Two Under Two // favorite gear

“skinny” isn’t a compliment

two under two helpful gear

I cannot believe I almost have a 2 year old and 10 month old. This year has gone by pretty fast.

Well except the 2 months that Luke cried endlessly. Those were long, hard months.

Anyway, I want to share some of the most helpful gear I’ve used in mothering two little kids, particularly two young ones. In order to help the day go smoothly, it’s best if I think ahead and do what I can to prepare for the next day. Beyond that, these are some of my recommendations if you find yourself in a similar boat as I am!

There are a ton of daily use items that aren’t included in here, but these are my 5 “tried and true really hard to imagine what the last year would be like without them” kind of items.

  1. IKEA Antilop highchair with tray. I’ve never understood high chairs with fabric on them? We have two of these and both boys eat all of their meals (other than Luke having a bottle) in them! Originally we received a Stokke Tripp Trapp when David was young, but I’m holding off on using that until David will sit up to the table. I like that highchair, but these matching Antilop’s with the tray make mealtime easy and clean up SUPER easy. Just give them a good wipe down and you are set to go. They also break down really easily so if you are bringing your kids to your friend’s house for dinner, just pull the legs off of these and throw it in your car.
  2. The LILLEbaby carrier. So I had the Ergo Performance first, and while I liked it with David, I wanted something that offered a greater variety in carrying positions. I also wanted more head support than this offered. So then I bought an Eddie Bauer carrier at Target which was fine, but still didn’t feel really comfortable. Finally, after a handful of recommendations, I landed on the LILLEbaby carrier (I got the air flow one since we live in a generally warm climate) and I thought it was way too complicated. But I gave it a decent try and now I never leave the house without it. Heck, I’ll even throw Luke on my back in the carrier and vacuum the house. It distributes the weight evenly and has so many different carrying positions! I haven’t tried outward facing because I’m still a little leery about that, but the back carry has been a life saver over the past two months or so! Luke loves looking around, and he’s even graduated to pulling my hair which is rather unpleasant.
  3. The Solly Wrap. I genuinely miss carrying Luke in the Solly Wrap. I almost never wore David because I didn’t really need to and never felt confident in what I was doing, but I’ve been wearing Luke since he was a tiny baby! It started as a method of convenience, and then turned into necessity to help him through his colicky stage, and then I just wore him because we both liked it and it allowed my arms to be free for David! The Solly Wrap is my highly preferred carrier until the babies exceed the weight limit. It’s comfortable, and doesn’t really cause anything to get in your way. Plus, the fabrics are adorable.
  4. A retractable baby gate. My biggest fear in having a newborn and a 14 month old, back when Luke was born, was carrying both boys up and down the stairs. Or, nursing Luke and seeing David head straight for the stairs to start climbing and not be able to get him in time. Justin and I bought a retractable gate for the bottom of the staircase just to eliminate access to the stairway when I needed to. It was a huge life saver, and put my mind at ease. This wouldn’t be ideal for the top of the stairs as it can allow for some give, but are a barrier method between rooms or at the bottom of a staircase, it’s perfect. It also retracts so it isn’t an eyesore.
  5. We love the Uppababy Vista! We bought the Cruz back in 2013 when I was expecting David and that stroller logged so many miles. It was fantastic. As I discovered I was pregnant with Luke, we knew we would need a double stroller! Naturally, I looked at Uppababy and they kindly sent me a Vista (from 2015, not the original Vista)! There are a handful of different positions the kids can be in, and I’m starting to think about adding the Piggyback onto the stroller for David. He loves to ride in the stroller, but the Piggyback could be a nice option. I’ve always wanted to compare this with a side by side in real life. Whenever I’ve pushed a side by side at a baby store I felt like their were so huge! But I remember the Vista feeling big to me at first as well. Ultimately, this stroller has been used excessively, just like I thought it would, and I couldn’t be more pleased with it.

We have a baby monitor that scans between both bedrooms as well but the battery life is just terrible and the sound will randomly quit working. So I didn’t throw that on the list of course!

Ultimately, the thing that served me the most over the past 9 months of mothering two little boys was the persistent goal to be flexible. And I simply could not have enjoyed it/been able to take a breather on the hard days/or felt more loved without my husband, my family, and very sweet friends.



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Ashley Marie says · 11.25.15

I am so glad I read this post today. I have been researching baby carriers for a while and have really liked all the reviews on the lilliebaby. You sealed the deal on this brand. Hope our 2month old little boy loves it! Thank you!!!

Leigh Ann says · 11.25.15

Tulas are great as well without all the snaps and buckles to fool with that the Lillebaby has.

Amanda says · 11.25.15

Thanks for this Kate! What would you recommend in terms of a baby swing? We didn’t have one with my first but wondering if this would be helpful when #2 comes.

Kari • graceful mommy says · 11.25.15

These are awesome recommendations!!! I love my solly wrap too!

