What is it like having a second child?
Having a second baby evokes so many emotions—mainly happy, joyous ones–full of excitement and anticipation.
But for me I also worried about the unknown and how life was changing. There’s nostalgia for the way it is now and the fear of how I’d handle the challenges of two kids. I questioned how I could give as much love and attention to my second as I did my first.
Knowing how to work a stroller and being comfortable with daily infant care are advantages the second time around. But not knowing what it would be like with a second child added to OUR family was scary.
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10 Things I’ve Learned Having A Second Child
1. Trips to the store take much longer
Getting two kids in and out of the car each time–it often seems just easier to stay home and order online. Amazon is a mommy lifesaver. When I was pregnant with my second child I had a 1 year old running around. Ordering from Amazon saved me SO MANY trips to the store. I can order diapers, these wipes on repeat, and any other baby products I need from them. And who doesn’t love the fast shipping for Prime members?! The best thing is that I can make my lists hands free while tending to the kids with my Amazon Echo. We call her Alexa. Naptime for now limits the opportunity to take both kids out at the same time, especially between 9am to 3pm. (The Echo helps me out here too by playing lullaby music for the kids.) And when I do venture out with both kids together I make sure to leave LOTS of extra time so we aren’t rushing.
2. I keep things in perspective better
Why did I ever think one kid was hard? When I had one baby, I remember looking at parents with two children in awe. I wondered how they did it. Now I look at parents with more than two kids that way! And to all the parents with multiples. . . how do YOU do it? I realized when you are handed more responsibility you adapt; when you look back at what you handled before, it seems easier.
3. There is less free time
I thought my free time was limited before–now there’s even less of it. When my daughter was an infant, I compared my two kids to the boardwalk whack-a-mole game. Someone was always popping up when the other was down for a nap or bedtime. If I’m lucky now, I get an hour or two overlap during my daughter’s second nap. They both go to bed around the same time each night which is wonderful. Then I have the dilemma of deciding whether to stay up to get things done, watch TV, relax, or decide to go to bed to rest up for the next busy day!
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4. I didn’t have to buy as much
You get to use the equipment and things you already have–no need to figure out from scratch what to list on a baby registry. We already had this baby carrier (a mommy MUST), baby swing, high chair, bumbo seat, jumper like this, the regular stroller and the lightweight stroller. Since my second child was a girl, I wanted a few pink girly changing pad covers and swaddle blankets for her. If your kids are spaced out enough you may even be able to get away without buying another car seat or crib. You already have a pediatrician for the first baby–so you don’t have to worry about that issue this time.
5. Time moves faster
Or at least it feels like it does! This time you know the sleepless nights will get easier (and eventually and thankfully end). You are familiar with teething, rolling over, and crawling. You know that difficult stages such as teething will end. The milestones seem to approach quicker because you are busy juggling two kids. Because you are more seasoned and confident, time seems to go quicker than those first days or weeks of caring for an infant.
6. I’ve adapted quicker
At one time trying to make sure I had everything in the diaper bag for one was itself a challenge. Now, the first time I had to pack for 2, I think it easily took me an hour! Well almost…now it seems like second nature, and I don’t think twice; it even feels easy!
7. I’m more confident
Even if you have always wanted a child, you are thrown into the role of parenting. My Aunt who always has a colorful way of describing things once said “Honey, having your first child is like driving down a street you are unfamiliar with….in the dark.” Even though each baby is different and you can encounter some new things with your second, you are more comfortable as a parent and confident knowing what to expect and when, and what works and what doesn’t work. I felt like I could “enjoy” my daughter’s first months a little more because it ALL wasn’t so NEW.
8. I already function on little sleep
There’s nothing that can prepare you for the sleep deprivation that comes with a baby. You don’t just dip your toe into it or ease into sleeplessness….it comes at you full force. Drinking sometimes several cups of coffee daily is my secret weapon and made it way more bearable the second time. (I kick myself now for not doing this the first time!). My husband and I drink so much coffee now we order boxes of this coffee from Amazon regularly.
9. It’s more work
…a lot more work! My mom said the work doesn’t just double because there’s another child—it multiplies. Now there are two babies to bathe and get ready for bed, two kids to take care of when sick and two sets of doctor appointments to make. There are 40 finger and toenails to clip instead of 20, and endless laundry. But as the work multiplies, so does the love. There’s another set of eyes on you, there’s interacting with siblings, another family member at the dinner table, another two arms hugging you. . . . priceless!
10. It’s so much more fun!
There’s always someone to feed, change, put in for a nap, bathe etc. But it is more fun for me because I enjoy caring for them so much. We have a general schedule and because of this, the days seem to go by so fast. (This must also have to do with #7 on this list, wink wink). Looking at both kids makes it hard to remember life without either of them. And seeing one child making the other laugh, feeling like you have a “crew” and feeling even more togetherness– it’s a great joy to me!
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Not sure where to go next?
Thanks for stopping by! If you have any questions or want to know more about life with two kids, feel free to reach out to me here.