Having a second baby is a whole new ball game, for the most part. Mom and dad’s experience is usually a lot different with baby number two than baby number one. Both can be good experiences, just very different.
Mom and dad have gone through a lot of changes since having the first baby. They’ve figured a lot of things out. Stuff that used to be a huge deal before are not even a blip on their radar any more.
They’ll have new worries with a second child. The first major worry is whether or not they can handle two kids. Will they be overrun by their offspring? Will they damage the first born by having a second?
Once these anxieties are eased, mom and dad will be happy to know that much of parenting gets easier with the second one. There will still be some pitfalls that will be more difficult with the second baby though.
Keep reading to find out what mom and dad won’t need to worry about any more with a second child and what might keep them up at night. Parents might be surprised at what will be easier and what will become more difficult.
15 Pregnancy Gets Harder
Most moms report that pregnancy gets harder with each child. Part of the reason is that the body remembers being pregnant and it stretches and strains more each time.
Since the uterus was already stretched out once, it's easy for it to stretch again and this time further.
Moms often feel more stretching in many areas including their back, skin and crotch area. On top of the physical changes, its just a lot harder being pregnant and caring for a young child at the same time. With the first pregnancy, mom could rest when she needed to and go to bed when she’d like. With the second pregnancy, mom needs to care for someone else before taking a break herself. Chasing a tot around isn’t easy when mom’s feeling nauseous and fatigued.
14 Care Less About Others’ Advice
People give new moms tons of advice. A lot of it turns out to be really bad advice, or at least it doesn’t align with mom’s way of doing things. The second time around people seem to give less advice. They realize that mom’s already done it once and seems to know what she’s doing. If people are still giving mom advice, she can easily sift through the good and the bad.
She knows what worked for her the first time and doesn’t worry so much about the advice that doesn’t align with this.
After having one child successfully, most moms feel like they no longer need to listen to everything everyone says. She might, though, be willing to get some advice from other moms with two kids. This advice can come in handy most of the time.
13 More Laid Back
Most of the time the first time around mom isn’t so laid back. Its normal, though. She has to try a lot harder to learn how to take care of another human being. With this experience, the second time around changes.
Mom feels more confident in her ability to raise a tiny human being and so she becomes more laid back.
She doesn’t worry so much about a sneeze of a funny looking freckle. She doesn’t run to the doctor for every little thing. In fact, it's so much more difficult to run to the doctor with two kids instead of one that she carefully chooses when its really needed. Mom realizes that most things will come and go with a baby. For the most part they’re a lot sturdier than they seemed originally and so she can take a deep sigh of relief.
12 Read Fewer Articles
The first time around mom was scouring blogs, books, pamphlets and magazines for the best way to do everything from wrapping a swaddle to warming a bottle. Every step of the pregnancy she knew how developed the baby’s eyelids were and how soon the toe nails would form. With the second baby, mom has the general lay of the land down. She no longer worries about how to swaddle because she uses a sleep sack. She doesn’t even worry about bottles because she just nurses instead. As the baby develops she knows that it goes from two cells to a complete human in about 40 weeks. When she has a chance she checks in on the details of development but other than that she’s busy chasing another child around the house.
11 Nursing Is A Breeze
Breastfeeding is natural but it doesn’t come naturally to mom. There are so many things to learn from positions to latching to weight gain and more. Sometimes it can seem like studying for a class...a class that turns really painful when it's not going well.
By the second baby, mom has had so much practice she can toss her handbook out.
She’ll rarely consult the La Leche League website unless things seem to be going really wrong. Mom will probably even get more sleep and rest this time around as she won’t even fully wake up to nurse anymore. It’s amazingly relaxing to find out how easy nursing can be once mom really knows what she’s doing. This takes so much stress out of the newborn stage. Mom will have more time to focus on the baby and soak up this special part of the baby’s life.
10 Recover From Birth Faster
You might be surprised by many moms find that they recover from the birth of the second baby faster than the first. For one, they already know what to expect. With the first baby, the whole process is such a surprise. The birth recovery seems to take longer and hurt more. With the second baby, the labor and delivery are usually a little easier because both mom and her body know what to do. Mom’s birth canal is more open because its already been stretched before. As for the recovery, it's not as much of a shock to mom.
She knows how the process will go and what to expect.
Plus, she doesn’t have as much time to just lay around handling only a newborn. She has more responsibility at home and has to get on her feet faster.
9 Baby Book Missing Details
The first child will grow up to find his early years meticulously detailed. He won’t wonder when he first rolled over or when he first wrinkled his nose. It will all be handwritten in his baby book. The second baby is a different story. The second baby will know the day he was born and that he graduated from high school. All the details in the middle will be a little shady. Okay, maybe it won’t be that bad for all moms but it does get harder to keep such detailed records for both children. The first child might also notice that the details fall off about the same time that the second child is born. Both will be just fine if they don’t know exactly every detail of their childhood.
