How We’re Preparing Financially for Baby #2


72 Comments
Preparing Financially for Baby #2

Thanks so much for all the well wishes regarding our little announcement on Friday! We’re thrilled (albeit a little nervous) to have another baby on the way! Ever since we found out the big news back in August, Johnny and I have had many a riveting financial discussion about what a second little munchkin means for our future. We reviewed this post we wrote about preparing financially before Sally was born, but we still felt like there were some unanswered questions…

  • Should we buy a house before the baby’s born?
  • How much will our insurance cover for this birth?
  • How much will our supplemental insurance pay out?
  • Will we need to buy a double stroller?
  • What kind of bed should we buy for Sally now that the crib is spoken for?
  • Do we need a bigger car?
  • Will we need to start contributing to another 529?

Lots o’ questions. And even though we have another five months to get it all figured out, we’ve already started answering a few of them.

Should we buy a house before the baby’s born? At first, I was pumped to have an excuse to finally make the plunge into home ownership. My nesting instincts kicked in realll early and I was imagining decorating a new space to call our own to welcome our second child to. But after talking it through (and letting my hormones chill out), we’ve realized it makes sense to stay in our condo for now. We have an office that could easily serve as a third bedroom. And we live within walking distance to Johnny’s work, a convenience we’re not quite ready to give up. I can already imagine myself calling Johnny those first few weeks and screaming for him to get home because the baby had a blowout and Sally found a permanent marker. After reading this, Johnny will probably want us to move further from his work.

How much will our insurance cover for this birth? Unlike last time (when the insurance gods gave us a free baby), Johnny and I will have to pay a few thousand out of pocket this time around. If you remember this post about weighing out our insurance options, you now know why we were so keen on a low deductible instead of an HSA. Knowing that, we’re trying to be especially mindful of our budget so that we’re saving a hefty chunk each month until the baby’s born.

How much will the payout be from our supplemental insurance? Johnny and I still have our Aflac supplemental insurance, which netted us a cool $4100 for Sally’s birth. We’re hoping the payout is similar this time around to help us pay for the birth. And if we’re lucky, maybe we’ll even be able to put any extra toward that monstrosity called a double stroller. Which leads us to…

Will we need to buy a double stroller? We think the answer to this is YES. But we’re still not sure what kind. I think I’d like a side by side one, rather than a front to back one. But there’s still a ton of research to be done in this department. (Any tips would be much appreciated!)

What kind of bed should we buy for Sally now that the crib is spoken for? I’m leaning toward buying a twin bed, but depending on how much space we have in the room currently serving as our office (where Sally will be transferred), we may have to opt for a toddler bed. I like the idea of a twin bed because guests could use it when they come visit, and we’d never have to upgrade Sally’s bed again.

Do we need a bigger car? This is a definitely. There’s just no way our Toyota Corolla will comfortably fit two carseats. Johnny has to push his seat back all the way when he drives (long legs or something), leaving no room for a baby on that side. Johnny and I are butting heads on this issue (surprise, surprise). He wants a minivan, and I’d like some sort of crossover or smallish SUV. Either way, we’ll be selling our Corolla and hoping to pay cash for a new (to us) vehicle.

Will we need to start contributing to another 529? Ugh… I don’t want to think about this one yet. But, yes, we’re hoping to have started contributing to this new little one’s college education by the time he or she turns one. Happy birthday, sweetheart! Here’s a cardboard box, some crayons, and your first 529 contribution!

Those are the financial logistics of baby #2 we’ve considered so far. I’ve still got to come up with a spending budget for baby preparation, which I’ll share in the coming months. Any other considerations you’d add to our list?

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72 Comments

  • Reply Yvann November 10, 2014 at 7:28 am

    Re the double stroller; friends are swearing by the City Select by BabyJogger. Not sure if it’s available in the US, but it looks awesome. We are expecting small person #1 and are tempted to buy it right now (it works as a single) to take the financial hit up front, and once.

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 1:51 am

      Thanks for the tip! I’ll have to look that stroller up! And congrats!!

  • Reply Mrs. Frugalwoods November 10, 2014 at 7:43 am

    You’re so smart to start thinking about all of this now! Regarding a larger car–we have a 1996 Honda Odyssey minivan and it’s an amazing car. You’d want something newer than a 1996 :), but, from what I understand, the newer models are also excellent. Good luck with all of this exciting planning!

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 1:54 am

      Thanks! I’m not sure if it’s smarts or just being a tad too high strung ;). Johnny is STILL gunning for the minivan. He says something at least once a day… if we do get a minivan, the Odyssey would be my top choice!

