If someone would have asked this question 2 years ago, I wouldn’t know what to say. The first born is just so special that it is already a lot to occupy your mind. For the first child, there are many unknown factors that parents are trying to figure out and that is the reason there is a lot of time and attention that goes to the first one.
First time parents are always worried about their child’s developmental milestones. I remember an incident when me and husband went to the doctor for a regular growth check.We requested the doctor to check her left leg at least 3 times because as parents we were concerned that she doesn’t put both her feet on the floor (she was barely 6mns).The doctor smiled and asked “are you first time parent?” and we said “yes”! And that incident amuses me because now she runs faster than bullet.
The pressure of handling a child comes down when she/he turns 2. Parents get some room to think about second one. During my second pregnancy, I noticed that many pregnant women in hospital who came for their regular check were accompanied by pre-teens . That amazed me. And I was little worried – Did I plan little early? It was too late to ask that question. But for other women who are planning for a second child, you must ask yourself following questions. Remember everyone is in their own timezone!
Why do I want a second baby?
This should be clear in your head. It is very expensive to raise a child in today’s times. That shouldn’t deter anyone to plan another baby because resources can always be shared. But the question is why do you want another baby? Is it because you are looking for a company for the elder one? Is it because you want to be a parent again because elder one is already in school? Is it because you desired to have a different gender and now again you want to try for a baby boy or girl? Clarifying these questions are important because that will determine the time on when you want to have the baby.
When do I want a baby?
To my earlier question, why will determine when? If you are looking for company for your first child, it’s better to plan sooner than later. Because kids generally want to play with similar age group. Another advantage of having a second baby sooner is because all the baby stuff can still be used like stroller, baby cradle, baby tub etc. From financial perspective, it totally makes sense. But in case you just want to be a parent again only when elder one is completely independent then that also works because then elder child becomes more of your helping hand. Also, raising second baby is lot easier because you don’t have to juggle between the kids. You can give your maximum time and attention to the younger child without being worried about the elder one.
What is my support mechanism?
In case you decide to go for a second baby sooner, it is important to evaluate your support system. Because one needs a lot of help when the babies are younger. There are situations that are tough to handle like – a cranky toddler and a crying baby, toddlers and baby falling sick together, chances of baby catching virus from toddler, watching out toddler if he/she doesn’t stifle the baby, managing toddler’s tantrums while your baby needs utmost attention. Trust me it is not easy. Make sure you have enough help at home to manage because raising two young kids can be a traumatic experience. If the age gap is longer than your elder turns out to be a strong support system. Elder one is more than excited for the baby and they are old enough to understand and help the mother.
How am I going to split my time?
This is again a question when you are planning a baby sooner. Each child needs mother’s attention. No matter how much love a child gets from other members of the family but he/she will still crave for mother’s attention. So, it’s important to know that if your elder one is still young, you should have sufficient time with him/her. If mother is working then it becomes very challenging because whatever time is left after coming back home, it is very hard to split equally.Also, given that the mother is already tired from day’s work.
Do I want to continue to work?
And the earlier question will lead to this question – Do you plan to continue to work after the second child? This is very important decision of life because many women are not ready to give up their career because of personal life. And one should not, absolutely. In today’s world, technology has enabled women/parents to keep a close watch on their kids even when they are away. It is just a matter of time management and better planning. In case you are planning to quit the job, then it should be comparatively easier to manage.
Can we afford a bigger space?
One of the changes that I noticed soon after my second born was the need for the bigger space. Babies usually have their own needs like night feeding, being cranky at night, sleeping during day time etc. Also, there are tonnes of baby stuff, toddler things that needs to be stocked up. So, you need extra storage space. I remember when we moved recently, half of our luggage were all toys and baby stuff. And that is pretty normal when you have kids at home.
Again this is something that all women should consider while giving birth. Usually doctors recommend that the first baby should be born before 30 years of age. But these days, working women are delaying their first born. Again, if first born is delayed then one should consider/plan for second born sooner than later.
These are some of the basic questions which I feel should be considered while you are planning for a second baby. If there are any other questions which you feel is vital, please drop them in comment. It would be useful for women those who are in planning stage.