So you’re expecting your second child and your time as a first-time parent is rapidly coming to an end. Your excitement levels may be entirely dependent on the age of your first child. Or your stress levels too, I guess. It’s getting harder to tell.
This period of time between bubs can be incredibly difficult to gauge, emotions-wise. But as you try working through your feelings, your second due date looms nearer and nearer and you realise that there are things you need to do. But you don’t know what! Here’s a list of things to consider as you head to your local baby shop.
Inform your first child
Revoking your first child of their ‘only child’ status can come with its fair share of challenges, especially if it’s left too late. You should make sure to inform your first child of the imminent arrival of their younger sibling as soon as you make the news public to your friends and family. Here are a few different methods for sharing and explaining this news that you can utilise depending on the age of your firstborn.
Call your healthcare provider
The sheer level of medical attention that you will be requiring during your pregnancy will feel immensely simplified if you have a regular obstetrician at a reliable clinic. This can only be guaranteed if your family has private healthcare. To ensure that you’ll be well taken care of, it’s recommended that you revisit your family policy to make sure that both your pregnancy and your second child (when they arrive) will be absolutely covered to minimise your own out-of-pocket expenses.
Make work arrangements
Following the phone call to your healthcare provider, you’ll need to call up your employer and let them know that you’ll be taking scheduled parental leave leading up to the birth of your child. If you’re also looking to claim Parental Leave Pay, remember that your employer needs to register with the Department of Human Services at least ten weeks before your due date. It’s good to mark down the progress of your claim on a physical calendar, alongside the dates of all your appointments. And remember, work includes what you do around the home, so there is never a more reasonable time to consider using a home cleaning service, if only temporarily.
Assess what you’ll need
Get ready to stock up on nappies and formula like the world is about to end because a second baby will undoubtedly mean double the baby supplies. It’s a good idea to make a list of everything that you’ll need to find before the new baby comes, and make it as extensive and thorough as possible. You can use this list as a reference point for your own shopping, as well as having it serve as a makeshift registry for your friends and family. If your loved ones have an idea of things that you may need, chances are that you’ll only receive useful or valuable gifts, alleviating the added stress that comes with unwanted presents.
But it’s not just the bare essentials that you’ll need to consider here. If your eldest is still a touch on the small side, chances are high that you’ll need to look into getting yourself another car seat, as this will be the very first tool you’ll be requiring upon leaving the hospital with your new baby. It’s also recommended that you invest in a double stroller, to make outings a whole lot easier. If you find a car seat or stroller model that sounds like a good fit but may be a touch out of your preferred price range, remember that these big-ticket items can also be added to your personal list and presented to you like a pooled gift.
Update your nursery/home
After taking stock of all your other supplies and working through what you’ll need to procure prior to the birth of your second child, it’s now time to revisit your nursery space and update it accordingly. A lot of mums end up turning their nursery space into the first child’s bedroom, simply because their firstborn grows comfortable in that room and claims it as their own. However, if you’ve poured a lot of effort into that space as a set nursery, it’s not a good idea to start from scratch in a whole new room. And at the same time, transitioning from their nursery to a big kid’s room is an important step in every growing child’s life, and if you approach this task with a level of excitement and ceremony, your child will most likely reciprocate. After all, there’s never been a child who couldn’t wait to grow up!
However, we need to acknowledge that there are some situations where moving your eldest child out of the nursery may not be possible. They may still be too young for a bed, or your family could be living in a smaller home which may not have another room to spare. In these instances, you’ll need to simply find space in your nursery for a second crib, and keep an eye on the situation with your baby monitor once your second baby comes along. If after some time it appears to be a bit of a squeeze, it could be time to upsize your family home.
Finally, arguably the most important step that you should take prior to the arrival of your new baby is taking a well-deserved getaway. It’s going to be a touch more chaotic at home once your second baby comes along, and your parental leave won’t leave you with a lot of personal time. You owe it to yourself to take a breather and let yourself prepare emotionally and mentally for this next huge chapter in your life.