Two Under Two: How to Prepare for Second Baby | What to do and What to buy the Minimalist Way
Pregnancy with a Toddler at home is a tough go. It’s even more challenging to plan for what needs to get done before baby #2 arrives. Are you asking yourself What do I need for Baby #2? How can I prepare for Two under Two? Having two under two will be chaotic, but we can prepare together to help alleviate some of the stress and figure out the 2 under 2 must haves to get started. Keep reading for a minimalist and practical list of what you need for baby #2 and must have items and tasks to get ready for the new baby.
Having a second child super close to the first was a great plan right? Two under Two sounds super manageable and easy right? Well, as the due date gets closer, I find myself freaking out more and more every day.
It’s hard because one minute I’m so excited for the newborn snuggles and weird noises and the next I’m completely panicked about how I’m going to keep an eye on my 18-month-old (who is very curious and likes to climb and do anything dangerous) after the baby gets home. This is particularly important because I likely will have another C-section and will not be able to pick her up or do much of anything for a couple of weeks.
One minute I am so happy and blessed and cannot believe how lucky I am that I will have 2 under 2…and the next I’m in tears begging my husband to come give me a hug because the thought of a second baby with a toddler at home is overwhelming! (It is okay, pregnancy makes me weird, I know!)
Related: My Unplanned C-Section
So here I am, writing this post to outline how I am preparing for the second baby with a toddler running around. I am exhausted from working full time and parenting and trying to get things ready… so this checklist is to help you (and me) be reminded that everything will be okay. Everything will work out! And plus, if the nursery isn’t ready, the baby will have no clue!
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Help your Toddler Prepare for baby #2:
This one is tough, my daughter is 17 months and literally has no clue what it means to have a sibling. However, she has baby dolls and we work on being ‘nice’ to the baby and giving baby kisses. We hug mommy’s tummy and say be ‘nice to baby’ and hope that she won’t sit on her bro/sis when they come home LOL
If your toddler is a little older than mine, you could help them prepare for baby #2 by: reading books, spending time with other babies, establishing routines, and providing all the extra loving and snuggles you can manage!
What do you need to purchase for your second baby?
Here are the things I have purchased (or tbh still need to purchase) to be ready for this baby’s arrival. Now, we have big stuff, toys, and larger ticket items but there is still plenty to purchase!
Maybe you still have your Breast Pump/Supplies from your previous child (I know I do!) but you want to make sure everything is in working order or you replace anything that needs to be replacing. I’m actually trying a different pump this time (trying the Spectra instead of the Medela), so I needed to purchase a few different accessories to be ready.
We decided just to ditch the bottles we had from P and start fresh. They just get so gross IMO that we wanted to give baby 2 some new bottles.
I have started stocking up on some diapers already and pulling out the extras we never used with P. I had a bunch of target gift cards from our previous diaper purchases so I used those to get some size 1 and size 2 diapers. This way, I know I already have some and don’t need to rush to the store or get on Amazon immediately when the baby gets home.
Maybe you know the sex of your baby and are lucky enough to have everything you need. Or maybe you’re crazy like me and decided to not find out with baby #2! I am getting my hands on a few newborn/0-3 month outfits from my sister who recently had twin boys (yay for saving money!) and I have plenty of sleepers if the baby is a girl. I plan to have a few of each washed and ready to go for either scenario.
You can get more outfits of course, but let's be real, my babies hang out in pajamas all day every day because it’s much easier than squeezing a newborn into something fancy.
You will need your carrier car seat and eventually two extendable car seats. If you are having a sprinkle shower, you might want to ask for another car seat. These do expire, but I think it’s like 10 years or something, so just check to make sure you’re all good!
We have our carrier car seat already (we have the UppaBaby Mesa) so we will be using that for baby 2. We also have a second Graco extend-2-fit car seat in my husband’s car, so eventually, we will just move that one over to my car (I will be home full time with the kids).
Remember; get your car seats checked by your local police department or fire department! Call and make an appointment so you can be sure the one person that is certified is actually on duty and available.
