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Going From One Child to Two
May 23, 2012 9:37 am | by

Being pregnant with your second child brings up a lot of worries for some moms- Will I love this baby as much as I love my first? Will they get along? Is this the best or worst idea I’ve ever had? How will I figure out which kid to respond to first? Will it be more than I can handle?

Let me first assure you that it most likely won’t be more than you can handle. Here’s a secret about the second time around- it’s much easier. It’s not the first time you’re changing your baby’s diaper. It’s not the first time you’re breastfeeding or mixing formula. You’ve got some experience under your belt and that simple fact will give you more confidence and make things seem less difficult. So if you’re thinking back to your first baby’s initial days (weeks, months) at home and the chaos that accompanied them, it’s probably going to be much more calm this time around.

To demonstrate this point, I have two of my own mom’s favorite stories about the first weeks home with my older brother, Matthew (her first,) and me (her second).

A few days after my mom and older brother came home from the hospital, my grandmother was over at the house and was trying to help my mom out. She came up to where my mom was resting with her new bundle of joy and asked if my mom wanted her to take some meat out of the fridge for dinner. My grandmother was a smart and capable woman that could have made dinner all by herself without my mom’s input but wanted to make my mom feel included. My mom’s reaction to this simple question? She burst into tears and yelled at her mom, “How can you ask me a thing like that at a time like this?!” She says she just felt like everything she did all day was making decisions and that every. one. of. them. was important. Because it often feels like this the first time you have a new baby in the house. Everything is new and overwhelming.

Fast forward two and a half year to the days after my fabulous entry into the world: same main characters, my mom and grandmother. They were chatting while my mom gave me a bath in the sink and her mother looked at her and asked, “What WERE we doing all day with Matthew?” My mom shrugged and said she didn’t know, but it certainly seemed a lot less busy this time around.

Here’s the difference between those two scenarios: with your first baby you’re not only adjusting to having a new baby in the house. You’re adjusting to being a mother yourself. That’s a huge shift in your life. And even with the 9 months of time to adjust, it still slaps you in the face when you have that actual baby in your arms, needing food, shelter and love. Holy moly. I am someone’s mother. This little person is entirely dependent on me (and the rest of the family, but come on, we all feel like it’s on us). And while every new baby throws a wrench in the works a little bit, just by the natural disruption to routine, the lack of sleep, and a change what you’re used to… the second time around you don’t have to adjust to becoming a mother too. You’re already Mom or Mama or Mommy. It’s only one transition, not two.

So don’t worry. You’re going to love baby number two just as much. You’re going to love baby number one just as much (if not more, the first time you see your oldest being sweet to the new baby your heart will melt and you will burst with even more love for him or her… try to hold on to this feeling the first time the oldest is less than sweet to the new baby, because that will happen too). You will be able to handle it. You will figure out what to do first and who to answer first and how to get everyone in the car and all the logistics. It will take some trial and error, you might need a few extra minutes sometimes, but you’ll do it. And soon it will be insanely easy and you’ll forget what it was like to only have one.

Go forth and conquer being a mom to more than one. After all, you’re already a mom- you’ve already morphed into a superhero and can take on anything.

About the Author

Claire is an Army wife that may not have been cut out for homemaking. Follow her adventures as she, her husband (Sergeant Handsome), their three sons and two dogs try to keep it together over on her personal blog, The Half-Hearted Housewife, where love means never having to do the dishes.



  • Caroline said...
    May 29, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    This is wonderful and I totally agree. It helped me that I was in my third trimester for the entire summer (gave birth 9/1) and we were selling our house and having to find a new one, and potty training our first, and living with my parents for three weeks before we could move into the new house, then moving in and unpacking, and dealing with stressful drama from some members of the extended family. Whew! It was a lot and I just kept thinking that NOTHING could possibly be worse than being pregnant, hot, and hungry, and chasing after an active 2 year old while trying to do all the rest. 🙂

    I think having two is easier because I don’t have the time or energy to sweat the small stuff.

    Good luck to you all on your expanding families! It’s going to be great!

    • Anonymous said...
      May 29, 2012 at 7:30 pm

      My 3rd is now 5 months old. What is said is true and gave me quite a reflection from the past from my older two. It gets easier every time for sure! This was the easiest transition yet! So don’t worry! Just remember every time its easier than the time before

  • Anonymous said...
    May 29, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    This is so true!! At least for me anyway. Just added #2 at the end of March and it’s SO much easier!!! Although, they have completely different personalities and #2 is a much calmer baby than #1 was, plus I only took 2 wks off after #1 before I started working again (from home, but still working and adjusting to a new baby as a new momma). I’ve always heard that going from 1 to 2 was the biggest adjustment for most….I think those people must’ve had their calm personality baby first! 😉

  • Kenner said...
    May 27, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Thank you for this! We’re expecting our second baby in October, and my first won’t turn 2 until February. WE’RE fine with the small age gap, but everyone else’s reactions sometimes start to get to me. I appreciate the confidence boost from people like you – I’m not the first to have a second child (or to have 2 under 2!) I’m sure I’ll be just fine 🙂

    • Holly B said...
      May 29, 2012 at 9:34 pm

      My first was 14.5 mths old when number 2 was born. We got a similar reaction about the small age gap. Take my word for it, it all works out. #1 is going to be 3.5 yrs and #2 will be 27 mths when baby #3 comes along this summer;)

  • Anonymous said...
    May 25, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Thank you for this reassurance. I am going to have a 4 year old and a newborn in september and this is the first positive thing i have read
    Everything else is about jealousy and lack of time – but i am now more confident than ever on bringing home #2.

  • Jessica G. said...
    May 23, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    On the one hand, I totally agree with you…things are definitely not as complicated with the second baby. I was so much more calm. On the other hand, you have to worry about different things – like toddlers poking at infant eyes, toddlers jumping off furniture or wanting to sit on baby while you are nursing. But once you get the routine down (which was a lot faster the second time around) it really isn’t bad. And I second what a previous commenter said, you really don’t need that many more diapers. After having separate diaper pails for my kids, I combined them. It is much easier that way and given that the pail fills up quickly, I end up doing laundry every day and a half or so.

  • Jess @ MomEinstein said...
    May 23, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Love this post! My second is due in about a month and while I *know* it will all work out, my brain hasn’t quite grasped the logistics of how it will all work out. Which, in my crazy nesting & planning stage, is annoying.

  • said...
    May 23, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Thank you for this! I am sort of terrified of a second baby, even though we do want one, and this helped calm my fears a bit.

  • Bethany Haid said...
    May 23, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    If I could offer any advice, I’d say that the first three months are the most difficult, just like the first three months with a new single baby. Its just a growth period. And if I could offer cloth diapering advice for a second baby, assuming the first is still in diapers, too… I’d say you don’t need double the cloth diapers, you only need .5 more … you will do laundry pretty much every day or every 30 hours, just because the pail gets full faster. Therefore, you will just wash more often and need less than double the diapers. Plus, the first baby starts using many less diapers per day and soon the second transitions into that child’s diapers.

  • Anonymous said...
    May 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Thank you for this! I can’t tell you how much I needed to hear this. It’s been a tough adjustment for #1, which has definitely cast doubts in my mind about #2. Thank you for sharing this. It’s nice to know these feelings are normal.

  • Samantha {Moody Mama} said...
    May 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Thank you so much for this! Im expecting my second in August and have thought & felt exactly how you described & hope it is as “easy” as you say.