Helpful Tips to Prepare for Baby #2; From Real Moms with Multiple Kids

Family As We Go has exciting news:

helpful tips prepare baby #2And of course with this exciting news, comes all the questions and concerns about adding to the family. I am used to fully taking care of a toddler, but how will I ever survive with two children?! The best way I discovered to get help on all things parenting: go to real life mothers who have gone through the transition already and have found what works and doesn’t. So here is a list of tips to help prepare yourself and your firstborn during pregnancy, right after birth, and during the postpartum time.

Preparing During Pregnancy

“Talk about all aspects of the pregnancy with the older child, make them feel a part of the exciting process.”

– Rebekah @ Surviving Toddlerhood

“Have a trial night’s stay for your child wherever they will be staying. This way, when you do go into the hospital, your child will have a better sense of what to expect. Admittedly, I found it daunting to send my then 14-month-old baby to my parents’ place. This was important so she could learn that, though Mama and Papa left her, we came back. A trial run may help reveal any potential problems so you can prepare for when it’s the real deal.”

-Alana P. @ Parenting from the Heart

“Seeing and interacting with other people’s babies: Nothing is quite as useful as real-world experience. While this isn’t available to most people, the best tool so far has been the opportunity to introduce Sprout to actual babies. Having him talk to, “see” and “hear” the baby: Sprout talks to my belly almost every day. It’s usually not much, just a “Hello, baby brother,” but it’s terribly cute. The funniest thing is that he says it in a little tiny voice, even though he’s usually a loud talker. Somehow, he’s internalized that you need to be quiet around babies. We’ve also brought him to all of the doctor’s appointments, where he’s heard the baby’s heartbeat and seen him on the sonogram screen.”

-Shannon B. @We’ll Eat You Up- We Love You So

“We bought a few “big sister” books to read with Olivia that talked about mommy being pregnant in hopes to help her understand what was going on and what was soon to come. Baby dolls – we let Olivia pick out her own baby doll and some accessories like bottles, diapers etc. so that we could “practice” before little sister arrived. We made sure to teach her to be gentle with the baby and things like that. We also had a special date with Olivia before her sister was born and just generally tried to soak up every moment with her as an only child so she knew she wasn’t being replaced.”

– Stephanie W. @Life on the Wilder Side

“Research and invest in some good children’s books / DVD’s on welcoming a new baby. This is so important! You do not want your first born to feel blindsided or replaced. This will help the transition go more smoothly and give your first born a “what to expect” approach. No matter what the age of your first born, looking at pictures and listening to his/her parents talk about it will help them understand. Let your child help you with the nursery. This is also important and sometimes overlooked. Letting your first born be involved in the set up will help him/her feel special and included. If they are not allowed to go into the room or touch the new babies things, the child may start to feel resentment before the baby even arrives. If your child is old enough to understand prayers, pray together about baby and about being a big brother/sister. Precious moments!”

– Stephanie B. (Mom of 2)

“For preparing our son for the new baby we found this great book called “My New Baby” that talked about what happens when a new baby comes and should normal family situations like baby wearing and breastfeeding.”

– Nicole @ Just Being Still

Tips for Firstborn’s First Meeting with Baby

“Having a second child can be scary, but it’s actually easier than you’d think. When our kids came to meet the new baby in the hospital, I always had them bring with a gift that we’d picked out and wrapped beforehand for the new baby and my in-laws always brought a gift for the older kids.”

-Hannah W. @Sunshine and Spoons

“I have 5. I took the older ones shopping when we got close to baby time and let them pick gifts to bring to the hospital for baby… Also bought the older kids disposable cameras and let them take pics at the hospital… I think it helped them all feel like they were a part of bringing home each baby. Our transitions were never very difficult (besides the lack of sleep on my part lol).”

-Sheena S. @Pop Goes Perfection

“Present from new baby to older sibling – this was a Pinterest idea that I saw while I was pregnant and thought it was cute. We got a little gift that we gave to Olivia when she came to meet her baby sister at the hospital that we told her was from her little sister, and she loved the whole idea and the fact that Sissy got her a present.”

– Stephanie W. @Life on the Wilder Side

“Mommy – give someone else the baby when your first born walks in to meet their new brother/sister. If I could go back in time I would have done this! It can be way too emotional for your first born to see their mommy holding another child the first time they are meeting the baby. I recommend having daddy hold the baby while mommy is holding the first born in her arms. Highly recommend this! Bring a scrapbook or photo album of pictures from when your first born arrived. I have the most precious memories of talking and looking at photos with my first born tightly in my arms and enjoying the memories of that magical day. Such a special thing to do so your first born feels loved and special.”

