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Having a second child harder than the first?

(38 Posts)
Bella8 Wed 01-Nov-17 15:28:09

Hi, I currently have an 8 month old and I'm interested to hear if having a second child is a lot harder? I do think I'd like a second child if I'm lucky enough to but I'm still a little undecided on when to start trying or do I just stay with one? Me and DH have no family support so it literally is just us. I'm 32 so my clock is ticking and I also had a very difficult time with DS; he wasn't an easy baby and I think what would it be like to have a newborn and then another child to look after as well. Things have only just begun to get a little easier as DS is getting older and we're only just getting a little extra sleep. Which age gaps do you find best; both little together or a bigger age gap? Just interested in getting some opinions and thoughts on the subject. A big part of me wants a second baby but another part of me is worried I wouldn't cope.

tarheelbaby Thu 02-Nov-17 21:05:55

Having more than one child is not harder than having the first but it is different. No matter the age gap, you will go through a rough period in the first year or so while you adjust to managing 2 little ones or incorporating the next one into the existing mix. Mumsnet is bulging with great ideas for how to do this. Ideally, you will also have a better idea what to do and that can make it easier to cope with subsequent children.

Bluelonerose Thu 02-Nov-17 21:07:59

I would say the hardest is going from one to two. Than adding any more.
It's not easy I've got 18 months between my eldest 2. It gets easier as they get older.
Good luck flowers

parrotonmyshoulder Thu 02-Nov-17 21:08:32

I found dc2 much easier as a toddler as his sister (3 year gap) was so good entertaining him.
The baby bit was easier in a way because I felt like I knew what I was doing I suppose.

Ecureuil Thu 02-Nov-17 21:11:12

I have 20 months between mine. For me, the first 6 months were absolute hell on earth (two appalling sleepers waking me up every half an hour). After that it got gradually easier and easier. They’re 3 and 2 now and generally amuse themselves/each other!

Lattedrinker Thu 02-Nov-17 21:14:30

There is a 22month age gap between my two and I can honestly say having the second way far easier than the first. I was so much more confident and as I had a toddler to deal with, we all just got on with things. Plus they are now 18months and 3 and a bit and are the best of friends- they are so lucky to have each other. I say go for it and good luck in doing so! X

NameChangeFamousFolk Thu 02-Nov-17 21:16:31

I would say the hardest is going from one to two. Than adding any more
It's not easy I've got 18 months between my eldest 2. It gets easier as they get older

I agree with all of this. I wouldn't do it differently though - the closeness in age makes life much, much easier as they grow up for loads of reasons.

cheminotte Thu 02-Nov-17 21:21:18

I found the 2nd baby easier but the first because I now knew how to look after a baby. But having 2 to manage can be hard, especially once the baby gets mobile.
I remember reading a quote - 'one child is like having a pet, two is more like running a zoo'.

cheminotte Thu 02-Nov-17 21:21:44

3 years between mine.

falange Thu 02-Nov-17 21:30:55

I had less than 2 years between mine. Not twice as hard with 2. More like 1.5 times harder. You know what you’re doing and so are more confident with the second so it seems easier. I became a single parent when my youngest was still a baby so I’d imagine if you have a dh it would be very easy.

SquareSophia Thu 02-Nov-17 21:37:28

17 months between mine. Youngest is 22 months now. It’s been tough at times but the benefits of having 2 close in age far exceed any short term challenges. Go for it!

MrsPandaBear Thu 02-Nov-17 21:47:49

I found going from 1 to 2 a lot less of a shock than going from 0 to 1. You've already made the lifestyle adjustments and with a 21 month age gap we hadn't got out of the demanding stage anyway.

Having said that, I found from about age 12 months to about 20 months very hard going. They are constantly on the go, can't be reasoned with at all, have no concept of waiting and don't have a long enough attention span you can park them in front of the TV to get 10 minutes respite. I struggled with pregnancy number 2 and it become very hard going.

flumpybear Thu 02-Nov-17 22:23:10

I’ve got two, it was more simple after we had the second but think that’s my weird mind spreading the fear of children over two and halving the burden iyswim

flumpybear Thu 02-Nov-17 22:23:36

Oh 3.5 years between mine .... good age gap

ferrier Fri 03-Nov-17 00:28:17

Hardest going from 0-1. No. 2 didn't make much difference to the workload. 18 months gap but no.1 was sleeping through the night and she adored her little brother.

Bella8 Fri 03-Nov-17 15:17:03

Thank you all for you helpful comments. I wasn't sure and have been going back and forth. One minute I want a second one and the next minute I don't and think it's been so difficult just with one. Falange I think you're incredible and don't know how you do it! I struggle with one and have DH as you say.
DS is only 8 months so I still have a little time to decide but I am 32 so I can't take too long! I was discussing it with DH and it turns out he really would like a second one but but we've both agreed if we do try it will be after DS's first birthday and only if financially able as one has cost so much as it is! I just worry with two I'll never have any alone time with DH as we have no family support and nobody to babysit!!

