Preparing for the arrival of your second child can seem a little overwhelming at first. The thought of how the first month with a newborn and a toddler or young child could go without any preparation is very scary! There are a few simple things that you can do throughout your pregnancy to ease the transition into being a mother of two.
Of course all of the things you did to prepare for the arrival of baby number one will be necessary. Here is a quick reference list in case you have forgotten about that period of preparation:
- Pre-wash all of baby’s clothes in baby detergent
- Assemble baby’s furniture
- Set up baby’s space (the nursery or area in your room where baby will sleep)
- Stock up on diapers, wipes, breastfeeding supplies or formula and all other baby essentials.
- Install infant safety seat
- Pack a bag for the hospital
The following list includes some of the extra things that you can do to help prepare yourself and your family for the arrival of the new baby.
- Prepare your first child for the arrival of the new baby- There are many great picture books available to help prompt your conversations about the arrival of the new baby. Be sure to talk about what is and isn’t safe/appropriate to do with a new baby. You can also pull out your child’s baby book or picture album and talk about when they were a newborn. (There are many other things that you can do to help your first child prepare for the arrival of the new baby but that is a completely different article.)
- Clean your home- Obviously, this is something that must be done repeatedly but, what I am referring to is the deep cleaning that you probably won’t have time to complete again for at least a few months after the arrival of your little one. Start this extra cleaning about two months before your due date and include things like:
- o Moving furniture and vacuuming/ shampooing underneath it
- o Dusting ceiling fans, vents, blinds and window seals
- o Cleaning out refrigerator, freezer, oven, dishwasher, and cabinets.
- o Cleaning out closets and general de-cluttering (if you don’t use it get rid of it)
- o Wiping down walls and baseboards.
- o Reorganize one room at a time.
- Make some meals ahead and freeze – There are many meals that you can make ahead of time or at least do most of the hard work (chopping, slicing and measuring) ahead of time and freeze. If you stock your freezer with these pre-made meals then when the new baby comes you can just thaw them out and warm the up and serve. If you include instructions for reheating then your spouse or whomever may be helping you out after delivery can handle dinner.
- Establish/alter your routine- If you and your family don’t already have a routine work to establish one that will accommodate the demands of a newborn. If you already have a routine start to think about and change it to better suit the needs of a newborn. Communicate with your spouse or whoever will be working with you to provide care for your children and establish which of you will handle each vital task.
- Relax!– If you complete at least some of these preparatory task then you will make your transition easier and if you manage to complete all of them your transition should be pretty smooth. Relax and enjoy the time you have left as a mother of one. Remember that every newborn is different and every older sibling will react and adjust differently. No amount of preparation and planning can make the addition of an entirely new person into a family completely seamless. Be flexible and willing to adapt. The bumps in the road will eventually smooth out.