Whether you decide to have another baby right after your first or it takes years to get the itch again, there may come a time when you have baby fever. And as ready as you think you are, there are some things no one tells you about having another baby. While there are plenty of benefits of having another baby regardless of the age gap between your kids, there are some harsh realities you’ll have to face at some point.
You might get a few seasoned parents telling you the benefits of having a second child, and there are certainly upsides to going through with it. But these are the things no one tells you about having another baby, including the not so great.
10 Birth Is Just As Scary The Second Time Around
If you’re having a second baby years after giving birth to your first, then there’s a good chance you forgot about the horrors of birth. And thanks to that forgetfulness, the idea of giving birth will still be scary and intimidating the second time around.
You might even find yourself Googling different symptoms and signs of labor because it has been so long since you went through it the first time. Just because you went through the birth of one child, it doesn't mean it is guaranteed to be any easier the second time around.
9 There Are Upsides And Downsides No Matter The Age Gap
Some parents might advise you to have a second baby as soon as you can so that your children can be just a year or two apart in age. But even if your kids are as many as eight years apart, there can be other benefits. Instead of having two toddlers who are essentially besties, your older child can help out with the baby when he or she arrives. Then again, you will be on two totally different schedules in two vastly different stages, but regardless of the age gap, you take the good with the bad.
8 The Sibling Rivalry Is Real
Things are infinitely different when you have two children instead of one. As soon as your kids understand the unfairness of a larger scoop of ice cream or a new pair of sneakers on one of them, you will never hear the end of it. Understanding how best to deal with the natural rivalry between two children is tricky, but it’s not impossible.
It will take some learning on your part, however. And if your older child was used to having zero competition before the second baby arrived, then there will also be an adjustment on their part to get used to the new normal.
7 You Can't Escape The Guilt
Even if your firstborn child doesn't mean to play the guilt card, chances are, you will feel guilty every time you need to pause a board game to change their sibling’s dirty diaper. Or, you might feel bad when you have to forego a bedtime story so your partner can fill in for you while you deal with a fussy baby. Eventually, it will be easier for you to juggle to children, but no matter how hard you try to be super mom or dad, the parental guilt will be very real at first.
6 You Will Be Forever Playing The Fairness Game
Once you have another baby, you had better think twice about coming home from the grocery store with one treat from the store and not an identical one for your other child. You will also have to figure out how best to be a referee when needed and be as fair as possible, or one or both kids are sure to point out just how unfair you are.
You might even get accused of loving one child more than the other. The important thing to remember is that as long as you can be neutral, you can save your skin. Mostly.
5 Those Late Nights Are Going To Feel Even More Strenuous Now
Did you think you weren't getting enough sleep before you had another baby? Now, things are going to be cranked up to next to impossible to function. But after sleeping a total of two hours between feedings and diaper changes, you will feel the exhaustion that much more by needing to get your other child off to school. Or, even worse, by being present and awake for your older child after a sleepless night if they aren't yet in school. Again, this is something you will eventually get used to. It’s all about the learning curve.
4 You May Become An Expert At Multitasking
The good news is that, once you have another baby, you can look forward to honing your multitasking skills whether you mean to or not. While trying to change a soiled diaper and help your school-aged child with his or her homework at the same time, you learn to juggle two totally different tasks.
Or, you might be able to read them both the same bedtime story in an effort to save a little time. And as both kids get a little older, it will likely become even easier to continue to put these new learned skills to use to best utilize everyone’s time.
3 The Recovery Time Will Be Even Harder
There’s more than one way to have a baby and while one method may warrant less recovery time than another, there’s no denying that recovering from labor while chasing after another kid isn't easy. So as you try to heal and recover properly, it will be even harder than it was the first time you had a baby.
Maybe you’ll get lucky with a faster turnaround, which isn't impossible. But you should also be prepared for a tougher recovery, if only because you have another child at home to take care of in addition to your infant.
2 You Might Be On Two Different Schedules
If your first child is significantly older than your newborn, or even a couple of years older, you will have to deal with two different schedules. Not only when it comes to sleeping and eating, but for activities too. Your baby might need to stick to a strict nap schedule, while your older child needs to be carted to school and back and then to after school activities. This means figuring out how to deal with two totally different schedules for both of your children. It’s not any easy feat for any second time parent.
1 There’s A Certain Wisdom That Comes With Doing It All Again
If you can manage the good, the bad, and even the ugly of having another baby and the inevitable adjustment period, then you will soon be able to appreciate what welcoming a second child does for your self-esteem. While you may have been lost with your firstborn, you will likely be a lot more confident this time around. Thanks to all of the wisdom you accrued as a parent for the first time, you are that much more capable of taking care of your second child.
To decision to have another baby doesn't come easy for everyone. And for some parents, it’s not so much a decision as it is something that falls into their lap as a genuine surprise. But however you got here, it’s important to understand just what you’re getting yourself into as you embark on the adventure for the second time.