Going Back for Seconds (Having the Second Child)

Mrs. - posted on 04/25/2011 ( 66 moms have responded )

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Just wondering if some of you, having had your lovely second child, have thought it might have been better to stop at one. Not that you don't love your child, but do you perhaps have some regrets on upping the ante in the kid department?



My fiance and I are going back and forth about a second. Some days, he's all for it - some days, not so much. Some days, I can't wait to be pregnant again. Other days, I doubt my ability to take care of the one.



So, I'm curious about your thoughts on the pros/cons of having an heir and a spare.

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With my experience, I would disagree that one would automatically be wiser or even knowledgeable the second time around. I thought exactly that (granted, I felt cocky about it), but my first was such a breeze... EVERYTHING was just easy with him, which I think lulled me into a false sense of security, so to speak. When the second came around, it took me about a week of near constant crying (day 2 I was asking the nurse to give him to someone else) and feeling as though I was hit over the head with a sledgehammer with the realisation that I had to relearn everything, because I had troubles with what I thought was so easy before.

You always hear people say "every child is different", and many times every baby is different too. If I were foolish enough to want to go for #3 (I feel at 41 I'm too old now), I would prepare myself as I did the first time and be ready for the unknown.

I strongly disagree with having more simply to avoid having an only child. I am an only (non spoiled) child and turned out just fine. I even went to several different schools whilst growing up (military family) and could cope with always being the new kid and making new friends. Actually, I had plenty of fun playing on my own too. Conversely, my husband is one of three (who are spaced out approximately 2 years apart). They all hate each other and never talk to each other unless necessary! Well, they can tolerate each other for short periods of time (a day or two), but that's it. That has been that way for most of their lives. They've always fought since they were little kids. They have an aunt who is 8 months younger than my husband (who is the middle child), and she was more like my husband's sibling than his actual siblings. He and his aunt played and hung out together and get on like a house on fire to this day! So, having more than one kid and having them close in age doesn't guarantee they will close in childhood or adulthood. And as for the only child, we can have plenty of sibling type experiences with friends.

If you want to have multiple children, then go for it. If you don't, then that's cool too! I just think it's important to plan and research to prepare yourself as much as you can, because it may not be a smooth ride... or you could totally luck out and get another easy baby! :-) You just never know your luck.

Terri - posted on 04/27/2011

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I have 4 children and even though sometimes it is hard work, I wouldnt swap them for one child. I have friends who only have one child (some not by choice) and they tell me it is actually harder. And from what I have seen it does look it. My kids always have someone to play with and they help each other out and keep each other amused.

My friends with only one child find they have to constantly find stuff to keep the child amused and they report that the child is often lonely. The children are often left to the tv or computer, where as my kids play games with each other, using their imaginations.

yes there is more fighting that is a con but I guess in the long term it comes to down to how much you really love and want children. You dont have to be rich to have more than one child you just have to be realistic that your life will revolve around them for awhile and maybe not having a social life as much. Or that your goals may change a bit. When it comes down to it, I think you have to really decide am I going to change my life for my children, or do I expect them to fit into my lifestyle. If you can decide that and agree on it with your partner, I guess you would have your answer. Personally, I have found that as they get older it has been a blessing to have siblings. Good luck :)

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My husband and I had planned on having two and we did. Because of my age, we couldn't have spaced them out much more than the 22 months they are. I would have preferred 4 years, because then the eldest would have his time with mum, be out of nappies and in preschool when the second comes along, to be able to have time for just that baby.

Having a second child was more like three times as difficult for me, not just double. I had trouble breastfeeding (which I didn't with #1, the baby would wake the toddler and for nearly a month I lived on 3 hrs of sleep a night because I spent most of the time settling each kid. I made the mistake of thinking I knew the drill, but my second child turned out the exact opposite to my first which made the world tipsy turvy and I had to mentally go back to square one. I suffered greatly from PPD because I was trying to juggle it all myself.

