By peoplestaff225
November 08, 2009 11:00 AM

Bebeyh/Meet The Famous

Two-under-two. The words alone are enough to strike fear in the hearts of women everywhere.

But ask Naomi Watts, Tori Spelling, Brooke Burke or any other mom who has navigated this tough terrain and she’ll often tell you that having back-to-back babies is a rewarding — albeit exhausting — experience.

Even better news? It doesn’t have to be so hard.

Whether it’s a toy that keeps both kids occupied or a stroller that expands with your growing family, there are lots of splurge-worthy products that make life easier and safer for all involved.

Click below for our picks!

Medela Freestyle

If ever you needed an extra set of hands, it’s when you’re nursing a newborn with a toddler in tow. It won’t take your firstborn long to figure out that mom’s, well, occupied. And more often than not, your little one will take full advantage. This is when a high-quality electric breastpump can come in extremely handy.

We love the Medela Freestyle ($380, left). This discrete double pump is so small it actually fits in the palm of your hand. Simply clip the unit onto your nursing bra, and voila — hands-free expressing!

Like previous Medela pumps, the Freestyle offers 2-phase expression technology that mimics a baby’s natural nursing pattern. There are also nifty extras like a memory button to set your fave pumping patterns and a brightly-lit LCD digital display that doubles as a nightlight. A rechargeable lithium ion battery gives you three hours of pumping time.

Baby Bjorn Baby Carrier Active Organic

Babywearing is a necessity for baby bunchers. Being on-the-go is tricky enough with one child. Just imagine how complicated it is with a toddler and newborn. In comes the Baby Bjorn Baby Carrier Active Organic ($140, left). It keeps your newest addition close to your chest, while your hands are free to change diapers, push a swing, fill up a sippy cup or give a hug.

But this carrier isn’t just for newborns. Specially designed to carry heavier children (up to 26 lbs), you can use it on your older child too! The Active Organic offers lumbar support and wide, padded shoulder straps for proper weight distribution. Plus, babies are kept in a physiologically correct position with proper support from the carrier and it features a fold-down neckrest once baby is old enough to forward-face. Best of all, it’s eco-friendly!

Phil and Teds Double Stroller

Now some moms (like Naomi Watts below) opt for double strollers and fortunately for them the market is full of options. Side-by-side strollers are great for twins — but for true baby bunchers the best option is Phil & Teds collection of inline buggies (see example at left). The brand’s doubles kits allow you to change from a single to a double and to a single again — giving you a stroller that fits your needs for years to come.

Most children struggle, at least initially, with being a big brother or big sister and nothing fosters feelings of resentment like being shooed away from a new sibling. At the same time, “being gentle” is a foreign concept to most young toddlers and you’ll need to take steps to keep your infant safe. Try the Superyard XT Gate by North States ($60).

You can use it as a barrier around the swing, the bouncy seat or while baby is enjoying some tummy time. When extended to form an octagon, it fences in 18.5 square feet of play space. Your firstborn won’t feel excluded playing alongside his or her new sibling and you won’t feel as though you need to constantly be on guard.

Yookidoo Discovery Playhouse

A big upside to two-under-two is that both kids will enjoy the same toys at the same time. But you’ll have to settle your fair share of toy squabbles — especially once baby #2 becomes mobile. That’s why we love the Yookidoo Discovery Playhouse ($100, left).

Cooperative play at its very best, it has shape-sorting, peek-a-boo and ball roller coaster games on the inside and on the outside so there’s something for everyone. Even better? Most of the activities run more smoothly when there’s a child manning each spot.

Honorable mentions: Keep a sippy and a bottle cool with the Double Kid Koozie by Built ($11) and then stash both in the Duo Double Deluxe diaper bag by Skip Hop ($80) — with room to spare! Speaking of room, you’ll be in need of some once you try to squeeze two highchairs in your kitchen. Save space with clip-on highchairs like the Chicco 360 ($70).

Doug Meszler/Splash News Online

— Missy

Tell Us: Are you a baby bunching mom? Which products can’t you live without?