So, you’re pregnant with your second baby, but there’s no need to worry because this time around you’re older, wiser and much less naïve than with baby number one, right? So why do you still feel a little sense of panic..?
If you’re feeling a bit nervous about becoming a parent of two, it’s totally natural
When you have your first child, your life changes in such a big way that nothing can prepare you for it, even though you’ve spent the last nine months reading every pregnancy book you could lay your hands on! Chances are you were really organised and had all baby’s things washed and folded in drawers, and you might even have spent your first week of maternity leave batch cooking healthy meals and freezing them to save you precious time once the little one arrived! In short, you were ready – but truth be told, nobody is truly ready for the huge change that a new baby brings, and that realisation kicks in very soon after they are born.
With baby number two your expectations are probably more realistic in terms of the birth and what comes next, but the thought of having two children can be overwhelming in an entirely different way to any anxieties you had the first time. You know how hard it can be - the sleep deprivation, feeding challenges, endless nappy changes – how can you possibly do it again, but this time with a child in tow?!
To help, we’ve put together a short guide to help you prepare for the arrival of your second baby and hopefully make that transition as easy as possible.
•Remember the good bits! If you’re focusing on the sleepless nights, try and shift your thoughts to all the good bits. There’s nothing as magical as holding your baby for the first time – this might be the last time you do it, so enjoy every moment.
•You’re experienced: You’ve successfully raised a baby into a small person and you’ve learnt a lot along the way - you will be a much calmer parent the second time around with this valuable knowledge.
•Read the books: Sorry to contradict ourselves, but even though you’ve done it before, it is worth dusting off those pregnancy books and having a quick read. There will be things you’ve forgotten and also it will help you to mentally prepare and get excited!
•A new family: Things are going to change, but for the better! Your family is growing and this is the start of an exciting new adventure for all of you.
•Getting the gear: With baby number two, you know what stuff you actually need, so can be more focused. Take some time to look at your old baby stuff and decided what you will use again and make a list of new things you’ll need.
•What was your key item? Was there something that you just couldn’t live without the first time around? Make sure you have those key items ready – this will help to relax you.
•Safety: Be wary of any safety items you might be unearthing from the loft – check car seats, pushchairs and cots for wear and tear and check that they’re still safe to use. It is recommended that you buy a new mattress for Moses baskets and cots for each baby.
•Think space: You may have less space for baby number two, so when planning the new baby’s room think of space-saving items such as our Carolina cot which is 20% smaller than a standard cot. Dressers create great storage and keep essential nappy changing items all in one place – essential when you’ve got your hands full with two. Read about our Dresser Hack Challenge for some inspiration.
•New things: Even though you’ve had a baby doesn’t mean that you can’t get new things for the next baby. Enjoy buying them a few new items of clothing or toys that are just for them.
Get baby number one board!
•Start early: As your pregnancy progresses start talking about the new baby and discussing how things will change once they arrive. Hint that you might not have as much time to spend with them and explain that they won’t be able to play with baby for a few months – but they will be able to give them lots of cuddles!
•Independence: Depending on their age, some parents like to teach the first child to be more independent before the new baby arrives. Little things like getting themselves dressed, tidying up after themselves and washing their hands are all good ways to make them feel more grown up, and it’ll make life easier for you too! Bigger things like moving from a cot to a bed and potty training are good things to tackle before the new baby comes, if you’re confident that they’re ready.
•Normality: So while you want your child to be prepared, you also want to make the changes feel normal – reassure them that some things will stay the same – you’ll always love them very much and they’ll always be very special to you.
•Spend time together: As it gets closer to your due date, make sure you spend some one-on-one time together and perhaps start something that you traditionally do together – such as a sticker book. When baby arrives you can plan to continue this tradition and maintain some normality.
•Make birth plans around them: Make arrangements for a family member to come to your house to look after your older child during the labour/birth of the new baby – this way they can feel secure by having their things around them and sleeping in their own bed.