If you have a support network available to you and space the kids well, it will make having the second a lot easier. But, in the final analysis, you DO get through it... even if you're left slightly insane, like me. :-)

Sarah - posted on 04/26/2011

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Hats off to those who had your kids close together!
There's 4 years between my 2, I didn't really plan things out very much. After my first, I swore I'd never have another baby! hahaha! Then when I eventually started thinking about it, I knew I didn't want a huge gap........but I also didn't want them close together either.

4 years age gap worked out perfectly for us. I think it all depends on how you are etc. I could never have coped having them close together!

One of the great things about having 2 is they can entertain each other............the downside is the arguing! lol

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Sherri - posted on 09/30/2011

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Well since I am pregnant with #4 I would have to definitely say never. Even though second child was I swear the devil spawn (LOL) I wouldn't trade him for all the world.



I LOVE newborn stage to age 4. After that I consider by feelings of it iffy. LOL!!

Deana - posted on 09/30/2011

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Tell me if I am nuts? My husband and I are going back and forth on whether or not to have the second child also. My son is 15 months now, so he will be two by the time this one is born. Here is the clincher. Our baby was an IVF baby and a miracle. We were so blessed to be able to have him at all. Being tired and overwhelmed is natural I know but We felt if we could concieve one child maybe we could be able to give him a sibling. We are up there in age. Dont shake your head and think I am crazy I am 46 years old. This is why I am confused on whether we should even be considering another baby or just be blessed God gave us the one beautiful healthy boy?

Mrs. - posted on 05/01/2011

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Hey, I hate the newborn stage too. It always helps me though, in situations I dislike, to have a defined end time for something. Now, with my daughter people told me it would get better when she got older, but I didn't believe it until I saw it myself.

Now, I feel like I know for sure, that I am the type of mom who just does better with an older baby and the younger baby stuff does have an end.

Jessica - posted on 05/01/2011

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Donna yes, I went back and read your response and can totally relate. While in some ways I knew what I was doing better with my second, in many ways I was completely and totally unprepared. My first was so easy temperment-wise so having a colicky high-needs baby is throwing me for a loop. I am also having trouble breastfeeding and I'm not sure why, because I BF my older son for 8.5 months with zero problems. But for some reason the baby has had trouble gaining weight and I am having issues with supply; on top of all the other stressors with having 2 under 2 I am constantly worried about whether the baby is hungry, if he's getting enough to eat, etc and often thing it would be less stressful to switch to formula because at least I'd know he was eating enough!

I keep telling myself it won't be so bad once I'm out of "newborn hell." Lol.

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Jessica, don't ever feel guilty about feeling that way. It is exactly what I was saying, and still occasionally say (and my youngest is 2). It's a rough adjustment to make, but remember that you aren't walking that minefield alone.

I hope things start settling for you soon.

Rebecca, I never answered your question before and you can probably guess my answer. Yes, I have thought I should have stopped at one and I still think it on occasion. I absolutely adore him and if it were so bad I couldn't cope, I could have always put him up for adoption (very last resort). So it's obviously not that bad. Even if you have moments of regret, the light of a new perspective shines and the regret disappears.

Jessica - posted on 04/30/2011

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I have a 3 month old who is my second... my older son will be 2 in June. I hate to say it, but I often find myself thinking that if the baby had been my first, he'd be an only child. I love him, don't get me wrong, and now that he's here I can't imagine him not being, but I am having an incredibly difficult time adjusting. Mainly because, he is a difficult, high needs baby. My toddler was evidently an easy baby, for all that he slept like crap the first 6 months... but he did not cry like his little brother does! The forst 6 weeks were the worst and its gotten better... he has calm/happy moments during the day whereas early on, I literally had to hold him constantly or he would cry. But even still, if he is unhappy in any way he lets you know... loudly. And OMG he fights sleep like none other... every nap he screams for 20 minutes first, its like he gets himself all worked up and can't snap out of it.

I'm sure that helps your decision ;)

I really just hate the newborn stage though, in general. I am really looking forward to him being a little older, not crying all the time, can play and interact with his older brother. I can probably give you a more accurate account of my experience with two then.

