what to do before baby #2

If you’ve read any of my posts here on Besties With Babies (or Sarah’s for that matter!) you’ll know that I am a huge researcher and planner! With Gideon being 13 months old, I’ve kind of gotten the hang of caring for him and just have been having fun with him. But with baby #2 on the way, I have more to research! Yay!

Even though our transition from 0-1 babies was pretty easy, Gideon was thankfully a very laid back and easy baby, I am worried about the transition from 1 to 2. I have been googling things like “how to survive 2 under 2” and “what do i need for 2 under 2”, besides searching for little girl bows and dresses for our first girl.

Knowing that this second trimester is the easiest and the time to be most productive, I’ve come up with a list to help you second time mamas with what you need to do before your second bundle of joy arrives!

Go Through Your Newborn Items

If your first child is a few years old, there may be some things you can reuse, but some things may need to be replaced. Check the expiration date on your infant car seat to see if you can reuse that! Go through those tiny clothes and get rid of any you hated or are too stained. Chances are you had too many to begin with!

If you have anything battery operated or that plugs in, check to make sure it still works! This could be a swing, sound machine, toys, etc. You don’t want to find out the swing doesn’t work when you really need it!

Consider Life With 2 Babies

How far apart in age are your babies going to be? My first is going to be 18 months old when baby #2 arrives, so I am definitely in the market for a double stroller. If your first is a little older, you may not need one, or can get away with putting a glider board on the single stroller you already have.

Where are your two children going to sleep? Come up with some sort of idea; even if it changes along the way at least you have something to start with! We are planning on putting Gideon in his own room when we move, and #2 will join him once she start sleeping through the night (which we plan to sleep train her for earlier than we did with Gideon!).

Foster Independent Play

Especially if you plan to breastfeed your second, but even if you don’t, your hands are going to be a little full of newborn for awhile and you won’t be able to be playing with your oldest child 24/7. Of course it is still important to make time to play with them, maybe while your spouse has the baby or while they are sleeping or otherwise occupied, but independent play is going to be so important!

Thankfully I have made fostering independent play a big priority with Gideon since I knew we didn’t want our children spaced very far apart. Especially as this pregnancy has progressed, he has learned to play on his own so well! He will still come over to me and show me something, babble, or hand me a toy, but for the most part he does excellent at playing on his own.

Set up a Labor Plan for Big Brother/Sister

I’m sure you’ve already come up with an idea of how and where you’re going to be giving birth to your second child, but what are you going to do with your first when the time comes? Unless you are having a scheduled C-section, you won’t know when that will be, so you’ll need to be ready!

I’m planning on having this baby at a stand-alone birthing center (post on that to come!) that is about 30 minutes away from where we will be living. Our plan is to have Gideon have a couple of “practice” sleepovers at my parents house during my third trimester. Then when we pack my birth center bag, we will also have Gideon’s sleepover bag ready to go! My parent’s house is on the way to the birth center, so we will just drop him off on our way there.

Come Up With a Game Plan With Your Husband

We are SO blessed that the company my husband works for gives him 6 weeks of fully paid paternity leave! I know so many mothers in American aren’t even given that time, so I am so thankful for the care his business gives us through this.

With Gideon he took the full 6 weeks, and it felt like a long time and he started to actually get a little bored! Since the transition from 1 to 2 seems a little daunting, we’re planning on him taking the full 6 weeks he’s given. He is able to go back earlier though if we decide things are going smoothly.

Our plan during those 6 weeks is for me to mainly care for me and the baby, and for him to care for Gideon. As the weeks progress, we will try to transition that to Gideon doing more of his own thing, and me caring for both children. Thankfully my husband works from home part of the week, so even if by the end of the 6 weeks things aren’t going too smoothly, I’ll have him in the next room for emergencies, not to mention my mom only 10 minutes away!

This is all I have come up with so far, but even just these tasks has given me so much peace of mind and has made me feel much more prepared to be a mom of two. Before this baby arrives, I’ll let you know things that I’m registering for this time around (not much! But I am having a second shower since this baby is a girl and my first was a boy). Also keep an eye out for posts about preparing for my birth center experience! Let me know in the comments how you prepared for your second, third, fourth, or however many babies you have! And remember if you have any questions you can always Ask A Bestie!