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Honest opinons and experiences needed: 2nd child

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
What was it like for you when you went from one to two? I'm thinking about TTC (although dh isn't convinced yet) and I am looking for your memories, thoughts recomendations. Tell me your stories. How much time was between them. Was it harder/easier than you thought. You know, all the details.

At this point ds is still young, 10 mo. I can't imagine what I would do with two when it is time to change diapers, naps, feeding, bathing. Suggestions?

Funny stories are also appreciated.
post #2 of 21
My second baby was a surprise, so I can't advise you on how to plan a second child. Baby #2 was born 12 months, 6 days after baby #1. That whole first year was a blur. I sometimes would chronicle a typical day in my journal and when I go back and read those entries now, I can't believe I survived. Not to scare you. It wasn't terrible, just busy.

Two in cloth diapers was a challenge. It was exhausting to come home from an outing and have 2 babies to change. What's more, we didn't have a washer and dryer, so I had to go to the laundromat twice a week with a full diaper pail, all our other dirty laundry and both babies. We lived in a second floor flat, so on laundry and shopping days, I made about 8,000 trips up and down the stairs. I often did other errands while our clothes were in the dryer. Whenever someone tells me that cloth diapers are "too hard," I think of that year and laugh. They have no idea.

I don't recall baths and naps being a big problem. Going anywhere alone with both babes was a problem. My older baby was too young to walk along holding my hand (I guess I'm lucky he could walk at all) so I would have to carry both of them. We were too poor to buy a sling, although I improvised a homemade one and then was too embarrassed to use it out of the house. I didn't feel safe carrying both, I always felt like I'd drop one. But we did get around. We went to the library and LLL meetings and a play class at the Y and all our errands. Eventually, I put younger baby in a backpack and older baby in a stroller. Grocery shopping was a huge challenge. I don't even remember how I accomplished it. I do remember sometimes using a Snugli we had (didn't like it) and putting older baby in the cart.

My salvation during this time was our friends. Dh and I were only 24 and had lots of childless, single friends who would come to visit us and socialize with us often. They would come to our house rather than going to bars so that I wasn't excluded. Nine years later, one of these friends just had his first baby and all our other friends from this group are still childless.

Amazingly, I did have some time to myself. I wrote a lot and did a little sewing and learned to knit while nursing. I also had time to read.

Anyway, good luck!
post #3 of 21
Although we don't have a second child yet (will start ttc in a month or so), I know what it's like having a toddler--ds is two. Although I know lots of moms have kids 2 years or closer together and do a wonderful job of it, I can't imagine having another baby around at this point, which is why we're timing it so ds will be around 3. Of course every child is different, but I think most 2 yr olds are still babies in so many ways. Ds needs tons of one on one attention still, isn't potty trained, loves to be held, etc. I'm sure whatever you decide and whatever happens will be perfect for you, but just wanted to share my opinion.
post #4 of 21
My advice is wait until your child is 2 to even discuss it.
Assess baby carefully. . . and yourselves!
I really, strongly believe that 3 years is optimal minimum spacing.
All my friends with children 2 or less years apart 'warned' me that the second was such an adjustment, so much harder, etc.
The second (for us) was easier!
I know many people say their closely spaced children play together well once they get older, but I strongly feel that I want to be able to "baby my babies" for the full time.
At 2 my daughter was still very needy, nursing 3x/day, and just really needing me.
At 3 she stopped nursing just before the baby was born because she didn't want to 'take his milk' (I can eat lots of other things!), and we've had no rivalry issues, either (. . .YET, I should say!).
However, within 2-3 weeks of his birth she refused to nap.
She doesn't want to miss anything he might do.
Occasionally she naps now (maybe 2x/month) when she's really exhausted. Otherwise we have 'quiet time' where we just sit together in bed and talk or read quietly for an hour.
That helps immeasurably.
The only difficulty is that, like her father, when over-tired or really hungry she's more likely to be short-tempered and irritable, so I have to be careful about getting her snacks and starting bedtime routines before she's too tired.
She also was present for 'her' baby's birth and was fascinated and thrilled by the whole process and I think even at 2 1/2 she would not have been.
So that's us!
Good Luck whatever you decide!
post #5 of 21
I timed my second pregnancy so that my 2 kids would be about 2 years apart. It's a good gap, I think. My dd was out of her "babyhood" when ds was born. She was not out of diapers yet, but 2 months of changing and washing infant and toddler diapers took its toll on me, so I potty trained dd in a couple of months.