-Stephanie B. (Mom of 2)

Preparing for Postpartum With Two Children

“Create a postpartum support team. Try to line up daily help for the first 4 weeks. It doesn’t need to be all day help, maybe someone can just drop in for a couple of hours each day so you can sleep, or go outside, take a shower, etc. Have some freezer meals prepared, and try to have all your postpartum essentials stocked before you have baby.”

-Rebekah @ Surviving Toddlerhood

“Remember your new addition is a part of the family as a whole. It is OUR family, OUR baby, and WE ALL love each other. Say it enough and they will believe it! 😉 My firstborn and I cooed over and snuggled little sis together. I could give both kids attention this way, with lots of kisses and hugs for both. Tell big sibling, “Look, the baby likes you!!” when he/she smiles, even if it’s just gas. 😉 Toddlers love to be helpful and feel grownup, so make a big deal about them fetching you diapers, etc. While tending to the baby, I would sometimes tell my older child stories about when she was a baby, laughing and smiling about how cute or funny she was, and then give her a compliment about how wonderful/smart/grown up she is now. Mainly, just don’t worry, don’t stress and don’t overthink!”

-Rachel @ Don’t Call Me Supermom

“I find the transactions are never very difficult! I have 4 under the age of 5 and I have never had any issues! I find as long as you make sure to include them with the care of the baby whether it’s having them watch when giving the baby a bath or letting them hold the bottle at feeding time then they feel as though they are helping! Get Up Early. Once you do and get into the habit of it, it’ll be your favorite time of day, (other than when the kids go to bed:) The house is quiet and you are ALONE.”

-Jacqueline @Mama’s Munchkins

“If the opportunity for “me” presents itself, TAKE IT. It’s sooooo easy to get caught up in being needed and feeling a sense of obligation to get as much done as possible. When you can, have your partner watch the toddler while you and the baby nap. Use grandma’s visit, to go to the grocery store alone (believe me, this will feel like a luxury), or take a long bath.”

-Alana P. @Parenting from the Heart

“Bohan was/is a huge momma’s boy so I was afraid he would be jealous/not bond well with Cora. I made sure, especially in the first few days, that I held him on my lap and put Cora on or next to him so he didn’t feel like she took his place. The only other thing I did that seemed to really help was that I went to the dollar store and filled a box full of new, quiet things for him to play with while I rocked Cora to put her down for a nap.”

-Bree L. (Mom of 2)

“Make older sibling feel as involved as possible – I would tell Olivia that I was going to need her help with the new baby because I didn’t want her to feel left out. She loved feeling like she was a part of everything and that she was a big helper for mom and dad. Get some things like crafts, books, puzzles etc. that will keep the older sibling entertained for at least a few minutes when you are busy nursing or doing other things with the baby.”

-Stephanie W. @Life on the Wilder Side

“Our toddlers are only 12 months a part and I found the closer in age was actually a lot easier than when you have a toddler to chase and entertain. When transitioning back home the main thing I was concerned about was hormones, so plan as much as possible for helping hands. If people offered to babysit our oldest, cook meals, help tidy up, anything, I said yes. I knew my body needed rest and healing to bond with the new baby while caring for our first born. It’s ok to give yourself as much time as you need to recover and sleep is your friend.”

-Nicole @ Just Being Still

“Give yourself an extra half hour to hour those first few weeks on top of your normal schedule in order to get everyone fed, dressed and out of the house alive. Invest in a baby carrier. Being as hands free as possible is helpful with a toddler. Don’t worry about not knowing how to love two babies. They still know they are loved. Your heart will love both children equally and differently. Sometimes, it’s important to take one on one time with each kid. A fun little outing to walk around the neighborhood can mean the world to your toddler. Having two does take some multitasking and patience. Just go with an order of operation. It’s ok if one kid is crying and they have to wait a couple minutes while you attend to the other child. It certainly takes more team work between husband and wife! For that reason, make sure to take time for yourselves to keep your relationship fresh.”

-Michelle M. (Mom of 5)

I hope these helped and encouraged you as much as they have greatly done for me. There will always be that little nervous not knowing how your individual baby’s personality will be, but with these tips I feel like I’m not going to be blindsided when I’m a mom of two.

If you want to hear read my second natural labor story is up on the blog here. I believe hearing positive birth stories is a very beneficial tip going into labor.

Did these help you? Are you a mom of multiple children and have used any of these tips? Do you have any to add? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

helpful tips prepare baby #2




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