Soaking up all those last moments with Leyton as we are preparing for baby #2! Photos by Willow & Fifth Photography.
When Eric and I found out we were welcoming a second baby we were absolutely thrilled! Having one baby is a wonderful gift let alone TWO. We are now about 3 weeks away (AH!) from our sweet boy’s arrival. I can’t believe we are in the final countdown until I become a mom of two!!
As I shared on Instagram, I am feeling pretty behind and unprepared for the arrival of baby. We have had a whirlwind of events with the car mishaps on our way to our babymoon, Eric’s grandfather’s passing which meant 2 long drives to Indiana without Leyton and myself there to support Eric and be with family, all while we were quarantined for 5+ days with the stomach bug.
I am constantly reminded that my plans and timing are not always God’s will and that others have it much harder than these momentary afflictions. With that being said, I am beyond grateful for your outpouring of help in giving us tips for transitioning and preparing for Baby Brown!
I am thankful we aren’t trying to completely remodel a nursery. We decided to use Leyton’s nursery for baby 2 and move Leyton to his “big boy” bedroom! This past weekend, I was able to spend a little time getting Leyton’s clothes transferred to the new room, getting the baby’s clothes hung, organizing my office space, and doing a little prep work. There is still just SO MUCH to do!
At the top of mine and Eric’s to-do list is to install the car seat – no matter how many times you do this, does it ever get easier?! Another big to-do has been prepping for my maternity leave by getting content scheduled out ahead of time on the blog. The transition to two kiddos can be demanding and stressful at times. It is crunch time and I am looking for all the books and advice on how to make this transition easier. Allstate has been an amazing resource with all of their helpful checklists, baby safety information, and how-to videos!
Resources for Preparing for Baby #2:
- How To Video for Properly Installing a Rear Facing Car Seat – I’ll definitely be watching this one!
- How To Plan Your Maternity Leave & The Options Available – Self-employed mamas, they have tips for us too!
- How To Decide What To Buy vs Borrow – I actually have a whole blog post coming on my baby #2 must haves that will break down which items we decided to reuse from when Leyton was a baby vs what we are buying new!
- Paperwork Checklist for Baby – One of my favorite resources! This is helping keep me straight to make sure we have all the logistics ready!
I reached out to you guys on Instagram for your help and wisdom on this big transition in our family. Those of you who have been through this before were so supportive and shared your experiences and advice. Y’all gave me 6 great tips for preparing for baby #2!
Tip #1 for Preparing for Baby #2: Encourage “big boy/girl” behavior from your firstborn!
“We expected full on meltdowns, lots of jealousy, etc. However, he only had a few tantrums and we felt good about that. We expected the worst so anything than that was a win for us! Also, make a big deal about him getting to do “big boy” things that baby brother isn’t able to do yet. Since the baby will get lots of attention for other things he will enjoy some privileges. You will do great and so will they.”
“It is so endearing to see your current toddler “baby” morph into a big boy immediately. Those first precious moments with both of your kiddos make me tear up thinking about them.” @travelingkel
“We made a pact to avoid saying “no,no,no” or “don’t do that”, etc. but instead setting guidelines and letting our son know what baby likes and how to go about things. Little jobs helped too. Get mommy the wipes… We also tried to let him have the space he needed when he was ignoring the baby… My kids have the best relationship today and we still encourage the good behaviors they copy from one another! ” @travelingkel
Tip #2 for Preparing for Baby #2: Use your resources!
Eric and I try to limit how much screen time Leyton gets. We allow Leyton to watch up to 45 minutes a day but typically don’t watch any. Hearing these tips from y’all on screen time is genius!! I’ll for sure have to try these out in the first few weeks!!
“I don’t know how you feel about tv time, but I was SUPER against it before #2 was born. But I set up a little tv and a recliner in our room. #1 watches a show when she wakes up with a premade yogurt smoothie while I set on the bed and nurse or drink coffee. I love it because I get a little alone time but I don’t feel like I’m playing favorites or ignoring #1. My baby is 11 weeks old now, so I’m starting to realize that we should stop before this becomes a lifestyle. ” @ksandyfitness
“Girl just go on ahead and don’t worry about how much tv you let L watch at first! The first couple of weeks is straight up survival mode because unlike with baby 1, napping throughout the day is not real life when baby #2 gets here! But it all evens out quickly, and somehow you figure the logistics out. I have a 2.5 year old and a 3 mo old, so it is an adventure!” @cbsingletary
Tip #3 for Preparing for Baby #2: Set aside more mommy and me time!
Just like many of you, I feel the constant pull between being a great mom, wife, business owner, fitness lover and Jesus lover. It’s so easy to feel pulled in too many directions, but I’m trying my VERY BEST to let the moments I have with Leyton really count before baby comes and to let my work moments really count too.
For instance, I try to plan a fun activity each day that Leyton and I have at home together. Whether that be something small like going to Chick-Fil-A for a treat, going on a walk, feeding the fish at the creek or spending a day at the zoo and on the carousel, these moments will be ones I treasure forever. Eric and I are hopeful to continue the tradition of having one on one time with each son even after #2 is here! 🙂
Right now we can tell Leyton is acting out a bit more and we think it’s because he knows more than we give him credit for. Not to mention he can see we are changing his nursery around and closets around and starting to make him a big boy room.
