Hello fellow moms in the 2020 baby boom! So much happened in the first trimester that by the time T2 hits it can be a little daunting to think about what you do now. If you’re in the early stages of the second trimester, you still don’t quite FEEL pregnant. The symptoms have mostly gone away but it’s unlikely you’ll feel solid movement until around 20 weeks. People that know you probably know you’re pregnant but if you haven’t told someone, they wouldn’t know just by looking at you. It’s a weird stage. Hopefully your energy levels have returned to close to normal- so what do you do with it?
The answer, a lot. You do a lot. In fact, it’s a good idea to get most of the of work done now. First things first. Have you finished your baby book? If you’re answer is, “I haven’t even bought one.” I’d really recommend changing that! Online articles (hey, like this one!) can be fun and even helpful but it’s always best to have information that has truly been vetted. I have found books written by trusted medical organizations are the most helpful. They don’t always have the fluff to make you smile while you’re reading but you’ll absolutely come out of it with more answers than questions.
Books are a great resource to turn to whether you’re looking to learn about your growing baby, saving money for upcoming expenses, alternative methods of labor and delivery, and everything that comes after the push. Always try more than one, if you have the resources. If you’re tight on money, the library has tons and I’m sure your friends would be more than happy to help.
Speaking of tight on money… remember that normally you don’t have to buy everything yourself. Baby showers are pretty common tradition these days and that aside from that, lots of places send you free stuff just for creating a registry with them!
I’m willing to bet that you have friends, family, some sort of support group that is going to start asking you what kind of stuff you want for the little bean inside you. So even if you don’t plan to have a shower, creating a baby registry is going to save you a lot of time and keep you from ending up with a million of the same item. I’d recommend not having anymore than 2 different registries for the sake of simplicity and efficiency. I am using Buy Buy Baby and Amazon (yes, I low key hate supporting Amazon but their inventory for this stuff is just peak efficiency and great for bulk buying deals.) I am not sponsored by those companies so I’m not here to tell you to use them, just that I found their inventory to cover the types of things I was looking for with easy to navigate sites for some of the older people that will be shopping for us. Some people prefer sites like BabyList. It’s similar to Zola for weddings in that you can connect your registries from several sites to it. The downside I’ve noticed is that it does create lots of steps for those purchasing items for you and can be a touch more confusing. The main complaint that I saw that kept me from using BabyList is that users have to go back and check off the item they purchased. If not, someone else can also end up buying it. For millennials, this is probably easy to understand! I just happen to have a lot of people that aren’t so tech-savvy involved with my baby-life and deferred to the two I chose.
Do what feels right for you and ALWAYS research your items before adding them to your registry. Read not only reviews but how they are made (this is most important for things touching your baby’s skin or furniture pieces!) If your registry place of choice has a physical store, definitely pay it a visit. It’s a great way to see these products in person. Again, I can’t stress this enough for furniture. You don’t want to end up with something poorly made that will be supporting your baby. Take your time with it, don’t be scared to go back and change and item after learning new information and HAVE FUN WITH IT!
The larger your baby gets, the more difficult it will be to move around- and move other things around. Use T2 to set up rooms in your house the way you want them to be when the baby arrives. Knock out that heavy lifting momma. Of course, you don’t have to do this alone! Get your birthing partner in it with you. Whether that’s a spouse, a parent or a friend- that is what they are there for.
Things you’ll want to think about is things that will be within reach when the baby becomes a crawler and a walker. Sharp corners on low rise tables, electrical outlets and lose cords the baby could pull. That stuff is less heavy and more bending over. Best to get that stuff done when you’re at your most mobile.
Other things to consider is where you will be storing your baby stuff. Of course you have the nursery but generally that won’t be where everything goes. Your house might not have many rooms to spare so a playroom might not be an option but you definitely want a play space. It will help keep you organized as your baby grows up to have a clear place where their belongings will be stored. Did you know one of the skills your baby is learning is organizational skills? It seems so complex for someone that can’t even organize shapes yet, but all in due time. Your baby sees everything and is categorizing away!
Creating a play space might be where the heavy lifting becomes involved. Moving some furniture around can open up space in your rooms. Careful with the lifting! The last thing you want to do is cause additional back or abdominal pain.
If you’re planning on moving before the baby arrives, time to start moving forward with that plan- because again, the heavy lifting! You won’t be as helpful later in the pregnancy with moving but you’ll likely want to be involved. Make it easier on everyone and begin locking down those plans now.
You’re still months away from the big push. Possibly even before the halfway point, but it’s a good idea to start looking into hospitals for your delivery or other alternative methods. This is a big decision that you’ll want to take your time with. If you wait till that third trimester you might feel rushed and overlook something that was important to you. Take a tour (or a virtual one depending on how you feel about the current state of things.) A lot of people overlook this one but CALL YOUR INSURANCE. See what exactly they cover. Sometimes hospital protocol gives you one thing, but had you simply known to ask for the other which was covered by your insurance, you could have saved a lot of money.
It’s important that you feel safe and comfortable during your delivery. Maybe you look into hospitals and decide that’s not for you! Heck, you might have already known that. Research your alternative methods just as thoroughly as you would a hospital. Interview midwives and doulas. Join a support group for moms who have also chosen alternatives to hospitals. Being prepared early breeds confidence for T3 when you’re feeling more slow moving.
It might seem ages away but T2 is a great time to start really looking into childcare. You’ll have the energy to do interviews and tours of facilities along with less hormones clouding your judgement. There are so many things to consider with childcare. What kind of certifications do they have? What’s the facility like? The neighborhood? Should I have a nanny that comes to my house instead? What kind of education tools does this method provide? And the big one- how much does this cost me?
This process takes longer than almost everything else you’re doing to prep for baby’s arrival. Take your time and don’t settle for something you’re not confident in. You need piece of mind when you go back to work- if you decide to!
Overall, what you’re going to want to do this trimester is pave the way for an easy third trimester and beyond. This is going to be the last time you don’t feel the heavy effects of having a child. Use the energy and excitement to move forward in this journey, the best way YOU see fit.
A million people will judge you no matter what decision you make. Make them anyway. As long as it’s a decision to love and support your child the best way you know how, you’re doing it right. Goodluck on your journey and start making that T2 checklist!