Thursday, November 30, 2006

Doing An Inventory for Baby #2

Knowing when to do everything to prepare for the arrival of a new baby can be a daunting task. With a first baby, it often seems that you are buying items every week because the baby will need everything. You need a bathtub, a crib, furniture, and clothes galore. With a second baby, however, the items needed may not be as clear.

When you find that you are having your second baby, your first task should be to make a list of what you already have. Did you keep your baby clothes from the first time? If you are lucky, you kept most of them, and they are not gender specific. Otherwise, you may find that you are shopping for the baby all over again. You should take some time to see what you still have. Are you having the baby at roughly the same time of year? That also will impact how much you need to purchase.

Then begin to take a look at the big stuff. Do you still have your crib? Was it useful, or was it something that you will not use much again? Some parents find that co-sleeping worked better for them or that they preferred to put their baby into a bassinet or other sleeping device. What about the furniture you have? Will it be adequate for a new baby? If you bought a combo unit, you may be using the furniture as a dresser or bookshelf now for the first baby. Who will get the new furniture in that case? How much new furniture is needed for the new baby to live comfortably and what can you afford in time, money, and space for the new little one? Thinking about these issues as soon as possible will permit you to begin making purchases in the early months of your pregnancy.

Now, it is time to move on to the nursery decorations. If you had a baby very recently, you may be perfectly willing to let the new baby use the nursery decorations you already have. Otherwise, you may want to select an updated option. Even if you choose to use different stuff, you should still go through what you have. You may find that some of the rugs and other accessory items will work just as well for the new baby.

What about all of those blankets and other items you received with the first baby? If your family is like ours, you found yourself with more baby blankets than you could ever use. I think we had blankets that never saw the light of day simply because there were so many. Instead we folded them all and put them away. With baby number one, we were like many parents. We were reluctant to throw anything away for fear that we may need it again in the future. Now, though, I now that keeping things we do not really need or want for the baby only adds to the clutter in our lives. When you are expecting your second baby, then, is the time to get rid of the items you do not want or need anymore. Also toss anything that has stains or that you do not think you will find useful the second time around. Most parents get less concerned about germs with the second baby, so some of the safety equipment you got (and probably rarely used) will not seem so necessary now.

You should begin to look at bottles, pacifiers, and other items that you have leftover. Even if your first baby is only barely a toddler, you should toss anything with a nipple. Get new nipples for the new baby, even if you use the same bottles. With the bottles, however, be sure that nothing is cracked or that there were no traces of milk that remained despite a good washing. Toss anything that looks as if it may have been sitting unsanitary for a while. You do not need anything that could cause the baby to get sick. Getting rid of these items will make room for you to get stuff for the new baby that he or she will be able to use. Plus, once you complete the inventorying tasks that go along with having a second baby, chances are you will feel much more at peace with your pregnancy.

By Brandi Rhoades

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