Why your second baby is more fun than your first

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My second child is one-month-old and currently snoozing away on my chest as I type. It’s the only place he likes to sleep.

FYI, his name is Rad.

Now, in no way am I going to claim to be an expert on having two kids! I know I am a total novice at it. BUT if you are or were anything like me, the mere thought of your second child induced feelings of guilt and panic.

I would stare at Ginger (my 2.5-year-old little girl) and my eyes would swell with tears. I felt like I was cheating on her, like an unfaithful lover. How DARE I bring a man between us? How greedy and selfish of me to want anything more than my perfect, insane, little girl. But I did. I wanted a sibling for her so she could know the joy of their friendship. But still, I felt horrible.

Also, Ginger was a VERY difficult baby. She was colicky, and didn’t love to snuggle or be held. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED baby Gigi, but all the fuss about a tiny baby? All the hype about newborns? Totally lost on me. I still think a talking, walking toddler wins over a newborn in the fun department.

Most of my pregnancy was filled with anxiety attacks, both because of my hormones and because I did not know how I could possibly get through another baby phase.

And then he was born.

FINALLY, finally, I got to see why people die over new babies. And not just because he’s easier than Ginger (so far…) but because with your second baby you can relax and ENJOY them more.

As the haze of post-partum depression and anxiety clears, I find myself genuinely happy I had baby number two.

So in case you’re debating a second baby, or currently expecting your second baby and curled in the fetal position trying to figure out how you’re ever going to do it…I thought I’d share some silver linings.

Reasons why your second baby is MORE FUN than your first :

1. You’re a total pro for the birth and possible hospital stay.

Even if the birth is more difficult, you’re still familiar with the ins and outs of what might happen. You know what you ACTUALLY need and want in the hospital bag and you know to order WAY more food than your feel comfortable ordering. Yeah, they say you only get to order one entree, but don’t let that stop you from listing off ten sides. With my first baby I felt silly doing that, but not with number two. You just gave birth! Order whatever you want lady.

You also know NOT to feel guilty letting the nurses change ALL your baby’s diapers or take him in the nursery at night to “sleep” so you can get some “sleep”. You’ll be doing plenty of diaper changing and NOT sleeping at home. And if your baby has to stay in the NICU, like Rad did for four days, you’re even better prepared to handle it mentally and emotionally with baby number two.

2. YOU control the cry, the CRY does not control you.

With Ginger I remember feeling like her cry controlled my soul. Which is right and good, it ensures survival, and I don’t think you should let tiny babies cry it out. However, sometimes the cry just can’t be helped. And I think with the first baby that’s hard to accept. I had to learn that I control how the cry makes me feel and react, and that I was not a slave to it. When Rad cries I rush to his side, but within reason. I don’t hop out of the shower with soap in my hair, or start trying to console him when I am half-naked, because I’ve learned it can be an hour before you get to rinse the soap or put on pants. And when he has a fussy spell and just CAN’T be helped, I have the assurance that one day he’ll be a two-year-old who I can put in time out.

3. You’re not as freaked out over your baby’s crazy sleep noises and breathing habits.

We call Rad “the goat” because he makes the WEIRDEST goat-like noises when he sleeps. Ginger made odd noises too, and every tiny one would wake me up. Her speciality was escalating hiccups. With baby number two you’re able to laugh at and make fun of these noises, and not be quite so alarmed (or wake the baby up) when it looks like they have stopped breathing. You can sincerely enjoy these newborn nuances.

4. Blowouts and spit up are much more comical.

Again, the perspective that “IT WILL ALL BE OVER SOON” makes a giant blowout when you’ve forgotten an extra outfit, kind of hysterical. Sure, it’s disgusting, but it never ceases to amaze me that that much CRAP can come out of something so cute and small.

5. You already know who you are as a parent.

I had like a HUGE identity crisis trying to figure out who I was as a mom. Nursing and having a baby made me feel VERY un-Alison. It was very hard for me to adopt the new role as MOM without feeling like I wasn’t me. But with baby number two you’re already a parent. You already know how to be YOU and a MOM or DAD. And more than that, you know you CAN still be you. Just YOU with less time and less sleep and more stretch-marks.

6. Baby number two becomes your clandestine lover.

I remember my mom (who is a mother of five, yes five…) saying she loved the time in the middle of the night with her newborns. With baby number one,  it’s hard to understand that. But with baby number two..that time becomes your special secret between you and your baby. You can sing, “I think we’re alone now” to your tiny little bundle as the two of snuggle and struggle in the middle of the night. During the day the older child still gets most of the attention. But at 3 AM you and baby number two have uninterrupted gazing time.

