RQ: Adding another baby to the family

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My husband and I are starting to think about baby #2. Baby #1 is just 9 months old. Is there anything you would do differently to get ready for baby#2 if you could do it all over again? Thanks!

That’s a great question. I think motherhood, whether it be for the first time or 5th time, requires a whole lot. From the mental prep to the physical prep, adding another child to the household means much more than just one more physical body living under the same roof!

Luke, as a newborn, was a little dream boat. He napped a lot, was content just to be, and slept great at night! It was around 8 weeks that the crying started, and around 15 weeks I saw an enormous change in him because the endless crying and irritability suddenly came to an end.

So, my advice is filtered through an extremely challenging 8 week period of which my baby cried most days, and my toddler wasn’t sure what the heck happened to his quiet life. So it was tough there for a minute. So, what do I wish I would have done to prepare more?

Two things: Soak up my time with just David alone, and also spend more time by myself.

I really cherished my time with David as I was nearing the end of the pregnancy, but I didn’t anticipate how hard it would be to split my attention. I missed being able to do the fun stuff with him that my family took over doing as I was caring for Luke.

I also learned that there is very little alone time after adding another child to the mix! My husband is really great about hanging with the boys on the weekend so I can run somewhere by myself. During the week we are both just too tired to do anything but sit at the end of the day!

When Luke was going through his crying stage, however, I couldn’t even enjoy being alone because I knew how rough of a time Justin was having. So most often I had to force myself to leave. Now, as Luke is so much better, it’s easier to leave them for an errand or something.

I’m about 5 months in to having two little kids, I really feel like we’ve gotten into a groove. The days are pretty predictable, in a great way, and I simply cannot imagine my life any other way. Don’t get me wrong, there are still challenging moments where I peer out the window to find the full moon because my kids are cray cray, but in general I sort of know what the days look like.

I decided at the beginning of this year that I wanted a theme in my life to be “flexibility”. I wanted to be extremely flexible with adding Luke to our family and all the change that would happen with that. I wanted to be flexible about Luke’s nap schedule and what I was able to accomplish for the day. I set my expectations really really low for my daily To Do List.

So I’d add in lastly that being flexible has been really good for my mental state, and I’d recommend that being a theme in your life as well (if it isn’t already!).

It’s an unbelievable blessing to watch my boys notice and interact with each other. Having two or more kids will multiply your daily tasks, but the sweet moments between siblings make it all worth it.


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Kristen says · 07.15.15

This is a great post! Thanks for sharing! I have so many more questions! Like did you attempt or ever get them on the same nap schedule? Is it totally overwhelming to be out in public alone with them both? Having a toddler we are planning for #2 and I wonder with an active toddler how I will manage to do things like breastfeed an infant in public while keeping my toddler under control. You seem to be doing great! It’s so exciting and nervewracking at the same time!

Kate says · 07.15.15

I am trying to get them on the same nap schedule but some days that doesn’t work out. There have been plenty of days where Luke is sleeping, I put David down for a nap, and Luke wakes up as soon as I close David’s door. And then goes down for another nap RIGHT before David wakes up. While I would love the alone time, it’s actually kind of nice to spend time with just one boy! Going out in public was overwhelming at first but then I got the hang of it. I basically didn’t leave my house when Luke was screaming all day, so now going out is actually enjoyable! Best of luck to you! You’ll get into your groove soon enough!

Liz says · 07.15.15

Perhaps you know this but thought I’d mention in case you don’t….when I first get on your blog there is an ad for Jockey. When I click it off it then becomes a banner ad across the bottom third of the screen. It then changed to an ad for some kind of water. I’m reading on an IPad and can’t see a way to click it off completely. Maybe this is intended and if so, I can still read above the banner but just thought I’d pass it along in case you were unaware. Have a great day!

Kate says · 07.15.15

hmm, I’ll look into that!

Sasha says · 07.17.15

I’m seeing the same thing on my iPad– weird Jockey banner on the bottom that takes over the screen.

Kim says · 07.15.15

greqt post! I don’t have kids, but can tell that that’s great advice for moms.


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Christen says · 07.15.15

A great post and very similar to how I felt right after I had my second child (who also had colic). It’s such a crazy time, but now with a 4 and 2 year old, its super fun. They are little playmates and I’ve loved watching their sisterly bond grow!

Shannon says · 07.15.15

Loved this post! I have a daughter about David’s age, and am expecting #2 two days after her 2nd birthday (due 1-16-16). We are contemplating waiting to find out the gender (like you did the second time around), but I don’t know if I can do it. With my first, I couldn’t find out soon enough, but now I want this child to have an exciting entrance into this world too (in others eyes). My sister in law is due with their first less than 10 days before us, already know the gender, and they live with my in laws. So I don’t want this baby to feel like they were placed on the back burner… I want them to have the same excitement as my daughter, who was the first grandchild for both sides. If you have any suggestions on how to wait, or if it was worth it (if you’d do it again) please help me out! This type A planner is having a hard time.

Erin @ Her Heartland Soul says · 07.15.15

You have a beautiful family! I want two kids someday but I’m a little terrified at the thought of how I’m going to manage it all. I like the theme of flexibility!

Her Heartland Soul

Caroline says · 07.15.15

I felt like I could write a lot of this post! My girls are 10 months apart, and the younger just turned six months. It is CRAZY day in and day out, but the last couple months have been so much easier in comparison to the first few. She had some borderline colic issues and was a struggle at first (similar to Luke). But now they interact and make each other smile, and I completely melt inside. Who knew we had so much love to give!

