So it feels like you’ve got this one locked, right? You already have a baby, you know what you’re going to need! Bottles, breast pumps, all of the diapers in the world, onesies, the list is long and you’ve checked all of the boxes. But on the second baby, things get a little trickier…you know how the first one was a total breeze? There’s one problem with your first baby checklist, you didn’t already have a baby when you used it the first time. Your second baby is still going to need all of the things your first baby did, but this time you’re bringing him home to a fuller house and your baby checklist needs to take into account your first child and, more importantly, you and your partner.
Invest in a Cleaning Service
One of the things that we can forget about coming home from the hospital the first time is how going from such a sterile environment can make your house feel incredibly messy. During your first pregnancy you and your partner may have had time to get everything cleaned and in order but now, with all of the toys, food spills and remnants from your first kid doing a deep clean can feel impossible and futile. Instead, if you can swing it, hire a professional to come and get your house in ship shape the week before your due date. Or, add it to your registry for your Baby Sprinkle and ask your friends to chip in on this practical gift for you and your partner.
Pack Your House with Healthy Snacks and Ready-To-Go Meals
When you’re recovering from your second delivery, with two kids to look after, running errands can feel impossible. Even if your partner is taking on the lion’s share, both of you are tired and leaving the house can be difficult. Before you leave for the hospital make sure you have a cupboard filled with your families favorite healthy snacks, like trail mix, almonds, yogurt, popcorn or anything you can grab a handful of when you have a free moment that will also give you energy. Also stock your freezer with some healthy premade meals that you can pop into the oven or frying pan for an easy, quick way to make sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs. Trader Joe’s has their own brand of premade meals that take little to no effort to make at home, where Amy’s and Newman’s Own are staples of premade healthy options that can be found in most grocery stores. Having quick healthy options in your house will make life simpler for you and the entire family, while also making sure new mom is still making time to keep her body nourished.
Get Your Eldest Ready for New Baby
Depending on the age of your older child explaining that a new sibling is on the way can be tricky. Luckily for modern-day parents, there are plenty of books designed for children that address this. Start having the conversations early to engage your child with your pregnancy and get them excited for baby and find a book that highlights the fun of being an older brother or sister. You can also create some easy daily tasks for your older child to help with the new baby to help them feel included and bond with their new sibling. Don’t worry if this takes a while, bringing a new member of the family home is a big change for everyone and kids often take a little longer to process and adjust to it.
Don’t Forget to Treat Yourself
Your body has been through a lot, and you’re already going to be tired from having another child to take care of while prepping your body for the next one. Keep this in mind when you’re getting the house in order to bring the new baby home, maybe add “babysitting time” to your practical registry and ask friends and family if they can stop by for a few hours to help watch the kids so you can catch up on some sleep. And it’s okay to be honest, you’re not necessarily up for hosting everyone while you’re recovering, and would prefer some rest and relaxation so you have more energy for later.
There’s a lot of ways in which already having a child will prepare you for your second one, but don’t be too tough on yourself if you find it’s harder than you expected. Keep in mind that this is another change for an already busy house and think of all the practical ways you can set you and your family up for the transition. Remember to take care of yourself and that it’s okay to ask friends and family for help when you need it, finding ways to feel less overwhelmed will only be beneficial to you and your family.