Shannon says · 11.25.15

Okay, that retractable gate!!!! Thank you for sharing that – what a great idea that I’ve never seen before. And I’ve been so tempted to try the IKEA high chair but didn’t know anyone who had used it, so thanks for the review!

Megan says · 11.30.15

My mom has the IKEA high chair at her house, and I really like it. I have a hard time getting the belt to be tight, but that’s probably my fault. I don’t know if I’m just a complete idiot, or if we have an older model (it as from a consignment store), or if this is the case for the newer ones as well, but the tray isn’t removable on the one we have. I don’t have any trouble getting my baby into the seat, but it can be hard to get her out with the tray in the way. Otherwise, it’s cheap, not hideous, and easy to clean!

Carli says · 11.25.15

Hi Kate!!! We have the Motorola MBP36 baby monitor that scans back and forth between our kids’ rooms. The monitor would die so quickly, but I ended up finding a replacement battery on Amazon for the monitor — after the battery arrived, I was like, gosh, why didn’t I look for one sooner? Totally helped!!! 🙂
Thanks for the great list! I am definitely going to check out the retractable baby gate and the Piggyback option for my stroller!!!

Shannon says · 11.28.15

Ditto on the battery! It’s lasts forever now.

Shea Kitzman says · 11.25.15

Thank you SO much for this list! I am due in May with my first and there are so many different kinds of gear for everything you can think of. I love that you gave an honest review of some important items. I would love to see more!

Jenny Newnam says · 11.25.15

Hi Kate!
I don’t know what brand monitor you have but if it’s a Motorola I wanted to let you know that you can get it replaced for free. I bought ours over 3 years ago. I called them last week because our cord quit charging and the battery wouldn’t hold a charge either. I called them to figure out what I needed to have replaced and they are replacing my whole set(the handheld and cameras.) The person I spoke with said that they would replace it one time. Hope this helps or if you don’t have Motorola, maybe someone else has had this problem too! Just call customer service! 🙂

Evelina says · 11.25.15

I always wondered about fabric on high chairs! The Ikea one seems like such a good option!

Kendal says · 11.25.15

I was looking at that gate for the top of my steps so I’m glad I read your post first. Do you have a gate at the top of your steps you recommend?

k8shusband says · 11.30.15

Kendal, I wouldn’t hesitate to put this thing at the top of the stairs. It does give a little, but not enough to cause *me* any concern. We have a regular swinging gate at the top. Really depends on the level of risk that’s acceptable to you!

Megan says · 11.30.15

Typically, safety recommendations suggest only using gates that can be mounted to the wall at the top of the stairs. I don’t know if you can mount this gate to the wall or not. If not, theoretically you could have your toddler barrel into it at top speed (as they like to do) hard enough to send the entire gate crashing down the stairs. This would happen with a regular tension gate as well. It all just depends on your level of comfort and the daring of your kid.

k8shusband says · 12.01.15

Megan, good point. This one does mount in the wall.

Riv says · 11.26.15

This is a great list, I can’t wait to wrap my baby in one of the Solly wraps!

Simone says · 12.09.15

I just love the Stokke TrippTrapp! Both my kids have one and they sat on it from the moment they were able to. We were using the tripptrapp at the table but you can also buy a tray which you can put on the chair so your kids have their own table. Tripptrapp has some nice fabrics but I agree with you on the not-using-fabrics while young kids eat their meals in it. In Holland there is this woman who makes them from plasticized (is that even a word in English?) fabrics and they look very cool. I have a pink one for my daughter and a blue one for my son, they both match very well with their tripptrapp.
In the link below you can see what I mean, I don’t believe you can read it but may be there are Americans making similar chair seats. Because let’s face, a tripptrapp makes your dining room so much nicer than the Ikea chair (where some people happen to bump their feet against over and over).
Good luck with the boys! Forgive my language mistakes (or spelling). I love following your Youtube channel for the tutorials and it improves my English at the same time.

Simone says · 12.09.15

We also have a retractable babygate, on top of the stairs. Now that my kids are 4 and 6, we don’t need it anymore. But because it’s not in the way like an ordinary gate, we just left it there. When I am babysitting my little baby niece who is almost one, I can use it again without it bothering me on other days!

Nicole says · 12.17.15

Hey Kate! Great list! Do you find that the Uppababy Vista is heavier than the Cruz even when it’s set up for one kid? I just read somewhere that for your first baby you should buy a single kid stroller even though you anticipate kids in the future for the simple reason that the few extra pounds of a double stroller isn’t worth it when you’re figuring out the whole kid thing.

Thanks! Nicole

Cate says · 12.21.15

Any idea how tall the antilop high chair is from floor to the top of the armrest/tray clip area? I’m trying to figure out if one will fit under my dining room table and the closest Ikea is over 300 miles away 🙁

Heidi Cardinal says · 04.20.17

Had to go way back to find this post to ask a question about your retractable gate. With it mounted at the bottom of the stairs, are your cats able to go under it and go up and down the stairs as they want or are they locked out as well? Need to keep the toddler downstairs but don’t want to piss the cat off by blocking her off.