Adding a new addition to the family can bring great excitement, as well as a little anxiety, into the picture. On one hand, you know what to expect which is good, but you are also about to shake up the family dynamic. For me, the process of going from one to two, or more specifically going from a toddler to a toddler + a newborn, has caused my nesting tendencies to kick into overdrive. If you’re feeling like you don’t know where to start on this new journey, keep reading for my top three steps for getting all things ready for baby #2’s debut.
1. Revisit items from baby #1.
The transition from one baby to two may be a bit smoother for you if you are having another baby of the same sex. However, if you’re going from a boy to a girl or vice versa, the newborn to 1 year stage may require a lot of the same items either way. Gender neutral items may come in handy in this case. For instance, boy’s clothes can be very blue and sports-related, but there are a few items that are versatile enough to work for girls as well.
Outside of clothing, key items like a newborn-to-toddler tub, baby toys and even an infant car seat that has not expired are usually fine for additional use. You’ll just want to make sure that everything is in good condition. Of course, the age gap between your children may impact the amount of items you have to work with.
Here’s a list of items we were able to use again:
- car seat
- high chair
- play pen
- baby toys
- tummy time play mat
- newborn-to-toddler bathtub
- baby laundry items (mesh bag for socks, towels), detergent
- baby swaddles/blankets
- rocking chair
- diaper pail
- diaper bag
2. Buy any times you’re missing.
Naturally, there will be some items that you’ll want to replace or add to your arsenal this time around. There are a few items that I had my eye on during my first pregnancy that weren’t necessary, but possibly nice to have. For instance, instead of getting your average baby carrier, this time we splurged on a Baby Bjorn carrier. Then there are items that you just have to buy again, like pacifiers (our personal favorite is the MAM glow in the dark pacifier), comb and brush sets and bottles. In my case, we added plenty of bows and items specifically for baby girl.
If you plan to breastfeed, more milk storage bags, nipple cream and other essential items may be necessary to purchase. If you choose to formula feed, you’ll want to have some formula ready to go.
We also threw in some books that would be special for this baby.
Here are some of the items we had to buy more of:
- changing pad covers
- newborn diapers
- nasal aspirator
- special baby books
3. Think through ways to make life easier this time around.
In addition to any extra purchases, there are more practical ways to prepare for baby #2. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect when my first baby was born, and consequently there was a learning curve with him. This time, I know that some days, getting out of the bed will be challenging. That’s why I opted for a bedside postpartum cart, complete with a diaper caddy up top, a breast pump station in the middle and additional care items on the bottom tier.
The diaper caddy includes several newborn diapers, bibs, towels and extra onesies. It’s portable in itself, which means I can move around the house with it (key during visits from family and friends).
I also added some organization to the kitchen with an extra baby bottle holder and a small three-drawer container that includes extra pacifiers, bottles and milk storage bags.
* Don’t forget to think about the importance of maintaining your self-care practices and supporting yourself during this time of transition. As you prepare for baby #2, adding in things like therapy and/or time to be alone are essential as well.
Whatever you decide to do the second, third or fourth time around, I hope you feel more in control of your postpartum experience and more equipped to care for your children. You have everything you need inside of you to adjust and thrive during this time of transition for your family.
Mamas of multiple children, what did you do differently the second time around? Let me know in the comments.