I’ve noticed that Leyton is wanting to be with Eric more right now (or preferring to hold his hand when we cross the street) and I’ve heard from several other mama’s that that’s actually a good thing since I’ll need Eric to help more with baby while I’m breastfeeding, etc.
“The best ‘advice’ I could give you is to truly just soak up all that one on one time with your little man! Take him on special dates before baby gets here! I have some sweet sweet memories of doing this with my girl! I also tried to be really relaxed about Ava touching Silas and being around him. I never wanted her to feel like he was the priority over her.” @chelsslevin
“Something I wish I did was make a calendar so my little one would know when we were at the hospital and when we were coming home. My 2nd ended up having to go to the Nicu so we were at the hospital longer and she didn’t understand why I wasn’t home. With my 3rd we made a calendar and my mom helped them mark days and then gave them gift to give the baby on the day we got to go home. This helped them a lot. It also helped them get excited about baby 3. They couldn’t wait to see him and watch him open their gift!” @Saratlawrence
Tip #4 for Preparing for Baby #2: Home & meal prep!
“Don’t worry about the new baby nursery yet. He will be in your room for a while anyway. Focus on your older boy’s room so he can be accustomed to it for a while before baby comes. Don’t be surprised if you see Leyton regress in an area or two after the baby comes. It’s a big adjustment and just know that everything will happen when it is meant to.” @Mcelrathst
“One thing I wish we’d done was gone through and decluttered/reorganized. Our second was able to use a lot of hand-me downs, but with being born in different seasons, a lot of our stuff isn’t able to be used now that he’s older. And we have accumulated so much stuff that we feel it’s not easy to just go through and do it all now with having two. I want to be a minimalistic mama so that’s what I’m aiming for once our oldest starts school.”
Tip #5 for Preparing for Baby #2: Stay positive!
I really really try to live by this mindset. I think your outlook on almost any situation can affect how you experience it. Prayer, getting rest when needed, girl time, date nights and endorphins are some of my secrets to staying positive.
“Just some encouragement- it was easier than I thought it’d be. Utilize help if you have it, but it does seem like kids adjust naturally. And the 3 year age gap is awesome in my opinion!” @riebeac
“2 was so easy! You’ll do fine. 3?” @minismama
“Looking back on having my second, I’m glad that I just gave myself permission- to sleep when I could, to let chores slide sometimes, to have toast or cold cereal for dinner some nights, to sit with my firstborn & hold the baby together & drift off to sleep in the middle of the day. Looking back, I just feel like I enjoyed it deeply because I let myself.” @hippiechick_jlaw
“Pray, then pray & then pray some more!!! Give your time & yourself to the Lord. Ask Him to direct your steps & trust that He is filling in the gaps when everything”you” want done doesn’t get done ?. Our 3 girls are all in their 20s now. They don’t remember the stuff I thought was important. But they do remember time spent together ?.” @Stonewoman5
“Just remember new baby doesn’t come in on the schedule that you and Leyton are use to… that was so hard for me to remember… I was like it’s nap time baby why are you crying or eating ?. Also with one if they were up all night it was not as big of a deal bc you could nap during the day but now you will have a toddler and can’t really do that… so yes help with the older one for a few hours. Mine were 17 months apart… so just push through and keep the oldest one on their schedule even if you just want to crawl in the corner and sleep.” @Shelly_powers
Tip #6 for Preparing for Baby #2: Ask for help!
People gave me this advice when I was pregnant with Leyton and boy, did I end up taking it to heart. If you read about my breastfeeding/ mom shaming experience you know that I really had a hard time after delivery so I learned quickly that people offer because they really do want to help…you just have to tell them how. For instance, I let my babysitter help me with laundry when Leyton is napping, my parents keep Leyton so we can have date nights, my sister brings us food when Leyton is sick, etc etc. People love to be a blessing to you the way you love to be a blessing to them when they need it!
“Someone to help us with cooking meals. My husband was off about 3 weeks but I had a c-section and i still needed help. I had a child that was not 24 months old. And someone to take my oldest one for about 3-4 hours so I could take a nap or rest since I was breastfeeding and still healing.” @rmarshall123
“I wish I would have forced myself to rest a little more before baby #2. I let the grandparents help a lot more before baby #3 and while I didn’t get my to do list done, I felt so much more rested and mentally prepared! Wishing you both the best as you get close to the finish line.” @Kristyjenn
“Just had my second and a meal train for 2 weeks was a huge help! I had an unplanned csection and not having To worry about dinner most days meant that the grandmas and my husband could help with my toddler and me- instead of cooking.” @Somedayclub
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help! People want to do it, so when they offer-don’t feel bad taking them up!” @Fwcl_fitness
We are so thrilled to enter into this new chapter in our lives. We will try to savor the craziness of our new normal and to love even the most difficult bits. Although our typical days will look different and we will have new struggles to face, I know that these challenges are totally worth it. How many kiddos do you have? Are you expecting a baby or trying? I would love to hear what your experience as a mommy of multiple kiddos is. What was most difficult? What did you find most helpful? Leave a comment below!