Getting ready for a second baby – Gill Crawshaw, A Baby on Board

Sep 16, 2014



So we’re just under two months away from the birth of our second child. Are we planned, prepared and all ready? Not really!

This time we’re a lot more relaxed about everything, having been through it before. We know that babies don’t need much – although buying patterned swaddles and tiny socks is fun – and we still have everything from the first time. The baby will also sleep in our room for at least six months, so there’s no worry about getting a nursery ready.

We have made a start by retrieving all the baby paraphernalia from the loft. I can’t remember there being this much last time though! There’s the big pram system, car seat, Moses basket, bouncer, baby grows and so on. And I have made lots of lists, which is surely halfway to being organised…isn’t it?

Differences between first and second pregnancies

One thing that’s surprised me is how big the differences have been between my first and second pregnancies. One of my friends, herself a mum of two, recently told me that ‘you’re only a pampered pregnant princess once’ which is so true.

But what have been the major changes?

First time: I took it easy as much as possible. I slept whenever I could. I refused to lift anything at all (proper princess behaviour)

Second time: Life just has to carry on as normal when you have a toddler; there are no options for long lie-ins or naps. You spend most of the time carrying them, and they don’t understand ‘lets just sit down for five minutes, mummy’s tired.’ It can sometimes be exhausting, but on the plus side I feel absolutely fine which I think is partly due to keeping going.

First time: Written a pregnancy book? Then chances are I would have read it. I had a whole folder of apps on my phone I checked every day, and I absorbed every blog post or article I could find, like a giant pregnant sponge

Second time: I’ve downloaded the apps, but only look at them occasionally. I’ve even missed every episode of One Born Every Minute. Pregnancy is no less magical – and I felt baby kicks much earlier on this time, which is lovely – but I have less time to appreciate it. It does make those snatched moments like the scans really special.

First time: I wrote a birth plan, read every birth story I could find and spent a lot of time obsessing over labour. What would it be like? How much pain would I be in? And most importantly, what should I wear to give birth in?

Second time: The big plans this time are all about who will look our toddler when the baby comes. Neither of our sets of parents live nearby, so we’re relying on my brother and friends to drop everything and come to babysit when it all kicks off. Fingers crossed.

What we’ve been up to over the summer

It’s all change in a few months. Eliza’s excited about the baby, has a special name she uses, and chats to my bump, but at two-and-a-half I’m not sure she really understands about how much her world is going to change. So I knew I wanted to make the most of the summer with her, and even wrote a list of everything we wanted to get up to We’ve been out and about lots, visiting museums and art galleries and exhibitions. But the most fun days have been when we have no plans and do simple things like running around the garden, playing with her toy kitchen and getting the paints out.

I’m also currently trying to make the most of things that will be in short supply when the baby comes; spare time and sleep.

The heat is on…

Speaking of summer, another of the big differences between my pregnancies has been the time of year. Last time round, I was due in January. This time, due to an EDD of early October I’ve been bearing the full brunt of the heat while having a bump.

So what are some tips for coping with the hot weather when you’re pregnant?

  • Water! Drink lots of it. And don’t feel silly about getting in the paddling pool with your children
  • Invest in some maternity dresses to keep you cool. There’s nothing worse than tight clothes to make you grumpy
  • Do as little as possible
  • Eat as many ice lollies as you can (these are great for dehydration and also help with nausea, which is a bonus)

Are due to have a baby shortly? If you have any hot-weather pregnancy tips then leave a comment and let us know.


Gill Crawshaw writes A Baby on Board, a blog about life in London as a mum. She lives with her toddler daughter and husband in south London, and is currently pregnant with her second child.


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AL/1776/08.14/0.001. Date of preparation: August 2014.

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