Children can be quite demanding and bringing them up and in several ways throws your routine off balance. If you already have one child, you probably already know about the days of sleep deprivation, chaos, doctor’s appointments, feeding and the like - the list is endless. But what if your child has grown up and is a little independent now and you are thinking of having a second child? There are many things to consider when planning your second child. Your body might be different now and there might or might not be complications. It is highly recommended that you go for a full body check up and analysis before you start planning your second pregnancy.
Things to consider when planning your second child
Here, it means the readiness of the parents as well as the first born. Are the parents ready to go through all the things of pregnancy right from the beginning? Is the first born child ready to have a sibling yet or you do need a few more years to help him/her get used to the idea of having a younger sibling? Are the parents mentally and financially ready to have a second child and give that child all that he/she needs? Being mentally and physically ready is the first thing that a mother would consider because it is the mother who needs to look after the needs of the first child as well. As supportive husband and support from near and dear ones is also important since the mother will not be able to handle everything on her own.
Also read: 9 Things You Should Be Doing Differently With The Second Baby
#2. The age of the first born
If the first born child is too young, you should reconsider your decision of planning your second child. Bringing another infant when your first child is not at the age where she would understand would not be a good idea. It will be a little troublesome for you and your first child will not be able to understand that the love is being shared by the parents. Thus, the age of the first born does matter because if they are older they would understand the nuances involved in bringing up the second child as well. Kids generally take time to understand the concept of sharing and caring. So, a second child would be a good idea when your first born is at least potty trained and has started speaking.
#3. Your physical health
The most important tip for when you are planning your second child is to look at your own health issues. Getting pregnant means big changes taking place again in your body. But for this you need to keep a few things in mind:
- Weight: Your weight needs to be at the correct level. If you are overweight there might be many issues like PCOS which might crop up and you wouldn't be even aware of. Thus, reducing the weight to an optimum level should be the first thing when you want a healthy second pregnancy.
- Age: Yes, there are women who get pregnant at a late age. But the more you age, the more issues would crop up related to your menstruation cycle. The cycle keeps changing related to the egg production. Women are born with a limited supply of eggs that run out as they age. As the age of women increases the quality of eggs decrease, leading to chances of miscarriage or genetic defects. The age of the father also needs to be considered. Research has shown that the quality of sperms decrease as the father crosses the age of 35.
Time management becomes an issue with mothers after a child is born. Mothers have a tough time juggling work and home and then managing a child as well. Hence, you need to see how you can manage time with a child and then if you are planning your second child you need to have that kind of time in your hand to give to both your children.
Also read: Effective ways to build strong sibling relationships
#5. Agreement between the partners
You and your partner need to be on the same page when you decide to have a second born. You need to have your partners agreement because it is the responsibility of both the partners to bring a second child into the world and then take care of it without neglecting the first born.
#6. What are you ready to give up?
By giving up, we are asking if you are ready to give up alcohol, smoking and unhealthy food and other such unhealthy habits. Pregnancy includes giving up a lot of things like partying, late nights, foods you might love to eat and healthy foods that you might have left now. Having a healthy body prior to getting pregnant is very important. Hence, a change in lifestyle needs to be on the agenda when you decide to have a second baby. You need to have healthy foods - including more fruits and vegetables and lean meat in your diet and completely avoid junk foods and other such items that are harmful to your body.
Also read: Is it necessary for your child to have a sibling?
#7. A check up
When you and your partner decide on a second pregnancy make sure you go for a check up. This would include blood tests, check up for thyroid, blood sugar levels, an ultrasound. This will also help you to get a better picture of how healthy you are to carrya second pregnancy and what steps you now need to take before trying for a second baby. Many women face the issue of having low iron levels in their bodies. Check ups will come out with good plans to improve the iron condition in your body. Doctors might also prescribe taking folic acid supplements at least 3 months prior to planning a pregnancy.
#8. Look for different alternatives
Have you been trying to get pregnant with a second child and have hit the wall despite being healthy and trying for over a year? If yes, it would be best to look for other options like an IVF. Infertility even after having a first born can take place and is common in women. This increases due to age and unhealthy diet because your body and hormones change with it.
#9. Do you have help and are your finances in place?
Raising a baby can be expensive and if you are planning a second baby, you need to look at your finances. Do you have the financial stability and enough saved up for your family? There will be medical and hospital bills again and you need to keep enough for emergencies too. Along with finances you would also need to look at the help that will be required by you with two children at home. Even if your first born is school going and is independent, you still cannot neglect her needs. Consider getting help from your friends and family members. Also, consider having a babysitter who can help you with the new baby.
Also read: Why is India following the Double Income Single Kid Strategy?
Preparing for a second baby needs a lot of planning and consideration. It needs to take the future of you and both your babies into account. It isn’t that difficult. You will just need to put in twice the effort that you had with your first one.
Want to share your experience as a mom with other moms through words or images? Become a part of the Moms United community. Click here and we will get in touch with you