So you’re expecting baby number two! Congratulations!
With your older child set to become a sibling this is an exciting time for them and for you.
Hopefully with the second pregnancy you are feeling a little more confident with what to expect, although having two kids to deal with is still a daunting prospect.
If you’re looking to get as organised as possible for your second new arrival then you’ve come to the right place.
Here are all of the tips you need to prepare yourself, your home and your older child for baby number two.
Don’t forget to check out my trimester-by-trimester guide to getting ready for baby which also has lots of helpful tips for preparing for baby.
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A cute second baby pregnancy announcement is a fun way to let your friends know that you’ll soon be a family of four.
Include your older child in the announcement and make it fun for them with props.
There are some gorgeous second pregnancy announcement ideas over on this post:
Go through your first child’s stuff
Take a look at what you already have from your experience the first time around with a baby.
Look at clothes, the car seat, carrier, bottles and changing mat. Think about what you can reuse, what is not in a good enough state to be used again and what you’re missing.
Clothes can be given a wash if they have been in storage for a while to freshen them up.
Organise the bedrooms
If your older child is going to be moving into a big kid bed, then make the transfer as soon as possible.
Make it exciting for your child by letting them pick out new bedding. Try to keep the bed in the same spot in their bedroom.
If they are changing bedrooms to make way for the baby, get them involved with picking out decor and colours for the room.
Involve them in the process, and they will be much more open to the change as it will become exciting for them.
Get your baby’s sleeping space and storage for clothes organised now, before you give birth. Once you have the baby you will be so busy with caring for two kids that it will be difficult to find time to get the organisation finished.
Find tips for moving your toddler to a big bed here.
Make a list
So what do you actually need for your second baby? Hopefully by going through your older child’s things you have found quite a lot of hand-me-downs.
There’s a whole article about what to buy for your second baby with tons of advice for what products will actually be useful and how to decide whether to buy new.
Make a list of what you still need to get. Maybe all of your clothes from your first baby are for a particular gender and you need to stock up on gender neutral clothes (unless you’re finding out the sex in advance of course).
Don’t forget you can save a lot of money by seeking out local second-hand sales and joining local Facebook buy and sell groups. These always have great bargains on toys and clothes.
Look at double pushchairs
If you have a small age gap then your eldest child will still need a seat in the pushchair.
Research what’s out there as soon as possible so that you can make a informed decision on what will work best for you.
The type of buggy you need depends on whether it needs to fit into a car boot and what type of journeys you will be making in it. If you will use public transport a lot, then it should be super light and easy to collapse (which is not a common feature of double buggies).
If a double buggy won’t work for you, then look at carriers for your baby so you can wear the little one while pushing the older one in your existing stroller.
Measure up the pros and cons of the options according to your budget and you’ll come to the right decision for you and your family.
Give yourself a break
If you thought one baby was hectic, two is going to be a whole other level!
Take the time now to get away with your other half if you can. Leave your eldest child with a grandparent or friend and take a babymoon.
Even a short budget weekend away will give you some quality time and a chance to rest before the baby arrives.
Enjoy quality time with your firstborn
One of the biggest adjustments for me when I had a second child was how much I missed my first. Even though she was still in the house with me, I couldn’t devote as much energy to her as before.
Spend quality time with your firstborn right now when there’s no other little person demanding all of your attention.
Of course being pregnant you will be pretty tired at times, so ever spending a day watching movies together or reading on the sofa is a great bonding activity.
Treat your firstborn
Your firstborn will soon need to share you with another little person who you love just as much!
Treat them to things they like such as trips to McDonalds or a new toy in the weeks before the baby arrives.
It’s a good idea to have a gift from the baby to your eldest child ready, as this may help make them more receptive to the idea of a new person in the house.
Prepare your firstborn for the new baby
Speak to your eldest child frequently about the fact that a new baby is coming into the house.
Normalise the fact that another person will be in the house soon by showing them the baby’s room, where they will sleep and where they will play.
Discuss how the baby will need them to be gentle and kind, so that they know what to expect.
If you have a friend with a baby, invite them over for a play date so that your elder child can get an idea of what it’s like to have a baby in the house.
Tell your eldest child that they will be needed for important jobs to help you, such as fetching things like nappies. Toddlers absolutely love knowing they are going to be needed like this for important jobs!
You can also help them get ready for what it’s like to have a sibling with a children’s book about having a brother or sister.
