going from 1 to 2

(27 Posts)
kosh71 Fri 01-Apr-16 22:43:01

can you please tell me exactly how difficult this was?
my DS is 4yo and was an extremely high needs baby and I was a mess as a first time mum. I do not think I left the house during the first 3 months?
I guess that some of it would be easier as I'd know a bit more this time around.
can you please describe some of your experience? how did you cope? how much support do you have? do you work now?

thanks!

BackforGood Sat 02-Apr-16 00:00:18

I found 1 to 2 FAR easier than 0 - 1.
Sounds like my ds was similar to yours - I didn't cope well at all.
dd1, however was a piece of cake compared with him, and, of course you are more relaxed 2nd time round.
I also went down from FT to PT working after having dd1 (who is dc2) so that might well have had a lot to do with it smile

sian05 Sat 02-Apr-16 06:55:13

Honestly in terms of knowing what to do I've found it easier with DC2 but it's been and continues to be really hard work! I think a lot of it can depend on the age gap (mine are 18 months and 3.5 years old) and of course on the baby - DD is a terrible sleeper compared to my DS so after a bad night some days it can be pretty relentless with both of them on the go! I find the best way to cope is to have some kind of plan for the day ahead. I work part-time so on the days I'm at home I try to make sure we go to one activity like playgroup or meet up with a friend which breaks up the day. Sorry just read back and this sounds negative! There are lovely things to having two - watching them interact and play together or when DS says he loves DD and she is his best friend. And I am sure it will get easier as they get older!

LetThereBeCupcakes Sat 02-Apr-16 07:00:47

OP I'm expecting DC 2 in September, when DS will be 3.8, so a similar gap to you? DS was also really hard work, he barely slept until he was over a year old. Fingers crossed we're due an easier time of it this time!

BeaufortBelle Sat 02-Apr-16 07:04:06

3.5 year gap here. 1-2 a zillion times easier than 0-1. Knew what to expect and how to do it and how to manage the invasion of midwives through the house. The new baby was like a little handbag although she cried so much more than ds. It helped that ds was at nursery.

It was hard work and there was little time to spare for the first three months but nothing like the emotional upheaval of the first baby.

Also, I never had two in nappies, or on bottles, or in the pram. Although of course with a 3.5 yr gap and a boy and girl they were always at different stages even for the same things.

BeaufortBelle Sat 02-Apr-16 07:05:41

And good luck smile

ChilliMum Sat 02-Apr-16 07:10:10

I have a 4.5 age gap. 2nd was much easier, there is no option to not go out school run etc and dc2 just got on with it and was such an eas baby in the sense he could sleep anywhere as he had to fit around dc1.
I was more relaxed and already knew people at toddler groups etc from dc1 so everything was less intimidating.
Also as an added bonus dc1 would play with / read to dc2 after school keeping him entertained while I got on with dinner.

KatyN Sat 02-Apr-16 13:27:31

Soooo much easier, and much easier than being pregnant too. My son was 4.1 when his sister was born. She is HIGH maintainance. He is totally fine about us needing to settle her when she screams, in fact is normally quite pleased for us to quiet her down. He understands that sometimes she just needs a walk and we have to stop playing cars and go out.
I would recommend having someone to stay for the first week as my mil focused on him while my husband and I recovered from the birth.
I'm three months in now and whilst I still watch a lot of telly while he's at nursery I am relying on CBeebies a lot less than I anticipated!

Good luck, kx

BackforGood Sat 02-Apr-16 14:06:50

If it helps, I found 2 -3 the easiest of all wink

kosh71 Sat 02-Apr-16 22:08:22

many thanks everyone
I am having panic attacks about it. I really do not think I can do it
Have no family around and no support

BeaufortBelle Sat 02-Apr-16 22:38:37

It'll be fine. I'll never forget taking DS to nursery for the first time when DD was 8 days old. We were all in the car, all clean, I even had some lippy on, and we were on time. As I got the baby out of the car and started to walk ds in, I suddenly realised what I'd forgotten. No shoes - I was barefoot and hadn't even realised. It mattered not a jot. Neither did the moment when my friend took her two eldest for their swimming lessons and realised that she'd carefully strapped the baby into the car seat, carefully strapped the other two into the car and as she sat down for a minute's peace as they jumped in, remembered the baby was still in the car seat, in the porch. She got the baby and was back before the other two were out of the water grin.

