10 Things to Know Before You Have a Second Child

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August 29, 2011

10 Things to Know Before Having a Second Child

1. No two pregnancies are the same. Just because pregnancy #1 was smooth sailing, doesn’t mean you’ll have the same experience with the second. I learned that the hard way. My first pregnancy was textbook smooth, but number 2? I had morning sickness day and night for the first six months.

2. The same is true for conception. I got pregnant with my son after trying for one month, and my daughter? Let’s just say my kids are almost five years apart. It was difficult and frustrating, especially considering how easy it was to get pregnant the first time, and as luck would have it, I found out I was pregnant the same week I had my first appointment with a fertility doctor.  Should’ve made that appointment sooner.

3. Don’t be surprised if they don’t look alike. I know this may sound silly, but I was shocked how different my daughter looked from her brother when she was born. For some reason I expected them to look like twins.

4. Piggy backing on #3, don’t expect your kids to have the same temperament and personality. My son screamed bloody murder at night for his first nine months. My daughter? She was an easy, happy, Zen-like baby and slept peacefully 6-7 hours straight when she was a newborn.

5. If your firstborn gave you a hard time when she was a baby, consider yourself lucky. It gives you thicker skin to handle all the things that baby #2 throws your way (literally and figuratively).  If you have the opposite experience, good luck!  But just think, baby #3 and #4 will be a breeze!

6. Having a second child will change your lifestyle, so say sayonara to your daily routine, at least for the first few weeks or maybe months. You’ll be stretched to the limit so accept help from anyone who offers and ask for help whenever you need a hand.

7. You remember how your newborn took over your life?  Well, it will happen again with #2, so make sure to spend a few special moments with your first child every day regardless of how exhausted you are.  And way before your second child arrives, prepare big bro or big sis for the changes to come.  Oh, and on a practical note, don’t forget to make arrangements for big bro or sis during those first few days.  Where will he stay while you are at the hospital?  Who will take him to preschool?

8. Babies are expensive (as if you didn’t know!), so if your first child’s stroller, high chair, infant car seat, etc. is in good shape, use it again for #2. And all those cute baby clothes s/he only used once or twice? Can you say hand-me-downs?

9. Having two kids is double the work of one, but it’s worth every moment–good and bad.  There’s nothing more special than a sibling relationship, and besides, you’ve done it before and practice makes perfect.

10. Not sure if you’re ready for a second child but are thinking about it?  It probably means you’re ready.  Or else you wouldn’t be thinking about it in the first place!

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