Transitioning from One to Two
As my due date approached for our second child, my husband and I were concerned about how Miles would react to his baby brother. Within minutes of their first meeting, Miles quickly reassured us that he welcomed Maxwell in his heart. Sharing his space would be a little trickier.
When Maxwell started to crawl, suddenly I saw danger everywhere, and the source was Miles’ toys. Miles loves trains, arts and crafts and, most of all, marbles. It was time to put some rules in place, along with some organizing strategies.
Keeping order: a toy story
I started with placing baby-friendly items on the floor or lowest shelves. Mid-level shelves contained toys safe for Maxwell, but best suited for Miles. Marble games and other toys with small pieces were stored on the highest shelves requiring an adult to retrieve them. I put colorful toys inside plain storage boxes with no label. Miles is starting to recognize letters, especially M-A-R-B-L-E-S, so this eliminated the temptation to pull down the box without supervision.
Three simple rules
To keep order during the day, we came up with three simple rules:
- Play with only one toy grouping at a time—trains or puzzles, not both.
- Put away one toy before taking out the next toy.
- Play with toys from the “high shelf” only with adults when Maxwell is not around.
When we play marble games, we make sure every one is accounted for before putting them away. Here’s a tip: remove extra pieces from toys that are unnecessary. Reducing 25 marbles to five makes life easier.
I knew Miles had learned our rules when Maxwell went to sleep and Miles said, “Now I can play with my marbles; Maxwell is sleeping.”