Having a second child? Here’s why you should be excited—and not scared

With our second, our lives just seemed to continue on a steady course.

Having a second child? Here’s why you should be excited—and not scared

Almost two months since the birth of my daughter Indigo, I am finally taking some time to sit and reflect on what it all means to be a mother to two people.

I think I was under the impression that my life would devolve into chaos, much like it did when I had my first child, our son Archer, two years ago.

This time though, despite having an extremely active toddler in the mix, things just feel easier, more seamless.

I suppose a lot of it has to do with the fact that our lives already revolve (to an extent) around the schedule, likes, and dislikes of a young child. It just doesn’t feel like much of a stretch to add another person into the mix, and have her tag along for the ride.


We are already sleep-deprived and battle-scarred in the way that all parents of small children are, so why not make this a party?

I certainly know that these feelings of ease will ebb and flow, much like they did the first time. There will be teething and sleep regressions; tantrums and injuries; lost patience and lost toys. These things are unavoidable and all part of the glorious/difficult nature of parenthood.

Some days I wish time would go on forever, and some days just never seem to end, as I watch the unmoving clock, counting down minutes until bedtime. But overall, I have been pleasantly surprised by the ease of our transition to a family of four—certainly much more palatable than our transition to a family of three, the first month of which I have stricken from my memory in an act of self-preservation.

Aside from my recovery from the birth itself, which was monumentally easier (just as my mom promised!), our lives just seemed to continue on a steady course this time, as opposed to being blown apart by the strongest dynamite. 

This addresses one of my biggest fears leading up to the birth of number two (as we often affectionately call her). We had such a wonderful relationship with Archer, such a lovely ‘groove’ if you will, that I was so afraid to disrupt. Surely it couldn’t sustain something as earth-shattering as bringing another person into the world. No matter how much I told myself that it would all be ok, I secretly thought it wouldn’t be, and that our awesome little family unit would be permanently altered, never to return to its former glory.

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I can happily report that it has not been the case. My son waffles between glee over his younger sister, complete with over-exuberant kisses, and completely ignoring her and going about his business. Both scenarios work for me.

The biggest blip thus far began at the start of month two of Indigo’s life.

The pediatrician warned that this was often a turning point in the behavior of older siblings, and like clockwork, my son ramped up his defiance, tantrums and frustration right at this time. Archer has always been a pretty by-the-book kid, with both the good and the bad, so I should have known he would be right on target with this milestone as well.

It was difficult and often maddening to watch our formerly easygoing and sweet boy struggle to follow directions, speak kindly, and generally deal with life’s little disappointments. Thankfully we overcame this with a few weeks of consistent and unwavering, yet loving discipline, alongside my ability to tag-team with my husband when one of us is feeling less than patient.

(Can anyone really maintain composure for a full 45 minutes when trying to get a defiant toddler to clean up some blocks so we can go to the damn park already?!)

In our most difficult moments we tried to remember that we had just blown apart his little world in the same way that ours was changed (in ways beautiful and difficult) when he first appeared, and we certainly had some strong feelings that may have come out in inappropriate ways, so he was entitled to the same. And wouldn’t you know it, we all survived and he is back to himself again after a few weeks of challenges.

Being a mother of two isn’t easy, but it is so much better than I imagined.

How often we all can let our worst fears take a hold of us, and prevent us from enjoying what is real and present! When I see a pregnant mother on the verge of expanding her family to include a second child, I want to tell her: hold on, mama. It will be okay.

You’ve got this.

I know we will have more challenges. I won’t pretend that I already have all the answers. But I’m relieved, and grateful to find, for this chapter at least, life is beautiful.

14 Toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Chrissy Teigen/Instagram

When Chrissy Teigen announced her third pregnancy earlier this year we were so happy for her and now our hearts are with her as she is going through a pain that is unimaginable for many, but one that so many other mothers know.

Halfway through a high-risk pregnancy complicated by placenta issues, Teigen announced late Wednesday that she has suffered a pregnancy loss.

Our deepest condolences go out to Chrissy and her husband, John Legend (who has been by her side in the hospital for several days now).

In a social media post, Teigen explained she named this baby Jack.


"We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we've never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn't enough," she wrote.

She continued: "We never decide on our babies' names until the last possible moment after they're born, just before we leave the hospital. But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack. So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever."

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