Having a baby has to be the most life- changing event in anyone’s life. I know it was for me and I was so happy when I had my daughter. Then three and a half years later, my second daughter came along and I was even happier.
I must admit though, it wasn’t all plain sailing. I learnt a lot along the way and now that two members of my family, (my niece and younger sister), are pregnant with their second child, it really brought back memories.
I’m one of those women that gets very broody around other pregnant women – but don’t tell my husband that! Ssshhhh!
Both my sister and my niece have children under the age of three. My oldest was also under three when I found out I was pregnant with my second child. So, when my sister got pregnant, she asked me all sorts of questions and it really got me thinking.
That’s when I thought that I should really document some of the things I did and the advice I gave her to help prepare for baby no. 2!
What you need to do BEFORE baby no.2 arrives
- When the time is right, tell your first child what’s going on. This is when you begin to prepare them for the fact that they are going to be a big brother or sister. You might even be showing and your child may have even noticed but will be too young to know what’s going on or perhaps even assume that mummy’s getting a little fat!! Let them connect with the baby – they can feel the baby moving or talk to the baby.[spacer height=”20px”]
- This was a big one for my sister – Potty training. This topic deserves an article all to itself; however, in this case we are looking at potty training your toddler in preparation for baby no. 2. If your child is ready then now is the time to do it. Imagine having to change two sets of nappies? That would drive me crazy! This will really help your child gain confidence and independence which will really help them come to terms with my next piece of advice.[spacer height=”20px”]
- Set your child up in their very own room. When I had to do this with my daughter, she was part of the whole process. She chose her curtains, her bed and bedding. She loved pink so we picked out pink accessories. She had her own little space that she had put her own stamp on. I was seven months pregnant when she slept in there on her own for the first time. I know I didn’t sleep but she was out like a light and had the best sleep. No fuss, no crying, no getting up in the middle of the night. I was a happy mummy but a very emotional one too.[spacer height=”20px”]
- I know I had accumulated a lot of baby stuff already and when you are going through ‘the nesting’ period, you really want to make sure you are prepared. So, do you find out the sex of baby no. 2 so you can decide if you want to keep the old stuff or throw it all out? I did, so did my sister and my niece will too, all for the same reason. Something for all expecting mums to have a think about I think.[spacer height=”20px”]
- There is a fair amount of shopping to do when you are expecting a baby but this time you have child no.1 to think about too. My advice would be to include them as much as possible so that they feel they have been part of the process. Yes, I know it can be difficult when they can easily run off and make shopping a nightmare, but try as much as you can to think about how it can really help them feel involved – when you can, drop them a little treat or two in the basket![spacer height=”20px”]
- Get child no.1 to buy baby no.2 a gift to take to the hospital when they first visit. I did this with my children and my oldest did not forget it. She was so excited, she carried the rattle she had bought all the way there and couldn’t wait to give it to her little sister. My youngest still has that rattle and really treasures it because she knows it was her first gift from her big sister. My sister has done the same and is hoping for the same reaction![spacer height=”20px”]
- I know I am stating the obvious here but don’t forget to pack your hospital bag well before the baby is due! With our second pregnancy, we can get lazy and tired and delay the prep we need to do. Just get it done and out of the way.[spacer height=”20px”]
- More importantly, you have to make a plan about what happens when you go into labour. You may need more than more plan, think about who is available to look after you child if you went into labour during the day or night, who is available to keep your child if you have to stay in hospital overnight? Draw in all the help you can.[spacer height=”20px”]
- Don’t forget daddy exists! I know that sounds crazy but you are the one who is pregnant and every pregnancy is different. Get him to help you out as much as possible. Us women like to do it ourselves but we really don’t have to.[spacer height=”20px”]
- Make time for yourself, time to relax, time to see friends and family. Pregnancy should not stop you having a life.[spacer height=”20px”]
What you need to do AFTER baby no.2 arrives
- After giving birth, some women feel like they’ve been run over by a bus and others feel a new lease of life and are full of energy. Whatever you may feel, your body has just pushed out another human being and you deserve some time to recover. Again, utilise daddy’s help, I mean, he’s got to make the most of his paternity leave doesn’t he!? It also helps him bond with the baby if he can do as much as he can for the baby.[spacer height=”20px”]
- Get your first child to help out too. Have them do the running around for you, let them fetch the nappies and wipes, they can help out at bath times and as the baby gets older, they can help feed too. The more they do, the less likely that they will feel left out.[spacer height=”20px”]
- Your husband may now have returned to work and it’s just you, the baby and your toddler. You have to keep going and it can be so tiring, so take all the help offered to you by friends and family and rest. Your children will be safe and you can relax knowing they are fine.[spacer height=”20px”]
- Before baby no.2 showed up, remember it was just you and child no.1. The last thing you want is for your toddler to resent the new baby because the baby is taking up all of mummy’s time. Make time for you and your toddler to have some quality time without the baby. Your child will really cherish these moments and it will help to keep your bond strong.[spacer height=”20px”]
- I know when I had my first child, I took her to all the playgroups and baby support groups I could but when no.2 arrived, it was much harder to do. I was just too tired especially if I had to take them both with me. Soon, I realised I could do it while my oldest was in nursery. Don’t feel guilty if you have to leave your first child somewhere so you can attend playgroups with the baby, these groups are good for you and the baby.[spacer height=”20px”]
- Breastfeeding – I am a firm believer in breastfeeding and if you are able to then do it! It’s great for bonding and good for the baby but it does take up a lot of time. I would feed every 2 hours for about 30 minutes each time. I remember cooking for the family with the baby attached to my boob but I didn’t want to stop. It’s even harder when you have a toddler though. I use to have a box full of fun activities for my daughter to do while I breastfed so she didn’t feel bored and I would still talk to her so she didn’t feel left out.[spacer height=”20px”]
I am sure there are plenty of other tips that you wonderful mums could think of, please do comment and let us know – would be great to share
Books to help children get ready for new baby
Join our mailing list
Sign up to our Emailing List & Get the Latest Information and Offers on Resources
Thank you for joining !
Something went wrong.