There are lots to choose from and they are a lovely way of bonding with your child over the new baby.
If there’s one thing that babies create, it’s a lot of mess!
Prepare your home for the new arrival by clearing out space everywhere in your home.
You’ll need to make room in your living room for a baby bouncer or jumparoo (these can be a lifesaver when you need to get things done) along with your older child’s toys.
Get rid of toys that your older child never plays with and make sure there’s room for both children’s clothes in a existing storage. If not, then think about how you can downsize the amount of clothes they have, or figure out a new storage system.
Organise toys that you will keep by category so that they are easy to locate when your child is desperate to find something.
Declutter your kitchen so that there’s room for the baby’s bottles, steriliser and weaning items.
Make way in your bathroom for additional toiletries for bathing your baby, and a baby bath seat which will help you bathe both children at the same time.
Get a bigger changing bag
If you already have a huge changing bag with plenty of extra space then you’ll be fine.
But you’ll find with a second child you’ll need to carry a lot more things. A backpack is the best choice for two kids, as it always leaves you handsfree and not struggling to keep bag handles on your shoulder.
Look for a bag with a few different compartments, but not too many so that you don’t get overwhelmed with hunting down the stuff you need.
Bags such as the Storksak Hero have an access panel that lets you reach the bottom of the bag easily.
Get your hospital bag sorted
Getting ahead with organisation is really important. In the final weeks of pregnancy you’ll be tired and have your other child to care for too.
Pack your hospital bag now, remembering important things such as:
Maternity pads (at least 30 in case you end up in hospital for a few days)
- Spare PJs
- Warm socks
- Phone charger
- Going home clothes
- Baby items – nappies, wipes, vests, babygros x4, cardigan or jumper, blankets.
There’s a whole guide on how to pack your hospital bag here.
Organise where your child will stay when you are in labour
What’s going to happen to your eldest child while you are in labour with your second baby?
Hopefully you have family or friends nearby who will help you out by taking them in for a day or two.
Make a plan with the person who will be taking your child about how you will get them to their house, the best way of getting hold of them if it is the middle of the night and how long they will have them for.
Pack your child’s bag now if they are going to be staying away from home while you are in labour and keep it close to your hospital bag by the front door so that it’s ready to go.
Go shopping for a baby gift
Help your older child understand that another person is coming into the world by getting them to pick out a baby gift.
Steer them in the right direction for age appropriate toys (as they may start picking out LEGO or other toys for older kids).
Then you can get them to help wrap the gift and make a card. It’s things such as this which will help make it seem more real for your older child and ease them into this big change.
Make sure your older child still has their own space
This can be a tricky one if you have limited options and your kids are staring a bedroom.
But your older child may feel stifled and pushed out if they don’t have their own space where they can draw and play with their toys.
If they have their own room, you could think about a slight redesign to make sure there’s a few different play spaces that will keep them happy when they need to get away from the baby and all that crying.
A small table and chairs for colours, and a cosy reading corner, can help your firstborn to find a place to relax.
Brace yourself for the terrible twos
If your age gap is very small then you will find yourself dealing with a newborn baby and all of their demands plus a toddler entering a very challenging phase.
One of the best things you can do is realise and accept this is totally normal. Try to remain calm when your toddler has tantrums, and see the signs they are gearing up for one so that you can head it off with a distraction.
The terrible twos may have you questioning why on earth you decided to have two kids so close together, but it does get so much easier!
Learn more: How to deal with toddler tantrums
Find hacks to make your life easier
With two kids you will have your hands full, so find hacks that will make life easier for you as a mama of two.
Trying to get out of the door is always tricky if you can’t find all the things you need.
Have a specific station where you hang your changing bag (it could just be a door handle), and always leave it there.
Keep your keys purse, phone charger and phone in the same place always.
Make sure your changing bag is always stocked and ready for taking out at all times. Add in extra nappies after you have been out so that it’s ready for the next trip.
Keep a spare pair of wipes, change of clothes and nappies in your car, this will save you from a mad panic if you ever find yourself without enough supplies.
The good news is that the baby care stuff is a breeze with a second baby. You’ll know what you are doing and worry a whole lot less.
But you now need to figure out how to entertain two kids at once, and they both have very different wants and needs.
Be sure to always be stocked up on your older child’s favourite snacks, and accept that every now and then you will have to rely on the television to help you get through a day.
It’s totally fine!
All the best with your second baby, and congratulations mama!