  • Reply Gretchen November 10, 2014 at 7:44 am

    Very cool! I didn’t have a chance to say congrats early, but here it is! Glad to see you’re keeping your wits and not jumping into home ownership too early – and also that you’re seeing the value in a bigger vehicle. I got so much flak when we bought our SUV, and not just for the financial side of it. So many people said we were stupid to buy a less gas efficient vehicle but I was like “Guys, chill. We DO NOT fit in our current car!”

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 1:55 am

      Thanks, Gretchen! And I hear ya… we REALLY won’t be able to fit in our Corolla once #2 arrives!

  • Reply stephanie November 10, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Congratulations – can I add my 2 cents to the bed discussion? My kids are similar in spacing to your kids and what I wish I would have done was buy the oldest kid a queen size bed and here’s why – at 6 and 8 they sleep together (by choice) every night. And guess where they sleep? in the guest room queen bed (they each HAVE their own rooms. That they don’t use). Also, we would have had a place, as you say, for guests if we’d just had the queen bed to begin with in there. But, I get it. We bought the twin bed too and I’m just on the record now as saying I wish I would have gotten a bigger one. A toddler bed was never on my list of considerations.

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 1:56 am

      Thanks for your insight, Stephanie! We do have a spare queen mattress that isn’t currently being used for anything. When the time comes, we’ll have to see what Sally’s ready for!

  • Reply Meagan November 10, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Congrats on baby #2!! I always said I would never drive a minivan. About a year and a half ago we got a small SUV (rav4) which I love but now that we are also expecting baby #2, I wish we had gotten a minivan!! Automatic sliding doors, more space to get babies in a out of their seats and the backs are large enough for a big stroller and groceries!! :-)

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 1:58 am

      Thanks, Meagan! The convenience of a minivan is really starting to win me over. Putting Sal in and out of our current car is a big pain, and it’d be nice not to have that inconvenience in my life anymore. Also, congrats to you on #2!! How exciting!

  • Reply TT November 10, 2014 at 8:24 am

    We purchased a small (5 seat) SUV right before #1 arrived. Our plan was to keep it through #2 and get something bigger before #3 arrived. Well #2 is here now, and it works, but things can be tight sometimes–especially if we road-trip or take the dog anywhere. Sometimes I wish we would have just gone bigger to start. I definitely would not want to do three in something that only seats five. If you have any plans to have a third I think you’ll want a larger SUV (seats more than 5) or mini-van. If I were in your shoes, and I had any plans for a third, I would go for the mini-van now (sliding doors sound amazing to me). Just my 2 cents.

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 2:00 am

      Oh you logical people. You sound just like Johnny. I can’t say whether we have plans for #3 since I’m not yet sure how bad #2 is going to kick our trash in the parenting department ;). But the last thing I’d want is to buy a new car only to realize it’s not big enough 3 years down the road. Definitely an important consideration!

  • Reply MomofTwoPreciousGirls November 10, 2014 at 8:49 am

    I’m with Stephanie on the bed issue. We went toddler bed and it was used like 2 times! We thought the transition would help our daughter learn to sleep on her own. We ended sleeping on the floor next to that tiny bed many times holding her hand. Until I got too pregnant to handle it. Then she slept with us. Baby sister moved out into her crib before the older one. To this day I spend about 4 nights a week sleeping with my now almost 7 year old! The younger child has always been amazing, so she did well converting the crib to toddler bed for about 18mos and then she moved to a queen too. She sleeps on her own but I am amazed at how she takes advantage of the space…I find her all over the bed when it’s wake up time!
    Stroller – I had a “compact” side by side for a very short time (it was a loaner thank goodness) and I HATED it. So hard to get through doorways and steer through aisles other than the grocery store. The front to back was still tough getting through doorways, but a lot better while shopping and squeezing into elevators. BUT it was heavy. You need to bring Sally to the store and get out the infant carrier to take as well. My mistake was trying it out in the store without the weight of the child and seat. Once they got to be 3 & 2 I had a very hard time steering it. Also getting up and down in my Murano was difficult especially during the pregnancy recovery. If you have to, put Johnny in the thing to test it out!!!!

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 2:04 am

      Thanks for your great perspective! We still haven’t figured out the bed issue, but I love hearing other moms’ firsthand experience! We have a spare queen mattress, so that’s definitely an option.

      I don’t know what we’re going to do about the double stroller… it sounds like, no matter what, it won’t be very convenient! I think I’ll be scouring Amazon reviews for the next four months and just praying I make an okay decision in that department!

