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This post: How will your baby ever fall into the spot of an older sibling? This second baby checklist gives tons of tips for expecting moms trying to make that transition easier, and tons of awesome parenting advice even if your siblings have been around for a while. Stay tuned for the new wife analogy!
You thought having your first baby was hard? Bringing baby two home (or 3, 4 or 12) home has a whole new list to bring along with it. New things you’ll need, things you’ll need to prep for. Here’s a new baby checklist, to use as you approach D-day. Let’s not waste time, you’re a busy mom. 🙂
Talk about the new baby
One of my favorite parenting books, Siblings Without Rivalry (which I totally recommend, buy it now that way you are ready to use it when the time comes), talks about your husband bringing home a new wife.
Everyone just adores this new wife and brings her presents, says how cute and pretty she is. He spends all his time with her and tells you that you should love her. How do you feel? Do you want to beat her into a bloody heap? I know I did. Well, nothing’s different for your other child (especially if it’s your 2nd).
Sure, love multiplies, but time doesn’t. Be real with them that you might be feeding the baby a lot but they are still SO special to you. That you will surely have some special time together.
Really THINK about how that child is feeling. It is a BIG change in their world.
**Keep reading for my best parenting advice for 2nd (or more) times moms!**
Yes, love multiplies, but time doesn't. Grab this checklist for baby #2 (or more) @Pulling CurlsClick To Tweet
Mull over who can/will help you?
I am a BIG believer in getting all the help you can with #1 — basically any warm body will do. But, on #2 you need to think about who your other child/children are comfortable with. While a warm body will do in an emergency, the plan needs to have them with people that love and care about them and the transition they’re making.
Grandmas are great at this. They love them just about as much as you do, but if not them — find some substitutes. My mom was never in town on any of my deliveries, we somehow found great people to watch our kids.
If you don’t know (and are religious) I would really pray about it. I cry every time I leave my kids to have a baby (and I am not a crier). I just have a hard time going, knowing their whole life is changing (and it’s my fault). Knowing that they are in a loving environment always made that transition easier.
Don’t forget to pack your bag (this post tells you what to pack in your hospital bag). With having to haul that child to a friend’s house, being prepared is extra important!
Don’t forget insurance (check to see how to add #2)
You are likely to be SO busy after the baby you might make the mistake to not add the new babe to your insurance. Call to check NOW on how you do that. Maybe print the paperwork and have it somewhere to remind you to do it. Most of the time you have 30 days to add the new baby.
Get a great stroller
Needing a great stroller is multiplied with subsequent kids. You might need a double. If your kids are still small, I love the Maclarens, they’re easy to maneuver. But, if you have one who MIGHT need a ride every now and then, I’d recommend something like this one. My kids were never close enough to stroller together (although, in a few emergencies I wore the baby while Mr Middle stroller’d at Disneyland), so I just bought a really nice stroller.
You’re going more places, you need more free hands. A good stroller just makes all of that easier. And while, this article of mine, does link to a lot of really expensive ones, there are probably good ones in your price range — check them out at Babies R Us or something. BUT as with most things, I do think you get what you pay for (to a point) with strollers. The more expensive ones are really easier to handle, easier to fold, etc.
Another thing that might make it a bit easier is an Owlet Baby Monitor (this post has an owlet monitor coupon). Less worry when your new one is sleeping and you’re enjoying the rest of your brood. 🙂 Support Pulling Curls by shopping through my link.
Take the other child to the hospital or a sibling class
As a nurse, I really try to stake cognizant of how hard the mom leaving is on the whole family. Those kids miss her and she is the heart of the home. A lot of kids have a REALLY hard time with it. If you have any notion of that, you might want to take them to a siblings class. A lot of hospitals offer one. It’s a great way to introduce the fact of where she’s going and what she’ll do. Ours even took us on a hospital tour to show where your mom would be and how safe she is. It was really nice. Check to see if your hospital offers one.
If not, maybe drive by the hospital and show them where you’ll be. Talk about how it’s just for moms to have babies. Some kids have some pretty negative experiences with hospitals, but the land of labor and delivery is a whole other place in the hospital! I am proud to work in the happiest place in the hospital (frankly, there’s not a lot of competition, but I digress….)
**Just in case you’re wanting a prenatal class refresher, I sell my own prenatal class with all the info you need to get you on your way with baby #2 and beyond. I even sell 3 different options, so you only pay for what you need!
Get a great carrier!
Similar to a stroller, I never knew how important it was to have a great carrier until #2 came along (and then SO important with #3 as I was at soccer, school pickup, etc — almost constantly). I recommend the Baby Bjorn (check consignment stores, they’re often available at a lower price there)until about 3 months and then I LOVE the Ergo carrier. I just gave mine to a friend and I adored it! I know it’s expensive but it is SO worth it and you can use it for a LONG time! I know there are a lot of new-fangled ones with long strips of fabric that you can use with the tiny ones too (those just always seemed so complicated when I had 3 little sets of eyeballs fixed on me as I fiddle with the straps). I am, cough, cough, not so coordinated. 🙂
Think about arrangements for when you come home
Are there people who can help with playdates with your other kids? Will someone be coming to stay with you (and is your child comfortable with that person)? Will your partner be able to take time off of work to help out? I always found that a couple of weeks was helpful, much beyond that we started stepping on each other’s toes, but I appreciated some flexibility in your schedule. Another thing you might want to do is start stocking up on playdates now, so your friends are likely to return the favor when the wee one comes.
Where will the baby sleep? Will your husband stay in your room with the baby or go elsewhere? Do you have other kids in your bed still? Are you going to have to kick another kid out of your crib — might as well start that earlier rather than later.
Love those other kids, they have memory and feelings
My pediatrician came in the room when I had my 2nd child and told me some gold advice.
The baby doesn’t have discernible feelings, but your other child does, pay attention to them. The baby can wait a few minutes — they won’t get their feelings hurt, but your other child will.
And it really is the best advice I can give you. I am NOT saying that the baby needs to bow to the older sibling’s wishes all the time, but I am saying that I wish I could remember this advice better. A baby screaming just seems to always take precedence over “something cool” my 3 year old had to show me. It doesn’t need to. I try to remember the cool new wife I talked about in the beginning.
Get some presents
Think your kid won’t get envious of all the presents pouring in for this new one? You’re wrong. I had often sent sibling presents to friends who’d had babies (my mom always did that, because she is a genius). I never knew what a blessing it was when someone thought about my other child. I remember a good friend at church brought an outfit for Mr Middle and a bubble gun for my other one. It was probably like 3 bucks, but he was SO thrilled. I also got smart and had a few presents hidden for envious moments. Just a few Matchbox cars, nothing fancy. Just know they’re remembered.
I get emotional writing this. I know having a new baby is SO hard on everyone in a household. I remember my 2nd one BEGGING me to stop pumping when I had my 3rd (“mamma, you need to take back that pumpkin”).
Anyway, lots to think about. What did I miss? I know I missed something. I have 3 kids, I miss things all the time. 😉
I bet you’d like one of these posts:
If you liked pregnancy posts like this, check out my own prenatal class with tons of great info and couples questions to get on the same page before baby. A HUGE timesaver for second time moms who want a quick refresher!
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