DD was also not sleeping very well by the time ds was born. Either my dh or I had to be in the room with her for her to fall asleep which didn't usually happen until 10-11 pm. When ds was about 6 weeks and my dh suddenly had to work late for several weeks, I kinda cracked up. I read everything I could get my hands on on getting kids to sleep and no "method" seemed right to me. Finally I just had to play it by ear night by night, but be very firm with her that our previous pattern could not continue. After about 2 weeks she started going to bed at 8 pm, saying 'good night mommy' and going off to sleep by herself.

After that, parenting both kids was immeasurably easier. I was lucky that ds started sleeping through the night about 3-4 months and has never looked back.

I do plan on having a third. It will probably be next year after ds is out of diapers. I know my limitations and know that I could not have more than one child in diapers, not sleeping on his/her own, or breastfeeding at a time.

You might want to think about the most challenging part of parenting your ds and then think what if there were two who did this? Also think what is the best part about your baby and then double it!
post #6 of 21
Hmmn, as for daily routines. . .
I already touched on naps.
She 'reads' to sleep in about 10 minutes at about 7 pm (depending) and then sleeps until 6 or 7 the next morning in our family bed. Milly-Molly-Mandy and Winnie-the Pooh (the real one) are favorite soothing books.
My daughter was out of diapers and toileting independently (still a night diaper sometimes) when the baby was born.
I fill the tub and she bathes herself--or she showers with one of us. (still needs help with shampoos).
Dresses herself except for tights and the second half of the knots on her shoes.
Likes to make her own sandwiches.
Helps sort and fold the laundry (her underwear and anything square/rectangular!) and put it away
Sets the table (OK, napkins & utensils only)
Entertains baby on kitchen floor (he's almost 9 months now) while I work on dinner.
Prefers to walk everywhere.
Generally likes to ride in the grocery cart while baby is in the sling, but does often help push instead.
Brushes her own teeth & hair, washes her own face (I still follow-up).
Sets up her own art-time--gets out her art box, mat, paints, brushes, fills water cups, etc.
Waters the plants, feeds the cats & dog. . . cleans up any spills. . .
Have I convinced you yet?

BTW these aren't "chores" per se. We ask "Do you want to ______?"
And 95% of the time she does.

Her new favorite thing is cleaning the mirror after she brushes her teeth.
She loves that spray bottle (vinegar & water) and my mirror now gets cleaned more in a week than it used to get in months!
Wow! I hadn't realized myself how much she likes to do.
There's plenty I haven't included, either!
Car-washing, weed-pulling, picking-up toys of course, dusting, . . .
She participates in almost all the work we do at home!
post #7 of 21
The most difficult thing for me was how my feelings changed toward ds#1. I was not fully prepared for the fact that my oldest would so suddenly stop being my baby. He seemed so big and I hate to say it -- troublesome, after the baby. The things that used to seem cute became intensely annoying. It really felt like the baby came along and just "ousted" my older son from center stage in my heart. Of course I struggled constantly to be fair and to express as much love and affection as I could to each of them. It was mostly my heart that suffered, I think. It wasn't until I had the baby in my arms that I realized a very precious phase in our life as a family was suddenly done with.

My boys are almost 4 years apart -- and it was probably very good timing. Ds#1 needed to stretch his wings a little and gain some independence. It turned out very well, but was a heart wrenching adjustment for me.

My advice is to enjoy your first baby for as long as you can.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
thank you all for your advise. Dh and I are still just starting to talk about it. I'll fill you in on any juicy details as soon as I have any.

