The Second Child

Kimberly - posted on 04/18/2011 ( 11 moms have responded )

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My daughter will be 2 in August. My husband and I have decided to try for our second baby in September/October, so my daughter will be right around 3 (give or take a few months) when the new baby comes. I know I don't want to wait much longer because we're both pretty sure we only want 2 children and I don't want the kids to be too far apart in age. The problem? I'm TERRIFIED! My daughter sleeps through most nights now, but occasionally she'll have a bad night and it just makes me think I'll never sleep with a newborn waking every few hours and then my daughter waking up as well! My daughter has been ill this week with a bad cough/cold and she's been very clingy and just wanting cuddles, so then I think with a newborn she wont get all the mommy/daddy time she wants and she'll be upset. I feel like it'll be selfish of me to bring a new baby into her world right now, but then I know she'll want a brother/sister close in age later on so they can play and be buddies. I'm very conflicted! I had no fears when I got pregnant with my daughter, I was so ready for it and excited!! But when thinking about having a second I'm just so scared and confused.

Has anybody else had these feelings? How did you deal with going from one child to two? How did your first child deal with it? Am I just being silly?? My friends seem to think in 5 months time (when we'll be serious about trying) I'll have changed my mind because my daughter will be older and more mature.

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Carol - posted on 04/18/2011

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I was terrified when I found out I was pregnant with my 2nd child. He is 3 and my other is 8 months AND I'm a single mom. NEITHER of minesleep trough the night. Some days I'm drained but other days I'm just fine. It isn't that bad. I had the same feelings nd fears. I let my 3 yr old be a part of everything, he plays peek a boo with the baby nd loves it. Just make sure you let her be a part of it all. My 8 month old is developmentally challanged (I guess that's how we can put it) he has a lot of drs, eye appts, and neurology appts. It is tough and tiring but you kind of get used to it. Good luck with evrything!

Tricia - posted on 04/19/2011

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When my son turned 1, we thought "oh, we'll start trying again, it'll take awhile, and he sleep through the night, lets go for it!" Only two months later I was pregnant with baby #2, and suddenly felt the "oh crap, what have we gotten ourselves into" switch flip on. On top of that, my little guy was a premie, so they were way closer together than we ever meant for them to be. But you know what? It just happens...things just fall into place. Is it easy? No. But when is having more than one child ever easy? My boys, now 3 1/2 and 18 mos, love eachothers company, and I'm glad we went for it. The panic is normal, but I promise, once that second baby comes everything just works out somehow. You really learn how to chose your battles. And it does work out, because new babies sleep alot, and that gives you time to snuggle with the older child, and when the baby is awake, you can incorporate the other child in things you do with the baby. Your older child will not suddenly be neglected. Kids adjust, it takes time, and patients, but it does happen. Don't worry too much, it can be done! :)

Teresa - posted on 04/18/2011

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You are definitely NOT just being silly! I had every one of those feelings when we decided to have another child and it lasted the whole pregnancy, but it amazed me how naturally you just transition. That's just life then.
Our daughter was 27 months when our son was born, and she did absolutely awesome. I kept waiting for that dreaded jealousy thing to kick in, but it never did...and our son had colic and cried 18-24 hours a day and would only take one 15 minute nap a day, so for her to be okay through that was incredible. And as far as sleepless nights go, somehow you just survive.
Now our little guy is almost one and our kids don't know what to do without each other.
One thing I did while I was pregnant to get our daughter prepared was just have a baby doll "play" with us. I would make the doll roll the ball to her and she'd roll it back. We'd play hide and seek or peek-a-boo with the doll and she would feed the doll and put it to bed. Just different stuff to get her used to the idea of a baby being around. :)
Good luck!!

Louise - posted on 04/18/2011

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i felt the same with my second son. I was worried about the effect a new baby would have on my relationship with my elder son. My boys are 2.5 year apart and fought like cat and dog all of there childhood. A boy thing I think. There is no doubt that your relationship will change because it has to. Being a mother of two is very different to being the mother of one. I raised my boys together and 15 years later I had a little girl who I am raising as an only child really. I do worry that she has no one to play with and that she is missing out on having a brother or sister nearer her own age. So you see you cant do right for doing wrong. I think having a brother or sister to share your problems with is great, I also think single children get the best of everything. At the end of the day it is your decision if you want another baby or not. Believe me you will adapt to the new situation very quickly and just get on with being mum. As your children grow your relationship changes each year from baby, toddler, teenage and then adult. You just have to learn to adapt all the time.

Krista - posted on 04/18/2011

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Kimberly, it's like you crawled into my brain and read my mind. I know EXACTLY what you're going through. My son will be 2 in August as well, and we just started trying for our second, but I'm scared shitless. My son still has nights where he doesn't sleep well (or where he'll wake up at 4:30am and be ready for the day), and he goes through days where he's clingy, full of tantrums, or both. And I think, "How on earth are we going to manage two kids without going crazy or ruining our marriage?"

I just comfort myself with the fact that by the time I get pregnant and by the time the baby is born, he'll be closer to three years old, which will hopefully make a difference with his sleep and his maturity.

And I've just resigned myself to the fact that no, I probably won't get much sleep for the first few while, and will just have to power through it somehow.

But hey, women have been doing this for millennia, and somehow, they manage.

But if you can afford to hire a cleaning lady, then it might be something to consider. :)

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Krista - posted on 04/19/2011

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then after I let him know dolls were for girls, now he wants nothing to do with then.

...sigh.

Carol - posted on 04/19/2011

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Lol, I dif the doll thing with my son too, he thought it was cool, then after I let him know dolls were for girls, now he wants nothing to do with then. Hed tuck the doll in, feed him imaginary foods haha, I think it helped alot. Now he likes to help by throwing diapers away, tries to sooth him when he cries by say its ok brudder, hang on. He'll get him a toy and so on. Just make things to do, come up with different ideas and 'games'

Kimberly - posted on 04/19/2011

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Thank you ladies so much! It makes me feel better to know I'm not the only one that's struggling with this! All of your suggestions to involve my daughter in the process are great, we'll definitely have to do that. Teresa, the doll idea is fantastic :)

Vivianne - posted on 04/18/2011

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It is quite scary going from one to two and you honestly notice how much harder it gets to share your time between the both of them.
But I have learned that if you involve your older child in helping you do stuff with the newborn baby then everything works out really well.

Amy - posted on 04/18/2011

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My son was 4 when his sister was born. I shared some of the same concerns you did. Up until his sister was born he had been the center of everything, he was never around other kids, and was an only grandchild for both sets of grandparents. During the pregnancy we included him in everything, he went to every appointment, every ultrasound, when we found out what we were having he got to help pick out the bedding and paint color for the room. Ultimately he decided on his sisters name (Adrianna) my husband and I wanted Abigail, but I wanted him to feel like he was part of everything. The dr warned us that he may not like her and might be mean to her and that would be completely normal behavior but he's actually the complete opposite. At first the crying bothered him because he's not a fan of loud noises but he adjusted and now if she's fussy or upset he's singing her songs and dancing for her so she stops (she's now 13 months old).
As far as the sleep goes newborns are going to wake up, there will be a lack of sleep but you shouldn't have to do it alone. Your husband can take care of the toddler in the middle of the night while you take care of the newborn. I found it easier at night with my son with the newborn because I had a more consistent routine when I was home with him. What your feeling is completely normal but it all disappears when you hold that new baby! Good luck.

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