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5 ways to prepare for Baby #2

February 24th, 2009 / 7 Comments

A reader asked me how she can prepare for Baby #2. Is there anything she can do within the next few months before Baby #2 arrives, perhaps get her life organized in a way that will make it easier when she has to take care of 2 instead of 1?

My son and my daughter are 18 months apart. That means I was pregnant with my daughter when my son was less than a year old.

I don’t know how I survived it, but my God’s grace, I’ve lived to tell about it! I hope that fact by itself will give you encouragement. When you have one of those days, remember this too shall pass.

While there are many other good ideas to prepare for Baby #2 such as freezing meals, or stocking up on diapers on sale, the reader’s question was more about setting up a lifestyle that fits with having to care for 2 kids.

Looking back in preparing for Baby #2,  I can think of 3 things I should have done differently:

1. I should have gotten help. Being determined to be the “perfect” stay-at-home mom who gives up her body for her kids, I thought I SHOULD be able to handle everything by myself. You know, those people who ask, “What do you DO all day?” They make you feel guilty for getting help … it’s OK, do it anyway. You’ll be glad you did.

2. I should have worried less about appearances. You’ve seen them, those little kids with cute outfits, hair perfectly styled, and even their socks matched! I should not have stressed over trying to get my kids to be one of those. You’ll be more relaxed and your kids will thank you. Who needs that extra stress.

3. I should have been more attentive to my husband. I gave my kids 110% and left nothing for my husband when he came home from work. I think if I had treated him as a lover rather than one of the kids, he would’ve treated me as a woman rather than a mom. And the family atmosphere would’ve been more loving overall. Take care of your man and he’ll happily take care of you.

Here are 5 things that I have done to prepare for Baby #2:

1. Find suitable help. As I said above, we don’t have to do everything. I never hired a housekeeper or babysitter until I had more than one child. Since we didn’t have much money to spare, I didn’t want to get used to the luxury. But a little help once every 2 weeks for the first few months took a huge load off of me.

While waiting for Baby #2, ask around for referrals for a good and available housekeeper and babysitter. Have the babysitter come in once in a while so Toddler #1 can get acquainted with her while you take a nap.

2. Get Toddler #1 use to responding to a timer. Get an old fashion timer that ticks, not a digital timer. When you need to do the laundry, put Toddler #1 in a safe place such as a playpen if he still fits one, and set the timer for 10 minutes. “Mommy has to wash the clothes. Play here until the timer goes ‘ding’. Then we’ll have a snack together.”

When Baby #2 is here, use the timer in a similar way. “Mommy has to clean your sister. Play here until the timer goes ‘ding’. Then we’ll have a snack together.”

While waiting for Baby #2, buy a timer and use it regularly with Toddler #1.

Caveat: Never leave a child alone unsupervised in a separate room no matter how safe it appears. When I say to leave Toddler #1 there to play, I assume that you are still around the vicinity, and constantly in-and-out to keep an eye on him.

3. Work out a deal with a neighbor. When I had 3 kids under 4, it was a big ordeal just to go buy milk. It wasn’t worth the trouble of getting out I asked a friend who lived close by if she could buy milk for me on her way home from work.

While waiting for Baby #2, ask a few friends if it’d be alright if you called on them once in a while to help you. Have several friends ready so you don’t lose their friendship too quickly! You would also want to do favors for them as much as possible now to pay them forward.

4. Stock up the Emergency Cabinet. In a previous post, I suggested having a few cheap toys for one of those days when you need to keep Toddler #1 occupied. Wrap a $1 toy to make it look like it’s worth $10!

You could also stock up on little gifts to give to your friends when they help you – nothing expensive or it will embarrass your friends, but a token of appreciation is always a nice gesture.

While waiting for Baby #2, do some secret shopping and stock up on those little gifts.

5. Join a moms group, both offline and online. A friend invited me to a mom’s group when my son was little. We were all in a similar stage of life. That group of friends were my lifeline on many occasions. The friendship and moral support of a group will get you through postpartum depression, cabinet fever, and every kind of mood you will find yourself in.

I find that it takes a while to find forums and blogs that resonate with you and your situation. Having those sites on your reader will give you a friend to talk to at midnight when you cannot disturb an offline friend.

While waiting for Baby #2, join a moms group with people who share your values. Search out websites and forums where you can connect with other parents any time, day or night.

What else do you suggest to add to the list?

Photo by Zoutedrop

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  1. […] 5 ways to prepare for Baby #2 | Adventures in Parenting By Katy A reader asked me how she can prepare for Baby #2. Is there anything she can do within the next few months before Baby #2 arrives, perhaps get her life. Adventures in Parenting – […]

  2. I very vividly remember the shock of boy #2… and #3. Great post. I love the helpful posts that you include here. I’m must getting started blogging myself and your posts were one of my inspirations!

  3. dk: Thanks. Your 3 boys will give you lots of inspiration for posts!!

  4. We just found out that we are expecting.. I am due in Aug. Our daughter will be two in May…. I like the gift ideas and the tip on the crib – thanks very much!

  5. Congrats, Leslie S.!!

  6. I love love love these tips! Im expecting baby #2 in December and my little girl is 2 1/2 now. I’m def. gonna ask my neighbor about picking up milk/bread ect for me and stock up on some little gifts for people who help out and my 2 year old. Great ideas! Thanks!!

  7. Love this post. I needed this badly.


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