I have to be honest having two children under the age of 4 is quite hard! But it is quite fun too, especially when they are good with each other. Difference with looking after twins and children with an age gap is, twins have the same mile stones as children with age gaps have totally different mile stones, they want different things, they constantly want attention for different things. The 3 year old needs potty training so more concentration on the eldest but whilst doing that for the eldest you still need to be watching the 1 year old for constantly banging, eating things shes not supposed too, oh and don't forget climbing and throwing things everywhere ha ha! Need to keep them happy constantly through out the day. It is quite hard going, and especially that now Elliw will only have one nap a day which is only for 30-45 mins, but some days recently she won't have a nap!
I try my best to give them both the exact same routine! When i started Elliw in a routine with bed time i made sure that her and Mia went to bed at the same time every night, made sure they have tea, dinner and breakfast the same time. To be honest i wouldn't change that at all! I am proud of myself that i have actually not had no problems with their routines. (Feeling lucky!)
The hardest part i find is when the youngest copies the eldest child. Mia has very bad tantrums, they're actually awful. I get bitten, pinched, punched, slapped, kicked, things thrown at me etc. Elliw has recently copied by slapping. What i really hate is when Mia hits Elliw, that is really hard but it's going to happen! And Elliw will get revenge one day i guess (joke ha ha) As they say they are sisters!
When one is naughty, i do NOT praise the other one for being good. I think that is totally unfair when parents do that. I think if one is naughty, then yes go put her/him on the naughty step but do not go saying 'aw your brother/sister is so good' as that can mess with their heads and feelings! Because the eldest will always be the one who will get the most rows until the youngest is old enough to be put on the naughty step!
At the end of the day have two children close age gap is amazing! Seeing them play together (when they do lol) it makes you feel proud that you have brought two amazing children into the world, and they are going to grow up so close together (hopefully) It is very rewarding at the end of the day.