Baby Number 2: 12 Tips For Preparing To Grow Your Family
Whether you’re thinking about adding another little one to your family or you’ve already received the good news, congratulations! Anticipating baby number 2 is exciting.
However, growing your family can also feel overwhelming. There’s a lot to think about and prepare for!
Getting ready for baby number 2 includes most of the things you did to prepare for baby number one — calling your insurance company, going to your doctor’s appointments, talking with your boss, writing a birth plan, and the like.
But getting ready for a second baby involves a few extra steps, especially when it comes to preparing your first child and getting your home ready for two little ones!
In this article, we’ll give you some tips on going from one child to two. Let’s jump right in.
Preparing Your Child For Baby Number 2
When preparing relationally for another family member, it’s important to spend time with your partner before the craziness of two kids begins.
It’s equally important to spend time with your firstborn, especially since a toddler or young child might not understand how a new little sibling will affect their life!
Be intentional about preparing your little one to be a big brother or sister! Here are a few ways to do just that.
1) Describe What Your Baby Will Be Like
If your child hasn’t been around babies, they might not understand what infants are like. Explain that the new baby will be small, cry a lot, and won’t be able to talk or play for a long time!
It’s also a good idea to remind your little one that they’ll have to be very gentle with their new little brother or sister. Use a baby doll to talk about how to care for a baby.
2) Start Teaching Independence
Your child might be a pro picker-upper and clean up after themselves regularly. If not, consider nudging them in that direction.
Teach them to pick up after themselves, whether it’s after eating a snack or playing with toys.
It might also be helpful to provide them with new toys that are easy to play with by themselves. Remind them that you might sometimes have your hands full with the new baby and won’t always be able to play.
3) Read Books
No matter how old your first child is, reading books about being an older sibling can help them understand what it’s like to be a good older brother or sister.
Reading books is also a great way to spend precious time with your only child before you have two!
4) Make Childcare Plans
When it comes to delivery day, one of the differences between your first and second baby is that now you need to arrange childcare. Your first child will need a safe, comforting place to go when you head to the hospital.
Make childcare plans ahead of time and tell your child who will be taking care of them when mommy goes to the hospital.
5) Move To A Big Kid Bed At The Right Time
For many families, baby number two comes around just as baby number one is transitioning into toddlerhood or childhood. That means they might be ready for big transitions like potty training or moving into a “big kid bed.”
While gaining a new brother or sister can be exciting, the first few months of being an older sibling can also be stressful for your first child.
To make the transition as smooth as possible, avoid making other big changes (like new beds or potty training) during the first few months with the new baby.
Instead, transition your child into a different bed or potty train well before the baby comes or wait until several months after they’re born.
6) Let Your Child Help Decorate The Nursery
One great way to get your child excited about the new little one is to let them help decorate the nursery.
It could be picking out special toys or clothes for their new little sibling or, if you’re brave, letting them help paint and decorate!
Pitching in and helping to get the nursery ready for the new baby will allow your child to feel involved, understand what’s about to happen, and get excited to welcome the new member of the family.
7) Spend Time With Your Child
In the middle of the normal household buzz and your to-do list, be sure to set aside time to hang out with your first child. Enjoy the uninterrupted time you can spend with them now.
In a few months, your heart will double in size! But you’ll also have your hands full with your new baby and won’t be able to spend the same one-on-one time with your first child.
Preparing Your Home For Baby Number 2
As you prepare for baby number two, a lot of things will feel like second nature and you may find that you have a lot of hand-me-downs that you can reuse. But there are a few things that you’ll need to purchase, clean up, or plan out.
Let’s take a look at a few tips for preparing your home for a second child.
8) Have A Baby Shower
Just because it’s not your first baby doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t have a baby shower!
You might not need quite as much baby stuff as you did with your first, but you’ll still need to restock on the essentials (stacks of diapers and wipes, anyone?).
Not to mention you’ll want new and different things, especially if your new baby is a different gender. Plus, a baby shower isn’t just for the sake of stocking up. It’s also a special time to connect with your friends!
9) Decide What To Reuse
One of your big tasks will be deciding what to reuse from your first baby versus buy brand new. Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you decide if you should reuse something:
- Is it still up to safety standards?
- Is it in good, working condition?
- Is my first child still using it?
Books, toys, and clothes are just a few examples of items that are usually OK to reuse for your second child. Another item that you can reuse for your new little one is your Newton Baby Crib Mattress!
What makes our mattress one of the only crib mattresses that can be handed down from one child to the next? One reason is that it’s 100% washable. That’s right, a washable mattress!
Between spit-up, diaper leaks, and the like, baby mattresses can get pretty grimy. But the Newton Baby Crib Mattress is washable from cover to core.
That means you can do away with bacteria, mold, and allergens, keeping your baby’s mattress in tip-top shape!
Confidently reuse your breathable Newton Baby Crib Mattress for your second (or third) little one. Or let your firstborn keep sleeping on the same mattress well into their toddler years with our standard-sized 2-Stage Infant + Toddler Mattress.
So much safe sleep out of one great mattress!
10) Decide What To Buy New
We’ve talked about what you can reuse for your second little munchkin. What things should you plan on buying new?
For safety reasons, there are a couple of items that you might need to buy new: the crib and the car seat.
Check the sticker on your car seat for an expiration date. This isn’t because it’s gone bad like a piece of fruit. It just means that the car seat may no longer be up to safety standards.
You’ll also want to check the crib to make sure it’s still in good shape and meets the current safety standards. If you have any doubts, air on the side of safety and buy a new one.
11) Buy The Essentials
This isn’t your first rodeo! When it comes to the baby essentials, this time around you’ll probably have a better idea of exactly how much you need, what brands you like, and where to shop.
Just don’t let your pro parenting status lead you to procrastinate!
Make the most of your nesting tendencies to get everything in order and ready for the arrival of your little one. Gather all the essentials, like diapers, wipes, and plenty of swaddles.
For swaddles, try Newton Baby’s breathable, multipurpose Organic Swaddle Blankets. A swaddle blanket can double as a changing pad, nursing cover, burp cloth, or blanket. Talk about handy to have around!
12) Wash The Clothes And Linens
Once you’ve gone through all of the hand-me-down clothes and bought a few new items, you’ll have a big pile of laundry to do!
Wash all the baby clothes and linens and put everything in its place. Put your new baby’s sheets on their crib well before your due date. Then all that’s left to do is wait!
Then There Were Two!
Soon, you’ll go from being a parent of one to a parent of two and your heart will double in size! With the right preparation, your family can make a smooth transition and welcome baby number 2 with open arms.
Talk to your first child about what a great older sibling they will be, and involve them as you prepare your home for the new little one. Gather the baby essentials and set up their nursery with a breathable Newton Baby Crib Mattress.
In no time, you’ll be ready and waiting to have two in your arms!