  • Reply Cate November 10, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Congrats!
    Stroller: We held out as long as we could on the double stroller. We really were hoping that the baby could be in the stroller and our toddler would be able to walk patiently with us and hold our hands in the store without taking off and destroying everything in his path and then crying when we pick him up but…who were we kidding? For a while we used a stroller and a cart when we went shopping, if there wasn’t a cart I used the baby carrier and put the toddler in the stroller. Eventually we were using two strollers and it was ridiculous so we gave in and bought the double stroller. We bought one that is front and back with like 12 different positions you can use but our toddler is getting a little too big for some of them. We bought the front/back stroller opposed to the side-by-side because we take our stroller in the store and there would be no way to maneuver that wide of a stroller through stores who barely accommodate their own shopping carts. Steering will be difficult regardless of which style you choose. Just make sure it has plenty of storage for the extra baby gear you will be bringing with you.

    Bed: We put our toddler in the toddler bed for a while and he did eventually outgrow it but i loved that it was so low to the ground. It had rails but he is an active sleeper and somehow managed to fall out a few times so it was nice that it was only a short fall.
    When he outgrew the toddler bed we found a used twin bed that was pretty low in comparison to most newer twin beds so it wasn’t so bad. If I were to do it over again I would just go straight to the twin bed and either shorten the legs or invest in a decent rail that fits under the mattress.

    Another thing we had to think about was a diaper bag. I know its not the most expensive item you have to worry about but start researching now if you are going to get a new one. We are still struggling with packing everything we need for both kids. Our kids are now 3 and 1 so we end up hauling a lot of stuff with us. Our diaper bag from our first child wouldn’t fit anything extra and the new one that I bought it just awkward and never seems organized. So- if you have to upgrade…do some research.

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 2:08 am

      Oh we already know Sally has to be strapped down in public, so a double stroller is a must. Really great point on being able to maneuver the stroller in a store! I hadn’t even considered that.

      And thanks for your perspective on the bed. Whatever we choose, a rail will be essential!

      And I’m really struggling with figuring out a diaper bag, too! My current one has seen better days, although it served me great for baby #1. I’ve started my research, but if you have any other insight, I’m all ears!

  • Reply Little House November 10, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Congrats on baby number 2! It sounds like you’re tackling all the finances right away and will be prepared.

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 2:08 am

      Thanks! I sure hope so!

  • Reply Shay November 10, 2014 at 9:50 am

    The front to back stroller works better in small aisles like in stores at the mall. I wish I had gotten one with the standing platform. Sometimes they don’t want to sit, but it is either too dangerous or they are too slow for your pace and a standing ledge would have been helpful.
    We got an SUV when number three was born. Two carseats worked fine in a Honda Accord.

    Don’t get a toddler bed. Waste of money. Twin bed is best, just push one side up against the wall and get a guard rail that slips in between the mattresses.

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 2:10 am

      I’ve seen the standing platform, but I’ve never really paid attention to what brands offer that option! I feel kind of clueless as to where to start with finding one with that option, but I agree that that sounds ideal.

      And thanks for the perspective on the bed! I love hearing all this firsthand mom insight!

  • Reply Kelly November 10, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Im so happy for you guys and im interested to see how this effects your budget, even beyond the items listed. For the car I would recommend a Chevy Equinox. I’ve had mine now for almost 2 years and it has been the best car I’ve ever owned. It gets great gas milage, has a ton of leg room! and is perfect in between a SUV and a car. It is small enough that it is easy to park but the room inside is huge! We have shoved so much crap into it when we moved!

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 2:11 am

      Thanks, Kelly! I definitely need a big car that’s easy to park! I am scarred for life after driving a Suburban all through high school… never again!

  • Reply Meagan November 10, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Both of my sisters-in-law have similarly spaced kids as you will have. And they both have gotten a Sit and Stand stroller and the kids LOVE it. The front is perfect for a baby and/or carseat while the back has a little seat for the older kid to sit down (you can also strap them in) as well as a little platform that they can stand on so they can get in and out as they please.

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 2:12 am

      Interesting! I swear I don’t even know where to begin with the double-stroller hunt, but this gives me a great starting point. Now don’t mind me while I Google “Sit and Stand Strollers”…. :)

  • Reply Mrs SSC November 10, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Great job on already thinking through all the questions! Since we just went through this last year, I’ve got some advice on what worked for us. Stroller – Britax B-Agile double stroller. We use it almost daily when the weather is nice, and it rocks – and even fits through most standard doorways. We thought we with a front/back stroller, whichever kids was in the back would hate not having a view, so that is why we went side-by-side.