Thanks again.
post #9 of 21
Well my second isn't here yet but they will be 22 months apart. One other aspect to think about is the pregnancy. Not every pregnancy is the same, I thought I could handle being pregnant with a young child but it's been hell so far! He was 13 months when I conceived and before I even knew I was pregnant until , well, it's just starting to go away, I've been so exhausted I can't even leave the house by myself because I fall asleep at the wheel. DS was still waking at night and I just couldn't handle it. And I barely have any energy to play with him. Plus I feel nauseous all the time and changing his diapers is NOT fun. Even cooking his food makes me feel like hurling. I am going to wait until # 2 is 2 years old before I think about # 3. It's just too hard for me being pregnant with a toddler and not fair to DS.
post #10 of 21
I could have posted this ??! DS is 28 months and we are having a ball...lots of crafts, cleaning together, grocery shopping. He is my little prince and a joy to be around! I'm still nursing and he wakes 1-2x at night (co sleep) always thought I wanted 2-3 kids but now I see my friends "struggling " with 2 and it appears unable to met the needs of both (?)....for me, I agree that it would have to be a spacing issue....3 years or more. I am just wondering if a single child is the way to go for us. I know a lot of well adjusted adults without siblings, but I grew up with 4 sisters and wouldn't change that for the world. What a huge decision! I'm also 36 and I teach yoga 4x a week which I LOVE...it's a nice balance. Not sure I'm ready to be completely "selfless" again--KWIM????
post #11 of 21
Mine are 3 years apart, and dd (the #2) was not a planned out pregnancy. At least he potty trained shortly after baby's arrival so I didn't have two in dipes for very long. My son has always been very high needs and I knew having another and taking the chance of having two like that would be stressful, and guess what- I got another one who is high needs! She was actually much easier as a baby than he was, but just the simple logistics of life with two is 10 times harder than it is with one. (Just try wiping the butt of a 3 year old in a public restroom with a sleeping baby in a sling and you will figure out what I mean) Instead of being that wonderful nursing couple, mom and baby, you become a "family". The priority changes from baby's need, to the family's needs (which includes each individual and the group as a whole) I don't know, it was just different. I'm glad they were as far apart as they were, but I woudl have liked to wait even longer so that ds was more independant, although now that they are a little older the difference works fairly well with them getting along and being very close to each other.
post #12 of 21
I don't know about you TripleHughes but I'm scared!!
post #13 of 21
Its good to hear all your responses!!! We just have one little ds who will be 6 yo soon. My 1st dh died and even though I'm remarried, I wasn't sure if I wanted to have another~complex emotions. Anyways, now after some time and my ds now LOVES my new dh and wants to spend time w/him, I feel more comfortable with the idea. My ds still loves to cuddle, be carried (believe it or not) and still needs me at night to help him fall asleep. But, he's independent, sensitive and secure. Soooooo, we are going to begin to TTC beginning this summer. My ds is excited about this too and that was something that I was waiting for.


post #14 of 21

A Second Child

I have two girls 21 months apart and a third due in November who will also be 21 months apart from our second. We just let all three 'happen' - no TTC in any official capacity. I can't say how three will be, but I can say that going from 1 to 2 was often as difficult as I expected it to be, but I can't remember a day that it was ever worse than I anticipated. #1 was an angel baby and #2 was a crybaby so that took some adjusting to, there were definitely a couple moments in the first few months that I thought "what have I done!?!?" (feeling like I was robbing #1 of being 'my baby.' I'm a SAH mom and so I was essentially her whole world until #2 arrived). #1 reacted great though and especially now that they are both mobile and #1 is potty trained, I have to say I'm in no way dreading #3. Though it will be interesting to be outnumbered!

Good luck to you!
post #15 of 21
My boys are 14.5 months apart, now 2YO and 3YO. I'll admit going into the pregnancy totally unprepared for the reality of a toddler and a baby; my guy was 6MO and I was so in love and I wanted another (he had just started sleeping 12 hours a night so I had plenty of extra energy ).

It was so hard! I was sick and exhausted with a newly mobile baby, and right after his 1st birthday I went on bedrest for preterm labor. Luckily I had family around to help.

I never went through feeling that I lost my oldest as my "baby"; he's still such a mama's boy. I think he adjusted well and didn't show any real jealousy until #2 was 6MO and started sitting and crawling. It was pretty tough from that point until the baby was about 18MO and became a true friend and partner in crime to his brother.

I remember being so tired from being up every couple of hours, and still having to get up and face the day with both boys. #2 got a bath once a week, seriously, and sometimes we went longer than that. My mom would bathe him whenever she visited. The days went by in a blur. I never went anywhere because it was so hard! I had a terrible case of PPD even though I was on meds.

Now the problems are different, but still there. I think two close in age play well together, but they also seem to squabble more often. They can both run away from me. Going someplace with other moms who only have one child (or only one younger child) is often a comedy as I try to keep track of my two boys.

There are rewards, of course. They seem extremely close and are very loving toward eachother. They play together very well for the most part and they share the same toys and interests. I don't worry about planning activities that are too mature for one child or too childish for the other. They like the same books and music. The hand-me-downs aren't too outdated. The oldest learns to share his/her parents at a very early age and usually doesn't remember the time before the sibling was born

I love seeing them together, and I believe the difficulties will be worth it, but I won't do it again. If (and it's a big if) we have a 3rd child I will wait until the boys are at least 5 and 6.

