The Challenges of a Second Child

Challenge: Getting out the Door

This time it's not just the thought of your baby crying in public that makes you consider staying home forever -- it's the vision of your big kid racing away from you in the mall while you struggle to click the car seat into the double stroller. Even if you can erase nightmare scenarios from your mind, the thought of needing twice the snacks and drinks (or bottles), a change of clothes for two, and possibly two sizes of diapers makes a moon landing sound easier. How the heck are you supposed to get out the door, much less where you want to go? Two words: Plan ahead. Keep the diaper bag stocked, and try to leave home 15 minutes ahead of schedule to account for last-minute diaper explosions or tantrums.

"There were some days I wanted to cry trying to get out the door," admits LoRusso. One typical scene: the baby screaming while being buckled into his car seat while Ava refused to put on her coat, and all the while a cell phone ringing from wherever it was hidden in the house. "But as my son got older, I started to get into a rhythm," she says. "I learned to store diapers, wipes, and extra clothes in both the trunk of my car and the basket of the stroller I kept in my garage, so I could stop worrying about being caught unprepared." You'll also start to realize that not arriving on time isn't the end of the world. "Once I stopped obsessing about punctuality, things got easier," says Rachel Rincon, of Fayetteville, New York. "The kids must've been reading my anxiety; the fight to get out the door was diminished when I stopped worrying."

The silver lining: Practice makes perfect; just by doing it, you'll learn the best way to travel as a trio. And on days that you do get it together, you'll feel like Superwoman.

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