Pregnancy

Preparing for Baby #2: How is it Different from Your First?

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The most exciting news for my little family came just before Halloween 2019. My husband and I had talked about growing our family. Our son was almost two years old and we knew we would need to start trying soon.

Through the experience we had trying to conceive the first time, we did not expect that we would get pregnant without intervention the second time. Surprise! Baby #2 was on the way sooner than we expected and we couldn’t be happier.

After that not-so-pleasant first trimester, things started picking up as we started preparing for baby #2. We thought about where the baby would sleep, what she needed, what we already had, and what we were going to name her.

Preparing for baby #2 seems to be less stressful, at least that is our experience. However, what I didn’t know I would need to prepare for was my heart to be able to hold enough love for both of my babies.

Preparing for Baby #2: How is it Different from Your First?
Photo by Isaac Del Toro on Unsplash

What are some concerns that come with preparing for baby #2?

It’s natural to feel anxious about having a baby. I don’t think this feeling ever truly goes away no matter how many children you have. Check out some of my concerns and see if we share the same concerns! Maybe we can start a support group to talk about them. 😉

Delivery

My main concern is how the delivery will go. With my first, I was fortunate to have a non-complicated birth and no intervention methods needed. He came smoothly with minimal tearing. I would honestly say aside from the pain, it really was a wonderful experience.

Of course, not all babies are the same and not every pregnancy is the same. Therefore, I am a little anxious about how this second birth will happen.

Effects on my First Born

Since the first trimester, I’ve been talking to my first born about him having a sibling growing inside of me. Truthfully, what two year old will understand this concept of another baby coming home some day? I know he doesn’t quite get it.

However, talking to him about it each day, I’m hoping that will stick in his mind so when we do bring home baby #2, he won’t be too shocked.

My son makes little gestures that let me know he is trying to understand. He rubs lotion on my growing baby bump, tries to feed goldfish to my belly, and will point to my belly and say, “Baby.” These little things really melt my heart. I know he will be a good big brother!

My Heart

Can my heart handle the amount of love I need to be able to care for two babies? My son is my whole world and most days it feels like my heart will explode from all the love I have for him. His silliness, innocence, and sloppy kisses fill me with so much joy. How can there be anymore room in there?

With all the love comes the worries as well. The worry about baby #2 being healthy. The worry if there will be any complications. Also the worry about her future. A mother’s worry never ends!

What is there to consider when preparing for baby #2?

Getting past my own concerns, now it’s time to consider what we need to do to prepare for her arrival. This is the exciting part!

Baby necessities

When I was pregnant with my first, I was very fortunate to have had three baby showers! I lived in a different state than my family lived. Therefore, I flew home to have a family baby shower. Then followed the friends baby shower back in the state where I was living.

Lastly, my work friends threw me a baby shower as well. I didn’t have to buy diapers for my son until he was around seven months old!

Due to the many gifts we were showered with the first time, I think I have a handle on what helped us with my son. There were 13 baby shower gifts I couldn’t live without.

I kept many of these items in storage just in case we had more children. Thankfully, we are able to use them again this time around!

Baby shower

I know people say having a second baby is less exciting than the first. However, I strongly disagree! I think any growing family is something worth celebrating. Therefore, a baby shower is necessary to have!

If for nothing else, you can ask for just diapers and wipes. Those never go out of style and they are definitely something you can’t pass down from baby to baby once they are used.

Because I went through this once before, I also would encourage you to have a baby shower and ask for the essentials that moms need after birth. We often get the short end of the stick at the baby shower so be sure to include some postpartum care necessities.

Preparing for Baby #2: How is it Different from Your First?
Photo by Gabriel Tovar on Unsplash

Care for oldest child(ren)

It often crosses my mind about how my son will be cared for once I have this baby. Will he be bored staying home with me while I care for a newborn? Should I consider daycare twice a week? Maybe I should hire a babysitter to come to the house to play with him?

My biggest fear is him feeling like he is being kicked to the curb. Knowing how much it takes to care for a newborn plus breastfeeding, I want to be sure that he understands his role as a brother and our love for him will never fade.

