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Congratulations mama, you’re expecting baby number 2! Or perhaps, you’re just wondering if you’re ready for another. If you need some tips to help calm those nerves while preparing for baby number 2, you’re in the right place!
Know this, you’ve done it before, you can do it again.
Remember how busy it was as a first-time mom trying to figure out feeding, diapering, sleep training and so much more? By now, you’ve got that down pat, though every baby is different.
Plus, you’re most likely an amazon prime member and have those money-saving, automatic subscriptions on lock-down, right?
Becoming a mom to another little one comes with a new set of challenges of course, but nothing you can’t handle.
What are some of these challenges, you ask?
1) Will I have second child guilt splitting my love between the two?
Many parents feel they can’t possibly love another child as much as their first.
Will the second baby take away part of that love? Will I not love them equally?
Even if many haven’t voiced those concerns aloud, just know that you aren’t alone in feeling this way.
I’m here to assure you that your love for one will not take away from the other. A mother’s heart and love know no bounds, no matter how many children to add to the mix. You will be overwhelmed with more love than you thought possible.
Each child will be unique, and you will love them for what makes them an individual as you witness them grow.
Also, the special bond between siblings is amazing to witness. Your heart will swell with each sweet moment shared between them.
2) Being pregnant is hard!
One major factor to consider – the pregnancy journey itself.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have a picture-perfect pregnancy. You now have another little person to care for along with yourself this time around. All while you and your new addition are growing!
The fatigue, morning sickness, growing belly, and many doctors’ appointments are all going to be challenging to face.
It’s important to not push yourself too hard and overdo it.
Now is the time to learn that you may not be able to do it all as you did before, and start implementing changes in your lifestyle to accommodate your growing family.
One thing is for certain and it’s that you should NEVER feel ashamed for asking for help when you need it, mama!
3) Will my first child be jealous of the new baby?
To put it simply, yes they could be.
Prior, they had your full attention to themselves and didn’t have to share with anyone else.
This will change from day-to-day. You may find the first few weeks are actually a breeze because the baby is new and exciting, but then the novelty wears off.
Perhaps they will pretend the baby doesn’t exist and still try to demand all of your attention. Some children act out as a way to regain your attention, even if it’s in a negative context.
My biggest tip is to make sure your oldest feels needed, no matter their age.
Toddlers are great diaper changing helpers, and they can find a lost pacifier, stuffed toy, or blanket.
Preschoolers are typically great at nursery rhymes and singing the ABCs.
School-aged children can read stories, and perhaps help around the house with small chores.
There is definitely something everyone can do to help out, so give them a ‘job’.
This helps them feel a sense of responsibility for their new baby brother or sister, but also they are getting positive attention from you. They will be proud of a job well done, and how they are growing into their role as big brother or sister, and not to mention, Mommy’s good helper.
Secondly, make sure your oldest is still getting some one-on-one time.
Smaller children may appreciate an uninterrupted bedtime routine – story, bath, the whole shebang with either Mom or Dad. Divide and conquer!
If your children are older, a special solo lunch while someone watches the baby, or a mid-day movie date will make them feel special, and not forgotten.
Now, I realize these aren’t always realistic to do consistently, but even as your children grow older, it’s important to have a unique relationship with each child as an individual.
Previously, you were just a mom of one, you need to continue to foster that relationship between the two of you.
Just as you adapted to motherhood the first time around, give yourself some time to find a rightful pattern between your first child and new baby.
4) Emotionally preparing for a second baby.
Knowing that things may take some time to settle down after bringing hope is going to be key to you keeping your sanity.
If you’re a mama who has dealt with some postpartum anxiety or depression before, it would likely be beneficial if you have a pretty clear postpartum plan in place.
This would include:
- Having a key person you can turn to for help.
- Make sure your partner knows very clearly how they can support you during this time (Seriously – write it down for them if they need it!).
- Finding a therapist (or letting your prior therapist know you may need their services again).
- Enrolling in a postpartum course to help you manage those anxieties and triggers BEFORE they become a problem this time around!
This time around, it’s something I did too. I took the Preventing Postpartum Depression course again to make sure I had all the tools and resources available should I emotionally feel like I need them.
5) Preparing for the Second Baby with a Toddler
As mentioned above, it’s important to make sure your toddler feels needed and loved throughout this new transition.
Where does that leave you as you’re learning to care for a newborn (again) while caring for your toddler?
Well, the good thing is you’ve been through this rodeo once before so you probably have the newborn phase down.
Find ways to start talking about your new baby as early as possible with your toddler.
If you can, bring them to some of your prenatal appointments and explain to them why you’re there! Share that their baby brother or sister is growing in your belly. Let them see their sibling on the ultrasound or listen to their heartbeat!
