We’re in the final countdown and baby V will arrive next month! There’s a lot to do to get ready but since we have pretty much everything already I’m not overly stressed out about it (yet, haha). I’m working on a blog post on all of my favorite baby items we’ll use again, things we’ve upgraded and new purchases we’ve made/plan on making. But first I thought I’d share our “plan” for adjusting to life with another baby, and then I’ll also share our to-do list.
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Our Plan for Baby #3 and Things we Need to do Before He/She Arrives
Currently, Jack and Caroline each have their own rooms. I typically like to keep a newborn in my room until they seem to be sleeping through the night most of the time. That was around 2 months for J and C. Truthfully, I sleep better and I think babies sleep better once everyone has a little space. Unfortunately we don’t have a 4th bedroom so baby V will be rooming with us, at least until we move back to the mainland in May. We may put up a little divider in our room to help separate us a bit, or maybe we’ll figure out how to fit the bassinet in our closet (guess I need to pick up all the random clothes and shoes on the floor first, lol). We’ll see. I plan on using the rattan bassinet that we have until they grow out of it. (As seen above.) I bought it at a thrift store back when we lived in Kansas but this rattan bassinet is new and is very similar! Our alternative plan is to put J & C in the same room. Jack’s room is really big so they’d fit well there, but I hesitate because Caroline is such a good sleeper and can typically make it until 7AM, while Jack wakes up at like 5:30 and we make him play in his room until the green light turns on at 6AM on his okay to wake clock (see my blog post about this here). They also play very physically and require constant supervision, so it might be dangerous for Caroline (age 2) to be in there alone with Jack (age 4). Not because he’s mean, they just play so roughly. She still sleeps in her crib and maybe it would require them to figure it all out if we gave it a shot, but I’m just not sure if it’s the right choice for us at the moment. If you have experience with this I’d love to hear how it went! (But please remember, Jack is off the wall energetic and is overly physical, so if it worked for your mellower kids it might not work for us.)
We’re hoping my parents will be here before the baby is born so that they can help with the kids. Because of the military we’ve always lived so far away when I’ve given birth (DC and Hawaii), so it’s really difficult to plan because you never know when you’ll go into labor. It’s been just Tom and me for my previous two deliveries, so it would be nice if my mom could be there with me…but then it would also be tough on my dad to watch the two kiddos on his own. We also plan on having my friend Stephanie (an Oahu-based photographer) there to take photos of the whole experience. I think birth photos are so raw and incredible, and I’d love to have some, since I’m fairly certain this is our last baby. Plus I’m sure the mood in the delivery room will be really exciting since we don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl. It would be amazing to capture all of that on film!
Now on to our to-do list:
1. Clean Infant Carseat. We’re going to use our Uppababy Mesa again because it was such a great carseat for Jack and Caroline and it’s still in perfect condition (it’s good for 7 years from the manufacturing date, as long as it hasn’t been in an accident). It gets such a great safety rating and we’ve absolutely loved it. It’s a tad heavy to carry but it’s so easy to install and seamlessly works with the Uppababy Vista stroller that we got before Jack was born. I 100% recommend the Uppababy Vista stroller if you plan on having babies close together. It was so nice to not have to buy a new stroller since it converts to a double (and then to a triple if you use the Piggyback kickboard) and it has grown so nicely with our family.
2. Move Jack’s Carseat to the 3rd Row. We drive a Chrysler Pacifica (I’m obsessed with it and never thought I’d say that about a van) that has two captains chairs in the second row, so Caroline and baby V will occupy those, and Jack will move to the back. That makes sense, right? What have you done if you’ve been in the same situation? That’ll be a bit of a transition but he says he’s excited about it. It’ll make pre-school drop off kind of tough but I think it makes more sense to put him back there than it does for Caroline to move. Any input you have would be great!
3. Pull the BABYBJÖRN Bouncer, Boppy Newborn Lounger and 4Moms Rocker out of the garage. We’ve had the Boppy lounger since Jack was a newborn and it’s a great comfy place to put a baby when they’re awake. The BABYBJÖRN bouncer was purchased before Caroline was born and we really like it. It’s nice and simple and adjusts inclines for different ages. I love the mesh version that we have because it keeps baby nice and cool and it’s also easier to clean up when/if they spit up or have a blow out. The 4moms rockaRoo was purchased before Caroline too and it was one of the only places she was content the first few months of her life. I’d probably prefer the mamaRoo (it also moves side to side rather than only forwards and backwards) but I got this one at a great price so we’ll make do with it again.
