Expecting another little one? Congratulations! Now it's time to prepare! Start preparing the firstborn, partner, and home for the new addition! The overwhelming emotions that come when a second baby is on the way are exhausting. Having a checklist of things to do to prepare can help ease the stress!
For first time moms, the new baby check list is usually in the works pretty early into pregnancy. However, for second time moms, the list might get put off because of having another child to care for. Thankfully, it usually isn't quite as long as the first anyway.
Concerns and necessities are different the second time around. If the babies are close in age than not many new baby items may be needed. If they are spread apart a little more in age, the do list may be a little longer. Either way, there are certain essentials that all newborns need and there are certain preparations that can be done to transition from one to two kids.
I am due with our second baby boy in just a couple of weeks and I am slowly checking things off of this list. Some I may never get to, but a list keeping my priorities in order is always a good thing.
Whether going from one kid to two has us frazzled or not, preparation is key! We've compiled a list of things that might be helpful to do before giving birth to baby number two!
14 Prepare The First Child
My two year old has no idea what's coming! He's at an age that doesn't quite grasp what is going on. I am trying to prepare him as much and as best as possible, but, unfortunately, he won't understand until the baby is with us for a while.
If your first child is old enough to understand via books, baby dolls or movies it may be a good idea to explain to them that you'll be bringing a new baby home soon. The sooner they can grasp what's happening inside your belly, the better.
Their space is about to seriously be invaded. Trying to help them understand as best as possible might help to ease the shock of having a little addition to the family. They can even be given some responsibilities to make them feel included. Make the change of becoming a big sibling exciting for them!
13 Packing The Hospital Bag Is Only Half The Battle
This time around, packing one hospital bag isn't an option. This is another reason that getting laundry organized made it on the list! Packing a bag full of dirty clothes isn't an option if it's already cleaned.
The diaper bag will most likely need to be cleaned out and stocked with newborn essentials, plus whatever the oldest child needs. Pack a bag with the new baby's necessities. A separate bag for the firstborn with a few days worth of clothes and essentials will need to be packed as well.
A bag for mama is always a must. Fill a suitcase with all of the necessities you will need for the hospital. Don't forget pajamas, nursing gear, maxi pads, toiletries, books and anything else that might be needed to be comfortable for a few of days in the hospital.
12 Call The Pediatrician
Let's face it, no one likes dealing with grown up things like health insurance! This is one thing that I seem to want to put off! However, It is important to make sure that everything is cleared now, instead of dealing with the stress later when you have two kids to care for.
As you get closer to your due date, it is a good idea to follow up with your health insurance provider to notify them that you will be adding a dependent to your current coverage. Your coverage and rates may change, so it's important to find this information out before you have the baby. This way plans can be made to cover additional costs if that's the case.
If you already have a pediatrician for your first child, it might be a good idea to let them know when you are expecting your newest addition. Your OB will probably also ask this information as well, but it doesn't hurt to give the pediatrician a heads up and make sure they can take new patients.
11 Is The Car Seat Expired?
Unfortunately, car seats do expire. It comes as a bit of surprise that something like a car seat would, "go bad", but the government has ever changing rules and regulations that car seat manufacturers need to keep up to date. Technology and standards are always changing and improving, so it's important to have an in-date car seat.
You may be planning to save some money and reusing your oldest child's car seat, which is great! Just be aware that car seats typically expire after 6 years from the date they are manufactured.
It's important to check the label, usually on the side of the car seat, to make sure that the one previously used is still okay. My two boys will be exactly two years apart, so luckily we will be able to save some money in the infant car seat department.
10 Make Sure Old Baby Supplies Still Work
It may be a surprise to find some of baby #1's supplies aren't working anymore! I just recently checked a set of baby monitors that should be working, but just aren't.
Before baby #2 comes, it might be a good idea to go through all of the baby essentials that you already have and make sure they still work properly. Swings, bouncers, sound machines and other battery operated baby supplies may need fresh batteries too.
Go through all of the old baby supplies and make a list of things that may need to be purchased again. Find baby #1's old bottles and teething toys that may need to be cleaned again. Toys and stuffed animals probably need to cleaned and sanitized if they've been stored away or used a bit.
Hopefully, most of the baby supplies just need a little dusting off and a pair of fresh batteries and there won't be a long list of things that need to be purchased again.
9 Arrange A Sitter For Baby #1
If you're like me and don't live close to family, this one might be a challenge. Some mamas are lucky enough to have family right down the road. If that's the case, try to line them up now to help watch baby #1 when you go into labor.
If you don't have family nearby, it gets a little trickier. Since it's impossible to predict when you will go into labor, unless you are scheduled for an induction, try to line up a friend who can watch your little one until a family member can get there, or just until your partner will be free after the baby is born.
Either way, having some sort of childcare plan will only help reduce the craziness of going into labor! A smooth transition to whomever will take car of your first baby is the goal!
8 Where Is Everyone Sleeping?
I currently have an almost two year old who is not ready to be out of his crib. Fortunately, the baby will sleep in a bassinet until he is ready to transition to a twin bed.
