Why two is the biggest birthday milestone

Why two is the biggest birthday milestone

No-one really considers two as being a milestone birthday. There’s obviously baby’s first birthday which coincides with the celebration of so many other firsts. There’s five, when your baby goes to school (sob), 11 when they start at senior school (eek), 17 when they can drive (yes!), 18 when they can vote and (officially) drink (hide the gin), and 21 (well, no-one remembers why any more, but everyone likes a good party).  So, why does two feel like such a milestone age to me?

Here are my top five reasons to celebrate turning two

  1. Two is so much more fun than one
    Now that Gabriella is two, it feels like we’ve turned a bit of a corner. She’s suddenly able to talk, do so many more things on her own, and she even goes out of her way to make us laugh (well, that’s if you think it’s funny to lick our faces. She didn’t get that from me). Now that she understands so much more, I’m also able to solve 70% of the issues that cause tantrums. For example, I can ask her where it hurts and she can show me. I can ask if she prefers to stay home or go out. I’m not saying it’s suddenly a walk in the park, but it definitely suddenly feels a lot easier and more fun. While this time last year I was three months pregnant, returning to full-time work and constantly bending down to help her learn to walk, this year she’s dancing around and singing happy birthday to herself.

    2nd birthday

                   Yey! Two is the magic number

  2. We’re no longer part of the ‘two under two’ club
    Gabriella was only 18 months when we had Raphaël in April and there’s a reason why people look in horror or pity when you say you’ve got two under two. It’s bloody hard work, and the first 3-4 months were much tougher than I expected. I had days when I’d take Gabriella to the park, and it would coincide with me needing to feed our newborn (I forgot how often they ate!) so I’d end up with the baby and bottle in one arm, while trying to coax the toddler down from a climbing frame with the other before she hurled herself six feet to her death.  Six months on, I’m still chasing our toddler round the house to put on her nappy/shoes/coat, but at least I can put down the baby and shove a Sophie la Giraffe in his hand to keep him entertained.
  3. I can move out of ‘survival’ mode
    All new mums are sleep deprived, but when you’ve got two under two who are both still waking up in the night and you get no break in the day, it can wear you down beyond belief. I swear I’ve aged ten years. Those early weeks and months were all about getting through the day and keeping them both fed and alive. This was the period when everything I said I’d never do as a parent went straight out the window. Want to watch the iPad while you’re eating your 5th meal in a row of pasta and cheese? No problem. Want a biscuit for getting back in your buggy so I can peg it home to feed your screaming brother? Here, have two. Like I said, survival.

    Topfivemum with two kids

      This pretty much sums up an 18 month age gap. Me putting on a brave face while their faces say it all

  4. We can enjoy the here and now
    The first three months of my son’s life went by in a blur. I fed him, I cuddled him (briefly), I ran after his sister. I bathed them (sporadically), changed both their nappies (too often) and put them both to bed. And all the while, I kept focusing on the future. Once he’s three months, he’ll be sleeping better. When he’s six months he’ll be sitting up and able to interact more. Well he’s nearly six months and doing neither yet, but we’re making progress. The truth is, I regret not having the time to just sit and snuggle my newborn. To nuzzle into his gorgeous soft neck or smell his head. All of this was done in the middle of the night when I had my only quiet moments with him. I often looked on in envy at my NCT friends who’d left a bigger gap between their kids so had their eldest in nursery or school. While they were having their lazy coffee mornings and baby sensory classes, I was stuck indoors on my own feeling pretty isolated (don’t get me wrong, I really do like them! I just wish I could have joined them now and again).  But now we’ve reached ages two and six months, things suddenly feel a lot easier. I’m actually thankful I’m getting this extra time with my toddler and I now couldn’t imagine how I’d fill my days without her to keep us company and make us laugh. Instead of thinking of next week or next year, I’m actually enjoying helping her make poo shapes out of play doh.

    A rare daytime nuzzle

                                      A rare daytime nuzzle with my newborn

  5. Light at the end of the tunnel
    Now that I’ve mastered the ‘go’ and ‘no-go’ zones for the days on my own with two in tow, life’s suddenly more fun and I can already see the benefits of such a small age gap. I haven’t witnessed the jealousy that often accompanies the arrival of a new sibling, my daughter already enjoys playing with her brother (they do a great rendition of ‘row, row, row your boat’ together) and Raphaël has a smile reserved exclusively for his big sister. As they grow up, being just one school year apart means we’ll eventually be able to do so many more things together as a family without having to divide and conquer. Right now, I’m loving hearing Gabriella come out with new words every day and it’s becoming easier to keep her safe AND entertained. Of course this coincides with the time I now need to dedicate to weaning Raphaël, helping him sit up, crawl and walk. There’s a phase for everything as they say, but I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Row, row, row your boat

                         Row, row, row your boat. And that smile reserved just for his big sister

The terrible twos?

