FYI….your second pregnancy might be way different than your first. For starters, you’ll likely pop earlier than you did the first time around (your body remembers). Then there’s the notion that you’re older and likely exhausted in a new, age appropriate way. Oh, and did we mention you’re also chasing another child around instead of sitting back and nesting? Yeah, the second one can be a doozy.
But what’s perhaps most profound about your second pregnancy won’t be figuring out how to split up a room, or when to swap carseats, but preparing your first child for their new sibling. It can be a delicate situation, that regardless of the prep work, might still leave your number one totally gobsmacked when you bring home a perfect, seven pound angel. (Oh, and your first child will suddenly look HUGE).
Here, five mothers break down how they’re preparing their first child – and in many ways, themselves – for the arrival of baby number two.
“We took a course with Dr. Becky Kennedy called How To Introduce A Sibling To Your Newborn. She provides sound methods on how to do this with care. For example, something as minor as not calling her a “big sister” removes the stigma and pressure of having to fill the role of being a “big sister” and the sudden need to “know everything.” Instead, she’s just a “sister,” and being older is not what defines her. Plus, we asked that family and friends make a point of engaging with her and not just her brother when they come over so as not to make her feel suddenly left out.”
“Beyond some of the logistical things like making my daughter Coco a “big girl room” to free up the nursery, my plan is just to let things unfold as they will. That kind of mantra has always been a de-stressor for me. I’m excited to approach each stage knowing what I know now, how everything is so fleeting and temporary. We’ll definitely have to tag team things a bit more having a busy toddler this time around, but truly, I’m staying open and doing my best to savor every moment as they come.”
“I think something that’s been really helpful in mentally trying to manage that is the fact that they’re five years apart. I think I always had this natural anxiety of the scary two under twos and the two under threes, or whatever, because they’re so busy and you’re learning so much about them and they’re learning so much about the world. So now that he’s five, he’s fairly independent. He just started kindergarten. So I am very grateful that I’m not going to have a newborn and a toddler at home. God bless the parents who do that.”
“Every morning she wakes up and lifts my shirts and pats my belly and says good morning to the baby. We talk about what we should name the baby. She says Bernie. I’m working on explaining to her that it would be a little confusing. We’re always talking about it. Bernie also decided which room would be her sister’s room and which would be her room. So we’re trying to let her have as much say in decisions as she is able to.”
Cassie Ventura Fine
“Alex’s grandmother said to me, ‘You love Frankie so much, and you’re wondering how you could possibly love another baby in the same way?’ However, from what I gather, the love is infinite and different for each child. Another girlfriend of mine is pregnant with her fourth, and told me that you love all your children differently. Each baby taps into a unique aspect of your personality as a woman, almost as if they all have different moms. I love this concept and think it’s a beautiful way to look at it.”