If your first child is already in a bed, you don't have to worry as much. You can keep the new baby in a bassinet or crib without having to purchase a new bed for anyone. As long as everyone has a place to sleep, that's all that matters!
A sound machine might be a good idea for where the new baby and older child is sleeping. same goes for the newborn. If you need to block out a noisy sibling with a sound machine to get them to sleep, go for it! Having either child wake all of the time because of noise would be added stress that could be avoided.
7 Stock Up On The Essentials
The last thing you want have to worry about is picking up diapers, wipes, or toilet paper as soon as you get home from the hospital with your new baby! If you have one in diapers already, adding another little one will make the stock pile pretty hefty, but totally worth it.
Newborns go through about 10-12 diapers a day! Unless you are going the cloth diaper route, you will need a ton of newborn diapers! Start building a supply of wipes and formula (if you plan to use it) as well!
Make sure that there are plenty of the necessities that both kids require on hand. It's also a good plan to have a few new toys or movies for your first child so that they are well occupied as you recover.
Essentials for yourself and husband are a good idea as well! Try to get some toilet paper, maxi pads, and other toiletries that you will need a head of time. You may also want to have a decent supply of food in your pantry and refrigerator as you get closer to the baby's due date.
6 Meal Prepping Is A Must
Meal planning is time-consuming and frustrating, but no one feels like cooking after child birth! Toward the end of a long pregnancy, the thought of going grocery shopping is depressing too. To avoid worrying about these things later, head to the store!
Make a list of freezer meals that you can make ahead of time. Stick to easy recipes that everyone in the family will eat. Once the meal ideas for the next several weeks are written down, make a grocery list and head out. Take advantage of grocery pickup locations nearby so the groceries just have to be picked up!
It may also be a good idea to stock up on non-perishables and snack foods that can be eaten throughout the days of recovery at home. Preparation is key! Dragging two littles to the grocery store for the first time is going to be overwhelming enough as it is.
5 De-Clutter And Reorganize The House
There is nothing more stressful than when our home is a disaster, except when our home is a disaster and we're having a baby! If you are having a baby the same gender as your first, than you have slightly less organizing to do. The good news is you can reuse most of your baby stuff! If not, unless everything you had was gender neutral, some organizing and shopping may be in order.
The old saying, "a place for everything and everything in its place" couldn't be more true than when welcoming a new baby. Now is a good time to start organizing and de-cluttering your oldest child's room and setting aside the things you will use for baby #2. Throw away the things you won't use and things that baby #1 doesn't use anymore.
Go through each room in your home and find a place for everything. If you haven't used it in quite some time and don't plan to use it either, get rid of it!
4 Pick Out The Double Stroller
Depending on how you plan to carry your newest little one, and the age of your oldest, you may want to start picking out the right double stroller now. If you plan to wear your newborn most of the time, you could probably get away with waiting. If not, start testing out some that you like!
My toddler and I love to go on walks, but I am due in August and the thought of baby wearing in this heat doesn't appeal to me, at least not for a long walk. Having a double stroller to put both of my little guys in was high on my list of things to get.
Getting some fresh air when you're ready will be good for everyone! Having a stroller that is easy to use will be super helpful to assist you in getting around with two little ones.
3 Schedule In "Me Time"
Yes! This one is a must! There are few times that pampering is easy with kids. Find a sitter and get out for a little "me time".
Carrying a baby for 9 long months is tough. It's tough on your body and your emotions. Carrying a baby for 9 long months with another child to care for is even tougher. The aches and pains and emotions seem multiplied.
Taking time to clear your mind and think about the changes going on is important for everyone's sanity. Try getting a pedicure or prenatal massage to relax for a bit. If those aren't an option try getting out to the store completely alone! Or, if you prefer, go on a girl's night out with no kids!
It doesn't have to be for a long time, but getting a few moments of quiet and clarity alone can really help. Especially when another huge responsibility is on the way.
2 Plan A Date Night With Dad
I don't even remember what a date is! It's been so long since I've had the energy to go out at night, but it is so important to get some quality time with your partner before you have another child to care for.
As unattractive as it we might feel at the end of pregnancy, get a little dressed up, change out of the yoga pants and mom bun, and hit the town! Before you are both suffering from lack of sleep and double the kids, get some bonding time in.
Going on a date will be even more difficult with two kids, so go out while you can! Try to think of some date ideas that you both enjoy and that are not something you would do with kids. Enjoy the one-on-one attention and quality time alone together
1 Spend As Much Time Together As Possible
This is probably the most important item on this list! Spend as much time as a family of three as possible! Nothing can prepare everyone for the change that is about to come, but getting in as much quality time together before it happens is crucial!
Time spent together doesn't have to be anything elaborate. It can be watching a movie at home, reading books and playing games, or making dinner together. Plan day trips or dates with just the three of you if that's what might be needed. Whatever the activity, being together is what's important.
Your oldest child is about to have their space invaded and their parent's attention shared. We all feel guilty about this at times, especially as we get closer to having the second baby, but making sure they feel loved before this change happens can help. Spend as much time together as possible!