My brother and SIL have boys 12 months apart; in fact all 4 boys were born in a 20 month span. We both love the rewards of having closely spaced children but believe that there are compromises made.

post #16 of 21

hanging on TripkeHughes' thread

I was glad to read TripkeHughes' thread and the wonderful and helpful responses to the thread. My dh and I also would like to have another child. My ds is 6 months old , I also have a 15 year old ds, yes, I waited a long time between children-circumstances and change in marriage partners brought me to a completely different place in my life. I am 35 years old -this seems to be a factor for me waiting for 2-3 years. I know that my age is not OLD but I I wonder if there are mom's who are my age or near my age who have experienced having babies close in age. WE ALL (despite age differences) know how busy babies make one's life and the energy needed daily. I look forward to your responses and the wisdom offered.

post #17 of 21
My #1 and #2 are 22 months apart. My #2 and #3 are 4 years apart. I think it is easier having them 2 years apart than 4! My older two are absolutely best friends. It was easier for my first to adjust to another baby before he had become very established as the only baby. Then he and #2 were babies together--both in diapers, both waking at night, napping together.... I would have had another 2 years sooner but my husband was not ready. Now that we have our third, it is tough for my middle girl who was the youngest for 4 years. It is also tough because she was the only little girl and now there are 2 little girls, but I think the age difference is the major factor. We aren't having any huge problems--the baby is adored by the older two. I think, however, that the choive is very individual. I am made for having lots of kids, the more I have the more energy I get. I am addicted to the nonstop pace, to the demands of nurturing a little more and a little more still. I think it depends a lot on what you want for your kids, what your priorities are, and what your limits are. Having them closer definitely puts family at the center, not an individual. The emphasis is forced to be on the whole rather than on the individuals. It takes a good sense of humor to have them close too, and a high tolerence for messes and body fluid mishaps (as suggested by the great public restroom comment above)! I loved pregnancy and have a helpful, ethusiastic husband so that helps. In the end, though, I say go with your gut and embrace whatever that brings.

edited to add:
jose--I am 33 and I have more energy now, with three, than I had at 26 with only one!
post #18 of 21
I totally agree with zina. 24 months is optimal spacing. It also seems that our bodies are ready when the older one is 12-15 months to have another with full bfing. (unless we have more body fat as many of us do, then our body bleeds sooner). It was so great with my first two boys that after #3 was born 4 yrs. later he got a "match" boy #4, born 24 months later again. Both "pairs" have birthdays within 2 weeks of each other. Makes parties easy to. Now what am I going to do with #5 out in left field, 4 yrs. younger (unborn)?
post #19 of 21

tripke - Thank you for making this thread...


Your post was so very valuable to me, thank you...

I should say first that we are not planning on having another child... honestly, at this point, we are enjoying the intimacy of our three person family. However, we're also not closing the door so to speak, should we change our minds down the line.

All practical daily routines aside, my biggest issue with having another (or not) is what you stated in your post (very eloquently I might add). At nearly 18 months, DS is still nursing (we're going to let him self-wean), he continues to nightwake, and is very active. While I'm sure all of these things would make having a second child difficult, nothing makes me shy away more from trying for another then how it may change his place in my heart and our family. I've seen several threads/posts about the issue of going from one to two, but none that touched on this subject that I personally can't seem to reconcile. I was actually starting to feel like I was silly for being worried about such a thing as no one ever seemed to mention it.

Thank you very much for your words. They have helped me immensley. And if we do ever start discussing a possible second child, it won't be for some time...
post #20 of 21
DD #1 is going to turn 2 in 2 weeks and DD #2 is 6 weeks old. The adjustment is going very well I think although I have nothing to compare it too. #2 was a surprise and I was terrified at first but tried to think of positive reasons to have them that close together. This is what I came up with;
I loved having sisters and my sis who is 14 months older has been a best friend all my life, they will have more in common when playing together, the shock of "starting over" as far as babyhood isn't there because you're barely out of it, that's all I can think of now. The first time I was absolutely sure it is a good thing for her was last week when she was trying to get the cat to play with her blocks with her. She also asks the cat "what kind of animals do you see at the zoo?" I know she will thrive with a "full time playmate".
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