3 Reasons Why A Second Baby Is More Difficult.
As a doting dad to a 4-year old daughter and 6-month old son, I have some news for you – having two kids is pretty bloody difficult. People often talk about the transition from no kids to one kid as being tough, but little do they mention the leap from one to two.
It’s not until you have a second baby that you realise just how easy you had it with one. I look back on our life pre-son and mockingly laugh at my former self who thought he had it tough with one baby. In reality, it was plain sailing by comparison.
Even if the second baby is ‘easier’ than your first, the experience of parenting baby number two can be more challenging. Here are three reasons why I think a second baby is more difficult than the first:
1. You’ve Aged
Unless you happen to be best mates with someone who has access to time travel, logic dictates that you’ll be older when you have a second baby compared to your first. They – whoever ‘they’ are – say that wisdom comes with age. That may be true, but it also brings less energy, a grumpy demeanour, a sense of disillusionment, more toilet trips and plenty of aches and pains. There’s also that weird noise you start to make whenever you try to get up off the sofa.
Getting older can also mess with your head. You’re more likely to forget where you last saw the dummy (or baby), you’ll fail to pick up those nappies (or baby) from the shop and you’ve got no chance of remembering where you safely stored the screws for the sides of the cot bed three years ago.
The bottom line is that you ain’t the spring chicken you were when your first baby came into the world. You’ve got older, and you’ll definitely know and feel it!
2. The Older Sibling
It may sound obvious, but having a second kid means that you’ve already got a first kid. This makes having the second baby a massively different and more challenging experience than first time around because you’re juggling two sets of needs. Two kids means twice the effort, twice the pain, twice the frustration and twice the trouble – often something you’re having to juggle with less ‘resources’, like time, money and patience.
If looking after a newborn baby isn’t tough enough – just consider the feeds, the lack of sleep, the nappy changes, the crying etc – you’ve got to do this whilst still having the responsibility of the first born. You still need to read to them, play with them or get them their 84th snack of the day, but this has to be done in between baby’s feeds, nappy changes and nap times. The older sibling isn’t going to go easy on you either, so chances are you’ll be dealing with an increasingly demanding older sibling who is kicking off, vying for your attention and plotting how to get rid of the new arrival.
Two kids are great, but the fact you already have another child makes the experience of baby number two much more challenging.
3. A Different Outlook
The mindset of a parent second time around is vastly different to that of a first-time parent. As a newbie mum or dad, you’re likely to be like a good Cub Scout – prepared for anything and everything. Each situation you face – pregnancy, birth, feeding, sleeping, weaning etc – is new and you’re likely to have exhausted every source of information, fueled by the fear of not knowing what you’re doing.
The second time parent isn’t like this though. They’re overly assured, too confident and perhaps even a touch arrogant. They’re already a parent – they’ve been there, done that and got the sick-stained t-shirt. Then, BAM! The second baby arrives. The unprepared and overly confident parent is lost, confused and can’t remember what the hell to do. Despite having gone through it before, they forget about the incessant feeds, the severe lack of sleep and all of the poo.
As such, this lack of preparation and nonchalant attitude is likely to make life with a second baby more difficult than first time around.
Those are three of the reasons why I reckon life with a second baby is more difficult than the first. What do you reckon?
You can read more of Dave’s posts on his dad blog The DADventurer www.thedadventurer.com