Julie says · 07.15.15

this isn’t super related but I have heard that going from one to two children is really hard but going from two+ is a breeze.

Alicia says · 07.15.15

As a mom of three boys, yes and no. In some ways, our third has been our easiest baby yet. I definitely think that comes from our confidence level, being that we’ve already been through this two other times. But the fact of the matter is, you are still adding another tiny human into the family and learning to juggle three instead of two is just as, if not more, challenging! Just my experience anyway.

val says · 07.15.15

I needed this post today. I’m 38wks and feeling some anxiety about going from a toddler to adding a newborn. I find myself thinking there’s impending guilt coming my way. Of not having the time or attention that both deserve. Of having another girl when all I know is my toddler and that I will need to remind myself that I cannot lump them in to being the same. I know the experience will come and I will acclimate, but these are my 3am thoughts.

jen says · 07.16.15

i just felt like i wanted to comment..there is nothing to prepare you for the emotional transition of going from one child to two. just know that your feelings of being torn are completely normal and even just that you are worrying about shows what a thoughtful and loving mother you are. it’s hard. my kids are all 2 or less years apart. i remember needing my mom to take our oldest when her brother was 2 weeks old. i had had a c-section and just really needed some time to recover but it was SO hard. BUT, a sibling is such an incredible gift. my kids are best friends and love each other so much. it will take awhile but you will figure it out and so will your toddler.

Chelcey says · 07.15.15

Oh, I love this post! We don’t have little ones yet (we’re only 2 months out from our wedding day!), but getting in that mindset is such an exciting thing. Thanks so much for always being raw + honest … I know it’s a difficult thing to do in “blogland” sometimes, but know that it’s appreciated!

Chelcey | http://www.chelceytate.com

Maria says · 07.15.15

This post comes just in time. My daughter is 19 months, and my husband and I are just thinking about baby #2. Your post really spoke to me. I think you’re right that motherhood take a lot, no matter how many children you have. And there’s no better time to be flexible than when kids are in the picture. I’ve never been known to be the go-with-the-flow kind of gal (everything must be planned always), but when my daughter arrived, everything changed. I’m still learning the ropes of being flexible, and letting the little things go, of course. But I’d like to say I’m getting better. It’s been a recent theme in my life too.

I love the two things you mentioned for preparing for #2. Time alone is a must and something I didn’t quite get with my first one (she came 15 days early). Now that she’s here though, soaking up one-on-one with her is something I have to keep in mind. I always think of how two babies will change me, but sometimes forget that it changes my daughter as well.

Thank you for such a great post, Kate. It’s lovely to get another perspective on having baby #2, especially from someone who’s doing as graceful of a job as you.

Jackie says · 07.15.15

When this first popped up I thought it meant you were Prego again 🙂 I thought this lady needs an award lol!
Great post. I’m a mom to three boys and yes at times its ” Cary cray” but rewarding just the same. Somehow it always works itself out and you adjust. Me time is very important wether it’s grocery shopping with a cup of joe, a bath or an extra long ride just to get gas and sing along to your favorite radio station 🙂

jodi says · 07.15.15

Its funny that you should talk about the crying. That totally coincides with the research. I train nurses to teach new parents about this but you are reaching/helping more moms than I ever could. Thanks!! Just FYI, see http://purplecrying.info/

Liz Tea Bee says · 07.16.15

Thank you so much for talking about the need to seek out alone time when your partner is home! 95% of the time I love that my son is a cuddler but by the end of the week I’m desperate for two hours where no one touches me!

I’ve been in new mom groups where women break down crying because they are so overwhelmed at going to Target with the baby. They feel like they’re bad mothers for wanting to do it by themselves when their husband can take the baby. It makes me really sad that we put so much pressure on mothers that they feel guilty about needing something so small and basic.

Carolyn L says · 07.16.15

I’m really happy you posted this. I’m 22 weeks with baby #2 and I’m grateful for your advice on spending a lot of mommy-Ryan time before our little girl arrives. I’m a working mama with a 45 min commute on both ends of my days. It’s really tough to balance Ryan time with me-time with daily chores/cooking. Not to mention *husband* time! I need to remember your note about flexibility… I know I can do this.. but I’m hoping I can scale back work a little.

Michelle N. says · 07.17.15

My kiddos are 27 months apart in age, now 13 and 11, but I remember being stunned how different everything was having 2. You know going into a first pregnancy how life will change having a baby but going from 1 to 2 no one prepares you for. You think it will be easy peasy cause you’ve already got 1 and know what to do. But the division of time really threw me, the not being able to spend as much time with my first born made me so sad.

I forgot says · 07.19.15

Though your experience may not be the “Norm” per say, you do have a LOT of family help, more than the average mom by the sounds of what you post, and you do a whole lot of travel. If you didn’t have so much family help and having them taking on so much of your role, would you have had two so close together or find it quite so easy? just a though for those with less support I guess.

Kristen Rushing says · 08.03.15

Kate – i just read this post today and to be honest this was something that I needed to read. Most days I am beyond ready to have another(being an only child is not something I want for my son) but I am so beyond terrified of the change and what that will look like. Thank you for putting yourself out there and being a great mama. It’s wonderful to read your blog.