    With the 529, we did start saving right away, just had to drop down the monthly amount a little. And this coming spring when we get our bonuses, we are going to try and ‘even-up’ the 529s, so that they are about equal between the two kids. Granted Baby #2 will have more time for hers to grow, but since we plan on retiring early, we want to be able to stop contributing to them at the same time and have our contributions be the same between the two, so we avoid future “its unfair” conversations with the teenage version of our kids.

    Bed – we bought our oldest a double bed. The baby was in a bassinet until 6 months, so he got the double bed when he was 2.5. We just put the mattress on the floor at first, and bought a low box spring. we like the idea of the double bed for family reading time.

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 2:13 am

      We have the Britax B-Agile single stroller, and we’ve loved it, so I’ll definitely look into their double option!

      Thanks for your great perspective on the 529 and the bed. So much to still figure out!

  • Reply Tarynkay November 10, 2014 at 10:35 am

    We have just one little guy. But I keep another little boy during the day, and I think the age gap will be similar, so I still have opinions!

    1) double stroller- YES. Its not really about the ability of the older child to walk, it is about stroller prison. Containment is a beautiful thing. I don’t like the stand and stands bc the older child can hop on and off at will. Since you like to run, I would go ahead and get a double jogging stroller.

    2) car- minivans are great. But I wouldn’t assume you need one BC by the time this new baby comes, you should be able to turn Sally’s car seat around, thus giving Johnny the leg room he needs. My husband is 6’5″ and we drive a VW Golf with both car seats in the back. Again, not discouraging you from upgrading to a minivan, just saying you could probably keep the car you have if you want.

    • Reply The Roamer November 11, 2014 at 12:45 am

      Congrats. YAY! BABIES!

      YES on both point. by Tarynkay

      Strollers are more for the parent. I would do what one of the other reader recommended. A wrap and just put Sally in the stroller when necessary.

      Also do consider the car feed back. We also have a corolla and 2 kids and it is not an issue. So if you don’t need to you might want to consider not.

      And finally for my favorite. Skip the toddler bed for sure. And don’t even worry about buying a bed. JUST the mattress. Its all you need. then you get to put it on the floor and have no issues if she falls out. I can totally see both kids wanting to share a bed in like 3 years but for now. It really isn’t necessary. Also if both of you fit in a twin in college. Thats what I had in the dorms. Then why is it hard to believe that 2 kids can fit in a twin. Answer they can. so even with the argument to have kids share later it really isn’t a need at the moment.

      • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 2:23 am

        I really like that idea of doing a wrap in the beginning. I think I will do that and hold off as long as I can on the double stroller!

        And really appreciate your perspective on the bed situation! Those are some great points!

        • Reply The Roamer December 1, 2014 at 1:00 am

          Cool no problem.
          Gonna go in for one more…. If I can save one baby from a perceived discomfort great….

          When you go for a wrap try to pick one that allows for a sitting position. There are usually 2 kinds , the kind that support legs and put kids in a sitting position. And those that lift just at the crotch. Now think about it like really imagine which one would you be most comfortable in.? I know for me the thought of being lifted up in that one point sound MUY uncomfortable. I was a frequent rock climber before and our harnesses did not hold from that spot it was the waist and legs so that a sitting position. Could be achieved.

          I hear those w/o leg support also puts stress on their joint, but even without knowing for sure I’d go with s sitting position one
          Just my 2 cents

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 2:20 am

      I couldn’t agree more. Containment is BEAUTIFUL. It’s all about sanity for me, so a double stroller is a must. I’m still not sure what kind, but a double jogging stroller sounds like a dream.

      I don’t know if our Corolla has a tiny backseat or what, but Sally really can’t fit when Johnny pushes his seat back all the way (and we’ve already turned her around). We really weren’t thinking about the future when we bought that car!

  • Reply Sarah November 10, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Congrats again! I wanted to chime in on the car issue. Both my hubs and I are tall people (he’s 6’5 and I’m 5’11), when we had our son we had to get a new car because our Toyota Yaris sedan wouldn’t allow us to have both seats back while the car seat was in the middle. We were both upset because we love the little car. Anyway, we settled on a Mazda5. It’s perfect – it’s more like a big wagon, or a micro-van. It looks small on the outside, but very roomy on the inside. Gas mileage is much better then most larger vehicles, and it has third row seating which folds down flat for hauling strollers and baby paraphernalia. It’s perfect for little families with little budgets.

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 2:25 am

      Thanks for your perspective, Sarah! A Mazda 5 is actually one of the cars we both like! Love hearing your firsthand account of how you guys have liked it. I really like the idea of third row seating that folds down. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Brian November 10, 2014 at 11:15 am

    My thoughts as someone with a 2.5 year old and a 4 month old:

    1. We purchased a double jogger and love it because the two kids are side by side and it is nice and stable.

    2. You don’t need a bigger car. I have a Nissan Versa and it fits both car seats and the double jogger in the trunk (of course it is a hatch back so there is that going for it). I still have plenty of leg room, but then again from what I read that car was designed for that.