There will be moments but they will be fine. Mine are grown up. We muddled through and managed somehow. No family to hand; workaholic husband; just had to get on with it.

As long as everyone's got a clean bum, everyone's fed and the washing keeps going in the machine it's fine. And you can put the baby in the cot and let him or her learn to settle themselves while you read a story, put a wash on , peel some spuds - you have to sometimes with the second, but the second is easy because you know what to do.

Just have easy dinners to hand. I think we lived off roast chicken, coleslaw and new potatoes for the first six weeks.

kiki22 Sat 02-Apr-16 22:51:25

I'm going to have a 4.5 yr age gap and am quite worried about how I will cope, ds was high needs never slept and cried all the time I didn't cope well at first so its scary to go back but I keep telling myself at least I know what I'm in for this time and can look back and see where I went wrong last time (should have co slept much sooner) also ds is fab now so I can look at him and see it will all be worth it.

BeaufortBelle Sat 02-Apr-16 22:57:21

Your four year olds will be at school in September. You and the babies will have a whale of a time. Tbf I was very worried before the baby came but it was all fine.

Amiatotalmug Sun 03-Apr-16 09:30:24

Personally I found 1-2 so so much easier than 0-1, honestly night and day. My eldest is 22 months and my youngest is 4 months and I'm really enjoying it.

My first born was a hard baby (only realise this now) who never slept, had colic etc. My second is the complete opposite, v chilled and slept through from around 10 weeks.

Like you I was terrified of having another, I feel pregnant by accident and honestly it was the best thing as the sleep deprivation with no1 put us off actively trying lol.

Even if your second is a tricky baby, you will have the confidence to cope and you will have the knowledge that every phase will pass! I never believed that with my first but with my second I'm much more "meh" about everything.

Plus the relationship they will have is great, my littlest is in awe of his brother and my eldest is so kind towards his brother. I can just tell they will be little buddies as soon as my youngest is crawling etc.

Good luck, it is tiring but worth it

Amiatotalmug Sun 03-Apr-16 09:32:47

Ps the fact your eldest will be at school will mean you have the time to enjoy your new baby. You can rest when he/she does - this is invaluable! And one thing I envy as my age gap is only 18months and my nearly 2 year old has dropped naps confused

TheABC Sun 03-Apr-16 09:37:54

Watching with interest as DC2 is due in six weeks. I am bracing myself for the lack of time, sleepless nights (DS is a mini dynamo; looks like this one will be too) and constant nappies. But at least I know what to expect!

jimijack Sun 03-Apr-16 09:46:51

I felt the same as you.
I wasn't ready to try again until ds1 was about 6.
This was because he did not sleep a full night through until he was 5 and at school. He was constant, excruciatingly hard hard work in every situation wherever we went.
He was literally into EVERYTHING, he never sat quietly playing, he would be climbing the walls, in people's cupboards, putting things down toilets, I could not take my eyes off him for a second.
I actually stopped going out for a year because I could not deal with it, the look on people's faces as they opened the door to us, I knew what they thought of him.
I had zero help or support with him, other than dh who adored him but worked long hours.

So with fear & trepidation we tried for another child. We couldn't have 2 the same surely??
I made a definitive and measured vow. I would not be the same with a second.

I am not.
It is how it should be, how it should have been now.
I love being a mum this time round. We laugh, have fun, are very laid back, go out, not arsed in the least about people staring at the 3 year old throwing a tantrum in the shop.
SO much better.
I have learned so much from ds1 you see.

