5 Things I Did Differently With Baby # 2 (to Make Life Easier)

By the time you’re welcoming a second baby you’ve probably learned A LOT

Or at least I sure had! There is NO WAY to truly be prepared for baby number one… so I think we can be forgiven for just bumbling through life and hoping for the best. But baby number two is sort of “been there, done that”, (thank goodness) right from your second labor being less terrifying than your first (and hopefully easier too!), to the new mom life in general being less hard all around.

This time around (with baby number 2) I knew things. I think the number one thing I knew was to RELAX a bit. I did things VERY different with baby number 2, and life has been so much easier. I get out more, I sleep more, I have less anxiety – and that’s all with two kids as opposed to just one. (Not that way you would expect it to go, haha.)

(THIS POST PROBABLY CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. OUR FULL DISCLOSURE POLICY IS REALLY BORING, BUT YOU CAN FIND IT HERE.)

5 Things I Did Differently With Baby Number Two

If you do even two or three of these things when you’re welcoming a second baby, you WILL see a decrease in the amount of new mom stress you have to deal with – I’d almost guarantee it!

In fact, if I had not figured out how to do these things differently, I might even have been dreading having a second baby! (I do think it’s normal to have overwhelming emotions around having a second baby – having a first baby is shocking, to say the least!)

second baby tips

I stressed WAY less about baby sleep

With my first I was SO focused on all things baby sleep. (Probably because I wasn’t getting any sleep. And because people talk about baby sleep like it’s life or death. And there are 157 rules about baby sleep. And it’s SUCH A BIG DEAL.)

In reality, babies have been born, and been sleeping (or not), for thousands of years – without anyone ever talking about baby sleep regressions, or making up weird rules about which positions your baby is allowed to sleep in, or instilling crazy amounts of fear in new mommas.

Now, I’m not gonna tell YOU how to let your baby sleep – I think this is something that you need to work out for yourself, but I will say that baby number one spent an absolutely miserable first 6 months in and out of uncomfortable hard baby beds, swaddled / unswaddled, flat on his back  – and in general wide awake – until we finally embraced co-sleeping at 6 months.

With my second baby we have co-slept since day one, and she has slept on her stomach probably since day two. We got a dock-a-tot for her, instead of a big scary crib. (You can read reviews of the dock-a-tot here. We love it!)

It makes me nervous to write that, but it’s true, and I talk to other women every day whose babies sleep on their stomachs too. Don’t bother to write in the comments that I am a terrible mother. I won’t publish these comments. You mother your children, and I’ll mother mine.

I stressed way less about baby baths

Nothing says fun like trying to hold a wet and squirming tiny bundle of angry in that feels-so-good bent over the tub position, while worrying about dry drowning and trying to keep water out of their ears.

I just bathe with my second baby. I get in the tub, my husband hands me one naked kid, I wash her – without a backache, and without screaming (if she does get upset I nurse her a bit) – and then I had her back to daddy to get dry and into her jammies. (And then I wash too, and now I’ve killed two birds with one stone. Woohoo!)

Yes, she does pee on me from time to time. This is STILL better than the whole production of bathing a baby in their own ridiculous tub that requires storage.

I stressed way less about my “freezer stash” (pumping)

I don’t know why, but milk supply and feeding my baby was such a point of exhausting trouble last time. I struggled to get anything out with the pump, we were just never meant to be I guess.

I was always pumping trying to make this “freezer stash”, but then he’d get hungry and there’d be nothin’ IN there for him, and I’d have to feed him the pumped milk – and over time and through much frustration I finally built up this precious stash that I horded and then – threw away last month (baby is nearly 2 and we haven’t breastfed since he was 9 months).

This time, if we have to be separated for a couple hours, I’ll just give baby formula. A missed feeding WON’T ruin your whole supply. It’s one feeding.

And you can totally have a drink or two and still nurse.

Unless you are going to be separated from baby for a full day or more, I can’t imagine why you really need a stash. If something medically happens, formula IS an acceptable option – your baby will not starve.

I prepared MUCH more thoroughly for postpartum recovery

This is VERY much a been there, done that situation.

Often, second labors are easier than first labors and there is less damage all ’round “downstairs”. (I know this is not ALWAYS the case, but often it is.)