Momof1 - posted on 04/29/2011

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I only have one, so this probably won't help. I totally want two kids. I'm hoping to have a girl for our second child. My husband is the same as your fiance, he says he wants two, then he says no, because we fight about our son. If we were financially stable, I would want three kids, but I can live with two. (Our son is 17.5 months and we plan on waiting until he is 3 or 3.5 to start trying.)

I loved everything about being pregnant and I felt healthier while pregnant then before or after. I so want a little baby again. I do feel like I can't handle two kids, though. Right now I'm a SAHM who works weekends, but in June, our son will be starting 2 days of daycare, so I can work more. I think having four years (or so) spacing will be good for me, because by then our son will be in preschool/slightly more independent and I will be able to focus the majority of my time on the second baby, while he is in school.

Merry - posted on 04/27/2011

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Thanks April! Hopefully Fierna will be coming next week, I'm so very excited. And of course scared, but mostly excited! I'll be sure to get a picture up ASAP when she is born!

Vicki - posted on 04/27/2011

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my 1st daughter is 6months old and since the day she was born i wanted another then she got older and more of an hand full - all she does is is cry my partner is nearly 35 and im nearly 25 he says he not sure about any more and when maisie is screaming the house down i defo do not want another but when shes being a star or sleeping id have another ten but as my partner is nearly 35 he said he doesnt want anymore after 37 and im jus not sure i want another that soon ??????

Jane - posted on 04/27/2011

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Considering that our first child is a popular overachiever and our second has been diagnosed as ADHD. ODD and Bipolar II, sure there are days I wished we had stopped at one.

OTOH, he was adorable when small, is handsome now, and even with all his "interesting" qualities he does things that touch my heart. And I have learned a huge amount from him.

My father was an only child, though, and I see how much it affected him in a negative way. Overall, I DO recommend going back for seconds. If you can afford it, I would shoot for three or even four. It may be chaotic while they are little, but when the children become adults, having siblings that share memories and family jokes is a priceless gift.

However, I never had to think about PPD because we were unable to make our own biological children so we adopted. Actually, from what I have seen in other families I would suggest 2 biological kids and two adopted kids, in any order. We wanted to go back for three and four, but my husband became too ill so we stopped at two.

April - posted on 04/27/2011

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Laura, how exciting that Fierna is almost here!! I am so happy for you and your family! I didn't realize it was around the corner!!!

Merry - posted on 04/27/2011

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Idk, I'm due in 4 days with my 2nd baby and I'm super excited and super scared! There will be 2 years and a month between them so I *think* that should be an optimum age gap, close but not too close. But sometimes I worry I should have left a bit more in between as Eric is still waking in the night, breastfeeding, in diapers and quite needy!
So ask me in a few weeks!

April - posted on 04/27/2011

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We're trying for our second next month! I am so excited because we've been holding off until our son learned to use the potty and until he didn't depend on breastfeeding as his sole source of food! He is 28 months, he is making wonderful progress in the area of toilet training and he only breasfeeds for nap and bedtime (at least twice a night). Up until he was 18 months old, he pretty much lived on my milk, so I was very afraid to get pregnant again. We also based our decision on his emotional readiness (we asked him if he wanted Mommy to have a baby and he said yes. that was good enough for me, lol) . It was very hard to wait this long, but I feel like it was right for our firstborn!

April - posted on 04/27/2011

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We're trying for our second next month! I am so excited because we've been holding off until our son learned to use the potty and until he didn't depend on breastfeeding as his sole source of food! He is 28 months, he is making wonderful progress in the area of toilet training and he only breasfeeds for nap and bedtime (at least twice a night). Up until he was 18 months old, he pretty much lived on my milk, so I was very afraid to get pregnant again. We also based our decision on his emotional readiness (we asked him if he wanted Mommy to have a baby and he said yes. that was good enough for me, lol) . It was very hard to wait this long, but I feel like it was right for our firstborn!