There is a 10 year gap due to fertility and miscarriages.
But I am so glad I got to do it again....only better.

tellmemore1982 Sun 03-Apr-16 09:55:49

I have a 2.5y age gap, DC are now 1 and 3. It's a million times harder for me than 0-1. I have very little help and feel trapped in a world of mess, noise, chaos and complete dependency. It doesn't help that I am going through a long and painful family bereavement at the same time requiring me to give a huge amount of emotional and practical support to others and I have no help at home.

I would say if you have few other commitments or dependants in your life and you have some help at home I'm sure you'll be fine. If you have anything else make sure you have help set up before you think you need it.

Good luck.

BeaufortBelle Sun 03-Apr-16 10:09:06

But a 2.5 she gap IS hard. The OP has 4 years and has said she is having panic attacks worrying about coping.

I am very sorry to hear about your bereavement and the pressures it has brought. There will be lots of support on the bereavement thread. flowers

RichardHead Sun 03-Apr-16 10:11:15

Much, much easier than 0-1, I think DH and I were in a state of shock for months first time round. DC1 was also a very high needs, colicky baby for the first 3 months. You have my full sympathy!

DC2 just slotted in, had to really as we had bereavement along with illness galore in the first few weeks.

In some ways DC2 has been easier and some ways harder, I think the difference is our lifestyle now is set up around children so not such a shock. We have no family support either, as my parents are both dead and DH's are 3 hours away. So sounds a similar situation flowers

BeaufortBelle Sun 03-Apr-16 10:11:46

The other blessing OP is that you won't have the double whammy of gcse's and A'Levels in the same year or a uni overlap to fund with two lots of rent in one year!

RichardHead Sun 03-Apr-16 10:14:59

Just to add our gap is also 4 years, makes life much easier as the 4 year old can be very self sufficient and understanding.

tellmemore1982 Sun 03-Apr-16 10:26:52

Thank you 💐.

It really does depend so much on your DC too. OP, my high needs child came second (and at a difficult time) so it also feels harder because my first was a dream baby comparatively speaking.

If your first has been high needs, it may well be that like many other posters on here your second feels much easier in comparison. It's not impossible but you would be very unlucky to have the same experience again.

I stress though, set help up before you need it, not after you find yourself not coping. Get a cleaner if you can and make sure you have someone to watch the kids for a few hours a week, a sitter, neighbour, family member etc. If there's no one obvious to ask, take time now to familiarise yourself with local child minding sites etc where you could potentially find someone looking for a few hours work here and there or on a regular basis.

At 4yo, your DC1 will be much more self sufficient, I'm sure able to watch tv or maybe play independently. He will also be at school soon of course which will make an enormous difference. In the holidays, could you also arrange play dates for him where you drop him off at friends houses and have a little space?

I understand you're apprehensive after your first experience, but like I said, if your main focus over the next year is the family and you don't have any other major commitments, with that age gap it's perfectly possible to have a really great time and enjoy life together.

LastOneDancing Sun 03-Apr-16 11:23:36

My DS2 is 3 weeks old, so I can only advise on the first bit but it's been WAY easier then first time around - there's a whole layer of stress that isn't there because I know I can keep this little thing alive and I know where to get help/what's 'normal' etc. Feedings been easier, I'm less tired than first time - probably because you're used to that baseline tiredness of being a parent grin

The stress for me has come from the guilt of abandoning my nearly 2 year old. But he is doing ok and we still get lots of cuddles. Your DS is a little older so will hopefully have more understanding.

DH is also more stressed as he now has to settle DS1 at night after 2 years of me doing it all (evil laugh). Life's tough hey?!

You will be fine. Have faith in yourself and enjoy your time with DS as an only.

kosh71 Sun 03-Apr-16 22:29:14

many thanks ladies is interesting to hear many found 1-2 easier than 0-1

@tellmemore - sorry to hear about your berevemeant. thanks for your advise.

if your main focus over the next year is the family and you don't have any other major commitments, with that age gap it's perfectly possible to have a really great time and enjoy life together

no, i couldn't focus exclusively on the family for a year. I have a very demanding job which we need to survive. on top of that, my mother is getting old and I know she will need me more and more.

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