Having A Second Child

Help on deciding when you to have a second child.

Thinking about having another baby? Curious about when is the right time? Concerned about how this new child will effect your first born? Wondering how this new addition will impact the rest of the family? Yes, these are all legitimate questions.

There are several ways to prepare for a second child so it is a pleasant transition, not a traumatic event. First, the decision about when to have the baby needs to take place. Medically, it is advised that a two-year time period from the end of your pregnancy should span. There are many reasons behind this determination. First, your body needs ample time to recover from pregnancy. Many vital nutrients become depleted during pregnancy, so assuring they are replenished is important to consider. Then there is the emotional perspective. Emotional well being is vital for both the parents and their first born. If any of you are not ready emotionally for such a change, the entire household will feel the tension.

This new child will effect your first born in many ways. Many feelings, questions and concerns will come out when you tell them the news. How and when is essential to your first-born's reaction. Try not to tell them as soon as you find out you are pregnant. A forty-week pregnancy can seem like an eternity to a toddler. You do want to tell them well in advance, however, so they do not feel pushed away. How to tell them is important, too. Not so much in what you say, but how you say things. For example, it is better to refer to the expected baby as "our baby "instead of "mommy's baby." A sense of importance and ownership will help the child transition better.

The family as a whole will also be impacted as a result of this new addition. Expectations need to be made a reality to everyone. The first few months of an infant's life is a flurry of eating, sleeping and diapers just to name a few. While mommy loves both daddy and her first born, a lot of her attention will be centered on the new baby. A new focus will need to be placed upon how each family member's role is defined. The father will need to be employed for more toddler care and infant help. Your toddler will need to understand that several months will pass before the new baby can be their playmate.

As challenging as all this may sound, bringing a new baby into the family does not need to be a negative experience. Proper planning, teaching your toddler about the pregnancy and what to expect after the infant is born will be very helpful in the process. Remember, for every question you have along the way your toddler is sure to have twenty. Be patient and understanding to their curiosities.

Do not forget the strain that will be placed upon your marriage. Avoiding this reality will not make it better or make it go away. Being responsible for and realistic about the changes, mood swings and financial situation will help lighten the load on your mind a bit. Understanding each other's needs, limitations and emotions is extremely important for keeping things together. One cannot expect the other to shoulder all of the responsibilities. This will only cause bitterness and resentment between the two of you. These will, ultimately, negatively impact your children. Learn together, share together, and teach your toddler together as best as you can. No one can achieve perfection by any means, but making an effort will only make things better for everyone.

Your role as parent and spouse is vital in your toddler's understanding of, attachment to and acceptance of your new baby. If, for any reason, there is doubt your first born or your family can handle another baby at this time it is a sure sign for waiting. There is no rush or known benefit to your children being born one right after the next. If there is a need to wait, do so. If there is a need to have them one right after each other, then by all means pursue this venture. Just be aware of the risks and precautions you must take before taking this step.

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