My partner and I have been waiting for our second baby to join our family for over a year now. When our daughter was just a few months old, we were approached by our adoption agency with the idea of adopting again. We had several adoption situations fall through, though, so we're still waiting for our second baby to arrive. I did, however, have plenty of time to come up with an extensive and thorough list of things every mom should do before she has another baby.
There are a lot of obvious things to think about before having another baby, like maybe lining up someone to watch your first child while you're at the hospital having and/or meeting your new arrival for the first time. There are finances to consider, obviously, and potential changes to certain work schedules to discuss. But some of the other things are less about logistics, and more about spending as much time with your first baby as possible. After all, your time as a family of three is coming to a close. Before you know it, you'll be a family of four (or more) and all hell will break loose.
One thing I've been doing lately, and especially since the wait for another child can often seem interminable, is to remember not to hype it all up too much. I have a list of things I want to do before the new baby comes, but I also just want to relax and enjoy the time with my firstborn before she becomes a big sister. So, with that in mind, here's what every mom should do before she becomes a mom of two:
Refresh Your Newborn Memory
It doesn't take long for your knowledge of life with a newborn to wear off, so it's a good idea to brush up on your newborn baby skills by at least glancing at a few chapters of one of those baby books that have been sitting on the shelf for who-the-hell knows how long.
When my partner and I had foster babies in and out of our home, it was pretty easy to stay with it when it came to feeding schedules and what was "normal" baby behavior, but after six months without a new baby I'm already feeling lost.
If you're pregnant, nesting will kick in and you'll want to organize all the things. For me, since we are adopting again, it's more forced organization as a line of necessary self defense. I want to know where everything is and have it all ready to go, even though we don't know when baby will be arriving. When it comes to parenthood, preparation is key.
Sleep (Or Start Sleep Training)
Get all the sleep. I suppose pregnant sleep is generally a little less easy to come by than non-pregnant sleep, but it's worth trying to snag as many Zs as possible, regardless. If you have a kid who's not sleeping well at night, now is definitely the time to work on it so that you can have them on a set sleeping schedule before baby number two arrives.
Ask Other Moms All The Questions
I recently got to watch my sister-in-law handle a 3-year-old and a 4-month-old, and you best believe I was asking her all the questions. Taking care of two little ones simultaneously is no joke. I asked her a lot of questions about how she managed to care for two kids. It reminded me what a resource I have in other moms when it comes to the best advice for surviving parenthood, especially when you're outnumbered.
Spend Time With Your First Baby
Obviously, before baby number two arrives you want to spend some extra quality time with baby number one. A friend of mine suggested making a pre-baby bucket list of things to do with your first child that can extend through the birth of your second child, so your numero uno feels extra special and loved when the new arrival finally shows up. Things like trying out a new playground or walking to the popsicle place are on our list, and I'm so excited to spend this extra time with my little love.
Finish Your First Child's Baby Book
Finally finish your first baby's baby book. Believe me, from the mom who procrastinated for nearly a year after getting said baby book, it feels amazing to have it finished.
Go On All The Playdates
Am I the only one who finds playdates exhausting? Maybe because my daughter hasn't reached the age yet where she can really play without me hovering and making sure she doesn't bop someone with a baby doll. But I can't even imagine playdates with another little one in tow.
Go On All The Dates With Your Partner
It's obvious, to be sure, but date your partner. In fact, get in a good habit of dating your partner so you won't want to slack off when the baby comes. I find that if we put a date in the calendar for every month, or twice a month if we can swing it, we're much more likely to actually go do something together.
Go On A Few Family-Of-Three Adventures
When our first second-baby adoption fell through, it was hard to adjust to the idea that we were going to be a family of three for a while longer. So we embraced our family-of-three-ness and clocked in a few adventures while it was still just us.