The 1 Best Change About Baby #2

Find out what you have to gain when you add a second baby to your brood.

The 1 Best Change About Baby #2

The second time around is totally different, isn't it? Maybe your bump is getting less attention, and you thought that'd be a relief, but you also kind of miss it. Certainly you're not blissfully arranging a tidy pink or blue nursery with all of your spare time—you're chasing another kid, you don't have spare time. You know what to eat, how to sleep, what to expect at your doctor's visits, and what to wash the baby's laundry with. But there is also less time and energy (maybe even motivation) to put all of that knowledge into practice, and being on the cusp of welcoming a second baby can get nerve-wracking very quickly.


When I found out I was pregnant with Edith, my second daughter, I couldn't imagine how I would handle it. I feared missing out on time with my firstborn, Iris. I worried that one-hand-per-child wouldn't be enough. I couldn't fathom what it would mean to have another little body in my care—let alone another personality, an entirely different person with potentially different needs, different habits, and different tastes and opinions. Those fears didn't even touch on more selfish, personal concerns: Would I have the energy? Would I ever sleep? What would my body look like after growing, producing, and sustaining a second human?

Whether you planned to the day when your second baby would be born or you found yourself more fertile than ever after baby number one, it is fair, normal and even right for these questions to cross your mind. The fact that you're wondering how it all works proves that you have just as much love in your heart for baby number two. Embrace that, and remember that when it comes to your second child, you are no novice.

When I had Iris, it rocked my world. I went from being in charge of no humans, to being in charge of a human. I went from being pretty selfish, to putting the well-being of another person always, ever ahead of my own needs. I didn't eat, didn't sleep and sometimes didn't bathe, all in the name of caring for Iris Ann Noel, the tiniest love of my life. As she grew, so did my capacity for managing her needs and mine. We found a rhythm, and we started piecing our new life as a little family together.

When Edith was born, I lost out on (a lot of) sleep. Sometimes I skipped or delayed a meal. I didn't always shower every day (let's be honest, I still don't). But I became Edith's mother with a measure of confidence I didn't know lived in me. And in all honesty, my transition from one to two children was so much easier than my first steps as a mother. My second child gave me the gift of confidence, and I was able to cherish our first weeks together in a fresh, organic way.

And the thing about not having enough love? I didn't have to worry about that. The love was born with Edith—it was there, just as she was, and it was abundant. Iris and I had already spent 21 months together; and our routines were disrupted,of course. But we used the relationship we'd already formed to bring Edith into our family. Iris knew me like I knew her, so we worked together, and her tender child's heart was proud to change things up and adjust into big sister mode.

Because it was easy to love a second child, I found it easier to adjust to the other things as well. I released Iris into her role as “big kid." I knew better than to starve myself or not wash the spit-up out of my clothes right away, and I found the strength for self-care sooner than I had the first go-around. We were all more confident, healthier, happier.

When it comes to motherhood, it's okay to feel a little nervous: your capacity for love and care and compassion increases ten-fold, and a little worry is a natural by-product. So don't feel guilty about the fears of having a second baby. But rest easy and find your confidence; because you've done it before now, and you'll be able to do it again—and well!

Photography by Kristy May for Well Rounded NY.

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.

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There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

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

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We’re the ones who carry them for nine months, so it can be a bit of shock when a baby is born looking nothing like us. It might even feel a bit unfair, but don’t take it too hard, mama. Science proves looking like dad has some big benefits for babies.

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