Ecureuil Fri 03-Nov-17 15:35:13

32 isn’t old! I’m 33 and haven’t made my mind up whether to go for a third yet grin

BackforGood Fri 03-Nov-17 17:06:12

Agree 32 is hardly old for having a baby... hmm

I found 1 to 2 a piece of cake. That said, I'd been fairly traumatised by 0 -1, so I reckon that makes a difference. Their individual personalities makes a difference too - my dc1 was really hard work still is whereas dc2 was a FAR better sleeper, and FAR better at entertaining herself, and just generally so much calmer.
Plus, generally 2nd time parents are less worried / uptight / anxious / call it what you will, than first time parents are.

tellitlikeitispls Fri 03-Nov-17 17:14:05

Depends on the children. DS1 was hard work. He still is actually 10 years later smile DS2 was a happy baby born 2.8 years after his brother. He actually willingly napped when put down!
Like another poster states as well, it wasn't such a shock with the 2nd. I'd never actually exposed to babies when I had DS1 at 32. I had no clue what we were in for. We had no family support either so it was just us, utterly adrift with DS1 and no idea what was normal or not (oxygen deprivation at birth so we double-scrutinised everything he did or didn't do - as it happens he is fine - if high maintenance)
I don't think there is an ideal. If you want and can manage a 2nd, go for it. No guarantees other than you WILL cope.

Bella8 Fri 03-Nov-17 20:06:20

Thanks, I guess I don't feel old to have a baby right now but just think I haven't loads of time to leave too big of an age gap. I feel I need to make the decision by DH's first birthday; I will be 33 a couple of months after that. I really don't want to have a baby after 34 as that's too old for me personally; I get tired now as it is! It's wonderful that women can have kids alot later but I know by my experienc me this time around that I wouldn't want a baby at that stage of life. I would like to enter my 40's with no nappies to change and school age children.

I can completely relate about having difficult personality types in babies. DH has been a very difficult baby, I love him more than life itself but I am somewhat traumatised from the whole experience. I guess you can't guarantee what personality type you're going to get and any complications that could occur. I say this because I'm not sure I could deal with my DS's personality type in a newborn along with toddler DS if that makes sense. DS is a loveable handful.
DS was in SCBU at 1 day old for a few days and we could have lost him. I breastfed for 6 months when I should have stopped a lot earlier, because DS had been so poorly at birth I forced myself to continue at the detriment of my own health. I was determined he would get my antibodies and spent most of the 6 months very unhappy. During this time 4 of our family members became estranged, one of them being my own Mother although her estrangement may not be permanent (I haven't decided). DS also had colic and silent reflux since birth. He screamed the house down for the first 3 months straight and intermittently there after only ever sleeping in 30 minute intervals. My little man has his good moments now at 8 months and he's even been sleeping a lot better although he is still extremely fussy. Something as simple as touching his cheek when he doesn't want that or giving him his milk at the wrong angle can set him off. He likes everything so so. DS has massively improved though and I think he's maybe just going through a developmental phase at the moment and some sort of sleep regression.

I love my DH more than anything and I'm eternally grateful to have him here. I love all of him even his grizzliness. However I feel scared about having a second child incase a repeat of my first experience. Once was certainly enough. I'm so sorry for the rant...x

Bella8 Fri 03-Nov-17 20:07:40

experience *

Bella8 Fri 03-Nov-17 20:24:32

Sorry also wanted to add i don't want to just cope; I want to enjoy being a mother and don't know how I could give my all to DS as well as a second baby. DS has always had my best efforts. For example I make all his baby food from scratch, I worry with also a toddler I couldn't do this for a nother baby and would end up cutting corners which I don't like to do. DS has me with him all of the time. I believe in gentle parenting and I'm there for him as soon as he cries, he's used to plenty attention. I'm worried I couldn't do this for a second baby while also having DS and that something would have to give. I worry DS would lose out or the second baby would not have as good of care that DS had and would
Be somehow disadvantaged. How do you give enough with one child not being left out?

Ecureuil Fri 03-Nov-17 20:29:43

Weaning is easier when you have a toddler... you’re already cooking at least one meal that is nutritious and toddler friendly so you just give the same thing to the baby! I never made baby food for DD2, she just had some of whatever DD1 was having.
Seriously, you can never give ‘it all’ so more than one child. They’re always going to have to share you. But that’s not a bad thing. Mine are 20 months apart and genuinely best of friends. The advantages to them both of having a sibling far outweighs the downsides of having the odd chicken nugget.

Bella8 Fri 03-Nov-17 20:33:24


Ecureuil Fri 03-Nov-17 21:01:00

If you look at it as ‘is having a second child going to take away attention from my first?’ Well then yes, it is. You only have a finite amount of attention. You have to decide whether the benefits will outweigh the risks.

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