September 19, 2013 01:00 PM

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She’s used to taking control alongside her dad Donald — and Ivanka Trump has adopted a similar no-nonsense policy in preparing for her baby on the way.

She has managed to turn the overwhelming task into a short list of essentials.

“I know the stuff I need for the nursery,” Trump, 31, told PEOPLE at an event celebrating Fit Pregnancy’s October/November issue in New York on Tuesday.

“The last time I would look at these lists that my friends sent me and they’d be 10 pages long, of things you needed to have that are totally irrelevant. Nobody actually needs baby wipe warmers.”

With one baby already under her belt, Trump — mom to daughter Arabella Rose, 2 is sailing right through her second pregnancy.

“I’m so much less anxious because I have a sense of what’s to come. I think the uncertainty last time is what made me nervous,” the mom-to-be says. “I know that it’s going to be chaos and I’ve accepted that.”

Trump has skipped morning sickness and admits to the first five months being “super easy,” but is beginning to finally feel a pregnancy side effect she wasn’t expecting. “I think I’m carrying a little athlete because the kicks are sharp,” she shares. “It’s either muscle memory or the baby’s going to be very strong.”

But not everyone is celebrating the uneventful experience. After learning she would be a big sister in her mom’s second trimester, Arabella has been busy counting down the days until the little one’s debut.

“She’s really excited and borderline impatient at this point because I started talking about it around six to seven months and she hasn’t waited that long for anything in her life,” Trump says. “So she asks me now, every morning, [if the baby’s coming]. I think she’s starting to mistrust me in the sense that her sibling is actually going to be arriving.”

Adds the expectant mama, “She asks me when it’s going to come play with her. It’s very cute. Actually, when she has large dinners she starts rubbing her own tummy and asking if she’s having a baby. It’s very sweet.”

Fortunately, until the family adds its fourth member, Trump has kept her little girl busy with “all sorts of fun things,” including planting a summer garden in Bedminster.

“It’s not more than five vegetables, fruit and some herbs in it. We go out there together. She’s got her basket. She takes the cherry tomatoes and brings them to the sink. She washes everything,” she shares.

When Arabella isn’t gardening, she’s a helping hand in the kitchen.

“It’s very funny. I have to fight the perfectionist in me. I’m like, ‘Grr, you’re not braiding the bread right.’ It’s great, though,” Trump adds.

While some toddlers tend to be picky eaters, Trump says Arabella’s developing quite the palate.

“Any time she thinks something I make is delicious, she says, ‘It’s delicious — just like chicken!’ It’s very cute,” says Trump with a laugh. “A lot of times we actually cook the produce from the garden. We’ll bring it back over the weekend and put it into our meal. Salads are a weird thing to give a 2-year-old, but she loves it.”

Trump is well aware of the lavish lifestyle surrounding her children and plans on making it her priority to keep them grounded.

“Growing up in the city, growing up being exposed to the privilege that will surround the baby makes me have to be much stricter as a parent and really make an effort to expose both of my children to the realities of the world around them,” she explains. “It’s very easy to grow up in Trump Tower in New York City and be very much in a bubble, so I feel like it’s my obligation as a parent to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

She continues, “That they don’t take the circumstances with which they grow up in for granted and also that they have a broader context for how other people live because otherwise, how do you learn empathy?”

— Anya Leon and Andrea Billups with reporting by Lorina Lana and Janine Rayford Rubenstein

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