Prepare your toddler for some of the new ‘jobs’ they might be asked to do after their brother or sister arrives (help to change diapers, burping the baby, giving them their pacifier, etc…).
Encourage quiet time and independent play. Although it’s important to make sure your toddler is still getting their fix of mommy time, there will be times they need to play a bit more independently.
Start incorporating positive techniques to encourage them to be a little more independent at times long before your new baby arrives.
Managing you toddlers behavior while pregnant
Depending on the age of your toddler, you might be finding yourself pretty drained at the end of day while being pregnant.
If crying, tantrums, screaming, and exhaustion sound all too familiar, first off, please don’t feel bad.
It’s a phase in life we all go through. However, I’m also not going to tell you it will get better on it’s own, because it may not.
Tantrums in particular can be an indication of SO MANY THINGS!
Your child could be acting out due to their inability to regulate their emotions, have some sort of speech or communication delay, be tired or hungry, not be getting enough sleep OR getting too much sleep, progressing through a milestone or much much more!
One EASY way to help you out FAST is by telling you about the Toddler Tantrum Toolkit.
I know you’re probably thinking how silly it sounds or that you don’t need it, but trust me! This course is a life changer! Not saver, CHANGER!
Before taking this course I thought my son was just going through a horrible phase (because that’s what everyone kept on telling me). Come to find out – he was significantly delayed in his speech and communication skills! Hence all the emotional outbursts!
This course not only helped me to identify this problem (before baby number 2 is born thankfully), but it also helped me find the proper resources I needed so we could get the help we all needed.
Now, it’s been EXHAUSTING dealing with all this throughout pregnancy, but I’m so glad we’re working towards a pretty solid resolution before our next baby arrives!
Adjusting from one child to two.
Planning is key. This is true whether you are returning to work, or are staying at home.
Getting multiple kids ready to leave the house in the morning, along with yourself will be hectic. Do as much as you can the night before. Layout everyone’s clothing, prep the diaper/school bags, and set them by the door.
If you are a stay-at-home mom, you will also need to plan for outings. You cannot stay cooped up in the house forever. These should all be things you’re thinking about and having somewhat of a plan in place while preparing for baby number 2.
Thankfully, babies are actually quite easy to cart around to the grocery store, or your eldest’s play group. Yes, they require a lot of gear, and the motivation to get out the door, but once you’re there you’ll find it’s not much different than it was with just one child.
Priorities have to be shifted with the arrival of a new baby. If your plate was full before, something will have to be put on the back burner for a while. Especially until a new routine is established for your family.
Extra dishes piled up in the sink? Well, those can wait. Dirty floors that didn’t get vacuumed yet? Don’t sweat it. Take your time and find your new routine.
6) Things to buy for second baby
You probably have the majority of baby items you could ever think of thanks to your firstborn.
In the event you need to stock up on a few ‘essential’ items while preparing for baby number 2, here’s a little list (things I actually used and bought) to help prepare for my 2nd baby:
- Newborn Diapers (1-2 boxes)
- New clothing (only if you don’t have any backup from the first child)
- 2nd Carseat (we ended up going with the Graco Snugride Infant Car Seat this time around)
- Double stroller (depending on how old your first is, getting a double stroller may be in your favor for running errands!)
- Upgraded baby monitor (we wanted to have the option to view both of the boy’s rooms at one which the Motorola baby monitor can do, but our original Infant Optics can’t).
- A small set of baby bottles
- Hands-Free breast pump (I’m a Spectra S1 fan for life, HOWEVER, with a young toddler, I’m a bit hesitant about being hooked up to a machine with free cords dangling around which is why I decided to give the Willow 3.0 a shot).
- Diaper pail
7) Refresh yourself on birth and what to expect
It may seem like it was just yesterday, but you can never be too prepared for birth (and postpartum if we’re being truthful).
In fact, this time around things may actually progress a bit quicker and easier — yay!
If your hospital offers a birthing class, I’d suggest taking it. If it’s too inconvenient (because I know they’re like 8-hour classes and nobody with a toddler has time for that), you can try taking an online birthing class instead!
Drop the preparing for second baby mom guilt & mom anxiety!
I want to leave you with some peace of mind. Motherhood is hard but we’re all in this together.
The first few weeks, or maybe even months after baby number 2 arrives will be all about survival. It’s OKAY (and highly recommended) to ask for help.
It’s OKAY if you haven’t cooked a proper meal in days.
It’s OKAY if your oldest has watched too much TV this week.
It’s OKAY if you cried over spilled milk (literally – breast milk is produced with blood, sweat, and tears, and baby formula can be dang expensive!).
It’s all going to be OKAY! You’ve got this mama!
What are you MOST worried about when preparing for baby number 2? Leave your comments below