    3. We went with the twin bed and our little guy loves his big boy bed. We let him pick out his sheets (he picked spiderman and avengers) and helped him decorate a step stool so he would be excited by it. So I guess you could try that approach.

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 2:31 am

      The double jogger is definitely calling my name… I don’t know how I’ll be able to continue being a runner otherwise, which is a biggie!

      I wish we didn’t need a bigger car, but the Corolla backseat really doesn’t fit two carseats, so unfortunately there’s no wiggle room on this issue.

      And love hearing your perspective on the twin bed. I really like that idea of letting Sal pick out her own sheets and making it a special transition for her! Thanks for the insight!

  • Reply Rob November 10, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    “Any other considerations you’d add to our list?”

    Yes Joanna – deciding on the new baby’s name. That way you won’t have to refer to him/her as “Baby Boy” or “Baby Girl” like you did with Sally when first you guys blogged about her (until Johnny unintentionally spilled the beans one day in a comment and mentioned Sally’s name – and I caught it)! :-)

    As to other suggestions, what do I know? I’m just an old retired dad. I’ll let the other (more-in-the-know) blog readers, especially the moms, guide you here. :-)

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 2:36 am

      Ha! I remember that all too well. As soon as we have a name for this second one, we’ll be sure to share it. Although, we do have a rule about not choosing the name until AFTER we see the baby for the first time. So we’ll be waiting until April at the least!

  • Reply Michelle November 10, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Love this post! All great things to think about. We plan on beginning our family within the next three to four years, and I will have to bookmark this post :)

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 2:36 am

      Thanks, Michelle!

  • Reply Miranda November 10, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    This is totally beside the point, but I would just like to say that I hope Baby #2 has an equal (if not larger) cheek-to-face ratio as Miss Sally. Also, per the bed discussion, what about a twin with a trundle? Double the guest sleeping capabilities without sacrificing space, and you could just leave the trundle open so in case Sally falls off, she would just land on the lower bed and maybe keep sleeping? Also, clearly I have no children. Also, this was totally a joke. About the kid falling off the bed part. Not the trundle part. That would be awesome. They’re like super efficient bunk beds. So much more room for activities.

    • Reply Joanna November 24, 2014 at 2:38 am

      That’s a great idea for the bed! And a great option for guests! When the time comes, we’ll be giving that option a long, hard look. And I hope our next baby has big cheeks, too. I like big cheeks and I cannot lie!

  • Reply Kristen November 10, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    I don’t have kids but this is so interesting to read, so thanks for sharing! and congrats again.

    If you had the opportunity to live in another country – ie one of you was an expat, and you went to their country instead of the US – and you could have another zero dollar baby, would you?

  • Reply Anne November 10, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS!

    I don’t have kids yet so this is mostly just interesting for me to keep in mind when we do. Bed wise I will add when my sister was born my parents got me a day bed (basically a twin with rails on 3 sides) and put the open end against the wall so I couldn’t fall out while sleeping. Then you just turn it around when Sal is old enough (or not, if you move baby #2 to the daybed).

    • Reply Joanna December 9, 2014 at 10:46 pm

      Thanks, Anne! And thanks for the insight!

  • Reply Lizzy November 10, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    I had a double stroller for my children that allowed the children to face each other. I think they enjoyed interacting with each other and keeping each other entertained.

    • Reply Joanna December 9, 2014 at 10:49 pm

      Something I’ll have to consider! Thanks for the insight, Lizzy!

  • Reply Courtney November 10, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    I agonized for months over the double stroller decision. If we should even do it and which stroller to buy. I ended up getting a City Mini Baby jogger (side by side) and have seriously not ever regretted it! My kids are 2 years apart, my youngest is Sally’s age and we seriously have used that thing at least 5 days a week for the last 21 months! It’s been amazing! With two kids my major form of exercise is walking with that thing (and believe me, pushing those kids up and down the hills in our area is a great workout). It also makes trips to the zoo/mall/basically anywhere so much easier! My older could definitely walk, but the convenience of containing him in the stroller in crowded places is golden! And the City Mini fits kids up to 50 pounds (my almost 4 year old still fits in it comfortably). It folds up super compact and easily, steers really well, and overall has just been awesome to us. It normally retails for around $500, but I got it on sale on Albee Baby online for $329 (which included tax and shipping). I will say, I do run with it sometimes and it does fine, but if you are a serious runner I’d probably spring for the double BOB or something else like that. Also consider, pushing TWO kids while running is a serious workout and generally people I know don’t run with two unless they are very serious runners. I know I just wrote you a novel, but when I was trying to find a stroller I wanted REAL experience from people who had actually used the strollers, rather than just going for what looked nice at babies r us.

