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Good and bad bits of having a second child

(20 Posts)
yesok Wed 28-Aug-19 17:17:16

We have a beautiful 1 year old dd. Only just started talking about another, because we found it incredibly tough first time around. I'm not sure I can do it all again AND have a toddler running around (sweating at the thought). Tell me it's not as hard as I'm imagining it to be!?

shouldprobablyfeelguilty Wed 28-Aug-19 17:22:41

Found the first year very hard. Moving on it got easier and harder in different ways. For me personally :

Pros:
- the bond the kids have is amazing to watch
- nice to know my eldest won’t be alone as we get older
- most things cater nicely to a family of 4
- I personally didn’t feel family complete in the same way until second one arrived.

Cons
- bloody hard work
- expensive
- hard to give either child 100% when with them both
- oldest child has to adapt and mine found it quite difficult at first
- they do fight
- can never get a babysitter who will take them both!
- bad pregnancy with a toddler too was maybe the hardest part of it all

yesok Wed 28-Aug-19 21:20:39

You say the first year was very hard, how did it compare to the first year with your eldest? I'm worried about feeling stuck in the house - it was hard enough getting out and about with a newborn, never mind having a toddler to keep safe too!
What's the age gap between yours?
Did you find that things changed a lot when the second arrived? Been thinking about things I'd need to stop/adapt. I take dd swimming every week, she loves it. But I couldn't do that with another baba in tow. And it'll be more of a struggle going to baby groups etc because quite often they aren't suitable for toddlers, and vice versa.

Sexnotgender Wed 28-Aug-19 21:22:26

Following with interest! DS is nearly 7 months and I’m not getting any younger confused

trilbydoll Wed 28-Aug-19 21:26:34

Good - they play together
Bad - they fight

I've got a 2y age gap and really enjoyed the first year. DD1 was a fab little toddler and DD1 just came along to whatever we did. Admittedly swimming wasn't possible but anything else she was just in the carrier or pushchair, watching what was going on.

It's nowhere near as hard second time round. You know what you need to leave the house and you also know you can buy anything you've forgotten, assuming you're not popping out to the desert wink

banskuwansku Wed 28-Aug-19 21:28:18

It was hard with a baby and a toddler but it got better with time. Now they are 7 and 9 and life is easy. They play together and have company when in holidays or just staying home. But they do bicker and have arguments.

trilbydoll Wed 28-Aug-19 21:28:22

DD2 just came along, typo making the entire thing make no sense. We did toddler activities for dd1, baby activities are more for mums anyway!

whywhywhy6 Wed 28-Aug-19 21:30:14

I agree with the pros list above.

As for cons, I agree it’s more expensive (obviously!) and that pregnancy was tough with a boisterous toddler and I don’t do pregnancy well anyway. As for the older one getting used to the new arrival and the sibling dynamics, I think they are positives. I think it’s been a good thing for our eldest to learn to consider others, share, wait her turn etc and although those things can also be learned elsewhere, having it 24/7 was good for her.

Mine are 18 months apart and are now 10 and 8 and although it was tough until the youngest was three, it was the best decision for us. I look back and think it was a hard decision but a good one.

Good luck with your decision.

Contraceptionismyfriend Wed 28-Aug-19 21:30:54

First child boy, second girl, 2.2 years

Pros:- I love her so much.

Cons: the fighting
: you don't know who you're going to get. She can be a right cow. She does not allow any injustice go by without screaming her head off.
: demanding second child syndrome
: having to redo the baby stage with a child who wants to do older child stage
: you don't get to nap when the baby naps or chill.
: it can get expensive with two of different genders
: the jealousy
: the different social/ clubs obligations

There are more.
But I went on to have a third so the pros outweighed the cons.

7salmonswimming Wed 28-Aug-19 21:31:38

Yes it’s going to be hard work.
Yes doing things with first child will be more difficult with another in tow.
Yes you will feel guilty about not doing for the second what you did for the first.
Yes you will see a whole new side to your first child when they interact with your sibling.
Yes you will love them both the same.

If you’re worried, leave a bigger gap. Or don’t have a second child.

Itsjeremycorbynsfault Wed 28-Aug-19 21:33:56

I had a 14 month age gap and found it unbelievably hard to be honest. I couldn't go back to work full time because of childcare costs and I found most days a slog.

However, they are four and five now and they play beautifully and are so close (and I'm back at work haha). They have such a lovely bond and are rarely bored. To see their relationship develop is amazing actually. Again, however, they do bicker and fight from time to time and it's always noisy!

