Adding a sibling to the family mix is a big jump that takes some preparation. Whether you've had a long wait between children, or you're barely out of bottles and diapers with your most recent baby, there are a few things every mom should do before her kid has a sibling. From stocking up on a few new baby things to hitting the playground with only one kid while you still can, these are the things you should try to squeeze in before you have another baby.
My family has been existing in perpetual waiting mode for a new sibling shortly after our daughter joined our family. Our adoption agency called when our daughter was just 5 weeks old, asking if we were interested in adopting again and so soon. We spent the following year waiting for a handful of siblings who, sadly, never materialized. Now we've started the process all over again with a new agency and are, you guessed it, again waiting for a new sibling for our beloved daughter. Because we're adopting we know that sibling could come any minute, so I (luckily) have the best excuse to soak up as much pre-new-baby tine as physically possible.
I will admit I'm still working on a few pre-sibling outings and to-do lists before our already-loved little one joins our family, but I have no problem saying it's a work in constant process. Until he or she is in my arms and being kissed by their older sister, I'll just be over here doing the following:
Finish The Damn Baby Book
I loved looking at my baby book and thinking about the time my parent spent with me. I've even loved looking at my husband's baby book.
If baby books aren't your brand of nostalgia, you can cross this one off your list (although you might want to print a photo album for your first baby before life gets more hectic). If they are, however, now is the time to finish printing those last photos to add or to find that lock of hair from his first haircut.
Go To The Playground
You may be sick of the playground, and if you're pregnant you might not want to stand around, push your daughter on the swing, or catch your son at the bottom of the slide.
Still, if you have a young child I say you should hit the playground while you still can. I often marvel at the women who make their way to the playground with a toddler and a newborn in a wrap. Personally, just thinking about getting two children into a car, let alone taking care of them while someone runs around the playground, sounds exhausting.
Go On A Date
Whether you have a parenting partner already, or you're going on a date with someone new, finding a babysitter for one kid will always be cheaper than finding a babysitter for two. Plus, your new little one might not be ready for a babysitter for a few months. Get the dates in now before you have to wait for a while (and before it costs you a pretty penny).
Go On A Few Playdates
Playdates and moms' group aren't exactly my idea of a great, peaceful time all by myself. In fact, I'm usually spending my time chasing around my oh-so mobile toddler. Still, those playdates with a toddler and a newborn are a whole other level of chaos, so I might as well get in mini-human friend time while I can.
Hang Out With Your Girlfriends
Before you're breastfeeding again, or, like me, making bottles at some ungodly hour in the middle of the night, take some time for yourself and your friends.
Personally, I know it's going to take convincing my partner, or anyone else, to take two kids under 2 years old is going to take a lot of work.
Re-Stock Some Essentials
Especially if you are having children close in age, you might not need to stock up on much baby gear. Our set of three baby towels, for example, is still in pristine condition and a new baby will be able to use them just fine. Wash cloths and burp cloths, on the other hand, need to be re-purchased. Some things just aren't worth salvaging.
Splurge On Something You Wish You Had The First Time Around
If you can swing it, splurge on something you wish you'd had with your first baby. I'm pretty practical and minimalist when it comes to baby gear (thanks in large part to our teeny tiny apartment), so using the same things over again makes the most sense.
Still, I did really wish I had purchased a Mose's basket the first time around. It's sitting in the closet with the old infant car seat now, ready and waiting.
Complete Any Necessary Older Sibling "Transitions"
For us, this meant getting our daughter off bottles before she got a new sibling. She was just about ready to drop her last bottle, and I knew that if we got a brand new baby who would also be using bottles, our daughter would want to continue because, hey, the baby is drinking from bottles, too. So, we weaned her from her last bottle several weeks before we were prepared to welcome a new sibling to the family.