Thankfully, I will have my husband and my mom available to help in the beginning to care for him while we adjust to life with baby #2.

Meal planning

The first time around, the meal planning thing wasn’t something I did. Although, looking back on it now, I think that would have been a good thing to have especially for that first week or two.

This time, I’m planning to get meals together for my family ahead of time and just freeze them. It’s much easier to grab something out and stick it in the oven for dinner versus trying to make something each night.

Also, it gets very expensive to eat out constantly and pizza (as much as I LOVE pizza) gets old really quick. Here are some meal ideas to freeze ahead of time.

Finances

No matter how many children you have, each child is unique in their needs and therefore creates their own expense list. If you can determine ahead of time some things to pay for or cut down on (cloth diapers vs. disposable, breastfeeding vs. formula, etc.) then this will help give you a better picture of your finances.

Additionally, will you be returning to work after having your baby? Will you be staying home now? How can you cut costs now to be able to live off one income?

Entertainment for older child(ren)

This is sort of the same as considering care for your oldest child(ren). However, I put it into a separate category because I think it is slightly different and deserves that attention.

If you have older children at home, planning for their development and entertainment can be stressful. You want to make sure they aren’t just sitting in front of the TV all day while you care for a newborn. Let’s face it, if this happens some days, it’s not the end of the world! The newborn stage is seriously the survival stage. You do want you gotta do, Mama!

For the days when you want their entertainment to be a little more educational, consider how you can use everyday household items and decor for entertainment and education.

Additionally, there are some very handy activity books that are great for creative minds and exploration.

Self care

This can seem almost impossible to pencil into your already busy life with multiple children. Between feedings, exhaustion, and many emotions, life can feel like you’re swimming against the current. However, it is crucial for your own sanity and your relationship (spouse/partner/friend) to make time for yourself.

This could be as simple as taking a non-interrupted shower or bath once a week and relaxing. Or you can step out and go grab a coffee or lunch without the children for an hour or so. Whatever makes you happy and makes you feel that zen feeling, do it! It’s important for you and for your family to have you at your best.

Something else to consider are the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression. While some signs may not appear for months after baby, having a plan ahead of time can help you recognize when something isn’t quite right.

Self care won’t be enough to get you through the postpartum phase. However, it is a start to helping you feel better about yourself and gives you some time to just be who you are without the motherly tasks.

Preparing for Baby #2: How is it Different from Your First?
Photo by Joshua Clay on Unsplash

What did you do when preparing for baby #2?

There you have it; my list of things to consider when preparing for baby#2! What do you think?

Was your preparation method similar to mine? How was it different? What else should be considered in my list when preparing for baby #2? Help me and other moms by sharing your experience in the comments below!

Always,
Samantha <3

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First time parent to an incredible little boy residing in Northern California. I hold my M.A. in Education with a Specialization in Culturally Responsive Education. My mission is to consistently provide helpful content for other parents to draw from. Parenthood is ever-changing! I look forward to sharing my experiences with you and hope that my posts are insightful.

2 Comments

  • Tanya

    Great read and information. I can tell you that you will definitely have enough love to give no matter how many babies you have. All though my 3 kids are grown and on their own, I love them unconditionally and full hearted for who they are, the laughter and joy they bring me and yes at times frustration and disappointment…but my love for them will never change. Don’t let me get started on the love for grandbaby’s LOL
    I totally agree with making mommy time even if its something little, mommy’s deserve and need a break mentally and physically. Play dates might be a good idea for your Son, maybe taking turns with your friends. That will give the kids interaction with others as well as giving the moms a few hours of alone time.
    Wishing you and your family the best 🙂

    • Samantha Flores

      Thank you so much, Tanya! I keep thinking about the changes we’re about to go through and just wanting everything to work out perfectly (it won’t, I know that). There will be adjustments and bumps in the road. However, as long as my babies know they are loved, that’s my only wish. I appreciate your reassurance! I’m sure your babies and grandbabies adore you!

Let me know your thoughts!

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