Preparing For Your Second Baby

12/11/2009 05:42 | Updated 22 May 2015

This week we're joined by guest blogger, Emily, who shares her top second baby tips.

Awaiting the arrival of a second child can bring mixed emotions. You're excited about a new addition to the family and you're happy your first child will have a sibling. But it's common to worry about how you'll cope and how your eldest will react.

A few things are easier when your second baby arrives:

  • You know how to handle and change a newborn
  • You know what sleepless nights can be like
  • You already have a lot of the baby equipment and you know how it works
  • You have more confidence with your baby and worry less about small things.

It's natural to worry about how you'll juggle everything and give both children equal amounts of attention. It's difficult to follow any advice on this as every child is different. Many second-time mums find they adapt without too much stress and having two children doesn't necessarily mean twice the amount of work. It's not easy at times (who said parenthood is easy?) but you'll find your way of managing. There's certainly no need to worry about it before the baby arrives.

Have a think about preparing your first child for the arrival of their sibling. Whatever the age gap, there's a risk they can feel pushed out if all the attention is being given to the baby. Even a one year old is capable of feeling like this. Here are some tips on what to do with them before the birth:

  • Keep reminding them about what's going to happen and try reading one of the many books about the birth of a sibling
  • Show them the things baby will use such as a play gym, bouncy chair, moses basket and car seat
  • Talk about the things babies need and how they need looking after. Explain they can 'help' with things like changing and bath time
  • Reassure them of the importance of being a big brother or sister

Although it can be hard at times, the first child will need lots of your attention once the baby's arrived. They'll need to be reminded they're just as important and loved as they've always been. You'll find a way to manage this, the last thing you want is their behaviour becoming naughty and attention seeking – making even more work for you!

A few things can be harder when the second baby arrives:

  • They might cry more than your first
  • They're likely to feed and sleep differently
  • You're less able to find time for a rest
  • The older one is likely to wake up the baby now and again!
But remember that as your children get older they will start to play together too. It's a lovely sight watching them have fun together (they will fall out too, but we won't consider that at the moment!).

Don't develop ideas of what your second child will be like before he or she arrives. It's very easy to look at friends with two children and assume your experiences will be similar. It's unlikely. The best thing you can do is to have no assumptions about what the second child will be like and you'll be more prepared for the unique personality they are.

Emily is a mother of two, with another one on the way this Christmas. She blogs about her family at Babyrambles.

You can also follow Emily on Twitter.

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