Thinking of no.2 — how to cope?

Pregnant again? Hurray… but then the concerns come while your toddler is having a meltdown.


The age gap between siblings has grown since 2009 — parents now leave an average of three years and eight months between children, according to a 2015 Bounty study. But that two-year age gap is tough, since a toddler is at his most egocentric, so the arrival of a new baby can be deeply frustrating.

            “Every mother expecting #2 has, at some stage, wondered ‘how am I going to cope?’,” says Louisa Van den Bergh, founder of UK’s Lulubaby, which runs antenatal classes for mums during second (or subsequent) pregnancies. “But look at the number of women who have more than one child. They all manage it — you will, too. Your hormones will return to normal after the birth and you’ll feel much more in control.”

            Rhonda Teo, 34, whose son Noel is 26 months, worries: “I’m eight months pregnant and I literally can’t remember anything about having a newborn baby. So, how am I going to go through that massive learning curve again and still have time to give Noel attention? I feel I haven’t bonded properly with my bump as I’m getting stressed about the practicalities.”

“You’ll probably face a whole new set of struggles, but this time you’ ll have the benefit of experience.”

            If you’re currently pregnant with your second child, the main thing is to try to relax. Clinical psychologist Linda Blair advises, “Remind yourself that you’ve already cut your parenting teeth, so the basics — feeding, nappy changes — will be automatic, leaving you more time to enjoy your baby and your toddler.”

            And remember that your second experience won’t necessarily be the same as your first. “If you had a fantastic sleeper and eater, you’ll probably be less worried the second time round,” says Eilish Saba, founder of a babycare coaching company. “But if you had a difficult time, remember every baby is different. Just because your first baby didn’t feed well, doesn’t mean your second will be the same. And yes, you’ll probably face a whole new set of struggles, but this time you’ll have the benefit of experience.”

Photo: iStock

Get tips from other mums next…