Carly - posted on 04/27/2011

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I would thoroughly recommend it. I have 4 children under 5 years of age and it is beautiful watching them all interact with each other. You are SOOOO much wiser and more prepared the second time around. You have learnt from all your mistakes the first time. I never had any troubles with the babies waking the older kids - they sleep so soundly! If you have them close enough together they will reach an age after about 18-24 months where they will play together and give you some time to yourself (before they starting whacking each other :) ).
That being said, I absolutely loved having babies (obviously), and couldn't wait to have another one each time. I had no troubles breastfeeding, was big on routines, and all my kids are wonderful sleepers so I have had a good run (due to my routines I believe).

Mrs. - posted on 04/26/2011

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I had a good friend who was pregnant the same time as me who had a history of depression. She did exactly that and avoided having any PPD.

I just was not prepared for it happening. Now I know how horrible it can be when you are blindsided by it, I think I would do exactly the same thing.

Thanks for sharing though. It is a bit scary and it is go to hear that being proactive can make it an easier thing to deal with.

Charlie - posted on 04/26/2011

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Rebecca I had PPD badly with my first and I was worried about it happening again but I made sure I was proactive , saw a counsellor about my fears of PPD before I gave birth and knew the signs it also helped for me to set a plan of action in case it were to return for myself and my fiance ......luckily it didnt in fact it was the opposite but it is a good thing to be prepared for it in case .

Mrs. - posted on 04/26/2011

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...Yeah, I think I was just using it as a saying, inspired by all the crap that has been littering the media in the upcoming Brit wedding...it popped in there.

It is good to hear the majority of you were questioning, but ended up being quite happy with how it ended up.

Because I did have PPD with my first, I know my fiance is quite worried about it happening again. However, I feel I went through it already, would know the signs earlier now and wouldn't try to white knuckle it on my own...if it did happen again.

My mother is always reminding me, she had four kids and only had PPD with one. It is a bit of a bad luck of the drawl to get it with the first, but I guess I was lucky I had such a chilled baby.

Thanks ladies. Big thanks to those who shared their own fears about PPD happening again and then found it was just much easier the second time round. It gives me hope.

[deleted account]

I have had 5 wonderful and amazing kids. I don't consider any one of them more important than the other and I don't consider any of the as a "spare" as you put it. I would suggest maybe staying with one if you really feel that the 2nd child would be a spare. I do understand it is just a saying but honestly if you truly feel like you would have "an heir and a spare" maybe stopping at one would be best. IMHO

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I really want another one. However i am scared shitless that i might actually die because of what happened the first time. So I'm on the fence too..

[deleted account]

One and done and absolultey, positively, NO regrets with my son being an only child. He may be an only, but far from lonely, and far from spoiled.

Rosie - posted on 04/26/2011

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after my second i was perfectly fine. after my third is when i thought maybe i went a little overboard. sometimes i feel very overwhelmed, especially with all the problems that my oldest child has.

Jay - posted on 04/26/2011

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I totally agree with you September! I feel I was put on this earth to be a mum, picked my son's name when i was a child, had a doll with his name!! haha :D x

Charlie - posted on 04/26/2011

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I had planned for a 4 year age gaps but it didnt work out that way , my sister were 4 years apart and are still best friends but so far 20 months between my boys has worked well , they play well , Cooper my eldest is very caring ( although a bit rough at times ) and Harry is just the happiest baby ever ...

If I had a choice I certainly wouldnt have had them so close , there are a lot of risks you run to your child when you conceive so close after birth doctors do recommend a year at least before trying again , I know the thought of kids together can be nice but it is running a big risk at giving your child several medical problems in the furture , thats not to say all children conceived before a year will have issues , many dont but it is an increased risk I wouldnt have taken on purpose .

[deleted account]

I have always wanted more than one child. We are expecting our second this summer and they will be exactly two years apart almost to the day. My husband was the one that needed to be convinced. I have always wanted at least two children... He on the other hand rather liked just having one to shower his attention on. We went back and forth on the pros/cons but ultimately three things convinced him.
1. He enjoyed our daughter so much he really wanted to have another child to share things with.
2. He didn't want her to be alone in life if and when something should happen to us.
3. He saw how good a sibling relationship can be later in life, i.e. my sister and I.