    • Reply Joanna December 9, 2014 at 10:59 pm

      I’ve heard good things about the Citi Mini! I’ll have to look into it. It’ such a hard decision, so your insight is really appreciated!

  • Reply Kristin November 10, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    Congratulations!

    I can weigh in on the car, bed and stroller issues.

    Are you sure the Corolla can’t fit a second carseat? Mine did, and it was such a reliable, safe AND economical car I was a little sad to sell it. Now, I would not trade my Honda Odyssey for any other car but I have four convertible carseats in it and many years of use ahead of us. 😉

    We don’t “do” toddler beds. If you do, fine, it’s barely a financial decision at all- they’re a dime a dozen on craigslist. I see them for free all the time, actually. Definitely go with a single bed.

    Now, side by side vs, front back stroller, there is a BIG decision, haha. I own both, and both are well-reviewed strollers from brand you’d recognize. I dislike the side by side. I thought it would be handy for indoor field trips like museums where kids can jump in and out and maybe amusement parks (we haven’t actually gone to one, but I always imagined it would be useful there). I have regretted purchasing it for quite a while. I should probably sell it now! It is very difficult to get through doors unless someone else holds it open for me, and it’s scary walking along the road with that monstrosity if there’s any traffic. Also, if you happen to have only one kid in it, it feels terribly unbalanced. The front-back is awesome. Much more maneuverable, looks and feels fine even with only one kid in it. You’re pretty active, it seems, so get a GOOD stroller with adjustable handlebar, jogging tires and a flat recline for baby’s hips and spine. You could keep an umbrella stroller or two (they sell connectors) in the Corolla for emergencies. 😉

    Carseats save children’s lives, and good strollers save mothers’ sanity!

    • Reply Joanna December 9, 2014 at 11:00 pm

      Thanks for your insight Kristin! I swear I wish they just had a big warehouse to test drive double strollers… no idea what to choose!

  • Reply Megyn November 10, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    Congratulations!

    We have two boys, 22 months apart. Here’s how I can weigh in:

    -Bed: As others have said, pass over the toddler bed. It’s pointless. If you’re concerned about Sally rolling out, Ikea beds are SUPER low to the ground and easy for a potty-training toddler to maneuver out of in the middle of the night to get to the potty. We’ve had a Malm and now the Svarta bunk beds. We’ve never had issues with kids rolling out and hurting themselves. I especially love the bunk bed as our boys prefer to share a room and sometimes a bed.

    -Stroller: It’s really a preference thing and knowing your kids. We bought a Schwinn double jogger (side by side) off Craigslist, and I loved that thing. However, we rarely packed it in the car and chose to use it in our ‘hood. The best advice is to find some mama friends and try theirs. You can probably find a used one of the one you like pretty easily.

    -Cars: KEEP THE COROLLA! We have 2(!) Corollas- a 2003 and 2014. Both fit two car seats, no problem. If Sally is forward facing, I’d put her behind the driver’s seat and #2 rear facing behind the passenger’s seat. Sure, a minivan is more convenient if you are shuttling a bunch of kids around…but here’s the thing, you sort of have to climb in it to get smaller kids in and out. Whenever we’d borrow my dad’s minivan, I hated that I couldn’t just bend over, unstrap, and we’d be out. It was so much more work! Again, if you have mama friends, ask to borrow the infant seat to see how it will fit. I think you’ll be surprised :)

    • Reply Joanna December 9, 2014 at 11:02 pm

      Thanks for the tips, Megyn! If we can fit a twin in Sally’s room, I’m definitely going to go that route after hearing your and other mom’s insight on that subject!

  • Reply Nicole November 10, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    Congrats! I have a 2.5 year old and 6 month old, plus my own 2 cents to add :).

    1. Stroller: I vote for a front to back, preferably a sit and stand, but it really depends on you/your kid. My 2 year old likes to walk so the platform works for us. I use the stroller for walks 95% of the time. I don’t think I’ve ever brought a stroller into a store to be honest. The side to sides are harder to push and awkward to maneuver at times. Which brings me to my next tip: baby wearing. I do not know how other moms survive without a quality carrier. A must for the fussy newborn stage and so much easier to wrangle the older one in public when you have two free hands.

    2. Bed: Go for a twin or full size with a rail. If you do a toddler bed that’s just one more transition for S. Full size gives her more room to roll and gives guests more space too. Also, I recommend transitioning Sally sooner rather than later so she isn’t upset your giving “her” crib to the baby.

