There are so many different things to think about when preparing for a second baby, especially if it has been many years since your first child was born. In all of the excitement surrounding the new arrival, it can be easy for certain things to slip through the cracks. What are the most important things you need to keep in mind when preparing for a second baby?
Once you find out you’re pregnant with your second child, there’s a lot to take care of. You should:
- Plan the announcement
- Decide if there will be a baby shower
- Prepare your child for the baby
- Decide on a nursery arrangement
- Babyproof your home
- Upgrade baby gear
- Consider a larger home and/or car
- Reevaluate your childcare
- Reevaluate your careers
Keep reading for a complete list of everything you need to take care of when preparing for your second child.
Preparing for a second baby – a checklist of the most important to-dos!
Second pregnancies are very interesting. You may feel your baby’s kicks sooner, experience faster labor, crave different foods, and carry lower or higher than with your first pregnancy. In fact, you may even go into labor sooner with your second pregnancy than with your first, so be sure that you are prepared long before your due date just in case!
These differences don’t stop when your child is born either. Bringing a second child into the world will result in a variety of changes in your family and your home. So what are the biggest things that you need to discuss and prepare for before your second baby arrives?
From dreaming up the perfect pregnancy announcement to considering changing up your career, there are decisions to be made every step of the way.
Some of the most important things to keep in mind when preparing for a second baby are:
- Pregnancy Announcements
- Baby Shower Plans
- Preparing Siblings
- Nursery Arrangements
- Upgrading Baby Gear
- Considering a Larger Home
- Considering a Larger Car
- Reevaluating Childcare
- Reevaluating Careers
By the way, I’ve put together a MEGA resource on the most common differences between the first and second pregnancy along with frequently asked questions! Check it out!
Pregnancy announcements are always fun, and even more so when you get to include the baby’s older sibling!
From sharing the good news through a family photoshoot to debuting your child’s “big sister” or “big brother” shirt during a family gathering – there are so many creative ways to celebrate your second baby while including your older child in sweet and memorable ways.
If you just put a little bit of thought and imagination into this milestone, you will create a memory to treasure for years to come!
Baby shower plans
Although there is some debate about the etiquette of having a baby shower for a second baby, most families choose to have some sort of party or event to celebrate and prepare for their new addition.
You’ll want to discuss with your spouse and others to see which approach fits best for your family. If it’s been a while since you had your first child or you know your new child will be a different gender, you may want to consider a second baby shower.
Other options to consider include having a gender reveal, “baby sprinkle,” or a “sip and see” party to meet the new baby after their arrival.
If your first child is old enough to understand the implications of a new addition, you may want to consider preparing them throughout the pregnancy by having conversations, reading books, pointing out other families with new babies, and otherwise getting them ready for the changes that are going to come.
Many families choose to spend a little bit of extra 1-on-1 time with the older sibling before the little one comes along. Similar to the babymoon you might have embarked on with your spouse before you became parents, a family vacation with just your older can be a great way to mark this transition in their lives.
One of the things you’ll need to consider is where your new little one is going to sleep and how you are going to set up their things.
You’ll want to work through all the options now before your little one arrives and make a long-term plan for the bedrooms in your home. If you do not have an extra bedroom, you may need to combine both siblings into one room or get more creative with your solutions.
There are many different views, opinions, and preferences out there on whether or not siblings should share a room and for how long. But ultimately the decision is up to you and your spouse.
If your first child is older at this point, it may have been a while since you’ve had a baby in the house.
One of the things you may want to consider doing before the arrival of your new little one is to evaluate the state of your home and babyproof anything that needs to be prepared for the baby and toddler years. Once your little one arrives, it will be easy to put an item like this off when you’re chasing after 2 kiddos, so be sure to give this task some attention now.
Now is also the time to work on any larger projects you may have been putting off, like putting carpet in that downstairs family room or installing a privacy fence in the backyard. Anything that you can do ahead of time to get your home ready for a new addition is something that you’ll be thankful for in the long run.
Upgrading baby gear
Preparing the items that you’ll need for your second baby is a bit different than with the first.
Depending on the age and gender of your first child, you may already have most or all of what you need for the first few months of your new baby’s life. Either way, you’ll want to take stock of your existing baby gear and clothing in order to get a better idea of what you already have and what you will need.
One advantage of being seasoned parents is that you know more about your parenting style and what works best for your family. From diapers to strollers – you’ve already put the time and research into choosing which products you like, and you know exactly what to purchase this time around.
Considering a larger home
Moving on to larger items to consider, you may need to take a look at your living arrangements and make a change. What might have been spacious with one child can start to feel too small once you add another new addition to your household.
Many families choose to reevaluate their living conditions once a second baby is on the way and decide to move to larger digs during the pregnancy.
Are you still in an apartment? Now might be the time to go ahead and move to your own home if you can swing it. A small space that felt cramped with your first child may begin to feel almost intolerable once you have 2 toddlers running around.
In lieu of a big move, you may be able to remodel your home in some way to accommodate your new little one. For example, you could turn that office or dining room into an extra bedroom, or even add an addition to your existing home. Take a look at your options and be honest about what works best for you.
Considering a larger car
In addition to a larger home, you may decide to upgrade to a larger car.
Although you may not yet need a mini-van or SUV, the extra seating can be a huge convenience if you frequently shuttle around extended family members or pick up your older child’s friends for playdates.
Other features like automatic sliding doors, backseat TV screens, and extra cargo room can make an upgrade to a “mom car” feel downright luxurious and make the investment seem well worth it.
The addition of a second child may mean that you need to make some adjustments to your family’s childcare arrangements.
You might want to consider moving closer to extended family who can help with your new little one (or invite grandma to stay for a little while). You may need to find a different facility that can accommodate both children or work with your budget.
In fact, childcare costs may even lead to one or both of you changing careers or even deciding to stay at home.
As mentioned above, the upcoming arrival of your second child may even lead to some serious discussions around potential career moves that you or your spouse may need to make.
Adding another baby to the home may require a job with a more flexible schedule or the ability to work from home, a career with less travel, or even one parent deciding to stay at home.
These decisions are not the type to be made lightly and may require many conversations over a long period of time in order to find the solutions that work best for you and your family. But in the end – you are building a better life for your kids and that is worth all the preparation in the world!