You’re about to add another member to your family and couldn’t be more excited. Raising two children is a joy, but the transition from one child to two isn’t always easy. Tackle the potential challenges before they arise by keeping these parent tips in mind as your family expands.

1. Make Meals Differently for Now

Cooking is a challenge when you have an infant. It gets even more complicated when you have two kids to watch. People spend around 27.5 minutes preparing a single meal, which adds up when making more than one daily for a growing family. Rethink your kitchen routine to make life easier.

Meal-prepped casseroles and soups in your freezer will save the day when you’re too exhausted to cook. Ask your friends and family to start a meal train or send gift cards for meal delivery services after you give birth. The extra minutes you’ll get by not cooking will mean the world as you settle into a new routine with your kids.

2. Keep Some Older Family Traditions

When toddlers or older kids become big siblings, they may feel left out. They’re used to getting all your attention, so keep some traditions focused exclusively on them. You could make time to continue reading a book before bed, singing their favorite song on the way to school or making their favorite breakfast food once a week. As long as your oldest feels loved, you’ll ease the transition from one kid to two.

3. THE BIG Parent Tip: Find Sources of Help

Raising two kids will also take more of your time and attention. Other responsibilities may slip your mind, like cleaning the extra messes around your home. If you have the means, consider hiring a cleaning service to help you stay on top of household chores. The average American spends $500 on furniture annually. Kids are prone to create messes, so staying on top of cleaning can help you avoid needing to buy new furniture. Bringing cleaners in, even just a few times a year, can be more cost effective than replacing furniture or carpets.

Family members can also be a significant source of help. They might be able to watch your kids for an hour or two during the week so you can nap, enjoy self-care or have a date night with your partner. It all depends on their schedule and how you want to spend your time. See if a Postpartum Doula may also be a helpful resource to your family.

4. Rethink Your Old Infant Routine

The caretaking routine that worked when your first child was an infant may not work with your second. Stay flexible to adapt to your new baby’s needs. This is a key tip for parents to remember: all children are unique; try new things and never compare their abilities. They may have a different sleep schedule or prefer other bonding activities. Working with their preferences could make parenting two kids more effortless.

5. Reuse What You Can

Research shows child care costs are sky high, costing as much as $17,171 annually at some daycares. That doesn’t include grocery, gas or health insurance bills. Buying all new baby supplies may require money you don’t have this time around. Head into your storage areas to reuse whatever’s left from when your first child was an infant. Consider using their old crib, changing table, diaper bag and baby clothes. Items from thrift stores or friends are just as helpful when you’re already stretching your budget to keep up with your first child.

Experience a Seamless Family Transition

There are numerous ways to ease the transition from one kid to two. Keep these ideas in mind as your due date gets closer. No matter your baby’s needs or your family’s situation, you’ll bring your second child home and create the happiest household for your children.

About The Author

Cora Gold is a mother and writer who aims to connect with other moms through her experiences with navigating motherhood. Cora is the Editor-in-Chief of Revivalist magazine and writes for sites including For Every Mom, MommyBites and Playground Professionals. When she’s not writing about style and beauty for her magazine, Revivalist, she loves to share her experience with family life. Follow Cora on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.