8 Baby Gets Less Attention (And It's Okay)
With the first baby, mom and dad had nothing to do but sit around and stare at her every move. It seemed like mom and dad were really busy the first time around but looking back at it after having two kids, they weren’t.
The first one will get a ton more attention than the second one.
It's not that the second one is forgotten, its just that mom and dad are a little busy. With the second one, mom is holding him while keeping an eye on sister. She’s still snuggling the new baby but her thoughts aren’t always focused on the new baby. She has to clap when big sister twirls around and remind her not to put toys in the toilet. What will happen if someone isn’t staring directly at the new baby for 22 hours of the day? He’ll be just fine...and maybe not so into himself later on.
7 Grocery Shopping
Grocery shopping with the first baby is a fun event. Mom and baby get out of the house to have a blast at the grocery store. Sure baby might get a little fussy sometimes but for the most part he loves the experience. Mom picks up everything she sees and give’s baby a vocabulary lesson throughout the shopping trip. With two kids, mom is exhausted by the time they walk into the store. Two kids (especially a baby in a carrier) take up most of the cart. Either mom can choose to get almost nothing (because that’s what will fit in the cart) and go to the store every other day or she can figure out how to manage two carts (it can be done).
Grocery shopping is no longer a fun way to get out of the house but instead an Olympic event.
With two kids mom will only opt for ordering groceries online or waiting until someone else can watch the kids.
6 Siblings Are Amazing
Most parents worry when they get pregnant with a second that they might be doing a disservice to their first born. Everything was going great with the first one. What if they can’t handle two or the first born feels left out or less loved? These feelings are normal and will soon vanish once the new baby is born. The parents will realize that they can easily love two children and best of all the children will love each other. They will become great friends and have so much fun playing together.
Even in the baby stage, big brother will simply adore the new baby.
By bringing another baby into the family, mom and dad have gifted the first born with a sibling and much more love than they could have imagined.
5 Babies Sleep A Lot... And Not A Lot
Both the first born baby and the second born will sleep a lot...and not a lot. Newborns sleep throughout the day and night. Mom and dad are so sleepless because they will only sleep 2-4 hours at a time. But the time baby is awake is very little in the first few weeks. The good news about all these changes to the family is that not everything changes with a second baby.
The first and second child may have different temperaments and will develop different personalities but they will still be babies.
Each child will follow the same basic pattern of development that all children will follow although it may differ a bit on when they reach each milestone. Not everything about having a second baby will be different from the first time around.
4 Second Guess
Although mom and dad will now be old pros at this parenting thing, they will still find themselves second guessing their decisions. A new parent and an experienced parent both wonder if they are doing the right things for their children. Just because they raised the first child to be three years old doesn’t mean that have a patented system down for raising good adults. Its normal to second guess your decisions as a parent.
For the most part we don’t know the long term effects of many of the decisions we make. We just make the best decision we can at the time and hope for the best.
The good news is that very few people actually grow up to become serial killers. So with some basic parenting know how, the best bet is that your kids will turn out just fine.
3 Lots Of Laundry
Newborns go through tons of laundry. After having the first child, mom may have figured out a trick or two to save a few outfits but there’s no way she’s getting out of tons of laundry. Luckily the clothes are tiny and can fit into a bigger load. Whether it's the first or second baby, newborns are prone to spitting up and leaking diapers. The new baby will probably go through just as many sleepers as the first one did. Mom will probably keep the clean clothes further away when she changes the baby and use more bibs than she did with the first but more laundry will still be unavoidable. With a tot running around too, it's likely she’ll create more laundry as mom is handling baby. Before long, there will be fewer feedings and diaper changes and the initial laundry rush will slow down a little bit.
Sometimes parents think that a second child will cost less. In some ways that’s true but in other ways it isn’t. After the first child, mom and dad probably have the big things like a stroller, car seat, crib and changing table. What they forgot to figure was that most of that stuff came as gifts. Also, with two children they will now need two car seats.
Depending on the ages of the children, they may find themselves with two of the exact same things.
Plus that stroller they were counting on only fits one child. So they’ll have to add a double stroller to the mix. If they get lucky enough to have the same gender, they’ll soon find out that not all the clothes make it on to the the second child. The clothing starts to wear out more around the 2T mark when then the child wears the same clothes for a whole year instead of a few months.
1 Strain On Relationship
One baby can be a strain on the relationship between mom and dad. It takes time to learn how to balance the needs of a baby and the needs of the other partner. Hopefully, mom and dad have figured this out before the second baby comes. When the second baby comes, the relationship might be better than the first time around but a new baby can cause new strain on it. Two children take twice as much time and energy.
Mom usually finds herself totally focused on the children with little attention left for dad.
By the time both are in bed, mom and dad are exhausted too. It can be like starting all over by adding another baby to the family. Mom and dad have to figure out how to balance all of their responsibilities and still have time and energy left for their partner.