As I'm firmly in the third trimester and my normal love of planning has gone into overdrive, I thought I'd share a few things that I'm doing to get ready for baby to hopefully make the transition to two kids a little easier. I admit that part of my need to have everything ready Right Now is related to how close my due date is to L's birthday, but also knowing that L came two weeks early. So really, the idea of a "birth month" is definitely our reality!
Here are a few essentials that I have planned or stocked up on for Baby #2.
Snacks for me: Since I normally spend so much time in the kitchen, I know that there will be a few weeks when I need to rely on our pantry and freezer for easy-to-eat, healthy snacks. And while I know that my husband can run out for trail mix or nuts, and take care of the rest of our meals, I don't expect him to know the ins and outs of some of my non-recipe recipes. So I've stocked up on Larabars, single serve packets of Justin's almond butter, Kind Breakfast Oat Bars, and, yes, trail mix. These are all easy to eat and I know they are things I like to eat at almost any time of the day. I also have apple juice boxes for during labor since that was the only thing I wanted with L. (I also plan to have muffins in the freezer...assuming I can ever get ahead and not just eat an entire batch when I make them!)
Pack n' Play: I love all of the modern bassinets and travel cribs out there, but I am also far too budget-minded to buy* something so pricey that only has a few months of use. (And since we didn't have anything like that for L, I assume we'll manage again.) That said, we do need a place for the baby to sleep in our room for the first few weeks and for when we go on overnight car trips, so I got a regular Pack n' Play. It's not fancy, but I'm sure it will work!
*I am sure I would have registered for one of the fancier options had they been around 4 years ago!
Baby Clothes: For the most part, since both of our kids are girls and their birthdays will be close together, we actually didn't need many new things. I did pick up a few more sleeping gowns, since they make diaper changing so easy during the night, and a few new swaddles since ours seem to have evaporated. Oh, and I did go to a consignment store and got a few summery things that I just couldn't resist!
Books: For my first birth, we took Bradley classes and I read a lot of books about natural birth. I want to say that I think anyone who has a child, no matter how the child came into the world, is amazing. I also have a lot of issues about how militantly anti-hospitals the natural birthing community can be. We're having another hospital birth both because we live too far from midwives and a birthing center, and because I had a good experience with an unmedicated birth in a hospital the first time around. Do I think that there are often too many interventions in birth? Yes. But I've also done my research and feel prepared to have a positive experience in a medical setting. My go-to birthing books are Natural Hospital Birth, which is seriously an amazing resource (I think I've probably read it 6 times now), and The Calm Birth School. I was fortunate to have a pretty quick active labor with L, but my biggest issue was feeling tense, which I think made things hurt more than they might have otherwise. I hope to use breathing more effectively this time around. I also just found this Daily Essentials video from Spinning Babies to help with good baby positioning—it's far easier to understand than their somewhat cryptic website and is also nice since the closest prenatal yoga to me is an hour away.
Bottles: L wasn't a fan of bottles at all, despite our efforts. And since I worked at home and plan to do the same again, we can make exclusive breastfeeding work—but it sure would be nice to have a bit more flexibility. I'm planning to try these Latch bottles, which have gotten good reviews. (We're also going to try out these Natursutten pacifiers.)
We have our Ergo, with the infant insert, ready, along with our fabric Mei Tai wrap that we loved in the newborn days. We're reusing the crib, nursing pillow, and almost everything else! Oh: I did splurge on some Tubby Todd lotion and body wash and I can't wait to use it.
The biggest thing that I think will help us with our second baby is knowing how quickly phases pass. I know that we'll be exhausted in the beginning, but I also know that in no time, the baby will be sleeping for longer stretches. I know that there will be many loads of diapers to wash, but also that she'll be potty trained before I can believe it. I also realize that my family is incredibly fortunate since both my husband and I will be home with the baby this summer—perks of being married to a professor!
I hope to enjoy the smaller moments more, to not try to do so much with every minute of the day, and to get all of the baby snuggles that I possibly can.
What are some of your new baby essentials?