As a second time Mum who has reached the third trimester, it is time to start preparing for the new arrival. Because this is my second child, I feel that I have a greater understanding of what is really needed to prepare for a newborn, and what can wait or be missed completely.
There are also extra things to think about this time round, like my rambunctious toddler who has his own special set of needs that I need to plan around the newborn.
With that in mind, here is my list of
16 Things To Do When You Are Due With Number Two
(in no particular order of importance):
1.Install Car Seat/Capsule
The first time round I left it a little late. The day I went into labour to be exact! Because babies can arrive earlier than planned, it’s a good idea to get the car seat or capsule installed at the beginning of the third trimester. Just in case!
2. Pack Hospital Bag
Similarly to the Car Seat, I left the packing of my hospital bag to the last minute in my first pregnancy, which was a bit stressful. So I will be packing my hospital bag at the beginning of the third trimester just in case. What to actually pack into the hospital bag is a totally different list. Bare minimum I will pack:
- Pregnancy Health Record
- Two sets of pyjamas
- Extremely comforting breastfeeding shirts, jumpers, leggings and stretchy dress
- Toiletries – toothbrush, toothpaste, moisturiser, nipple cream and very gentle soap.
- Maternity bras
- Giant undies
- Birth plan
- Maternity pads
- Newborn nappies
- Newborn clothes including singlets, jumpsuits, socks, beanie and mittens
- Cotton blankets
- Baby wipes
3. Create a Birth Plan
Just because you have been there and done that, doesn’t mean each birth isn’t unique. And you may have learnt a thing or two from your first that you would change if it is under your control. The top of my plan? GIVE ME THE EPIDURAL. No way am I going au natural again.
4. Organise Getting to Hospital and Care for Toddler
Another test drive to the hospital and a tour of the ward is always a good idea. And make sure you have someone on hand to take care of your toddler for when you go into labour. And have a bag ready to go for them as well if they will be staying with someone. Or some clear instructions at your own house on what they will need while you are away.
5. Buy Nursing Clothes
I was woefully unprepared for the need for functional and comfortable nursing clothes for after my baby was born. Instead of just focussing on maternity clothes for your bump, make sure you buy nursing clothes to see you through until you next feel prepared to visit a shop. Including comfortable nursing bras for giant engorged breasts.
6. Sort Toddler Hand Me Downs
The good thing about the second baby is you probably have most things you need from your first. But as I just stuffed everything into boxes haphazardly after my toddler grew out of it and through it in the garage, I need time to go through everything and see if there is anything else I need to buy/replace.
7. Set Up Baby’s Room
Even if your bassinet will be next to your bed for the first few months, it is still a good idea to set up the baby’s room, at least with the basics, before bringing the baby home from hospital. I’m not talking about making it ‘pretty’, but having a changing station, clothes put away, bins ready, and rocker in place at the very least. If you are transitioning your toddler to a toddler bed as well so you can use the cot, now is the time.
8. Set Up Kitchen
It has been a while since I have had a newborn in the house and I quickly forgot about the extra work it takes sterilising bottles, dummies, teats and pumps. So I am planning to have all that set up in the kitchen ready to go. This includes bottle brushes, microwave steriliser, drying rack, zip lock bags for storing breast milk and dishwashing liquid ready to go.
9. Set Up Breastfeeding Stations
Even with a toddler around there will still be a LOT of time spent sitting down feeding the newborn. I plan on having a ‘feeding’ station set up in both the living room and the bedroom. This will include a basket with wipes, phone charger, book, remote, burp cloths, water bottle, snacks, nursing pillow, nursing pads and nipple cream. I will include this nearby to a light source for those late night feeds and throw in a few toddler distractions if need be like a puzzle or book.
10. Work Out How You Plan To Leave The House With Two Kids
With two in tow, plan what your ‘travel’ system will be. Will you buy a double pram? Use a skateboard on your single pram for your toddler? Carry the newborn in a carrier or a sling? It’s a good idea to work this out and also practice how to use whatever you decide on. Maybe even pack your nappy bag ahead of time with both a toddler and a newborn section. I use travel zip cases for these to keep them seperate.
11. Cook Freezer Meals
Never has having a stash of freezer meals been more important. Because even though the newborn will be drinking milk, and you may survive on protein shakes, your toddler will still need to eat! Cook up a big batch of freezer friendly meals and snacks before you give birth, and maybe plan ahead a few online shops for groceries for the first few weeks to save yourself a trip to the shops.
12. Spring Clean
This is the obvious one, but doing a spring clean of your house before the baby comes is a good idea. There will be much less time once you have two kids to contend with.
Wash everything well ahead of time so it is done and put them away in drawers. The last thing you want to be doing when you get home from hospital is MORE washing. Speaking of washing, I will be doubling down on napisan and buckets this time round for poo explosions, and have lots of extra sheets, terry towels and bed liners on board. I couldn’t believe the amount of bedding one tiny human goes through!
14. Prepare Toddler Busy Boxes
This obviously isn’t a ‘must do’ but it is something I plan on doing because I know it will be hard to keep my toddler occupied for when I am busy with the newborn. I intend on creating ‘busy boxes’. Busy boxes are basically one box for each day of the week with toddler distractions. Things like puzzles, sensory activities, trucks, playdough, etc. One thing new for each day then rotate each week. It may not work, but I will try. Checkout Pinterest for tons of great ideas for what other parents have done.
15. Buy a ‘Gift’ From Baby
I know there will be some jealousy and acting out from my toddler, so I plan to buy him a ‘gift’ from the baby to give him in hospital when they meet for the first time. Just to soften the blow a bit.
16. Indulge In Some Self Care
The time you have to yourself is about to dramatically decrease even more, so I have planned some self care before the arrival of the baby. This includes some nights out with my girlfriends and husband (while I can still go out at night!), a visit to the hairdresser, a pre natal massage, a family weekend away, a maternity photo shoot, and a few sleep ins on the weekend. Anything to recharge those batteries and make yourself feel amazing before the reality of sleep deprivation sets in.
I hope you have found this list helpful. As always, if I have missed anything, please let me know! I always love to hear comments and feedback from my readers. Another thing that probably doesn’t even need to be said, but spend some time just enjoying your one on one time with your toddler. I miss mine already! I have articulated this in my article http://psitsamumthing.com/a-letter-to-my-darling-first-born-i-miss-you-already/
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