Over the past week I’ve had a number of comments about how my daughter’s now entering the ‘terrible twos’ but I can hand on heart say that I’m actually looking forward to this next stage.  Maybe this little bubble will burst next month, and maybe I’ll be writing about how much it sucks to be taming a tantruming two year old while trying to wipe splattered carrot purée out of my hair. But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt since becoming a mum of two in such a short timeframe, it’s that everything is a phase. And if I can survive two under two in a sweltering two bedroom flat in the summer on next to no sleep, I can get through anything.

Gabriella, aged 2

     Our gorgeous, outgoing daughter, two weeks before her second birthday

What’s the age gap between your siblings and how did you survive those early days with a newborn? I’d love to hear from you.


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  1. November 12, 2016 / 15:51

    I love the close age gap. I have a few friends with big age gaps and now their children are older they struggle to keep them all happy as they have such different interests.
    There’s always someone telling you that the next stage is tough. I try to ignore it, we all handle each phase differently. For me, the newborn stage was easier than 3-6 months. It sounds like you’re in for some fun either way xx
    Lucy recently posted…Q&A Blogger TagMy Profile

    • topfivemum
      November 21, 2016 / 23:55

      You’re so right about everyone saying the next stage is tough. I was speaking to my best friend who lives over in Luxembourg tonight and while I was complaining about how my toddler whines all day from lack of food, she was complaining about how her 9 year old won’t do her homework and is starting to answer back. All phases are rewarding and challenging. Just in different ways.

  2. November 6, 2016 / 03:01

    I have an almost eight month old and was thinking of trying so the earliest possible age gap would be two but hopefully less than three. I think the hardest things for me will be feeling isolated and of course the sleep deprivation! #sharingthebloglove

  3. November 5, 2016 / 15:36

    My daughter will be 2 in January and I’m loving this age. She’s so funny, talking more and more every day, and like you say understanding so much more. She woke up this morning after being unwell for a day or so with a cold and temperature and crying said to me “pain” so I could sooth her and give her cuddles and medicine straight the way, knowing what was wrong. We’re not really sure on the age gap thing, probably 3 years ish. I couldn’t have done two under 2, I really respect women who can! But I think there can be pros and cons of whatever age gap you have in the end… jealousy/no jealousy, being able to help out or not, one on one time with the newborn etc etc. In the end we just have to do what’s right for us and hope for a healthy family #SharingtheBlogLove

  4. November 5, 2016 / 01:58

    My children are 7, 6, 4, and my youngest turns 2 in 2 weeks. I’m also pregnant with my 5th. I’ll be honest i’m a little nervous having a new born again. 2 is definitely a fun age. I love the fact that they start exploring and understanding more! Enjoy! and yes those tantrums creep in but its all good, only 12 months until she turns 3 right 😉 … Thanks for linking up to #globalblogging

  5. November 4, 2016 / 23:27

    What a lovely post. The tantrums certainly ramp up a level as they become more independent and want to do more things and get frustrated when they can’t. That being said, the pros definitely win the day. I love this age for the developing language, the humour, their developing personality, their curiosity, it’s amazing x

  6. November 3, 2016 / 21:27

    I can’t wait for Ben to get older and his personality start to shine through, this post made to want to fast forward to two! #globalblogging

    • topfivemum
      November 4, 2016 / 15:44

      I definitely felt like that when my daughter was in the throws of tantrums for being unable to do or say what she wanted. I think all stages have their ups and downs, but it definitely feels like it’s getting a bit easier now. xx

  7. November 3, 2016 / 21:08

    I love that age, they’re not so needy and not yet independent to a fault, it’s like the eye of the storm haha! #sharingthebloglove

    • topfivemum
      November 4, 2016 / 15:54

      haha that sounds like the voice of experience. I’ve yet to discover the full on independent stage. Knowing my daughter, that’s going to be a bit of a battle of wills LOL. Thanks for your lovely message, Ruth x

  8. November 3, 2016 / 13:39

    What a lovely post. We only have one but I am looking forward to her turning two as she will be speaking and will be able to tell us how she feels. Each birthday is special in its own wonderful way. Gorgeous pics too #SharingTheBlogLove

