8 Things to Help You Prepare For Baby #2

When I saw our second child at the 12 week ultrasound a rush of emotions came over me! It made the pregnancy so much more real and it made me realize all the things I needed to do before baby #2 was born. The first trimester flew by chasing a toddler, so I knew the rest of my pregnancy would go even faster! Here is the list of things I came up with to prepare for Baby #2:

  1. Be honest with your toddler and help them become more independent
    As your pregnancy progresses, it’s important to be honest with your first child about how life will change with the new baby around. To prep, try teaching your child to be more independent in certain ways, like cleaning up their toys, practice getting dressed, any other things that your child may be capable of doing. Consider giving your child a baby doll or stuffed animal to “take care of” while you care for the new baby to make them feel included. While you want your child to be prepared, you also want things to feel as normal as possible. So make it a point to spend one-on-one time with them now and plan to continue to do that once the baby comes.

  1. Arrange babysitting for your older child
    When the time comes to go to the hospital, you need to have somewhere you can take your older child, whether it be in the middle of the night or during the day. Either have one of your parents come to stay early, or talk to some friends or neighbors you trust who would be willing to watch your little one until you are able to go home.
  1. Pack a bag for your first child and write down their daily schedule
    When you pack your bag for the hospital, plan on packing one for your first child too! Make sure to include plenty of day clothes, coat, shoes, socks, multiple pj’s, blankets, diapers, wipes, snacks, favorite books or toys and a sippy cup. Write down and leave their schedule in the bag, then whoever is babysitting can keep your child on a schedule. Try to be extra prepared, so whoever is taking care of your child doesn’t have to bother you with questions. It won’t matter what time of day you go into labor because you’ve already got everything packed!
  1. Get things out of storage to make sure they work and clean them
    You want to make sure that everything is clean and fresh for your new little one! Go through the clothes, wash the ones you want to use again and throw out what you can’t use. Pull out all the big items like infant car seat, rock n play, swing, and anything else to spot clean and make sure they still work. Clean and sterilize your bottles, pacifiers, and pumping accessories. You may want to go through your diaper bag and add some things for baby, like a nursing cover, pacifier, and newborn diapers. Get everything out and ready for you to bring your baby home!
  1. Stock up on essentials and freezer meals
    Think about things you use all the time both personal and household items, this is when Costco or Sam’s Club membership comes in handy! Purchase big packs of toilet paper, paper towel, diapers, wipes, shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste, detergent, trash bags, cereal, kids snacks, frozen meals, the big things that you use every day. Obviously, you can’t buy perishable items, but stocking up on those items will help make your trips to the grocery store shorter. Try to load your freezer with ready to go meals too! Not having to cook or make big trips to the grocery store during the transition to 2 kids will help you and your marriage!
  1. Nurture your relationship
    Already feel like you’re too busy to have a date night? It’s only going to get worse when baby arrives. Hire a sitter and have a few date nights or plan a babymoon, so you can enjoy some much needed couple time before baby makes four.
  1. Pamper yourself
    Once baby arrives, it will be harder to get out of the house. Make some appointments to pamper yourself now! Plan a prenatal massage, get a mani/pedi and haircut while you have the time.
  1. Embrace imperfection
    Realize your second baby can be very different than your first and that’s ok! You may go from an attentive parent of one to a totally distracted parent of two. Parenting is about survival, and it often means grabbing the child that is screaming louder and ignoring the other one or extended screen time. Do whatever it takes to get you through the day!

Congrats on your baby! Everything will work out great and hopefully the things listed above will help you feel better prepared to bring your second child home. Remember this will only be a season and you will soon have a NEW normal. Feel free to share any other things that helped you prepared for #2 in the comments below.