I am in the thick of preparing for the arrival of our second daughter. For anyone who has been there before, you know that preparation is important — but that it’s also almost inevitable that something will be missed. That’s the benefit I’m seeing as I prepare for our second daughter; I can look back at how I prepared for our first and see what worked and what would have been helpful.
Here are the top things that I’m doing differently and what I’m repeating as I prepare for baby number two.
What I’m Doing Differently:
With my first, I bought and registered for everything. I read all of the registry guides and looked at all the best bottles, swaddles, pacifiers, etc. Later, I figured out that even if the internet says it’s the best, that doesn’t mean my daughter will agree. This time, I’m buying one of a few products to start out so we can see what she likes without wasting money on other products.
Reflecting On What Was Hardest
I’m using this time to reflect on what was hardest the first time around to see if there are any solutions that I can tackle beforehand. As I reflected on the first few months postpartum with my first, the challenge that sticks out the most is anxiety. I struggled hard with postpartum anxiety and one of my biggest triggers was late-night internet “research” while feeding. My solution for this, find something else to do in those late hours that won’t send my mind spiraling. So, I bought myself a Kindle. An easy read on my Kindle will hopefully be a good replacement for scrolling parenting forums at 2 am.
Making Time For My Toddler
This is different because life is different this time, I have a two-year-old! I have a lot of feelings about her becoming a big sister which I recently wrote about here, but I’m trying to make as much special one on one time with her as possible in these last few weeks. This isn’t always something big, I usually don’t have the energy for that, but going to get a croissant with her (one of her favorite foods) or taking books into the backyard to read are moments that are special for both of us that I’m cherishing before this big change.
What I’m Doing Again:
Preparing The House And Family
I did a lot of preparation before the arrival of my first and I found that it really helped my mental load during those first few weeks. This time, there’s one more person in the house to take care of which makes me feel like the preparation is even more important. Here are some things I’m preparing in our house and for our family before the baby comes:
- House Cleaning – This is usually my job. Before the baby comes, we budgeted to have the house deep cleaned to give me a fresh start while I’m focused on other things.
- Freezer Meal Prep – This includes family dinners, meals for me so I remember to eat, and my toddler’s favorite foods and snacks.
- Family Health Appointments – Scheduling all dentist appointments, lab visits, and well-checks before the baby comes so we’re only focusing on baby appointments for a few months.
- Car Maintenance – Taking care of any oil changes, our maintenance that is due as well as getting the cars cleaned before the baby comes.
Getting Ready Early
Before my first arrived, I was sure to have everything ready by 36-38 weeks. That included her room, her laundry, car seat installation, etc. While I didn’t deliver until after 41 weeks, we were set just in case she decided to arrive early. This time I’m planning on doing the same. While I hope I’m not waiting beyond 41 weeks for this little one to arrive, getting everything set early helps me in a number of ways. First, as my energy continues to dwindle, I don’t have a big list of things to do. Second, it gives the whole family time to adjust. For example, we’ll be moving our toddler to the other side of the car, while that sounds like a small change it will still take some getting used to for her.
Trying To Relax
The keyword here is trying. Before my first, it was much easier for me to take an afternoon nap on the couch or work from bed if I was feeling uncomfortable. Things are different this time with a 2-year-old but I’m still looking for ways to relax. For example, using her naps to sit and rest instead of cleaning or checking things off my list. Resting helps me be a better mom to my toddler and helps my body grow this baby, I’m making sure it’s a priority!
In a few months I’ll probably have a few thoughts on what else I could have done, but here’s another thing I’m trying not to do, stress. I’m doing my best and if you’re preparing for a baby or a big change, I encourage you to put your mental and physical health over getting another freezer meal done. Preparation is awesome but only if it’s not taking a huge toll!