    • topfivemum
      November 4, 2016 / 15:45

      That’s so true Michelle. We loved doing a cake smash for her first birthday and we’ll no doubt start doing parties from next year. There’s a phase for everything isn’t there?! Thanks for dropping by, Ruth xx

  9. November 3, 2016 / 11:39

    My little boy is going to be 2 next month and I love this age and am really looking forward to the next year. Like you, I am too busy enjoying watching him develop at a pace of knots and love his increasing interaction and understanding. J can’t talk much yet, just a few words, so I am really looking forward to his speech developing so we can have a little conversation together. Ignore all the people who focus on the negatives I am sure 2 will have it’s challenges but far more wonderful moments too. x

    • topfivemum
      November 4, 2016 / 15:47

      How lovely and you’re right that this seems to be the age where you suddenly see all the hard work paying off. G literally just started speaking two months ago after knowing hardly any words before then. Just wait and see – I started keeping a diary of her new words and now I can’t keep up! Thanks for your lovely message, Ruth xx

  10. November 3, 2016 / 10:31

    What a lovely post! I had a 6 year age gap with my sister and it meant we didn’t grow up particularly close – and I think I was a real pain for my poor mum because every 6 year old wants a living doll to dress up – she really didn’t need my “help”! xx
    Elsie Pop recently posted…All I Want For Christmas Is… Yarn.My Profile

    • topfivemum
      November 4, 2016 / 15:49

      haha I can imagine the kind of ‘help’ you offered your poor mum. That must have been pretty tough actually. Just when the family starts to get their independence and be able to go out and do stuff, along comes another little one. It just goes to show there’s no ‘right’ way to do it – there are pros and cons for both a small and a large age gap. Thanks for your lovely comments, Ruth

  11. November 2, 2016 / 23:15

    Thank you! You’ve validated what I’ve always thought – the 2s are not so terrible and at 2, a world of possibilities open up. They can walk confidently, communicate, everything!

    • topfivemum
      November 4, 2016 / 15:52

      You’re so right Rachel, it just seems to get better and better. Each age has its pros and cons but it feels like the fun days now outnumber the tough days. I hated the weaning and learning to walk phases, I must admit. But everyone’s different and so is every child as I’m now also learning from number two. Luckily he’s a lot more chilled (for now at least!) than his sister was. Thanks for your lovely message, Ruth

  12. November 2, 2016 / 22:12

    It’s great to read your experience. I’ve two under two myself. #GlobalBlogging
    Helena recently posted…Our River RambleMy Profile

    • topfivemum
      November 4, 2016 / 15:52

      Thanks Helena. It’s great to know I’m not alone in the two under two club 🙂

  13. November 2, 2016 / 15:09

    I completely agree that two is a milestone age. My little man turned two in June and it was like all of a sudden his personality appeared more than before and he just started to learn new things all the time. We did start the ‘terrible two’s’ a little early but god knows what the three’s are going to bring – I believe they become threenagers! x #KCACOLS
    Jaylan – Diapers at Dawn recently posted…Things I have Liked & Loved – October 2016My Profile

    • topfivemum
      November 2, 2016 / 16:16

      Haha there’s a phase for everything isn’t there Jaylan? They all have good bits and bad bits, but overall I love seeing our little ones develop. xx

  14. November 2, 2016 / 09:19

    We only have one, he’s coming up to 21 months and we’ve been talking about this. Great read. Thanks for linking up to #KCACOLS Hope to see you on Sunday!

    Nadia – ScandiMummy x

    • topfivemum
      November 2, 2016 / 16:15

      I think I started to notice a difference from around 22 months Nadia. That’s pretty much when she started talking and it’s like the floodgates have opened. They do and say the funniest things sometimes xx

  15. November 1, 2016 / 21:55

    I totally agree I love age 2. My youngest turned two back in August and it is so much fun. I find the first year of their life a bit of a rollercoaster and I am always relieved to have survived it. I have 2 years and 10 days between my girls and I love it. Every month it gets a bit easier and I adore how close they are. I hope they continue to be and it will be worth all the tough times of having them close together. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove x

    • topfivemum
      November 2, 2016 / 16:14

      It does just seem to get better and better doesn’t it Laura? I agree, if we can survive those early days, we can get through anything! Thanks for hosting #SharingtheBlogLove

  16. October 31, 2016 / 14:44

    You are so right, I actually turning two is more significant that turning one – because as you say they can do so much more! Lovely photos #stayclassymama

    • topfivemum
      October 31, 2016 / 15:08

      I’m looking forward to it just getting better and better Sarah (minus the tantrums LOL)

  17. October 31, 2016 / 10:08

    I have a two year old and I think it’s the most amazing age! He knows what he likes (most of the time), and is just so full of curiosity about the world, and takes so much joy in the little things. He started the tantrums at 1 anyway – I’m baffled by this ‘terrible two’s’ phrase – and they’re much easier to deal with these days when he can more often tell me what it’s about.