For me though the pros outweighed the cons

tried20names Wed 28-Aug-19 21:43:24

DS1 is about to turn 4 and DS2 is 19 months. Watching them playing together and hearing DS1 chat away to his little brother is the best part. He was pretty ambivalent about the baby when younger but now DS2 is old enough to play the bond they are developing is so lovely to see.
Baby stage was a lot easier second time around, DS2 slotted in easily and if anything DS1 continues to cause the hard work.
Downside is the guilt that DS2 doesn't get as much time and attention as DS1 got and continues to get; combination of him being a lot more easy going and not having the time to spend 1-2-1 time with him

formerbabe Wed 28-Aug-19 21:48:25

I found it exhausting and a huge shock. Dc1 was a dream baby and I found it a breeze. Dc2 was a very difficult baby and combined with a toddler was really tough. She's older now and an absolute sweetie. So pleased I had two...it actually makes life easier as they get older...they argue but always have each other.

Montyman Wed 28-Aug-19 21:56:21

The gap between mine is almost 6 years...
Girl nearly 9 and boy is almost 3. Both September birthdays (3 days apart). She was in school when I came home with my little boy so while it was hard to get going in the am to get her to school with a newborn, I had the school day to sleep when baby slept etc. The only thing I would change about the situation is having 1 year less of a gap which I am only thinking of now when I realise they won’t be in primary together for too long....Otherwise I was way more relaxed with the second as I knew what I was doing and I had that bit of time on my own with him while she was in school. I have very little fighting because she dotes on him and he worships her. I just feel a little sorry for him now as she is getting older, she’s got more social things going on and he does miss her when she’s not here but equally as she has the social outings, OH and I can give him plenty of attention too.

yesok Thu 29-Aug-19 08:27:33

What about time for chores/yourself? Do you get much of that with 2? At the moment I get up at half 5 to ensure I get a quick workout, shower, breakfast, things organised for the day ready to devote time to dd from 7am. A couple of short half an hour naps to get things straight/do chores in the day, then time to clean up and finally blob from 7pm . Do I need to wave bye bye to all that "me time" for years? As selfish as it sounds I don't know whether I would stay sane!!

katienana Thu 29-Aug-19 08:41:44

I waited till my eldest was almost 3 before trying for a 2nd. I had SPD in pregnancy and needed him to be able to climb into his car seat as I struggled to lift him. It actually seems a really common age gap, there are at least 5 kids in ds1s class with a sibling the same age as my youngest.
Ds1 was at nursery when ds2 was born so I had 3x5 hour chunks of time per week with only 1 to look after. When ds2 was a baby he just came along wherever ds1 wanted to go, park, beach, soft play etc. Now they are 6 and 3 I still find it fine accommodating them both. They sometimes argue over tv but I try to give ds1 priority when he gets in from school so I'll encourage ds2 to do play doh or something at that time. They play together really well, lego or playmobil. I think as they get older they'll play football and stuff too.
You can always wait a bit if you dont fancy 2 under 2, by waiting till 3 I only had 1 in nappies and by the time ds2 was 16 months ds1 was in full time school. I'm really glad we did it this way. They get on so well they are currently begging me for bunk beds!

yesok Thu 29-Aug-19 08:53:42

That slightly bigger age gap does sound more manageable. Thing is, I'm an older mum with fertility issues and my dd is a little IVF miracle. I have one frozen embryo, and all hopes for a second would be pinned on that. The older I get, the less chance of a successful embryo transfer. Isn't this time pressure so cruel!
This is why I'm thinking let's just go for it, but I am so so scared about being able to juggle so much all at once. If it doubles the workload I feel like life will be one big struggle. I have a business to run too which was neglected when I had my first and can't afford for that to happen again really. But the idea of a sibling for dd makes me happy. What to do!!

SnuggyBuggy Thu 29-Aug-19 08:55:44

What I wonder is how you establish BF with a second child. I mean surely you'd just have to leave the older one to fend for themselves while you're stuck on the sofa.

yesok Thu 29-Aug-19 09:01:10

@snuggybuggy exactly that! And dealing with a poonami, and comforting a screaming baby, and all the night wake ups potentially disturbing the toddler, and allowing yourself to recover too. Swaying more towards sticking with the one now confusedwine

MynameisJune Thu 29-Aug-19 09:14:03

DD1 is just over 3.5, DD2 is 17 weeks. It’s been much tougher than I ever expected and she’s a pretty easy baby who mainly sleeps. Me time has gone out the window for now, doing chores is difficult and DD1 has really suffered with jealousy but that’s much better than it was.

Saying that I know it will all get easier, I’ll get more me time again the older she gets, and once they can both play together then it will be easier to spend time with them both doing the same thing.

DD1 is at nursery 3 days a week so I get time with just the baby. Bf’ing is harder but possible. DD1 comes and sits with us on the sofa with books, colouring etc

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