I was FAR better prepared for postpartum recovery the second time.

I had a postpartum care kit ready to go, and a TON of freezer meals made up – as per my third trimester to-do list!

I did not announce the birth on Facebook for a full week

This will depend on you as a person, but I am the sort that likes to deal with my massive life changes privately.

It was nice to sit on my couch in my jammies with my boobs out and not worry that anyone would stop by, and people were still excited to meet my baby when she was a week old.

I guess if you thrive on human interaction this might be different for you, but I liked the quiet and time as a family to settle into our new routine. Don’t get me wrong, I love and appreciate my friends – but most of the close ones knew (I did text them) and the rest of the world found out just a little while later.

Related: Bring Baby Home: Enjoying Your First Week With a Newborn

And finally, I learned to embrace the chaos

Your life will look different with two babies. But love really does multiply, and life can be BETTER with two babies. It is so much fun to see your kids interact and enjoy one another!

(No, you don’t have to worry about sibling rivalry at this stage if you use these tips to prevent jealousy over a new baby!)

Just like life looked different with one baby. And it will take time to adjust to whatever your chaos is – trying to control things and sticking to a schedule and having a routine – those things work for some people, but they don’t work for me. I am NOT type A.

If I remind myself that it’s ok to just go with the flow, I tend to cope better.

If you’re waiting on baby number 2, first of all CONGRATS! Secondly, relax – you got this 😉

second baby tips

 

9 thoughts on “5 Things I Did Differently With Baby # 2 (to Make Life Easier)”

  1. Thank you for this! I’m pregnant with baby number two and have been thinking about how much more prepared I’m going to be for the postpartum recovery. I’m happy to read you get out more and sleep more!

    Reply
  2. So I am pregnant with my second child now. My son will be 2 years old at the end of November. This article just made me feel GREAT!! With my second I choose not to read all the advice and things you should do and not do. I did what i had to do to survive as a first time mom and get sleep and make my son happy. I have been nervous about number 2 baby but this article just made me realize chaos is not always bad!! Thank you for your honesty!!

    Reply
    • Don’t be nervous!! (I know – easy to say, hard to do! lol) It’s life changing, but it a really great way 🙂

      Reply
      • First of all, I LOVE what you said about sleep. I personally think the safe sleep guidelines today, though well intended, leave most moms paralyzed with fear and no one getting the sleep they need and no real tools on how to get everyone more sleep. It seems unnatural to me that infants who crave warmth and comfort are supposed to sleep flat on their back with only a constricting swaddle to comfort them. I would guess at least 50% (though I would wager it’s actually higher) of parents end up breaking the sleep rules in some fashion, whether cosleeping or using a dock a tot or swing, etc. I am pregnant with #2 and I don’t think cosleeping is for me, but I do plan to skip the swaddle and let them sleep on their stomach.

        One question for you though, you mention using a dock a tot and letting baby sleep on their stomach, did you let baby sleep in the dock a tot on their tummy? Just curious because that feels a little less safe than on a firmer mattress, but I didn’t have a dock a tot with #1 so maybe it’s firmer than I’m imagining? Really just curious!

        Your article was great and much needed as I prep for #2!

  3. Love this so much ! This is the best advice I’ve seen and I’ve been reading up on this topic for weeks!

    Reply
  4. Thank you for saying all the things you just did. I’m pregnant with my second and am already excited that I won’t be NEARLY as stressed this time. I know that I know best (now!) and won’t be reading all the blogs that tell me what I’m doing wrong. It’s still so refreshing to read something like this.

    Reply
  5. So glad I found this! Not only do I feel a little more comforted about having baby #2, I really appreciate that you shared a bit of your sleep journey with your elder child.

    My daughter /insisted/ on sleeping on her stomach ever since she could roll herself. Trying to flip her would only wake her and make her too angry to sleep. Otherwise, she slept well so I let it go pretty quickly. I did feel like a bad mommy because of it though. But, hey, she’s alive and well!

    Reply
  6. Hey, Mama! Mother of a 2yo and currently 22 weeks pregnant. My 2yo cosleeps, but I would like for him to move to his own room before baby #2 arrives so she can fill the space boob-side lol. Any tips on the transition for the biggest Little?

    Reply

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