A huge reason why I have been so absent here and on Instagram over the past several months is because I am pregnant with baby #2! Luckily, baby and I have been totally healthy the entire time. I just haven’t been able to write or do as much as I want to do because I’ve been so nauseous the during my entire pregnancy and I’ve been having a lot of pain. My tailbone injury acted up and I’ve been having a lot of back and hip pain. I spent a lot of time on the couch this pregnancy. I feel a little bit guilty about not being able to do as much with M as I wanted to, but luckily she absolutely loves to snuggle on the couch and read books, do art projects, and play with stickers and sensory bins. She’s been a good buddy to me throughout this pregnancy and I think she’s going to be an amazing big sister.
A huge thing I’ve been thinking about this time around is how different it will be having a newborn + a toddler. I remember thinking when I had a newborn how peaceful it could be at times and how different it would be with a toddler running around. So I’ve been trying to prepare to make life as simple and easy as possible to help us get through and enjoy the first few months with our new baby.
Freezer meals were a huge help with my first baby. I can’t imagine how helpful they will be with a second. I read my old blog post about how I made over 80 freezer meals when I was pregnant with M. Seriously, the best part of having a blog is that I can go back and reference stuff like this! It was so helpful to be able to find all of the recipes I used all in one place.
My dad came to visit for a few days. Every day we would cook freezer meals all day and go out for lunch. We took turns cooking and hanging out with M, and M even helped with a few meals. This time, I added a few new recipes:
Sausage and Kale Stuffed Shells (I more than doubled the sausage on this because the first time I made it, there was hardly any sausage in it and I knew that it wouldn’t be filling enough for Nick).
All-American Chili (this is the only chili recipe I like! I made multiple batches of this. I used two kinds of beans and in some batches I used ground beef, some I used ground turkey).
I also made some postpartum recipes from my favorite book about becoming a mom, The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nurturing the New Mother.
Our deep freezer is almost completely full. I want to make one more batch of butternut squash soup and burritos, but I’m running out of energy.
We’re renting a house here in Colorado and it has 3 bedrooms. I really wanted this baby to have her own room because I think it will help with sleep and feeding in the middle of the night. So we had to reorganize our entire upstairs. We have a loft area that we were using as a playroom, but we transformed that into a guest room. It’s not ideal because we had to put up a curtain to be the room divider, but we needed a guest room because all of our family (aka people who will be helping us the first few months).
I’ll probably do another post about this once the nursery is ready, but I am really proud that I’ve been able to furnish most of the baby’s nursery with stuff I found for free on Nextdoor. I got baby’s dresser (which will also be her changing table), a rocking chair, and a blanket ladder all for free on Nextdoor. It’s taken some patience but waiting to buy stuff and looking every day over the last few months has paid off. I partially did this to reduce the amount of new stuff being used, but honestly, it was mostly to save money.
The only thing I’ve bought new so far is a new crib and we’ll buy a new mattress soon…. I definitely could have gotten these things for free or cheap on Nextdoor, but I wanted the crib and crib mattress to be new. I’ve been trying to space out the big purchases so it’s easier on the budget.
I’m laughing at myself for thinking we would not need much for a second baby. We obviously don’t need as much stuff as we needed with our first, but we needed to get duplicates of the things M is still using – a crib, crib mattress, monitor, sound machine, nursery furniture, etc.
M was born in July in DC. All of her newborn clothes are tropical rompers. So I needed to get some newborn wintery clothes for this baby, but I didn’t buy anything bigger than newborn clothes.
I went through and organized all of M’s hand me downs and we’ll just see what size the baby is when we’re in different seasons. I wasn’t about to go buying tons of new clothes past newborn clothes because as I’ve learned from M, you have no idea how fast baby will grow or what size they will be in during different seasons. I wanted to go through all of M’s old clothes now so I don’t have to bother later. I’m trying to get projects like this done now just to make my life with two babies easier.
I have no idea how helpful this will end up being, but it makes me feel better to feel like I’ve done everything I could to help ease the transition for my toddler. I told M about the baby right away, and she immediately decided that the baby’s name would be “I love you.”
We waited to do real prep until I was further along, but we have the baby’s swing and different accessories out already. She has been practicing putting her baby dolls in the swing and on the snuggle me pillow. We will bring the snuggle me pillow next to us on the couch and practice reading to the baby. She practices holding and rocking her baby dolls. We go into the nursery and play. We practice changing diapers on her dolls. I showed her the baby’s tummy time mat and she practices showing the baby tummy time.
I have a stuffed Daniel Tiger that the baby is going to give to M when she comes home from the hospital, and I’m going to take M to Target this week or maybe next week to pick out something for her to give the baby. She’s really into making art for other people so I might have her make a card or something for the baby.
I also set aside almost everything that she got for Christmas so that I will have new things to keep her entertained when I’m not able to entertain her. I am pretty good about toy rotation but I think I’ll have to up my game in the beginning especially. I made a little spot in the basement for her stuff to rotate so it will be easy to swap stuff out.
After the baby is born, after the first few months, I’ll post an update to see if I think any of this was helpful!
I’ve been trying to think about the things that I need to set in place to make sure that I’m setting myself up for success. I didn’t realize until much later but I had a lot of depression and mental health issues after having M. I want to be aware of all of that and on the lookout for mental health issues. I told my midwife about my past issues so she can help me navigate them this time around.
One thing that I did was set up a stream of visitors/helpers to help us out. I needed to make sure we had someone here to watch M when the baby is born. Nick only gets two weeks of paternity leave so I needed to make sure I had help for a while lined up especially for when he goes back to work. We don’t have family nearby that can just pop over for a few hours so I needed to coordinate schedules and figure out who could fly out when to help us. Thankfully, we have a good plan with a steady stream of helpers.
I found a babysitter a few months ago, someone who isn’t a family member! We had never left her with someone who wasn’t family before. Nick and I have been able to go out for a few date nights, which has been awesome. We thought it was important for us to reconnect a little bit before we have the baby because I know we will be tag teaming for a while. I also wanted to have an established babysitter so that I can have her come over to hang out with M while I take care of the baby or rest.
I went through and organized all of my postpartum and nursing clothes and anything else I’ll need postpartum. Everything is washed and ready in my closet. I nursed M for over two years and I really wasn’t too excited to bring my nursing clothes out again because I basically lived in the same few things for over two years. But I’m glad everything is back out and ready to be used. Nick and I have been trying to clean and organize the house as much as possible so that everything is set for when baby arrives.
Nick has been doing lots of random things around the house that we’ve needed to do forever and just never made time for. Stuff that we know won’t get done once the baby is here.
So this is what I’ve been up to the past few months! What have you done to to prepare for baby? Whether it’s your first or your fourth I want all of the tips!!
You guys have been so busy!! Life is going to unfold and you will be so in love once baby #2 arrives! And M will be a fantastic big sissy!! I just know it!
Baby prep feels so long ago… I don’t even know what I did back then. I can’t believe it’s been over 2 years since my M arrived. Sending you guys lots of love and so much luck as a family of 4! Yay for a rotation of helpers!! I hope they bring you lots of peace!