You can smell the crook of their neck, trace the outline of their perfect ear, and inhale every tiny bit of them and focus on 15 seconds of pure and total bliss. Sure this happens with baby number one, but with baby number two I’ve been able to enjoy it EVEN more because as they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

So go ahead and worry about having enough love to share with another baby (you will) and worry all you need to and want to about how and if you’ll be able to do it (again, you will). Because no matter what anyone says or how much they assure you it’s all going to work out (trust me, it will) like all the best things in life, you just have to experience it to understand it.

I started to title this post, “Reasons why your second baby is easier than your first…” but after having to console Rad for almost two fussy hours while trying to WRITE this post, I decided “more fun” was more accurate. Because having to hold that tiny, squirmy little fuss isn’t any easier this time, but it is, somehow, more fun.

Happy baby making friends.

And on that note, here are a few more pictures that the lovely Heather took of us and Rad in his nursery.

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THAT FACE!!!

Remember when I was SO worried that I was having a boy?

Well, obviously you were all right. I’m so freaking obsessed with him it’s a joke. I definitely felt more of a connection with my girl before she was born, but the SECOND I set eyes on my lil man I fell head over heels in love. I’ve already been planning all the crazy threats I’m going to make to his future wife. She’s just not good enough…

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the baby #2 department!

xo
Alison

15 Comments

  1. oh my word! he is just too stinkin’ precious! these photos are so sweet.

    i didn’t find out the gender when i was pregnant with chlo, but i was scared of having a girl. i don’t have the best relationship with my mom and feared i would be a horrible “girl mom”. well… chloe isn’t complaining… yet.

    chloe was a surprise pregnancy that led to a happy, but stressfull, run to the alter for us to get hitched before i started showing (we weren’t trying to fool anyone, i just wanted to make out on the big boobs and no tell-tale belly phase in the photos!) i am excited at the thought of baby #2, and i feel more excited and relaxed about pregnancy, birth, and the newborn phase… like it will be just as much fun, but not as much stressing.

    your post was the sweetest, and rad is adorable!

    1. aw thank you so much! it’s good and bad knowing what to expect! haha

  2. Good gravy. As if I’m not already baby hungry enough! Check out that little man. Looovveee….

    1. hahaha…watch out!

  3. Loved it! Love you! Keep keeping it real! oh yeah!

    1. Love you!

  4. bellissime immagini!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!mi pensare ai miei bimbi quando erano appena nati!STUPENDO!

  5. jen

    Alison, I love him! And totally agree with you, second babies are so much less stress in general, much easier to enjoy, especially with all the extra love from siblings!

    xo!

  6. Brebre

    Good job mama! I swear I could have wrote that article myself. It’s exactly the same with me, from the guilt and anxiety right down to the alone time with a baby who also makes goat noises all night. You took the words right out of my mouth it’s crazy. I have 2.5 and 6wk old. It’s so nice not worrying over every little thing I totally did the OMG is he breathing??! with the first ha! Do you think we appreciate the newborn phase more this time also because we now know for ourselves how fast it goes? This baby is growing way to fast I feel like I can’t cuddle and get enough pictures of his little newborn face before he grows!

  7. Man, this was so refreshing to read! I have a 12 week old and an almost 2 year old. I’m so much squishier postpartum this time than last and with more stretch marks and saggier boobs. Sexy sexy. I’m 5’9 and bigger boned but I catch myself comparing my body to my friends who are 4″ shorter and tiny to begin with who fit back into their jeans by 3 months. What the crap dude?!

    Anyways, your words were so good to read to reaffirm that I’m not the only one who has those kinds of feels. Thanks for sharing!

    1. aw yes! I know exactly how you feel. i’m already looking at my friends who had babies recently and thinking “i wont look that good 4 weeks post..” GAH it’s so hard to quit! so much love

  8. Paige

    I never comment on posts, but I must say a huge THANK YOU to you for this post (as well as your post about refusing to feel bad about one’s non-Blake-Lively pregnant body!). I’m 6 months pregnant with my second and, while of course I am very happy and excited, I am also beset by panic most of the time: about how #2 changes our family dynamic, about the sleepless nights, about money…you name it. Really needed to read this today–thanks!

    1. aw I’m so glad! thank you!

  9. Robin

    I never read blogs… cuz I have too much Candy to Crush but I’ve been sucked into you all of your post and I’m loving them all! Such sweet thoughts and great insight~ xoxo

    1. HAHA WELL THANK YOU! Sometimes reading is fun!! SO happy you’re here! XO

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