    I have to admit that I could never have contemplated such a small age gap – my son was really hard work as a baby, and in many ways still is. But I definitely see the benefits of it – my sister and I are close in age, and we were always really close growing up, and even more so now. It definitely pays off in the long term. Thanks so much for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • topfivemum
      October 31, 2016 / 15:10

      Thanks Katy and I love seeing pics of you out and about with your little explorer! I can already see the benefits of a small age gap and I’m hoping I’ll get the hardest bit over with quickly – rather like ripping off a bandage 🙂

  18. October 30, 2016 / 17:38

    This is lovely. Nice to read something so positive about being 2. My son is nearly three now and it seems so grown up! #KCACOLS

    • topfivemum
      October 31, 2016 / 15:12

      Thanks Ella! 3 is definitely grown up. My daughter knows exactly what she likes and dislikes already so I’m sure she’ll be even more independent a year from now LOL

  19. October 30, 2016 / 13:52

    Such a wonderful perspective, love it and that is a gorgeous photo of you with your two treasure (: Well done mama! #KCACOLS

    • topfivemum
      October 31, 2016 / 15:13

      Thanks so much Charlotte. I love seeing them together and they’re already interacting so much more already. The start of lots more fun to come!

  20. October 30, 2016 / 09:00

    This is great to read!! thanks my daughter is 2 in feb so im looking forward to it now x

    • topfivemum
      October 31, 2016 / 15:14

      Thanks Sophie. I found there was a massive difference between 18 months and two. In literally the last month she’s gone from saying about 40 words to saying little sentences! It certainly makes it more fun xx

  21. October 29, 2016 / 06:21

    Ruth, I love the concept of your blog and how honestly you write about your experiences – something clearly many of us moms easily relate. I could relate to absolutely everything you wrote. Mine are 2 years and 1 month apart but much of the early months of my little one were spent in the exact same ways in balancing the two, together. One at my breast, the other atop a slide; one in a baby carrier, another on the hip, one trying to nap, another screaming loudly as part of his play…and so on. It IS survival like you wrote. My older kid watches YouTube EVERY SINGLE LUNCH TIME just so I can feed the baby and put her down for a nap undisturbed by a toddler banging on the bedroom door.

    Excited to keep reading more of your posts.


    • topfivemum
      October 31, 2016 / 15:21

      Thank you so much Suchitra and it’s so good to know that I wasn’t alone in this! Some days you feel like the worst mum, but I’m starting to see the benefits of such a small age gap already. I know what you mean about YouTube – I got into that habit at lunch times as I had to rely on it while I was feeing her brother, but now I’ve got the problem of figuring out how to take it away. Eek! Thanks for your generous feedback on my blog – early days, but getting there xx

  22. October 28, 2016 / 22:43

    I am totally with you on this – my youngest has just turned 2 and it’s a lovely age. It’s so much easier now they’re starting to communicate. People are always saying “you won’t know what’s hit you once they’re crawling” then it becomes “you won’t know what’s hit you once they’re running around”, then it’s the terrible twos, then answering back, then starting school, then becoming a teenager, etc. Well in my experience, each stage had its ups and downs. They’re not worse stages, they’re just different. And making sure you spend as much time as possible with your kids working out what interests them and frustrates them, minimises most things from becoming major issues. Have a lovely time enjoying them as they are right now (after the last few months, you certainly deserve it!)
    Lucy At Home recently posted…But Do You Think I’m A Writer Yet?My Profile

    • October 28, 2016 / 23:11

      Thanks for your lovely (and very wise!) message Lucy. You’re so right, every stage is different and brings its own delights and challenges. I’m just soaking everything up and taking as many photos as possible to remember everything!

  23. October 28, 2016 / 22:06

    My little girl has also just turned 2 and it’s the best ever, Such a fun age – I love it! #picknmix

    • October 28, 2016 / 23:07

      Brilliant news Rhian! My daughter cracks me up so I’ve no doubt the best is yet to come xx

    • topfivemum
      October 31, 2016 / 15:16

      isn’t it? It makes me question going back to work after this maternity leave whereas I was pretty keen to go back the first time when she was 1. It seemed like much harder work!