4. Pack Hospital Bag. Still haven’t really thought about this yet…but it’ll definitely include a robe, nightgown (this one is under $20 and perfect for nursing), nursing bras, flip flops, slip on open back slippers (I brought moccasins to the hospital when Jack was born and I retained so much fluid from the IV that my feet didn’t fit into them), a boy outfit/blanket, a girl outfit/blanket, water bottle, long phone chargers, snacks for Tom, a shower cap, pillows and towels just in case, nipple cream, cooling gel nipple pads (a lifesaver during the early days of nursing), lip balm (new from Beautycounter and I’m OBSESSED), toiletries, an outfit to wear home (for me), hair ties (these are my favorite and pretty much all I wear)…what am I missing?!
5. Order Breast Pump through Insurance. I actually already took care of this one and was relieved by how simple the process was. I opted to go through a local medical sales company (my nurse called in my prescription) rather than purchase it on my own and then be reimbursed for the cost. They contacted me promptly and we discussed the options and it was in the mail and on the way to our home that night. I chose the Spectra S1 pump because it’s portable and I’ve heard from nurses that it’s better than medical grade. I’ve also heard that the charge lasts forever, which is awesome. I used a Medela pump with my first two kids and figured it was time to upgrade since my old pump was over 4 years old. I’m going to order these adaptors that allow you to use your Medela breast shields and bottles so I won’t have to replace those. Thanks to everyone who let me know about them! Oh and we’ll be using Kiinde freezer bags this time because they attach directly to the pump, so there is no need for a bottle while pumping. So genius! They were covered by our Tricare insurance too. I’m going to look into the Kiinde bottle too because the bag fits right into it and the nipple attaches to the bag so all you have to do is wash the nipple once the bottle is finished. I’m determined for this baby to actually take a bottle (Caroline didn’t and it was really tough on all of us), so we’re going to make sure we give the baby a bottle at least once a day this time. For me, nursing is just so much easier but I don’t want to end up with a really short leash for the first year like I did last time…so I’ll be pumping more often this time.
6. Buy Diapers. We’re Costco members so will be purchasing diapers there. I also like Target brand diapers and Pampers. We’re already good in the wipes department since Caroline is still in diapers. I really like the Costco wipes, though if I’m at Target I’ll grab the Pampers wipes. There is something about Huggies wipes and diapers that I’m not crazy about.
7. Pull Out Neutral Baby Clothes. We are fully stocked on summery girl newborn clothes (since we live in Hawaii and Caroline was born here), but since we don’t know what we’re having I plan on pulling out the more neutral pieces now. Jack was born in November in DC so our boy newborn clothes are all for cold weather, so we’ll have to do a little shopping if we have another boy.
8. Find Bath Support. We LOVED the Angelcare bath support for Jack and Caroline and I’m pretty sure it’s in the garage somewhere but I can’t remember. Or it’s at the South Caroline beach house. If we can’t find it we’ll probably just buy another one since they’re only $19.99.
9. Get another Sound Machine. We own two Marpac Dohm white noise machines (in our room and in Jack’s room) and one Marpac Hushh noise machine and love them all. We keep the Hushh in Caroline’s nursery and use it plugged in the majority of the time. I like that it’s portable and it’s great for attaching to a stroller or car seat when a baby is sleeping, and it’s great for travel too (whether you have a baby or not). We’re going to get another Hushh just so that we aren’t using the one that goes in Caroline’s room while we’re out and about all the time.
10. Buy Another Ring Sling. I already own two Wildbird ring slings and they are my favorite way to carry a baby because they hardly take up any space when they aren’t in use and they are so incredibly fast to put on. Wildbird is the best because they’re beautiful and so well made. Definitely my #1 or #2 most used baby items with Caroline. They’re easy to nurse in too! I have a gray one and a blush one already and want to add a light blue one (Pacific) to the mix. (I always keep one in the car and then have a second one in the house. It’s always great to have a spare in case the baby gets one dirty.) I don’t necessarily need a third one but I know I’ll get lots of use out of it. For Christmas I want to get each of the kids one of the mini ones (they’re made for littles to carry dolls or stuffed animals!) and I thought it would be cute if we could match. I have the single layer solid versions because they are the cheapest and also work up to 35 pounds. I actually just wore Caroline last week when she was super cranky after a nap and nothing else was working. Even at over 2 years old she loved being worn and didn’t want to get down.
11. Buy Matching Christmas PJs for all 3 Kids. Baby V should be born right before Christmas (due December 18th) so matching Christmas jammies for all the kids is a must. I’ll likely check out Old Navy, Carters or Hanna Andersson. Jack still fits into his Very Merry striped Happy Hannas PJs from last year so I’ll likely just buy some for Caroline and the new baby. Then next year Caroline will wear Jack’s old ones. They’re an investment but they last like cheaper ones don’t.
12. Purchase Presents for Kids to Give the Baby, as well as Presents for Baby to “Give” the Kids. I’ve heard this is a great way to help toddlers welcome a new baby. They’ll be excited to give the baby a present and of course they’ll love receiving something from the new baby.
I’m sure there is more to add to the list, but for now that’s it for now. Who else is busy prepping for a Christmas baby?!
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