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Practical Tips To Consider When Preparing For Another Child

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While one child can be a handful, adding a second or third can come with a whole set of new challenges. For some parents, there may be physical or mental challenges. For others, it may be financial or economic hardships, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nevertheless, by proactively planning how a newborn will impact life with your loved ones, you can have peace of mind before the big day arrives. Below, Mommy I’m Here has included different tips to ease the sometimes scary and intimidating transition by self-reflecting on how your lifestyle, space and family dynamic may change.

Lifestyle - Think About What Another Baby Means For Your Career

Whether you’re a mother or father, having another child can have a huge impact on your career. It can have an even greater effect on you if you’re a working mom during the She-Cession trying to juggle your personal and professional life while dealing with pandemic hardships, like an increase in childcare costs. Either way, be sure to consult your human resources department to discuss the options you have before your baby arrives. If you’re a remote employee, ask about benefits like paid maternity/paternity leave and flex time. Or, if you're a mother and plan to return to work as an in-person employee, ask if there are private spaces for new moms like a lactation or nursing room.

Don’t Forget About Your Own Hobbies & Interests

With your spouse, children and new baby relying on you, it’s easy to prioritize everyone else around you more than yourself. But, a study found that up to 5 million U.S. parents experience burnout each year, a number only increasing because of the strain of the pandemic. If you’re a parent, look for the common signs, symptoms and causes of burnout which include “people pleasing.” Rather than feeling guilty for stepping away from your responsibilities, be assertive with your own wants and needs and make realistic compromises by finding logistic alternatives. For example, if you previously went to workout classes every day after work while looking after only one child, aim to add virtual workout classes to your self-love routine after your second child.

Space - Make Plans To Babyproof Your Existing Home

Before you bring your baby home, go through each room and create a detailed baby proofing checklist. This can be especially helpful to parents with a significant age gap between their older and younger children, as they may have lost sight of choking or falling hazards for small infants. On a physical or digital list, create three columns, “to do,” “doing” and “done” to track exactly what progress you’ve made as the final countdown begins. Another helpful tip when babyproofing your home is to consider safe play and safe alternatives to let your baby explore when they come home. For example, keep their five senses in mind and prepare safe places with things for them to push, pull or chew on to help with their cognitive and emotional development.

Consider Giving Your Growing Family More Room

While your existing home may be adequate for your small household now, you may be quickly overwhelmed once you bring another family member home. Whether you’re not satisfied with the indoor square footage of your home and lack of bedrooms, or the outdoor space and the small size of your backyard, take some time to consider if your house will work for years to come. Also, take into account your home’s location as it affects nearby youth sports leagues/organizations, neighborhood playgrounds, school districts and childcare services. If you think that moving is the best alternative, do your research and learn how to get pre approved for a mortgage when buying a new home. By completing this process online with options to automatically sync your application to a bank account, you can spend less time trying to complete each step and more time on preparing your belongings and your family for a move.

Family Dynamic - Proactively Delegate Actions Family Members Can Help With

While you may be overly ambitious now as to what you can do throughout your pregnancy and after the arrival of your new baby, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Even though you may feel like you should be an expert parent by your second or third child, don’t be embarrassed or afraid to lean on your loved ones. For example, ask your closest friends or cousins to help with your baby sprinkle. Not only is this a great way to spend time with them before the delivery day, but it’s a good way to register for smaller items you may have forgotten about or items that your child may need as they age, like child locators.

Have Open & Honest Conversations With Your Older Children

For many children, becoming a big sister or brother for the first time may mean they have a lot of questions, unknowns or worries. Have a plan to tell your firstborn that they're going to be an older sibling with an age-by-age guide. While a toddler may not have many questions for you, a school age child might be scared that this will change their personal, daily relationship with you. Regardless of their age, always listen, provide clarity and welcome their feelings. You can also take this opportunity to get your child excited about how they can interact with their new sibling soon with side parallel play or talking and teaching play with games like tummy time peekaboo.

As the months and weeks dwindle down to your due date, be patient with yourself as you transition into this next chapter of your family’s life. After all, the uncertainties in this new and exciting chapter make it all worthwhile. 

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