How I'm Prepping for Baby #3
If you’ve read my posts before, you know we are 2Under2 survivors. Our son was 11 months old when I got pregnant with our daughter, and I was not ready at all. The first year of her life was by far the hardest of mine. Managing a toddler who would run into traffic with a newborn with colic was, um, awful.
For this one, I am telling myself that even though we will be on zone vs man-to-man defense, this will be easier. Our children will both be in school next year (cue heavenly music) and we are living near lots of family and friends with young kids. Finn and Piper are now 6 and 4, so everyone can toilet themselves and put their shoes on. I think I have the newborn phase completely blacked out at this point, but I’m hoping I’ll remember it…
Anyway, a few of you have asked, so here is how I”m preparing for Baby #3 .
1. I’m not buying anything new.
If I had known about second-hand clothing stores, facebook marketplace, and had more friends with kids, I would have prepared for my first kiddo far differently. If you are currently pregnant with kid #1, don’t be like me, join the local mommy groups NOW! People are dyinggg to get stuff out of their house. You do not need a new stroller or fancy crib decorations. Plus, if it can’t go in the washing machine or be soaked in soap, you don’t want it. Save the money, save the planet, and look for pre-loved stuff first.
(For my first I didn’t have a ton of friends around with kids, I assumed that was fine. It was not. You need a mom crew. I was so lucky to meet some amazing mommas through the local lactation groups and Facebook. Do not attempt to raise a baby by yourself. You need support from other people who are also in the thick of it, and willing to help.)
2. I’m Not decorating anything
We learned the hard way that our children would be sleeping in our room for a long stretch of time. So that cute little nursery set up became a landing pit for out-grown clothes and a playroom/ workout space. We aren’t finding out the gender for this one and they’ll likely just stay in our room for their first year. I’m not painting any walls or putting anything up until they have an opinion to share.
3. I’m being very lazy
Yes, I know that sounds funny coming from a fitness person, but I’m the queen of naps right now. I’m working out almost every day and taking care of my older kids, but if I’m not doing that, I’m sleeping. My daughter came earlier than expected, and I wish I had taken more time to rest and be with my son. Plus, newborns are exhausting. I think my husband and I lost about 4 years of sleep between our two kids. I’m resting as much as I can before this one comes out and restarts the sleep deprivation!
4. I’m spending more time in the kitchen
I made some freezer meals with our first, but we mostly survived off of takeout. With older kiddos come busier schedules, and pickier tastebuds. We’ve been making lots of different soups, casseroles, and baked goods to see what the kids will actually eat before anything goes in the freezer. (Of course, I also have the costco packs of mac n cheese, canned things, and microwavable things. My expectations are much lower this time around and I know I’ll need these in a pinch!) I know now how important nutrition is when it comes to postpartum healing, so I want to be sure I’m getting the nutrients I need while also keeping little bellies full.
5. I’m stocking the entire house with stations.
When you have one, you can have one or two diapering and feeding stations. With 2 or 3, you need more than that. I’m prepping my house and bathrooms with stations that are easy to restock. My kids are older, and they really want to help, so I’m taking full advantage as well! We’ve since moved into a much larger house, so rather than have to lug everything around, I’m creating areas in common spaces that have everything I need.
For my bathrooms-
In each, I have a basket with the giant overnight pads, a peribottle (steal as many of these as you can from the hospital- they come in handy!), witch hazel wipes, and healing supplies.
For my pumping / feeding stations:
I’m stocking refillable water bottles, snacks, books that the kids can read to the baby while I nurse, burp cloths, swaddle, and newborn toys. When I had my newborn and toddler, the older one would want to snuggle with us or “help” by bringing us burp cloths. He also had special toys to play with that I kept nearby to entertain him so I could keep a close eye.
For my diaper stations:
There will be blankets and diapers tucked in almost every corner of my house. This was essential when my older one was little and I couldn’t leave him. You really don’t need anything fancy, a changing pad or waterproof sheet will do. Keep these areas stocked with wipes, diapers, spare outfits, butt cream, q-tips, and toys for any older kid who might need some supervised entertainment. I would also recommend having these areas be near trash cans or keep a plastic bag handy. You’ll also want some rags, spare towels or blankets, and cleaning wipes in these areas as well, just in case.
* People will want to help you, and this is one area they can pitch in *
Ask your partner or visiting family to keep your water bottles and snacks refilled at all times so you aren’t dehydrating or starving when it’s time to pump. Show them where and how to restock any diaper stations or how to dispose of poopy diapers. You can also leave a list of what needs to get stocked on your fridge or near each so you aren't constantly answering questions. Same goes for laundry directions, grocery lists, etc. (Getting the mental load on paper also just feels really satisfying, and is helpful in general as you continue on your parenting journey with your partner.)
I want to add in something for moms expecting their firstborns… When I was in the thick of pregnancy/ newborn haze with our first, people would often scoff at our decisions on purchasing or parenting with “you won’t do this if you have more”. I don’t think this is helpful “advice” at all, and all of this prep work I’m doing differently is just preparing for a different situation. You’re completely fine to purchase a brand new stroller, or adorable newborn outfits, or make parenting decisions that “spoil” your baby. It’s your first baby, and you get to raise it however you like. I miss the days of only having one, and I don’t regret any of our decisions. Yes, you will probably have to do things differently if you have another child. That doesn’t mean you’re doing a bad job with a singleton. Every child is different, your lives and circumstances are different, and no one gets to judge your parenting or make you feel like you’re “overdoing it”. First-time pregnancies and the early years of parenting can feel really scary and overwhelming, so please do whatever you like to get through it and enjoy the process!
How are you preparing for your newest additions? Please share any helpful advice in the comments below!