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Having a second baby is awesome - here's why

Second baby newborn with older sibling

The awesome positives of having a second baby

There is always so much fear instilled in us around having a baby, whether that’s the birth, or whether you’ll squish your baby if you co-sleep. When you’re due to have your second baby, the societal fear mongering machine comes rushing back, jumping at the chance to flood you with anxiety about how devastated your first born will be, how you need this product, then that product, and then these other five things to make your horrendous life easier and better. Anxiety is a fantastic catalyst for a product company’s profit margins.

If you’re expecting your second baby, I hope I can help you shake off some of those fears and worries, and help you feel confident that it’s going to be great. I remember being so happy holding, and cuddling, a little baby again after my eldest had quickly grown into a fiesty, wriggly little toddler.

Understand your first-born

expecting a sibling pregnant second baby

Firstly, I recommend you read Sarah Ockwell-Smith’s ‘The Second Baby Book.’ It will give you a beautiful understanding of the experience of your first-born and a gentle, empathetic, way of understanding what they may be struggling with, and why. If they are behaving a bit trickier than usual, reframing your understanding of their behaviour, to be from a place of grief and loss of their previous life, and role, makes it much easier to approach them with love and kindness, and not anger and frustration. This makes any difficulties easier to manage.

Your second baby’s birth will probably be easier

Ever learnt a dance routine then just known what to do, without even thinking about it, once the music

starts? That’s called muscle memory and it applies to birth too. Once your body has been in labour before, your uterine muscles, your pelvis, and your vagina know exactly what to do. According to the NHS website, labour with a first baby is usually 8-18hrs of active labour, and no longer than 3hrs of pushing. They say that second, or more, babies are usually 5-12hrs of active labour, and under 2hrs of pushing.

expecting a sibling pregnant second baby

If you felt particularly swept up in the medicalised childbirth system, with your first baby, you may now be extra vigilant when suggested interventions, and more protective of having a natural birth. Many first time mums agree to things like induction of labour, which can often lead to an unpleasant birth experience. Out of fear first time round you may also have headed to an obstetric ward for an epidural. Perhaps now you're considering hypnobirthing and hoping to experience a natural birth. If you then have a completely natural, physiological birth second time round, this will feel much easier, and gentler, compared to a high intervention first birth.

Have a look here for more information on hypnobirthing.

You already know how to care for a newborn

expecting a sibling pregnant second baby

Having a newborn is a steep learning curve, from learning how to nurse your baby, to understanding the tired/ hungry/ uncomfortable cues, how to get them to sleep, and so on. If this is your second baby, you’ve climbed that steep hill and you’re at the submit of Mount Everest. While you may still need to figure out your baby’s individuality, so many things will be second nature, leaving you to sit back and just enjoy soaking up the newborn snuggles.

You feel more confident in yourself as a parent with a second baby

You can look at your eldest child and see that they are happy, healthy, and a confident little person. You did that! Congratulations to you. It can seem really scary when you are first left alone with your baby and you realise the weight of their world is on your shoulders. How on earth am I supposed to look after this little person! When it comes to your second baby, the benefit of having done it all before means you have proved to yourself that you can do it, and you can do it well.

With your first baby you may have outsourced a lot of things that you didn’t trust yourself to intuitively know or do; such as using an app to tell you when to put your baby to sleep (yes, I did this!), using special devices to put your baby back to sleep, or using a device to measure baby’s breathing and heartrate during sleep. These sort of apps and devices are designed to prey on our anxiety as a new parent. It is so freeing second time round when you can trust yourself, follow your own instincts, and truly be in tune with your baby.

expecting a sibling pregnant second baby

Less pressure and expectation on yourself with a second baby

I remember first time round getting out to baby classes at just four weeks post-partum, determined that I was going to be some sort of social butterfly making all the mum friends and definitely not catching post-partum depression. It was a bad idea. I was exhausted and overwhelmed. Second time, I relaxed, enjoyed my newborn days, and headed out to baby massage when I felt truly ready, I think around 8-10 weeks postpartum. Feeling like you don’t need to impress anyone, including yourself, brings a big sense of relief.

Less interest from visitors for a second baby

Visitors upon visitors often descend when your first baby is born. Sadly, in our culture the new parents are often expected to present their new baby for cuddles and we don’t honour the mother’s need to rest and be nourished. For most people this time can be overwhelming and they experience a lot of pressure to

entertain the needs of others when really all they want is to be left alone. People are by and large much less interested in a second baby. Instead of feeling disappointed by the drop off in attention, enjoy the quiet and focus on your family unit instead. Unless the visitors were going to bring you a meal, play with your toddler, and fold your laundry, you probably won’t miss them while caring for your newborn.

Having a second baby is awesome. A gentler birth experience, confidence as a parent, less pressure, and less visitors, lead to a second baby being a truly magical experience.



expecting a sibling pregnant second baby

Lovingly written by your hypnobirthing instructor Soraya at Sage Birth.

Hypnobirthing antenatal class

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