You’ve heard the rumors: Going from one to two kids can be just as challenging—if not more so—than the initial transition to parenthood. So we’ve gathered 9 products that promise to make life with two (or three or five) kids a little bit easier. More sleep not included. Read on for all the details.
SoYoung Charlie Diaper Bag
For those who like to be prepared, this colossal diaper bag holds everything you and the fam need for a trip to the grocery store—and then some. Made with a durable canvas exterior and vegan leather straps, it also features Velcro stroller straps; a backpack conversion option; a completely insulated interior pocket, plus two insulated exterior bottle pockets; dedicated sunglass and wallet pockets; a laminated changing mat; and a (genius!) back slide pocket for bulky items (think: blanket, newspaper or umbrella). Available at us.soyoung.ca, $175.
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Pacapod Hastings Backpack
If you prefer to travel a bit lighter, we also love this diaper bag system from Pacapod. The backpack comes with two interior pouches that neatly hold all your changing and feeding supplies. Cordura-style fabric wipes clean, and the backpack style and stroller straps free your hands to wrangle multiple kids. Multiple pockets team up with the pouches to keep stuff for every child organized. Available at pacapod.com, $130.
Fossil Smartphone Wristlet
This magically roomy-but-compact leather wristlet holds your essentials without weighing you down, and it’ll keep your hands free to intervene in sibling combat. With a full zippered closure, it features four credit card slots, an ID holder, one media pocket (large enough to hold an iPhone 7), two slide pockets, and one zippered pocket. Available at fossil.com, $59.
Lillebaby Complete All Seasons Carrier
There are lots of carriers out there, and any one of them can help parents entertain and transport a cadre of little ones. This All Seasons carrier from Lillebaby, however, takes the cake for a few reasons: It can hold kids up to 45 (!) pounds, so even your short-legged preschooler can join in for long family hikes. It boasts an exclusive temperature-control panel that easily zips up for warmth and zips down to expose cool, breathable, 3D mesh. And we really appreciate its zippered pocket for essentials. Available at lillebaby.com, $150.
Baby Jogger City Select LUX Stroller
Much like carriers, the selection of double strollers can be overwhelming. This model is one of the most adaptable we’ve seen, with more than 20 possible configurations. Add the bench seat so your older child can hop a ride. Or add an infant car seat, pram, or second seat to accommodate up to two children. When folded closed, it is 30% smaller and automatically locks, so it’s easy to carry. All-wheel suspension and a decelerating hand brake provide increased comfort and control for this all-terrain tank. Available at babyjogger.com, $629.99.
Battery Pack for Breast Pump
While a breast pump battery pack may not make your baby shower audience ooh and coo, we promise it’ll be one of your most-used items if you pump frequently. For use with the Medela 9-volt Pump in Style Advanced breast pump, it uses 8 AA alkaline or rechargeable batteries (not included). The black microfiber carrying case fits inside your breast pump bag or can be attached to the bag strap for easy transportation. Think you won’t occasionally need to pump while chasing after a child armed with a permanent marker? Think again. Available at target.com, $14.99.
North States Superyard Playard
Depending on the age of your older child(ren), you might have to keep a tiny infant safe from energetic big-kid play. This portable yard (available with six or eight panels) sets up in seconds, and includes a convenient carry handle so you can take it anywhere, inside or outside. It also features an easy-access entry and non-slip pads that work on any surface and will not scratch hardwood floors. Available at amazon.com, $70.46.
Fisher-Price Deluxe SpaceSaver High Chair
If you have two kids in high chairs, space around the dinner table will be at a premium. Don’t let the compact size of this high chair fool you: It offers all the comforts of a standard full-size high chair, including a three-position recline and two possible height adjustments. It features a full-size feeding tray, an adjustable five-point restraint and a spacious contoured seat with cushioned seat pad in a gender-neutral pattern. Available at bedbathandbeyond.com, $69.99.
Melissa and Doug Water Wow! Activity Book 3-Pack
Whether you need a few uninterrupted minutes to get something done or just want to gaze into your newborn’s eyes without the soundtrack of toddler stream of consciousness, these activity books are the perfect trick for entertaining kids age 3-6. The set includes three fun activity/coloring board books, each with a refillable water pen. The compact, spiral-bound format slips easily into a purse or diaper bag, and the reusable pages promise lasting fun. We really like the engaging and entertaining animal, alphabet, and number themes, too. Available at amazon.com, $12.99.
Summer Infant Pop n’ Sit Portable Booster
The struggle is real: How do you contain a crawler while you’re supposed to be watching pee-wee soccer? Enter this booster seat, which will help keep your adventurous baby safe while you glance up to attend to older kids. Its removable tray is helpful for on-the-go feeding, and its innovative pop-and-fold setup and over-the-shoulder carrying bag are hassle-free. It also features a three-point safety harness and rear storage pocket. Available at amazon.com, $25.78.
What are your tricks for managing and entertaining two or more kids? Let us know below.
— Katie Brown