    Kinda long, sorry! Good luck!

    • Reply Joanna December 9, 2014 at 11:07 pm

      Great tips. Thank you! I’ve had a few moms recommend a sit and stand stroller, but I’m not even sure where to begin with brands that offer that option, so I’ll have to do some research!

      The more I hear about skipping the toddler bed, the more I hope we can go straight to a twin. We’ll see if it will fit in Sally’s new room!

  • Reply Becky @ RunFunDone November 11, 2014 at 1:58 am

    I think with the stroller question, you have to consider what you will be using it for. If you live in the suburbs and plan to use it for jogging or walks in the neighborhood, then I suppose the side-by-side might be nice and convenient. But take it from this urban-dweller: Side-by-sides are super inappropriate for busier environments where you expect to pass people on the sidewalk. Imagine: You with your huge stroller walking on a standard sidewalk towards an elderly couple where the husband is pushing the wife in a wheelchair. Where are you going to go with that massive stroller?? It’s just not maneuverable. So what will you do? Obviously you will push the lady in the wheelchair off the sidewalk. (Okay, hopefully you won’t, but I’ve found that many moms WILL).

  • Reply Kelly November 11, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    One thing that I didn’t think about with our two (23 months apart) was having the older one out of the house for a couple of mornings a week at preschool/daycare after his sister was born. That allowed a bit of sanity for all, socialization for him, and allowed us to spend more 1:1 time with our new baby. Just a thought..

    Congratulations!!

    • Reply Joanna December 9, 2014 at 11:10 pm

      Good idea! I’m not sure what options I have in NYC, but it’d be really helpful to find some sort of arrangement once the baby’s born!

  • Reply Sarah November 11, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    How funny – we also had to trade in our Toyota Corolla when baby #2 came along! (They are 16 months apart and obviously both in car seats.) We ended up getting a 2013 Chevy Traverse which we LOVE, but we did NOT pay cash for :( :( :( We’re actually considering trading it in for something more affordable…we’ll see though.

    As far as a double stroller, YES, you will want one! I have the side by side one and while I love that part of it, the stroller’s not the greatest haha! Not sure on the brand, but it was $67 off of Craigslist. We still use it for walks and stuff but in stores my oldest walks (she’s 2 1/2) and the 1-year-old rides in the cart.

    Good luck!!! You guys will get it all figured out!!! :)

  • Reply Tara November 12, 2014 at 6:58 am

    I have 3 kids who are 4.5, 2.5 and 6 months. We have 2 Subaru Legacy sedans and they fit 3 kids no problem. If Sally will be front facing by the time #2 comes, you should have no trouble fitting 2 kids in a small car. There are many different online forums with recommendations on which car seats fit well 2 or 3 across. You might end up with a different car seat that is more expensive but it will be much more affordable than upgrading your car.

    I have a side by side double stroller that I love but I use it mostly in my rural neighborhood. It mostly is used for walking/jogging down dirt roads. I have also brought it to many places like zoos, fairs, etc. We do have 2 small umbrella strollers that we keep in the trunk for uses at places like malls and such. We also have 2 small bungee cords that we can use to attach the 2 strollers for a smaller double stroller option.

    My oldest had a toddler bed that someone gave us but my second child had no interest in using it. I think you can go either way because financially toddler beds are just about free. I see them on Craigslist all the time and have had no less than 8 friends offer me theirs. My oldest 2 now sleep in a bunk bed and love it.

    Congratulations and good luck!

    • Reply Joanna December 9, 2014 at 11:12 pm

      Thanks for the great tips, Tara!

  • Reply Debra November 12, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Stroller: I agonized over the stroller issue as well. My kids are only 18 months apart. I ended up going with the Combo side-by-side. I loved it for the maneuverability and the fact that my older daughter would hold her baby brother’s hand and narrate the world for him. We still use it now 4 years later for trips to the zoo and amusement parks. However my son doesn’t like to walk anywhere, so I don’t know if he’s inherently lazy or it was just too convenient to always have the stroller to sit in! Be sure to have a good carrier handy to wear the baby when you can, though. They need lots of mama-time!
    Car: We have an old Prius and a new Hyundai Santa Fe that seats 7. A friend has a KIA Sorrento with the same configuration, which she bought used a few years ago. The rear seats flip down to give you more seating options. We use the seats when we need to fit more people and flip them down to accommodate our stuff on road trips. I use the Prius to shuttle the kids about day to day.
    Beds: Our babies slept in our bed, but that became an issue for the toddler when the baby came along. She ended up on a mattress on the floor in our room, and then slowly transitioned out to her own room. I say, whatever helps everyone get the most sleep!
    Congrats to you all! One thing I will add is to make sure you have plenty of help the first several weeks. Have Johnny take time off or schedule friends or family to come over to help you with meals and housework. Taking care of two little ones by yourself is no easy task!