One thing I wish I did our first baby was to invest in a stroller that had the ability to convert to a double stroller. Unfortunately, hindsight is 20/20. We have the Uppa Baby Cruz (and with absolutely love it!) but need to upgrade to the Uppa Baby Vista so we can have both kids comfortable. These double strollers tend to be bulky and heavy though, so I don’t know how long we will actually use it. Since the baby is due in April, I need this stroller to get through the summer!!
Check out which double strollers are available and compatible with your infant carrier car seat, this will be the easiest route to go!
I will definitely switch to a more light-weight umbrella stroller once the baby is big enough to sit on their own and be comfortable in it.
We have been transitioning my toddler to a booster seat (we have this seat) on the regular chair so she can eat right at the table. This way, we can use the high chair for baby 2 without getting a second one. However, if this isn’t an option, you may want a second high chair so everyone can eat peacefully.
I honestly didn’t baby wear all that much with my first, but I KNOW that I won’t survive without being able to carry the baby. We will be going to the park, trying to get things done around the house, or honestly just chasing around my toddler. The baby is going to have to come with me lol
It may be the only way to spend some time with my toddler and keep my house clean.
I really liked the Moby for the newborn phase but really liked the Lillebaby as the baby got bigger! It’s a little more sturdy and definitely less fabric.
Baby Bath Tub
You might already have one of these and can reuse it from your first. Our toddler used the baby bathtub for an awkwardly long time (14 months LOL) and it kind of got gross by the end. We decided to toss it and get a fresh clean one for the baby.
We absolutely love this one from Fischer Price.
Where will baby #2 sleep?
If you have a nursery for your baby, you will need to get that ready. We had to clear the room, donate furniture, paint , do crown molding, and redo the whole closet system because it was a crappy and ugly guest room full of a bunch of garbage.
Nursery prep purchases:
Rug and Rug Pad
We have all hardwood floors, so we got a rug and pad from wayfair!
We got the Hemnes dresser from Ikea (well they sent the wrong boxes sooo still waiting on that….ugh)
We are luckily getting one from a friend, so we don’t have to purchase a new one! However, I do hope my toddler stays in her crib for a while longer so we definitely need two!
Bassinet/Pack and Play
We have a bassinet already but I honestly wouldn’t recommend it to anyone – only because my daughter was a huge baby and grew out of it so fast! This time around we plan on using a pack and play in our room with a more comfortable mattress (like this one). We plan to use this just for the first few months before we move the baby into the nursery. Hopefully around 4 months when they consistently sleep through the night. Unless they're nothing like their sister...then we will see...
We will also continue to use our pack and play with the newborn station attachment on our main floor. This was one of my FAVORITE items from the first baby. It creates a changing station AND place for baby to rest nearby :)
If you’re lucky, you either 1) already purchased a system that is capable of adding a second camera or 2) your older toddler doesn’t really need the monitor anymore.
We are unhappy with our current camera (it’s broken and barely holds a charge) So we are looking into different options. I’ll keep you all posted with what we decide!
What will your toddler do when you go to the hospital??
We are in the process of making plans with family members to take care of our toddler while we are at the hospital. One benefit of a scheduled c-section is that I can have plans ready to go on a specific date However, it’s important to talk with caregivers about what you will need and be very clear with what you need!
Type up a schedule. I want my daughter to keep with her normal routine so this transition can be as positive as possible for her. I plan to send this out several weeks before the due date so I’m not worried about it last minute in between contractions!
Don’t forget, you will be at the hospital for a few days – so you need help overnight too!
We plan to continue sending my daughter to daycare for a few weeks after the baby is born. She loves it there and it will make my recovery that much easier!
How to get through postpartum recovery with a toddler?
I can’t speak on this from experience but rather remember how difficult it was recovering from my c-section last time. I am so fortunate my husband can take two weeks off of work and my parents are close by, so they can stop by after work and help me on the weekends. Also, I plan to keep sending my daughter to daycare for a few weeks while I recover and get zero sleep!
I would talk with friends and family and see who is available to come by, even if just for a few hours, to lend a hand.
You can also prepare freezer meals ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about how you are all going to eat when you are too tired, sore, and busy nursing to cook!