one creative mommy

Experienced mommas, what would you add to this list? Obviously, a top three is a basic list, so I’m sure you have a lot of ideas out there! Please share them by leaving a response below  🙂

Love,

Mackenzie

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