    • Reply Joanna December 9, 2014 at 11:23 pm

      Thanks for the tips, Debra! Johnny and I are already trying to figure out how he and my mom can maximize the amount of time I get help after the baby’s born!

  • Reply Catherine November 12, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Every experience is different, so I’ll share ours. We skipped the double stroller and got a bike trailer that we can use a double stroller. My husband loves to bike and so we’ve gotten twice the use. If you dont bike, this doesnt matter.
    For beds, we picked up a toddler bed for $10 at a garage sale and then bought a new mattress. Our kids had a hard time figuring out how to sleep in one place and not roll around everywhere. They still wake up on the floor a lot, upside down and sideways. The rail on the toddler bed helps AND they dont have far to fall when they are trying to get out to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. We didnt have the room to put two big beds in the room our boys share.

    • Reply Joanna December 9, 2014 at 11:24 pm

      Thanks for the insight, Catherine! We’re not sure if we’ll have room for anything but a toddler bed, either, so your tips are much appreciated!

  • Reply Mary November 12, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    My daughter turned 2 at the beginning of October, and then we found out we are expecting baby #2. So, we are basically in the same boat as y’all.

    We just bought a Bob Double off Craigslist for $325. It has been great even with just one in it; I would highly recommend it if you plan to take lots of walks (and don’t have to carry it upstairs to your condo!!!) However, I don’t intend to use it when we do our trips around town. I like the idea of carrying the baby, but I remember with the first it was soooo much easier to keep the baby in the infant carrier whenever we went somewhere. So, I think that we will probably look at a sit and stand stroller bc our first kid is pretty cautious and obedient. I hadn’t thought about the possibility that she might just hop in and out as someone mentioned in a previous comment.

    We have a Honda Civic and will try to make that work with two carseats, but I would love to have an SUV that seats 7 or 8!! It just isn’t in the budget right now :( We are going to put this carseat (Diono Radian RXT Convertible Car Seat) on the registry for the older one who is forward facing at 30+ lbs now so that the infant carrier can fit in the middle seat (I think and hope; I still have to do some measuring and calculating to make sure).

    My daughter is still very happy with her crib so I don’t know what we are going to do about the bed situation to start. When she is ready to move to a bed, we will do a twin mattress on the floor.

    Best of luck guys!!!

    • Reply Joanna December 9, 2014 at 11:26 pm

      Congrats on baby #2 on the way! Sally really likes her crib still, too, so I’m kind of dreading forcing her to sleep in something else! We’ll see what will fit in the room she’ll be sharing!

      A sit and stand sounds like a good option… if you find a brand you really like, I’m all ears!

  • Reply Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank November 13, 2014 at 6:11 am

    Congratulations on Baby # 2! If I were you, I would not yet get a house until every expense has been settled. Don’t make rush decisions. Take it slowly and plan. I am excited to know the gender and name of your baby. 😀

  • Reply Rina November 13, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Congrats!!
    My 2 cents would be to get a crossover, I have a Ford Edge and it is plenty of room you would be impressed. At this age I would have the girls share a room and get Sally a twin bed, that way you could keep the office for now and when the time is right she can have her own room in the new house.

    • Reply Joanna December 9, 2014 at 11:28 pm

      Thanks, Rina! Now that we’re in NYC, our girls will most definitely be sharing a room! We’ll have to see if a twin bed will fit in there!

  • Reply [email protected] November 18, 2014 at 9:04 am

    On the car thing – we upgraded to a new (to us) Dodge Durango. It has captains seats, which are GREAT, and SO much room. We got a 2012 and found a great deal on it. I didn’t want anything to do with a minivan, so this was our compromise. Only thing it doesn’t have that a van does is the automatic sliding doors, which isn’t a big thing to me…

  • Reply Brian @ Debtless in Texas February 8, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    Congrats on the 2nd!

    We have a little one on the way as well, ~7 weeks left and have been looking into cars as well – and have been super impressed with the Mazda cx-5 or the Subaru Outback. Don’t let the minivan group win you over just yet, there are tons of crossovers that would be perfect!

    • Reply Joanna February 8, 2015 at 10:05 pm

      If I have it my way, we’ll never give in! Good luck with the decision, and congrats on the one on the way! Seven weeks is going to fly by! We have 9 to go, and I know it’s gonna be here before we know it.

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