There are hundreds of articles out there that speak beautifully on all the ways to get logistically prepared for your second baby. But what about the emotional fears and concerns you have that are hard to voice? Sometimes, all it takes is a reminder that things will be different and every worry that comes with it is okay. Let’s give you a few of those reminders now.
1. It’s okay to worry about what your second birth will be like.
When you go into the delivery room for the first time, it’s a scary experience – especially with difficult pregnancies; you often have no idea what to expect. But sometimes, knowing what could happen can be even more frightening than ignorance and you might wish for that previous bliss.
In this case, however you feel towards your impending birth is acceptable and okay. If you have concerns about another difficult pregnancy, it’s understandable to worry, and it’s also important to act. Protect yourself and your unborn child by self-advocating for your needs and preparing accordingly; writing out a simple birth plan may help you articulate your concerns and hopes for your birth. Voice your fears to your doctor, partner, family, friends – whoever you feel safe speaking to. Just the act of saying out loud what you are scared of can sometimes make it more manageable.
2. You may have expectations for what the first few months will be like.
You might have heard the age-old joke about easy first-children and how they’re a trick to lull you into having another. The first went so smooth, why wouldn’t the second? Or, you could be on the opposite spectrum and worry about what this new child will bring to the family – such as colic or sleep troubles. The same can be said about your ability to breastfeed again or comparing milestone moments between the two. Maybe you are particularly worried about what it’s going to be like to have a young child and a newborn at the same time.
Whatever expectations you have, the most important thing is to just simply acknowledge those expectations. Being honest about what you are envisioning the first few months will be like can help you become more flexible if it ends up looking a lot different. It’s true that the only thing you can count on in life is change – but that doesn’t mean you aren’t going to go into it with ideas in your head. Just be aware of them.
3. It’s okay that you won’t love your second baby the way you love your first.
Let’s repeat that: It’s okay that you are not going to love your second baby the same way you love your first. One of the most common fears moms have is that they can’t possibly love their second child as much as they love their first – and they’re right, sort of. It’s not that you won’t love them as much, it’s that you will love them differently and that is more than okay; it’s to be expected. They’re different people, with different needs and different struggles. Your relationship can’t possibly be the same and it shouldn’t. But having that fear is – you guessed it – also alright! And that’s where our next reminder comes in.
4. Try to keep it together but have grace when you can’t.
You are about to get back into the weeds of having a tiny bundle that demands constant care. But you may not be entirely out of that same jungle with your first child – or, you have joyfully left and dread losing yourself (and time and energy and confidence) again. While you may have two arms, you are only one person. Keeping it all together may come easier at times than others, and for those times you just can’t, give yourself the grace of understanding.
That means letting go of some things on your schedule that seem important. That means giving yourself and your partner the space and understanding that you will reach your limits, sometimes at the same time. It’s a much bigger world with a second baby but you don’t get any additional time to explore it. Remind yourself as often as possible that you will do what you can and leave the rest to grace.
5. It’s okay to be scared that things will be really different.
Remember how we just said it’s going to be a whole new world? That’s terrifying. Your time with your first child will shrink and so will your time with just about everyone else in your life. Relationships will change and so will you. Again, that may be terrifying. Honoring that part of you scared of all the change about to come your way will not only allow you to better deal with it, but it may just give you the ability to stop and smell the roses in your current flowerbed before the seeds of the new flowers take root. And while we’re on the topic, remember that you aren’t losing the roses; you’re just making space for what’s to bloom.
Do you know what else is okay? Not having any of these worries at all! How you experience this big change is entirely your own. But there are some things worth worrying about before your second shows up. Here’s a quick rundown of things to think about that sometimes slip through the cracks.
- Your first child’s car seat. Check the expiration date before putting it back into use for your second. It’s average 6 years before it expires but some are different. You’ll find it on the back or side of the car seat.
- Replace old or worn items. Expiration dates also apply to your day-to-day items, anything from toys to pacifiers to baby bottles. Inspect everything and remove what’s worn, torn, or questionable If you used Dr. Brown’s bottles for your first child, you may be able to reuse some of it, but replace all nipples and check parts for wear.
- Your health insurance coverage. Make sure everything is squared away for getting your second child health coverage to keep up with any healthcare costs after they’re born.
- Preparing your first child for baby two. Actively involve them in preparation. Have them help you go through old clothes and toys and make a “gift pile” for your arrival. If they’re old enough, have them help you decorate the nursery; do a craft together and make it a bonding experience.
As you prepare for your impending arrival, keep Dr. Brown’s in mind from newborn to toddler feeding, sleeping, soothing, and caring – plus, check out our wide range of pregnancy and breastfeeding products to aid you on your pre- and post-birth journey. Dr. Brown’s is here for you and your second child – and your first – every step of the way!