Esther - posted on 04/26/2011

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I think it's a totally personal decision. Only you can search your heart to know what's right for you. I knew for sure I was done after one. I worship my son and my family feels complete with just him. Most of my friends have two and I'm totally happy for them as that was right for them. Whether it's great for others though is helpful to get over any jitters, but I think you need to follow your own heart either way. After all the Duggers (or whatever their name is) felt having 18 was just swell. That doesn't mean though that it would be right for anyone else.

Sara - posted on 04/26/2011

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I'm currently pregnant with my second. I have trepidations about how I'm going to handle two, but when my husband and I were talking about having another and I was lamenting about how hard it will be, he asked me if it's something I would regret doing in 10 years. I said no, because I wanted to my daughter to have at least one sibling. So that was it. It might be hard, and I'm sure at times I'll wonder what the hell I was thinking, but in the end, it'll be worth it.

September - posted on 04/26/2011

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Oh I see...thanks for explaining :) Personally, I loved the newborn stage but I know what you mean about older babies too. Life can be a little crazy when they're so small, it takes some getting used to, and that’s for sure! :)

Krista - posted on 04/26/2011

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It's not "so bad," but I definitely enjoy older babies more. I think now that this is my second and I know what to expect from each stage, I just find myself looking forward to her sitting up, and crawling, and walking, and interacting more. I also really like having a routine, and I know it'll be a little while before I'll have my daughter in a good routine and life will seem less crazy!

Krista - posted on 04/26/2011

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I agree Brittany, I did not miss the newborn stage either! I keep finding myself wishing that my daughter was older, but then I have to tell myself to enjoy every minute because she'll be big before I know it, and she's probably my last baby, so I shouldn't wish any moments away.

Brittany - posted on 04/26/2011

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After we had our son we went back and fourth about having another baby or not. We did end up having another one (on accident) and I don't regret my daughter or love her any less or anything but I have realized that I would've been completely 100% satisfied with just one. I DID NOT miss the newborn stage at all...even though I thought I did.

September - posted on 04/26/2011

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We have a 2.5 year old son and will be definitely going back for seconds, maybe even thirds! :) In fact we plan to start trying real soon. I can't think of any cons when it comes to having children, I think I was born to be a Mom! :)

Shannon - posted on 04/26/2011

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my son and daughter are 22 mo's apart.it was actually hard on me cuz he was about 18 mo's when i was about 6-7 mo's prego.so it was really hard tryin to chase him when he was being naughty.they are also in different diaper sizes and I'm buying about $80 worth of diapers and wipes a mo'. i think that i should have waited maybe another yr at the least to have another..like right now if i DO want another child I'm going to wait until my youngest is in school..hopefully i helped you some..I'm a young momma.lol

Shannon - posted on 04/26/2011

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Now that my first and second child are both in or near the teen years (Both girls) i definately have some issues with attitudes at the same time but there are 3 yrs between them. My youngest 2 ( a boy and a girl) are 22 months apart and they play together beautifully.

Laura - posted on 04/26/2011

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I have 2 1/2 years between DS1 and DS2 and 2 1/2 between DS2 and DS3. And I love it that way. Sometimes it's a little hectic with one in the terrible 2's and a new born but my older two are great friends and I know #3 will be too. I'm not going to say it's easy having more than one but hey having kids is never easy. :) but it is totally worth it. I wouldn't even mind having a 4th but hubby's done and I'm ok with that. My only regret is that I didn't get my girl but it really wasn't my choice so oh well. :)

You'll do great, good luck.

Donna - posted on 04/26/2011

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i had twins my first time. So a 3rd one was debatable. We wanted 1 kid we got 2. both girls. we tried for a boy we got another girl. So yeah a 4th just isnt happening. We've both decided we're good with 3.

Dana - posted on 04/26/2011

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Krista and Sarah Bell, I'm scared shitless too but, I'm already 16 wks in!



I think no matter what, it's still going to be scary until you are actually dealing with the reality of the second child in your arms.

[deleted account]

I had 4 years between mine.Our baby is 2years old.At times its crazy.So much running around and the bank balance is a lot less since, with a second to lol.
Its all worth it.Out of it all, to just see the bond between our daughters is something we never even thought about.Its an amazing and heartwarming thing to witness.For that and the love we have for our second..she was more than worth it.I would say, go for it Rebecca.

