I found getting ready for Baby #2 to be an entirely different experience than #1. You don't receive a list like you did the first time. No presents are arriving at your door and there isn't a shower to make sure you have all the odds and ends. Instead you try to remember what you'll actually use, where you put it, and then dust it off. And you feel like you should just know what to do. Except this time around you're getting ready for a baby with another kid to take care of, so it's not just about you and baby this time around.
A friend of mine recently asked for some advice as she prepares for #2, so I've put together a little list of the top five things to get ready for Baby #2:
1. STOCK UP. Stock up on necessities. Toilet paper, paper towels, detergent, diapers, frozen chicken, pasta, crackers. Have back-ups of everything you use on a daily or weekly basis that isn't fresh. The last thing you are going to want to do with two kids in the midst of post-partum recovery is go to the store. This will give you an opportunity to make a quick trip to the store for a few things. Good excuse for a get-away that wouldn't take too long.
2. CLOTHES. Go through all the baby clothes. Donate the pieces that are stained or over-worn. Pull out what will work for your current season and then wash and organize by size. It doesn't just stop with baby's clothes... Don't forget you have another one who is probably going to transition into a new season and size in the first few months of baby. Get online and get your basics covered. Trust me, the thought of hitting up Gap Kids or Old Navy after the baby is born will put you over the edge.
3. YOUR NEEDS. Don't forget about you. Get yourself at least four new pairs of yoga pants and lots of comfortable cotton t-shirts. I was pretty happy with the Liz Lange Maternity line from Target. This will be your uniform and with how tired and yucky feeling you may be, having newish clothes that aren't already faded out and stained will make you feel a little better. Also, don't forget to have plenty of pads on hand (ladies, it's the truth), as well as extra shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, face wash, moisturizer... All of those things you don't want to all of sudden be without one morning. It also might be a good idea to get some sort of dry shampoo and bronzer for those last minute visitors.
4. MEALS. I always bring good friends a couple of meals when they have new babies, mainly because feeding people is just kind of in my blood. Since we were living with my parents when W was born, I had no idea what a life saver meals are in the first two weeks. I, personally, hate pre-made frozen meals from the grocery store. So, I went to our local poultry place and purchased a few meals and then two of my most awesome friends brought me a few meals. This was huge. HUGE. Enlist some help if you don't have rock stars who might just bring meals over or cook now and freeze. Trust me, LIFE SAVER.
5. DOUBLE STROLLER. I completely underestimated what double stroller hunting was going to be like, so waited until the baby was here to do it. And then I put it off week after week until I couldn't handle it anymore. If you are having a baby when the weather permits you to go outside, get your double stroller ahead of time. Don't wait. Go get one. And if you're me, you should go get the Bumbleride. It's expensive, but I LOVE it. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it.
There you have it! Just be ready to feel like a real official mom. I felt like a mom with W, but having a second is very different. There's something really cool about having a newborn when you already trust your mom instincts, are confident in your mothering skills, and have this insane capacity for love that only mothers have for their children.