Whether you’re planning on having a second baby or you accidentally got pregnant, having a second baby is a totally different ball game. I remember thinking how tough ”momming” one baby was and hence the thought of having a second was a bit scary. Then I found out I was pregnant…
This experience will fill you with laughter and tears. There will be high and low moments. In reality, you’re likely never to feel ready enough to have a second baby. There will always be questions but you will find some answers with time.
So what is it really like to have a second baby? Will you survive? Stay with me.
Your Second Pregnancy
Each pregnancy is unique. Whilst some women experience different symptoms, others experience symptoms very similar to their first. The most common thing about a second pregnancy is, most women, if not all of us lose track of time. This is because you will be busy taking care of your first. At some point you may even wonder how far your pregnancy is.
Am I 30 weeks or 32 weeks?
You won’t also be waiting to feel that first kick…
Your baby bump will most likely show a little bit more quickly and will be bigger compared to the first.
Labor and delivery
Most women have a shorter labor with their second. Your body will intuitively remember the movements needed to push out the baby and get to work! Because the process happens fast, it’s best to go to the hospital early.
It’s not set in stone that, if your first delivery was via a c-section so will your next. It depends on other factors like: the position of the baby, the size of the baby, the timing between the two pregnancies, your general health. There is always a risk attempting vaginal delivery after a c-section so it’s best to talk to your doctor.
Breastfeeding doesn’t get easier
When breastfeeding journey ended with my first, I felt like a pro! I was able to breastfeed in public and had packs of unused breast milk in the freezer because I had built my milk stores right from pregnancy.
Irrespective of my previous experience with breastfeeding, I was worried when my milk hadn’t come in by the morning of the second day. I wondered if I’d have enough milk to breastfeed my baby and if I’d be able to breast feed at all.
After being discharged from the hospital, I suffered a terrible backache as a result of bad posture from breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding generally gets easier with time. But my second experience made me realize that each breastfeeding journey is unique!
Even if you were unable to breastfeed your first, you totally can with your second baby! Your previous experience should not deter you. Check out this post on how to increase your breast milk stores.
You’d worry less about milestones but worry more about…
Remember when you had your first baby and you’d track every single milestone? You’d worry less about whether your baby has met those milestones yet or not, you may miss it altogether. However you’d be able to tell if they meet it sooner than their sibling- mom comparison.
It’s not a healthy thing to compare one child to another because they individually have their strengths and weaknesses. If you do as a mom (which we all do sometimes) NEVER verbally say it to your child because it can hurt their self-esteem.
Although you would be less worried about milestones, you’d be more concerned about providing your children the absolute best in everything!
You’d be more forgiving
Remember when everyone had to bathe in antiseptic before seeing your baby? Some people would still not get the memo even with the second baby. Instead of wanting to die or getting really upset, you’d be more forgiving but still insist the right thing be done.
The kids behavior rub off each other
Whilst your baby can’t wait to grow because they have an older sibling, your toddler wants to go back to being a baby to get more attention. The situation can get really exhausting, frustrating and tiresome especially with two under two.
As a mom it’s important to establish routines to enable you spend time with both children especially the first since the baby will be getting more attention. Activities such as reading of bedtime stories, singing during bath times are helpful.
You’re more than enough
Sometimes as moms, we feel inadequate, unprepared and scared of having a second baby. We second guess ourselves and wonder if, and how we’d be able to handle the situation. But the truth is, you’re more than enough.
Like I always say, women can do anything! We can handle it. However…
It can get tough
Before having a second baby, it’s important to discuss and try and get help because you can’t do it all. It can really get overwhelming. I have had to feed my toddler whilst breastfeeding and eating at the same time. I was hungry and there was no one around to give a helping hand.
Discuss with your significant other about getting an extra hand, delegate what you can and consider daycare too.
Going out with the two babies alone seems impossible for me! I really admire women who do it alone. I always need an extra eye on the toddler or baby. Going out for an event with them requires tons of planning especially if you intend to be on time. If you’re planning to have fun, you might end up back home more tired, ha!
What you can re-use or should replace
I thought my baby would be wearing a lot of hand-downs from the “big sister”. This was not exactly so because they were born in different seasons hence some clothing were inappropriate to pass on. It’s a win for you if they’re born in the same season.
Some other items that can be re-used for the second baby include:
- Crib/ bassinet
- Shampoo, baby lotion (you may want to get some extra)
- Baby carrier
- Diaper bag (if you have a big back pack diaper bag like mine, you’ll not need a replacement or an extra, else you do).
Some items you should buy for your second baby are:
- Bottle nipples (if you don’t wanna buy new bottles),
- Breast milk storage bags
- Breast pad
- Replaceable pump parts (breast shields, tubing)
- Bottle brushes
- Extra sheets
- Car seat
- Baby sponge
- Toothbrush/ tongue cleaner
I got relatively less attention from everyone! I guess everyone assumed I had done it before so I had it all figured out. The truth is, attention and support is so needed so much more with the second because momming two, can be a whirlwind!
Which part of aspects of this post resonates with you? What truths have you discovered from reading this post? What question(s) do you have about having a second baby? I’d love to help if I can!
Wondering how to lose the baby weight after your second baby? Read this post!
7 thoughts on “The Honest Truth About Having a Second Baby-You Won’t Read Anywhere Else”
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I have a real fear of getting pregnant again. In fact, I told my husband the other day that I think I’d only be ready for no.2 in 7years lol
Thank you for this.
The seven years got me laughing out loud. That is how we all feel in the beginning. Baby no. 2 might actually happen sooner than you know!
Great Stuff with absolute reality on the ground…
You just nailed every point right on the head…reading through your piece brought me memories of the exact actions and reactions that went on when my wife had our second baby…
Well done, keep up the good work.
Thanks Bernard. I’m happy to know this resonates with you as well.
This is a ln interesting but realist post or article. Just got detained at the hospital because of stress of momming two. Though I show up at gatherings looking all nice n made up n kids were organised, the work behind close doors can never be underestimated. Thanks Naa. The joy of one makes our husbands automatic helpers but with two they get relaxed but I agree with you that we need extra help even with two than one because babies act so different. First might have had a regular sleep plan whiles the second will not have a regular sleep plan at all
You hit the nail right on the head Sheilla!
Sorry about being detained at the hospital.
Behind the scenes you said? Isn’t it amazing how comported those little ones can appear outdoors ????
Take care of you Mama cuz we need you to be strong enough for care for “everyone”!
Sending you hugs!