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Having a second child – tips and advice

So you’ve decided you’re a natural and it’s time to expand your brood.  Project “baby no 2” has been put into action.  So you need to get organised.  Depending on the spacing between your children, some points may be more relevant than others…

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1. Get your child sleeping in their own bed if you are co-sleeping. You may prefer to have both babies in bed with you as well so this is really down to your own personal choice. For me it was key to have just one in the bed at a time and you don’t want to push number one out when number two arrives.

2. Organise & wash your old baby clothes, as in 0 – 3, 3 – 6 etc – do this around the 30 week mark so you know what you have and what you might need. You’ll have given away stuff to friends and have learned a few tricks along the way with number 1 so you have a better idea of what is vital equipment and what is “nice to have”.

3. Pull out your moses basket and get it ready and all your other baby equipment – again nearer the 30 week mark so you can see what you need to invest in before the baby arrives. You really don’t want to arrive home from the hospital and find yourself in a flap wondering where you put those moses basket sheets! It’s no harm to get number 1 used to seeing the baby stuff around the house anyway.

4. If your child is ready for a bed and/or potty training try to do it well before the baby arrives…make a big deal of this, it’s better if he thinks the bed is the best place to be….”cot is for babies”. It also saves you the expense of a second cot.

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5. Start showing your child babies when you are out and about… “aren’t they so cute, wouldn’t you like to be a big brother” etc.  “And you could help mom & dad with the nappies etc and getting the wipes….you’d be so grown up”.

6. Start doing your grocery shopping online….this is a life saver.

7. Buy meat/fish by the month….fill your freezer

8. Plan some dinners in advance, so you can refer to your note pad when your brain can’t remember your own name

9. Buy some new crayons/paints/jigsaws for number 1 to keep them occupied when you are feeding the new baby…you can help a bit but encourage them to be independent, they’re a big kid now not a baby anymore.

10. If your children are very close together, there is no shame in asking for help or hiring if you can afford it, eg a cleaner or a night nanny.

11. Are you going to continue with your current child care arrangements? if you have a child minder will they take on a new baby?  Can you afford to have 2 children it a crèche full time? All things you should consider sooner rather than later or

12. Explore work options, can you go part time?

13. This one is key – a new toy for number 1 from the new baby when the new addition arrives. Encourage your family and friends to make a fuss of number 1 when they come to visit. It’s not all about the new baby.

14. Montessori in the afternoons (you really won’t want to be that organised in the mornings) while you’re on maternity leave if your little one is three or more. Give them some time on their own and doing something new and gives you time to bond with your new baby. Another option if your child is younger is to consider going part-time in the creche or with your childminder so they remain somewhat in their routine.

15. Will you need a double buggy? Start researching – which ones fit through a normal door? Do you prefer side by side or new baby underneath? My advice would be to look at the out n about twin nipper, city jogger or we had a Phil and Teds which I found quite heavy but it was a few years back and options were limited!

What have I missed?