Krista - posted on 04/26/2011

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I've just had my second 5 weeks ago (a daughter) and my son is 2.5 years. I was really worried about how I would handle two, especially since I had a bit of PPD with my first. It's actually been a breeze, though! I'm so much more relaxed this time around, and she sleeps a lot better than her brother did, which really helps your sanity! We originally thought we'd have either 2 or 3 kids, but I'm pretty sure we'll quit at 2 now. We're just now quite sure enough to do something permanent like having my husband get snipped. We'll wait a couple more years just to make sure we're really done having kids.

You might miss your free time and relative calm of one kid, but I don't think anyone could ever regret having one of their children once they're here.

Bonnie - posted on 04/26/2011

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Rebecca, I am going through the same thing you are right now, except with a third child in mind hahaha.

Bonnie - posted on 04/26/2011

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I have two boys 21 months apart and I wouldn't change that for anything. They are close and love being together, playing together, and entertaining eachother. They are now pushing 3 and 5 years old.

Mel - posted on 04/26/2011

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Wow Caitlin Im am so looking up to you for having them so close and managing so well. Pregnancy is the main bit that worries me about another child, because I think pregnancy and other babies is realy hard. my girl was about 19 months when I fell pregnant though and she thought it was pretty funny to try and copy me throwing up every day

Jenn - posted on 04/26/2011

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During my most stressed out moments I regret having any kids LOL! But seriously though, I have no regrets at all - I like that my kids all get to have someone to grow up with and share their childhood with. Of course they also have someone to fight with and they love to tease each other, but when you see them hug each other and say "I love you", it melts your heart.

Caitlin - posted on 04/26/2011

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I had my first 2 girls 15 months apart - and planned that way! Everyone said I was crazy, but I love almost every minute of it. Now we are in terrible twos with the older one, and the younger one is learning to walk and get into trouble everywhere and apparently that's not enough for me, because i'm 17 weeks along with #3. This will be our last for a long time, because we simply don't have the money to have more than 3 (we probably don't have neough money to have more than 1 in some peoples books, but i'm not a designer clothes fan, and toys are kept to a minimum because they just make a HUGE mess) so the financial issues should be fine for now, and by the time i'm finished school, the kids expenses should be picking up right around, so a second income will be quite useful at that point. I wouldn't change it for the world. When I was pregnant with my second, I wondered if i'd be able to do it, but found I got into a rhythm pretty fast when the baby was born, and the worst part was dealing with morning sickness and kids!

Mel - posted on 04/26/2011

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to those people who are worried or undecided, someone with a lot of kids told me a closer age gap is better for the kids growing up and that you will be very happy about that choice later, but at first it will be very hard. The bigger the age gap is the easier it is obviously but its nice to have the kids close in age to each other

Sarah - posted on 04/26/2011

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@Krista - I'm scared shitless, too haha. ;) I go back & forth all the time about when to have a second one.

It's definitely helpful to hear everyone's thoughts & opinions about this. :)

[deleted account]

Im on my fourth helping considering gong back for more I have never regretted any of them even though sometimes I do think what have i done when i look at the laundry pile

Mel - posted on 04/26/2011

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I personally didnt have any regrets because we want at least 4 kids. I have those days to where I struggle and I have days where Im 100% on top of things, but every time I doubt my choices and what I want for the future that being more kids and when I want to have more kids, I just think once Im in the situation I cant go back and change it and I will have to manage, I will learn to manage whatever I choose. I choose to go for things even though I know its going to be hard. I like a challenge. I understsnd people stopping at one though. Being a parent is a very responsibility , very full on adn tiring, much harder then any normal day to day job

[deleted account]

Yeah my son and this baby will be three years apart but I keep hearing from mom's with autistic kids that their kiddos are younger in a way...so it's more like having a newborn with a 1 1/2-2 year old and that part freaks me out a little. Either way though the good days will get us through the rough ones, thank you ladies I'm feeling more optimistic now...today lol.

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