Second babies are a breeze, right? Right? Rebecca Gamble weighs up the differences...
You sack the routine
With your firstborn, whether you want them to have regimented nap times or let them snooze whenever – that’s your call. But when you need to get their older sibling out of the house, either for nursery runs or for your own sanity, you are forced to compromise – but it’s good to see the baby is happy anyway.
You ‘bounce back’ more quickly
Becoming a mum for the first time can be overwhelming and it’s tempting to stay at home for the first few weeks taking it all in. With number two, not only do you have the hang of things a bit better, your older child still needs looking after too – so if that means putting your newborn in a sling when they are a week old and going to soft play? You just get on with it.
You capture every moment
First time around, everything can seem very fuzzy – you are finding your feet and wonder if they will ever sleep through the night or stop needing to feed every couple of hours. But with your next, because you have been there, done that, you know the first few months go by in a heartbeat. Whether you are planning even more children or not, you want to capture these precious moments as you know they are oh-so fleeting.
You’re more likely to put them to nap in their cot
Remember those gorgeous snuggles you used to enjoy with your firstborn snoozing on you, where you would watch the TV on mute so you didn’t wake them? Well, unless your older child has started school, they will be probably be making a LOT of noise in naptime, which means you might be more likely to put your little one down for a snooze in their nursery or your bedroom so your toddler can run riot without fear of waking their new sibling. And it means the older one can get some undivided attention from you. Some babies can sleep happily in a sling while it’s all kicking off around them, if that’s yours – we want to know your secret!
You don’t sign up for every baby course going
When your first child was just a couple of months old they had a hectic social life – baby sensory on Mondays, baby signing on Tuesdays and baby Picassos on Wednesdays – it was exhausting! But as they got a bit older you couldn’t help think they got just as much out of rhyme time at the library – not only is it free, you didn’t have to worry about missing what happened in that week’s session if you couldn’t make it.
You worry less
Whether it’s a bump on the head of a high temperature, the chances are you have been through it before so are less likely to be hot-footing it to A&E. And your more chilled out approach might make them even more relaxed too.
You buy less stuff
Not only do you probably still have a lot of things from first time around, you also know how many things were just a waste of time. That bottle warmer you never used because popping it in a jug of hot water was quicker and that expensive changing bag which had all the fancy compartments but was so bulky you ditched it in favour of a canvas shopper instead? And if you were precious about only buying brand new first time around, by number two the chances are you will be a lot happier to bag second hand stuff, baby things can be eye-wateringly expensive and a lot of things are only used for a few months.