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Things you wish you knew before having number two....(44 Posts)
Our dd is 6mths and we're planning to start trying for our second baby soon....but before we take this leap, I thought it would be good to hear from mums who have two or more. What do you wish you'd known before having your second child? What would you do differently? How long would you recommend between? The highs and lows? Any advice most welcome! Thx
That it was better than I thought
Mind you, the gap between mine is 3 years which meant I had a potty trained, independent toddler going to nursery which gave me a bit of space
That the arguments would drive you slowly round tge bend
but that their friendship would bring tears to your eyes
that you don't need to play board games any longer
we've got a 2.5 age gap
double pushchairs Can be a nightmare
a twin maclaren fits through most shop doors
if i was doing again i'd have had bigger age gaps
i had 2yrs 10 kmonths between 1 and 2, and 18 months between 2 and 3
The first few years if they are close together will be tough, but when you see them start to get on well and really properly play together, you will know its worth it.
Maybe best not to know beforehand, but you will not geth the time to rest that you did with your first, so take any opportunity you get for help, time off etc and don't worry if the house isn't always pristeen.
Will be watching this thread with interest. (Currently 32 weeks pg with DD2).
i had mine 17 months apart and it was was easier than expected, so ive gone for an under 2 yrs gap again as i thought a big gap may be more difficult, i found with them close there was not much jealousy and easy to deal with them both similarly, same bedtime etc, and they are v cute together making each other laugh. so i recommend having them close together but then others say the opposite so need to go on your gut instinct really? but as your dd is still quite small and your thinking of a 2nd then it looks like you are considering them more close together, so i would say if you want to then go for it, it can work well
DD will be 3.9 when DD2 arrives so I don't know how they're going to get on together!
That no 2 children are the same and that DC2 will be completely different to DC1...DS1 is/was such a happy boy that DS2's grumpiness was a complete shock to the system!
However, it is possible to get 2 excellent sleepers
There are 2.5years between my two. I think its a nice gap. You don't have to be doing two lots of nappies, can get away with a single pushchair, and hey, if the 2.5yo watches a bit too much cbeebies for a little while, its not the end of the world.
Its not as consistently hard as I thought it would be. Its perfectly manageable most of the time. There are times when they are both crying or fighting, or when you have an ill toddler and a non-sleeping newborn, when you think you will go insane, but it all works out.
Tbh, I am finding my DCs current ages the most challenging in a way (nearly 4.5yo DD and 21mo DS). DS wants everything for himself, and has started huge tantrums. He and DD have started squabbling a lot! DD wants to do crafty things that require my attention, and DS wants to jump off sofas/beds/tables.....
However, I love how much they love each other. When they are sitting in the back of the car giggling about something, or conspiring at the dinner table, it is lovely to see!
That just because the first one was good natured, it doesn't mean the second one will be
Also I found breast feeding easy the first time round and struggled with the second.
On a more positive note, you know what you are doing and should be more relaxed.
I was really worried about DS1 feeling pushed out because of people making a fuss of the baby. Didn't happen at all, he was given so many little presents too, he was thoroughly spoiled! He loves his baby brother and the reality of having two is great, although it does take ages to leave the house sometimes! Baby was so entertained just watching the mini whirlwind that was his big brother, genuine adoration, although not quite so great now that DS2 is 16mo and starting to copy some of the cheekier things he has seen his brother do! 23 months between my two by the way. I loved the way that DS1 would look for his brother as soon as he got up in the morning and say 'hello bubby' and give him a kiss.
The worst bit was definitely the sleep deprivation. Feeding DS2 roughly every 3 hours until 6 months old meant I was pretty shattered for a while. My heart would sink if I had just finished feeding in the early morning 6am ish, put baby down, just get back off to sleep and DS1 would wake up for the day. Aaargh!
Number three is on the way now so I wonder how long it will take me to get out in a morning then?!!
That it's twice as much work. Just because you've already given up work/nights out/a waistline doesn't mean having another one is only a bit more effort on top...it's still twice as much work.
That its utterly wonderful seeing the two dcs bonding, becoming friends and playing together.
I found some things much easier, but some much harder.
DD was a nightmare for the first week, such a shock to the system, struggled to feed, lost lots of weight, but then settled down into such an easy chilled baby.
DS i knew what to expect and found having a baby easier than i remember, and did fine for the first 6-8wks. It wasn't until about week 8 that DD started acting up. It was only short lived but it was difficult. There is 2.9yrs between them.
The hardest things i have found are the constant juggling, you never get a moment to yourself, the lack of sleep and no idea when you may (if ever) catch up on it.
DS is now the hardest he has been (constant growth spurts), but DD loves him and he finds her so entertaining, so it was so worth it having this age gap, but the very thought of having another one brings me out in a cold sweat
Lynette - i would argue that some days it seems like 3x the amount.
That everything you've learned maybe be utterly bloody useless with no 2! That said (and sleep aside), it's great - feel much more chilled with ds, and dd adores him (3 yr gap). Slings are your friend when you have a toddler and baby - can recommend wrap sling.
Mine are 25 months apart and I honestly did not realise how the exhaustion of a newborn would effect my mood for DD1. I had noooo tolerance for her --normal toddler behaviour-- bad beahviour.
We are now all much better and life has settled down quite well.
yy to that, lovemy - think dd got a raw deal a lot of the time, and she's been so bloody good about it all. It's really important to find time, energy and patience for the older one, but so hard sometimes. Cuddling while watching Tv helps!
Thanks everyone for your comments....nothing too scary there. Sounds like I'll have to give up those lazy morning lie ins though
My DH took awhile to adjust to giving up his freedom living with a baby. Any tips on helping him when number two arrives?
Don't read that bloody Three Socks book when pregnant and hormonal - it will drive you to despair. The author's experience is Not Normal (it does happen, but it's far from average). Do not be mislead by the jokey title and cartoon cover - I really mean it - step away from the book!
You know that stuff about 'they bring their own love with them blah, blah, blah' well, they do but maybe not completely immediately!
I was totally shocked by how sad I felt about the end of 'me and my little boy' a few weeks after my daughter was born. It really made me sob and sob and at times I'd creep into his bed at night as I missed him so much! He was 3 1/2 years though so we had been alone together for a long time. I think this really made me resent having to deal with my difficult, crying newborn!
ON a more positive note I have been surprised at how much I have loved the growing relationship between my two children.
I found the three socks book really useful and it did describe my experience BUT I agree with the previous poster that I wouldn't read it until after you have given birth.
2yrs gAp with dd and ds They love each other 70% of time I'd say but do fight too. It's great when we have days out or holidays tho as they really do play well and
Stick together then. At home the routine sometimes gets in the way of fun but I'm glad we hAd a close gap and would do it closer if i could turn clock back. The first six month were exhausting tho I felt I had no time too myself at all tho baby was easy 2nd time around
Peanutpie - yes thats exactly what happened to me too although ds1 was only 21 months when ds2 was born but I felt so so guilty about somehow letting ds1 down and not being there for him so much. But think it was probably hormones and in the not so long run, ds1 adores ds2 most of the time so he would be so sad not to have him there.
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