When I found out I was pregnant with my second child, I came up with a looong list of things to do. Many of them were projects that I wanted to get done around the house, but a large portion of the list were things I knew needed to be done in preparation for baby #2. And can you believe I actually checked every thing off my list – house projects and all?! It was amazing to feel so prepared before the baby arrived. So, I thought I would share my list of 20 things to do before baby #2.
Arrange babysitting for your older child(ren) – You’ll want to have a plan in place for who is going to take care of your older child (or children) while you are at the hospital. This is especially important if, like me, you have no family in town.
Write out child’s schedule/pertinent information – Make sure to leave your babysitter with a written schedule and any pertinent information about your child, even if you feel that the caretaker knows your child well. Keeping your child on their “normal” schedule will help ease the transition while you are gone.
Pack a bag for your child – You probably already have pack a bag on the list for yourself, but if your child will be going to someone else’s house, like a grandparent, don’t forget to pack their bag as well. You are much more likely to remember everything they will need if you do this ahead of time.
Pull things out of storage – I had multiple bins of baby items that I had saved from my first up in my attic. You’ll want to pull everything out of storage in order to sort through it and determine what you want to use again.
Wash items from storage – Even if you washed items before putting them into storage, it’s a good idea to wash them again once you’ve pulled them out. They may have acquired some dust, or possibly even a bit of a smell. So, just be sure to wash everything up, so it is fresh for the new little one.
Make sure items work/Test batteries – Be sure to test batteries on all battery-operated items. Replace batteries that are dead, and get rid of any items that just flat out don’t work anymore.
Check expiration dates/safety standards – Some baby items actually expire, such as car seats. So, be sure to check dates on any items that you are wanting to reuse, and replace anything that is past date. Also, safety standards are often changing. So, if any of your items are older or hand-me-downs, make sure to check if they adhere to the latest safety standards.
Sterilize bottles/pacifiers/etc. – If you are reusing bottles, pacifiers, or similar items, be sure to sterilize them before using with the new baby. It’s a simple matter of tossing them in boiling water for about 5 minutes to ensure that they are clean.
Register for needed items – There are a lot of conflicting opinions about having a baby shower for a second (or beyond) child. Even if you don’t have any showers, though, you should still create a registry in order to take advantage of the benefits. Some stores offer discounts on registry purchases, some offer money back on purchases, and many offer up front freebies just for registering. So, at the very least, you don’t want to miss out on all the deals. 🙂
Stock your freezer – Your life will be so much easier in the beginning if all you have to do for dinner is pop something in the oven. I am so glad I took the time to get a number of meals in my freezer. It has seriously saved my sanity on so many nights during these first couple of months.
Talk about what is happening with your older child – Be sure to explain what is going on to your older child, and talk about it frequently. While I’m sure my daughter didn’t fully comprehend exactly what was about to happen, she talked about her little brother all. the. time. She talked about feeding him, playing with him, going places with him, and on and on and on. I really think all of the talk helped immensely with the transition.
Get big transitions out of the way (or avoid them until afterwards) – Moving your child into a toddler bed, or potty training them right before baby arrives is not the best idea. There is a good chance of regression once the baby arrives. So, if you are planning on making big transitions, do it as early as possible, or simply avoid them until after the dust has settled a bit.
Do some fun things with your older child – Be sure to get out and give your older child some special attention. It’s the last time they will have you all to themselves, and you should take advantage of it. Go to the zoo, get ice cream, play at the park, etc. It’s time that you will both end up cherishing.
Buy gifts for your children to give to one another – My daughter was so excited to give her little brother a couple of gifts when he arrived, and she was equally as thrilled to find out that he got her a few gifts as well. It doesn’t have to be anything big or expensive. Even the smallest gesture will help the older child connect to the baby early on.
Stock up on essentials (for baby and you) – You’ll want to stock up on diapers and wipes for baby, but don’t forget to stock up on household items, as well. You don’t want to have to be running out to the store in the first week or two because you have run out of toilet paper or something. Make sure you have plenty of necessities on hand before you give birth.
Deep clean the house – You won’t have much time to clean once the baby arrives. So, make sure that the house is nice and clean before baby arrives. Even if you need to hire someone to help, you’ll feel better in the end if you have a nice, clean house to bring your baby home to.
Order a breast pump from insurance – Many, if not most, insurance companies nowadays cover the full cost of a breast pump for pregnant (and nursing) women. Take advantage of this and order one for yourself before baby arrives. Even if you don’t plan on using it all that often, breast pumps are quite expensive, and you never know when it might come in handy.
Talk to your doctor about a plan for PPA/PPD – I have struggled with anxiety and depression my whole life. So, I talked to my OB about the possibility of postpartum depression before I even gave birth to my first child. She ended up giving me a prescription to hold onto, so that I could use it afterwards if I felt like I needed it. It was one of the best things I’ve done. When you are struggling with anxiety or depression, it is often hard to reach out for help. So, reach out before it becomes necessary, and be sure to have a plan in place, just in case.
Pamper yourself – Do something, or multiple things, for yourself. Pregnancy is hard. Being a mom is hard. Being a mom of more than one is really hard. So, do something to treat yourself. Take a bath, get a pedicure, have a girls night, go shopping, etc. As moms, we often get lost in the shuffle of preparations, and everything is focused on the baby. So, don’t be afraid to demand some time to take care of yourself.
Go on a date (or two) with your spouse – Your relationship with your spouse is paramount when it comes to raising kids. You need to remain a strong unit for your children, and in order to do this, you have to take time alone with each other. So, go on a date or two. Make sure to nurture the relationship that brought you your children in the first place.
And there you have it – my list of 20 things to do before baby #2. Above all, though, don’t stress too much. If you check everything off this list, awesome! If not, don’t sweat it, because in the end, all that matters is that you’ll have your baby in your arms.