How We’re Prepping for Our Second Baby
I’m officially in my third trimester, which means this baby will be here before we know it. With Rory’s pregnancy, I felt like it crawled along and I was so into it every step of the way. I knew exactly how far along I was, how her size compared to a different kind of fruit each week, and I read What to Expect When You’re Expecting religiously.
Now, I sometimes forget I’m even pregnant, except when I look down at my bulging belly or feel the acid reflux kicking in, because I’m so busy chasing after Rory and working full-time. I’ve had to consciously set aside time in my calendar to make sure I’m doing everything I can to prepare for our second baby. Even though we just did this newborn thing last year, there’s still lots to get done before his arrival this fall.
First Child vs. Second Child
With Rory, we had absolutely no idea what we were doing. Sure, I read books and got advice from friends, but there’s no way to really prepare for parenthood except to just do it! I knew that I wanted to be a mom, however, I was unsure if I would be very good at it. We took lots of classes to prepare for our baby girl’s arrival.
This time around, I’m feeling much more confident going into labor and those early newborn days because I have a general idea of what to expect. Sure, every delivery and baby is different, but at least I’ve got some experience under my belt! And there is no need to spend time on those baby prep classes…thank goodness!
However, last time we had three adults – me, Finn, and my mom – taking care of one tiny 6 lb. baby. This time around, we’ll have an 18-month-old to chase after while caring for a newborn. So, that part does make me a little anxious, but again, we just gotta do it and learn as we go!
The Baby “Stuff”
As we’re prepping for our second baby, it’s so nice that we already have a majority of the baby stuff we’ll need and we know how to use it! We had a wonderful baby shower last year (you can read more about it here) and our generous friends and family showered us with all of the baby essentials.
We have an Uppa Baby stroller and we bought the parts to convert it to a two-seater. We already have our Baby Bjorn carrier, bouncer, and DockATot ready to go. Swaddles? We’ve got ’em. Bottles? You bet! Car seat? It’s ready to be packed in the car, come September. We actually already have a lot of clothes for Baby Boy from Rory’s old stash, but we’ll have to round out his wardrobe a bit. Having those big-ticket items crossed off our list has been fantastic. (P.S. You can find my favorite newborn products in this blog post).
Make a List
During my last pregnancy, I made a google spreadsheet that listed every month leading up to her birth. I then filled it out, spreading out tasks across those nine months. I did the same thing this time around too and it was a lot easier because the list was ready to go. Not to mention, there was a lot we didn’t have to do this time around – no birth classes, no baby shower prep, no pediatrician interviews. Here are a few examples of things still left on our list…
- Register at the hospital
- Buy postpartum care items
- Finalize name options
- Order items for the nursery
- Make a plan for Rory while we’re at the hospital
It’s really nice to have tasks spread out over the course of my entire pregnancy. That way, I can just look at the month and work on those two or three things, instead of feeling overwhelmed by a ginormous list of tasks. (In the past, I know a few of you have asked for a copy of the list. I feel like that’s a bit personal, but I encourage you to make your own! You can just use Excel or Google Sheets to make one.)
Finishing the Nursery Early
I shared my nursery design plans back in this post and we’ve been hard at work executing them. Rory arrived almost 5 weeks early, so the last thing I want is an unfinished space for our baby boy. We ended up moving Rory to her room at four weeks, so my guess is we’ll move our son into his own room early on too. It would stress me out too much having to finish things up while he is already here, so my goal is to get it done by the beginning of September.
While I have most of the big-ticket items for the space here or ordered, we still need to get some smaller items, like another diaper pail and sound machine. I’m also really eager to be done with the DIY projects so we can start to get the closet and dresser organized. I know Finn will be allllll over that!
Figuring Out Childcare Plans
One of the most difficult tasks over this pregnancy has been figuring out what we want to do for childcare now that we’ll have two little ones. My mom has been amazing, watching Rory three full days a week. While I know she would be up for the challenge of watching a newborn and Rory at the same time, I don’t want to dump all of that on her. (She is retired and she needs to enjoy time to herself too!)
We spent the last few months interviewing daycares to try to find the best one for Rory to attend, part-time, starting in January. (Note: I won’t be sharing her daycare for privacy reasons.) I know it will be so good for Rory to have some socialization and be with other kids. By then, she’ll be 20 months old, so I’m sure she will be raring to go and get out of the house! My mom will still be around taking care of Baby Boy and Rory, on days she’s not at “school”.
It will definitely be a new routine for our family and we’ll reassess as we go. But I’m excited to have a plan in place before the baby arrives. Not to mention, daycares are competitive and we had to get Rory in before all the slots were filled up!
Prepping Rory For Her Big Sister Role
Finally, we’ve been doing our best to prepare Rory for her new role as a big sister. She is still so young, so I think it’s hard for her to really understand what’s about to come her way. We know her entire world is going to be rocked upside down and we’ve been doing our best to prep her.
She has baby dolls that she loves taking care of and we pretend to feed them and change their diapers. Rory is also in love with my growing belly and is always lifting up my shirt to give the baby milk or kiss the baby. It’s super sweet, but also probably a tad confusing for her!
I also bought a couple of books for her, including I’m a Big Sister and Snuggle the Baby. We read these every day and explain how she will soon be a big sister, just like the girl in the book! I’ve done the Big Little Feelings course too, and they have a small section about prepping for a new sibling that’s been helpful.
Only 9 Weeks to Go!
So that’s how we’ve been prepping for our second baby. This entire pregnancy has flown by and it’s hard to believe we’re in the home stretch here. I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to spend some time relaxing and enjoying our final days as a family of three.
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.