Adding a second one to your family is exciting! You are giving a sibling to your first born and probably feel a lot more prepared this time around.
The things I did differently with baby number two are a direct result of what I learned with baby number one, and I most definitely stressed a lot LESS when we added our second baby to the family.
Everything is so unknown as a first time mom, every little experience is a learning curve when it comes to having a first baby. They are sort of the “trial and error” babe, we are all just hoping for the best. With your second, you know what’s to come and you can rest easy at night knowing that you’ve got this!
The things you learn with your first baby will determine what you do differently with baby number two
There is a reason your first baby is the hardest, and it may test you in ways you didn’t know possible. You would think that having only one baby would be easier than having two or three, but when you are a first time mom, everything is new territory.
You are learning how to change diapers, comfort your crying baby, waking up all hours of the night, and some may have never even held a baby before they gave birth to their first born. This can be some scary stuff!
When the second one comes along you might feel a lot more prepared, and can put all of your new found knowledge you learned with your first, and apply it to your new baby.
Having one baby is new territory, but having two is something completely different. You are now learning how to mange multiple kids at once. Here are a few things I did differently with my second that made life a little bit easier!
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What I did differently with baby number two
I focused more on postpartum recovery
Talking about postpartum recovery is a bit of a “taboo” subject it seems. I definitely wasn’t educated on it when I was pregnant with my first. Not from my doctor, family, or friends. It’s really such a bummer. I was completely shocked and caught off guard by my first postpartum experience.
When I got pregnant with my second, I KNEW that postpartum recovery was going to be my main focus. I wanted to make sure that I had everything I needed to be comfortable when I got home, so that all I needed to do was snuggle my baby.
The main focus my first pregnancy was buying all the cute baby thing’s, and I seemed to forget about myself along the way. The baby is important, but making sure that you are supported and prepared for that time right after birth is going to allow you to enjoy that time with your baby more. It’s a win-win for everyone.
I didn’t stress about baby sleep
After having my first, I was prepared for the sleepless nights with my second those few first months, and was able to go into it with a whole lot more peace this time around. As a first time mom those first nights with a newborn can seem scary and overwhelming.
With the second, you know what to expect so they are a lot less scary. And for me, somewhat comforting.
I dropped everything I knew about baby sleep and co-slept from the beginning with my second baby. This made things 100X less stressful for me, and we were all able to get a lot more quality sleep.
Don’t overthink this part, do what works for your family and don’t let anyone tell you how you should be doing it.
I gave myself grace when it came to feeding baby
This was one of the biggest blessings I could have done for myself. I ditched the pump all together, and I didn’t put the pressure on myself to have a perfect breastfeeding experience.
If I wanted to supplement with a bottle, I did it and didn’t feel bad about it. And you know what? We are 9 months strong in our breastfeeding journey with no end in sight yet.
By not putting that unnecessary pressure on myself to exclusively breastfeed or pump a certain amount of milk, I was able to be even more successful.
The one thing I did find extremely helpful, that didn’t require a lot of effort (because that’s what i’m all about) was the haakaa pump. This little tool was a life saver if breastfeeding is something you are interested in.
Whatever path you decide to take in feeding your baby, make sure it works for you and your baby, not anyone else! Whether formula or breastfeeding, you are doing what works for YOU.
I put my needs first instead of friends and family after the baby was born
I prefer to spend those first few days (or weeks) having uninterrupted time with just my family, to enjoy and bond during those precious newborn days. I prefer to not have anyone else around. If you want to drop food on my doorstep, that’s cool. But beyond that, I want to be left alone.
With my first baby, I thought it was normal to have a family stay with you and let 105 people hold your baby in those first few days. While that might be normal for some, it wasn’t for me. It made me even more overwhelmed than I already was during this vulnerable time.
I learned it’s okay to say no. Everyone will get to meet your new baby soon. BUT, these days are short and you deserve to soap up this time uninterrupted. Get used to saying no.
You do you, if having a bunch of family around is your jam, then go for it! Whatever makes you feel the most comfortable once you are home is key. Friends and family should respect your decisions and this very precious time you have with your family.
I didn’t stick to a “Schedule”
A lot of people probably won’t agree, but I didn’t stick to the “eat, sleep, awake” schedule. If you do, that’s great! I found it to be much too stressful if thing’s didn’t go as planned.
I was so much less stressed when I just went with the flow. They will get themselves on a “Schedule” eventually. But I realized that when I have a schedule in mind, I end up just setting myself up for disappointment when my baby doesn’t want to follow that schedule.
The best thing I did for myself, was get a baby carrier so I could be hands free to take care of my toddler while also snuggling my newborn.
No schedule, just lots of snuggles and love around here.
I enjoyed every moment rather than worrying about the next milestone
If you’re like me, when you had your first you were probably so excited about the next baby milestone because everything is new and exciting. That first smile, laugh, crawl or walk. Those are all so exciting!
Sometimes when we worry about the next milestone we forget to be present and enjoy their babyness. It may be cliche, but they are only little once. Enjoy every second of it!
It was so much easier to live in the moment with my second, because I had already lived through it once. I had already experienced those first’s so I wasn’t in any rush for my baby to reach that next milestone. In fact, I wanted time to slow down.
And finally.. I took things as they came
This may seem easier said than done, but it may be my biggest piece of advice. Taking things day by day and really embarrassing the chaos is going to keep your expectations at a reasonable level.
If you are expecting things to go a certain way with two babies, you will most likely disappoint yourself because it really is a learning curve.
Having a routine with one baby is one thing, but adding another is a game changer. There is always one that will throw the routine off, so flexibility and low expectations are key.
Before you know it, you will have a new normal with your two little babies, and you will think back to how easy it was when you just had one, but how much more fun it is to have two! Watching them play and interact with one another really is priceless.