Planning for Your Second Child

by Claire Kilgour Hervey
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The recent birth of Will & Kate’s second child, Princess Charlotte, has cast a spotlight on the growing family. Despite being an experienced parent, the arrival of a second child means major changes for a family, especially if you’re coping with “two under two” like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. But you’re not royalty and may not have a dozen nannies on call. There’s no down time and stress levels are often up. Knowing what to expect may help you prepare for your expanded family life:

  • From zone defence to man-on-man

A second child means each parent is caring for one child. The mother spends the bulk of her time with the baby while Daddy’s out keeping looked after the toddler. Sound exhausting? Try finding small ways to relax and recharge to maintain sanity. A five minute meditation session or an aroma therapy bath can make a world of difference.

  • Expect to staff up

Access to extended family you get along with is key. If they’re eager to help, getting them onboard is key. For Princess Kate, it might mean a doting grandmother like Carole Middleton or Aunt Pippa steps in to give her a break. But you might not have accessible family members to lean on. A baby planning service can help assess your needs and guide you through the options. You may need a nanny and/or a housekeeper with the addition of your new bundle. Many families also look into pre-schools when baby #2 arrives as a way to ensure the older child is occupied and stimulated versus at home with mom and baby. Beware though, pick up and drop off can sometimes feel like a major coordination effort for a new mom bringing along a newborn.

  • Time to kiddie proof

Baby #2 means it’s time to get serious about kiddie proofing. Between breastfeeding, bathing or diapering the baby, it’s virtually impossible to keep your curious toddler entertained and under constant supervision – even with a nanny.

  • Find a double stroller that works for you

The biggest question you’ll need to address is the double stroller. With two tots it’s a must, but there are a lot of options out there to choose from. Here are the two standard styles:

1) Tandem – With one seat directly behind the other, making them equal in width but longer than a single stroller. There are different configurations of tandem strollers; some that allow the kids to face each other, or both face out, or that allow the rear passenger to see over the front passenger.

2) Side-by-side – These look like two attached single strollers. They’re great because both kids have equal views. But you’ll be twice as wide with this variety, so getting through grocery aisles, restaurants, or even down a busy sidewalk can sometimes be challenging. Side-by-side strollers are also harder to store, even when they’re folded up.

Once you’ve checked off the above items, you’ll be set for your newest addition with the time to enjoy the moment.

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