Northwestern Mutual: Having a second child can be a big decision that affects every family member. From added costs to how to use hand-me-downs, here are a few things for parents considering baby number two to think about:
Impact on their firstborn
Parents considering a second child may wonder how their firstborn will feel about it. This is especially true if their first child is still a toddler. A second child can create feelings of jealousy, making it even harder for older siblings to get used to a new baby.
Talking to an expert like a pediatrician or a child psychologist can ease the transition. It can also help to read a first child books about becoming an older sibling and talk to them about their feelings regarding a new baby.
Financial security and stability
Parents thinking about having a second child will want to take stock of their financial situation. Do they have enough saved in an emergency fund (about six months’ worth of expenses is a good general rule for this)? Have they set goals for the future and do they have a plan to save for them? With children, saving for college is a common savings goal.
Another important part of financial planning involves a plan for the risk that a parent might not be able to earn income. Life insurance is a way that many parents plan for this risk. While no one likes to think about what would happen if one spouse were to pass away, having a plan in place can give parents the peace of mind that the family will be okay financially if something were to happen to one or both of them.
Revisit estate planning
Parents who have an estate plan in place should consider updating it. Parents who don’t have one may want to consider it. An estate plan may seem like it’s only for the rich and famous, but it’s a way to plan in case both parents unexpectedly pass away. Without one, a court will decide what happens to the children and who would manage any money — like from a life insurance payout that’s left to them.
Establishing a new budget
From buying diapers and formula to clothes and toys, there are a lot of expenses that come along with raising a child. Parents considering baby number two will likely want to revisit their budget.
Parents can start by taking a close look at current expenses and assessing their family’s starting point. If needed, parents may need to prioritize spending to make way for some of the costs that come in the early years of raising a child.
Parents may want to consider their childcare situation as well. Will the new baby mean paying a babysitter more? Could it make sense for a parent to stay home full-time now that there are two? Some daycares offer a second sibling discount for families that have more than one child—is this an option?
How to use hand-me-downs
Parents will want to take advantage of hand-me-downs to save money. Onesies, bathtubs, toys, and more are likely still in good condition. Getting them ready might be as simple as taking things out of storage and sterilizing them.
There are other benefits to using hand-me-downs—Reusing items is an environmentally friendly choice. A firstborn child seeing their new sibling using their old toys might feel more connected to the baby.
Getting ready for baby number two
There are several things to do before having a second child. Tackling financial tasks, getting hand-me-downs ready, and explaining everything to the firstborn can all make the process a bit easier the second time around.