"I always saw myself with two boys," Daniella Monet tells PEOPLE of the time before she found out she was expecting again

By Jen Juneau
October 02, 2020 09:00 AM
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Daniella Monet and family
| Credit: Jeffrey Fountain

There's a little "gal pal" on the way for Daniella Monet!

The former Nickelodeon star and fiancé Andrew Gardner's second child on the way will be a daughter, she confirms to PEOPLE exclusively one week after her pregnancy announcement.

And the news came as a surprise to Monet, 31, who "always saw [herself] with two boys" before getting pregnant with a sibling for the couple's 1-year-old son Gio James. "I'm like, 'I'm a boy mom,' " adds the actress and the Sprouted co-founder.

But now that she knows a daughter is on the way, Monet says, "I can see myself being a mom to a girl who's so chill and so powerful, and this is such a great time to be raising a strong female. So my gears switched very quickly and I thought, 'This could be such a beautiful thing.' "

"I actually felt quite attached to the idea of having a girl, so when I found out it was a girl, I was ecstatic," she continues. "It [also] made me feel some sense of, 'Okay, if this is it and we have two healthy, beautiful babies, I'll never wonder what it would be like to have a girl if I happened to have two boys.' So I feel very settled right now."

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Daniella Monet and family
| Credit: Jeffrey Fountain

The Victorious alum says she was elated but not exactly surprised to be expecting a daughter, considering her pregnancy has been "different" this time.

"I’d never thrown up with Gio and I threw up twice in my first trimester this time around, so I just automatically thought, 'It's a girl.' My hormones were raging," she tells PEOPLE.

Monet found out the sex of her baby at home with Gardner and Gio, where they stood in the kitchen together and opened the envelope with the big reveal that her doctor had given her at an appointment that day.

"Andrew looked first … it's funny, I have a video of this, but I think he was like, 'Oh, s---!' " the mom-to-be recalls, laughing. "Then I looked and I was so excited. He's gonna be an amazing father to a girl. He has no idea what he's in for. I'm just excited for that."

As for how she thinks Gio will be as a big brother, "I think he'll be amazing," she says. "He's really loving, he's really affectionate. I think it'll be some adjustment — I already feel nervous about that, just because it happened all very quickly and I love my time with Gio and we're very much full-time parents. So I struggle when I think too much about it 'cause I'm thinking, 'Oh my gosh, my time with just him and I is [ending] so quickly.' So I'm just doing my best to be very present every day with him."

Daniella Monet's son Gio
| Credit: Daniella Monet Instagram

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Aside from her anticipation over seeing Gio with his baby sister — "I love the idea of him being older and protective of his little sister. So hopefully [there won't be any] competitive issues, seeing that they're not the same sex," she says — Monet is "excited" that a daughter "is going to be a different experience than what I'm used to."

"I'm going to be cleaning different body parts, which is unique," she jokes. "I never really thought too hard about [having a girl], 'cause I get along really well with guys and I had a lot of guy friends growing up, but the idea of having a girl who is mine who I can hopefully be a good role model to is really exciting to me. I just imagine Daddy-daughter nights and Mommy-son nights and swapping and being like, 'Hey, it's girls' day and the boys are gonna do their thing.' That just feels fun."

Between caring for her son during a pandemic, launching her new sustainable diaper line Sprouted, co-hosting her Adulting Like a Mother, Father podcast with her husband and more, Monet admits she hasn't really put together a nursery for her daughter, who's due in February — but she's hoping her personality will be pretty "go with the flow."

"I don't have a room set up for her — I don't even have a dresser. I have, like, three articles of clothing that people have gifted me. So I'm way behind," she tells PEOPLE. "I'm over halfway through my pregnancy but have nothing set up, so in my head, she's just gonna go with the flow. Our house is pretty small; she'll stay in our room for a while and hopefully, eventually, we'll figure out what's next."

"But I haven't stressed on a nursery yet," Monet notes. "I feel like [second children] go with the flow more. That's what I'm looking forward to, is the idea of [a second child] just fitting into our lives and her just going with the flow and adapting to our wild way."

Daniella Monet's pregnancy announcement
| Credit: DANIELLA MONET/INSTAGRAM
Daniella Monet's pregnancy announcement
| Credit: DANIELLA MONET/INSTAGRAM

Of balancing her business with motherhood, Monet says she first started Sprouted when she was pregnant with Gio. "I remember looking for diapers as a new mom and thinking, 'Why isn't there anything that's vegan and clean and environmentally friendly?' It felt like it was such a complicated industry when it didn't need to be," she says. "[Launching Sprouted and having another baby is] perfect timing because Gio's at a stage right now where he's a great sleeper, I have a rhythm and flow and I think it's all just working well."

After previously revealing she "ended up having to go through extreme measures" to give birth to her son "safely," Monet says that she's planning, as of now, to schedule a cesarean section, for peace of mind. "I like the idea of knowing that I'm gonna deliver this baby and I just feel safe, 'cause that's the experience I'm familiar with — which is so ironic because it was so polarizing from what I was initially going to do," she tells PEOPLE.

"So I'm just being flexible right now and allowing myself to figure it out as I go, but in this exact moment, I think I might [schedule] a c-section 'cause I'm just familiar with it," Monet adds.

While the couple don't have a name picked out for their baby girl just yet, the former Zoey 101 actress says it will be something "off the wall" based on a feeling more so than a specific meaning or family tie.

"We have some names, but we haven't settled on one," Monet explains. "With Gio, we knew right away and we knew that it had some sentimental feelings and family history, but [with] this one ... I think we'll go a different route."