There’s often a feeling that second-time parents are old pros at this whole baby thing, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.
Sure, there are things you know now that you didn’t know then, and confidence is justified. But there are still many new things you will learn along the way as you gear up to welcome your second baby.
Worries and Doubts
Many parents find that the biggest change between their first and second pregnancies is the worry or doubt that can come with the unknown.
Having already experienced parenthood firsthand, you’ll know how you respond to late-night feedings, diaper overflow emergencies, stuffy infant noses and breastfeeding challenges.
There will still be some areas of uncertainty, especially because you don’t yet know what it’s like to care for a baby while also caring for an older child in the mix.
Ask for help from family and friends in the first few days to help you with this big change. Before you know it you will get the hang of it and establish a routine.
The most common worry is wondering how you can possibly love your second child as much as you love your firstborn. This is a tricky one to describe, but when your baby is born your instinct to love both children in their own unique way will just kick in on its own.
Moms often joke that they lose their optimism about a Pinterest-ready nursery and other perfectionistic fantasies after the first baby.
You’re going to have a much better idea of exactly what you need, which products you prefer and how you want everything set up and organized for round two.
This often means that you won’t need to spend as much time researching and discovering helpful tools and techniques.
Plus, you probably have some stored baby gear from your first child that you can put back in action for number two.
The twists and turns associated with pregnancy will be less of a surprise now that you’ve been through it before. The first time, you probably knew you’d feel tired, nauseous and uncomfortable in certain ways, but you didn’t have an accurate idea of exactly what that means for you.
Now you’ll feel much less surprised by just how exhausted you feel or the weird food-related aversions and cravings you experience.
It’s not all going to be the same, though. Some mamas note that each of their children act differently in the womb. Some fetuses are quite active in utero, while others keep it calm.
This is your first indication that parenthood can be even less predictable when you’ve got more than one kid.
As your second child comes into his or her own, you may be surprised to find that you are filled with wonder at each new development the second time around. Sure, you’ve seen it before, but every baby moves at their own pace, so things aren’t going to happen in the exact same way.
Your younger little one is an individual with unique traits and a special personality that manifests itself in the same delightful and occasionally frustrating ways as your older child.
This is one area in which your experience of raising two kids will always be both similar and different at the same time. Getting to watch a baby blossom into an individual with special personal characteristics will always come with some surprises.
The body’s response to pregnancy is another area that’s likely to be fairly predictable for second-time moms. If you experienced some abdominal discomfort after your first pregnancy, you can anticipate that for your second baby by planning to incorporate our postpartum support garments into your recovery.