  24. October 28, 2016 / 12:09

    I almost have a two year old then we’ll be out of the two under two as well 🙂 #bloggerclubuk

    • October 28, 2016 / 23:06

      Hope you’re finding your feet Amie and finding it easier as time goes by too xx

  25. October 27, 2016 / 22:44

    There are only 20 months between my sister and I and its only now (at 27) that I realise what hard work it must have been for our mum! We’re so close though and I love that we always had pretty similar interests right from being little and could basically just grow up together. It makes me want to have my children close in age, even though it must be so tough at times! You’re going a great job! x

  26. October 27, 2016 / 22:41

    There are only 20 months between my sister and I and its only now (at 27) that I realise what hard work it must have been for our mum! We’re so close though and I love that we always had pretty similar interest right from being little and could basically just grow up together. It makes me want to have my children close in age, even though it must be so tough at times! You’re going a great job! x

    • October 28, 2016 / 23:05

      There was only one school year between my younger brother and me so I know exactly where you’re coming from. Our mum isn’t around any more but I totally have a newfound respect for her for bringing us up (and I like to think we’re pretty well balanced…most of the time lol). I wish she was around today for me to ask her loads of questions. I definitely see it will have its benefits pretty soon! Thanks for your lovely comments xx
      Topfivemum recently posted…Why two is the biggest birthday milestoneMy Profile

  27. October 27, 2016 / 19:57

    There’s 20 months between my two boys… I know your pain! All I can say is that it does get easier (apart from the tantrums, never ever mention the tantrums!). Our two can scream and shout at each other and fight over toys but then there are such lovely moments when they are as thick as thieves and kids and hug each other. We always said the greatest gift we could give our children was each other as it is the best to have a sibling! Enjoy your gorgeous children and their amazing achievements. Love the photo of them rowing their boat, such cuties! #SharingtheBlogLove

    • October 28, 2016 / 23:01

      You’re so right with that! There is 18 months between my brother and me and we’re so close, even today. Now we’re older without any parents it’s even more important. He’s my link to my past and we have each other. He’s the best gift my parents could have ever given me and I hope it’s the same for our two xx
      Topfivemum recently posted…Why two is the biggest birthday milestoneMy Profile

  28. October 27, 2016 / 11:59

    This is lovely. Two really is a turning point, of course your bubble may well burst soon I’m afraid, the positives are still huge though. We have a 23 month age gap between the girls so I has two under 2 for a month and that was enough for me. Not sure how you have stayed sane doing it for 6! With Pinky 1 was the big milestone for me but with Perky its 2. She is definitely our last so 2 just feels very final. The absolute end of baby, Toddler and onwards only. I know technically I’m there already but without the ‘2 year old’ label I feel I can kid myself a little longer.
    kirsty – winnettes recently posted…My Unexpected Mummy SkillsMy Profile

    • topfivemum
      October 27, 2016 / 15:32

      At least we both have a lovely small age gap between the two and will get it all out the way in one go. I love seeing your two girls together in pictures, it makes me realise that these past 6 months will be worth it when I see them playing together later on. There’s only 18 months between me and my younger brother and we grew up being really close. This is also the end of babies for us. I’m lucky I squeezed another one out of my husband (?? you know what I mean) – he only ever said he’d have one and then fell in love. Haha, men!

    • topfivemum
      October 26, 2016 / 15:36

      Oh my goodness! I suddenly feel like I’ve got nothing to complain about LOL

  29. Laura Legge
    October 26, 2016 / 07:12

    My daughter definitely had the ‘terrible ones’ more than the twos. Tantrums and throwing food all happened pre-two due to frustration of not being able to speak. I remember at her second birthday she started saying a few words and in a few months she just talked normally…sentences etc. There was a massive speech development window between 2 to 2 and a half when her language just seemed to shoot up and the tantrums (thank god) reduced.

    By three, they can learn to ski, learn to swim, fasten their own seat belt etc. life is so much easier. When my second daughter got to three, I sort of knew that was it….no more babies in the house. Finished forever with nappies and sleepless nights. No going back. . And I must say….I enjoy them much more now than I did when they were throwing tantrums in the doctors/supermarket/anywhere….hang on in there….the best is yet to come!! Xx

    • topfivemum
      October 26, 2016 / 15:44

      I think we have the same daughter? I can totally see what you mean about how they will no longer be babies when they get to three. That’s such a short time away from now and although it’s tough some days, I also don’t want them to grow up too fast. Thanks for reminding me I just need to spend this time enjoying them being cute and little xx

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