Silver Lining: When You Have a Second Baby: Advice from over 65 Mothers

February 11, 2016

When You Have a Second Baby: Advice from over 65 Mothers

Before I had a baby, I was the most knowledgeable parenting expert in the world. I read all the books and had figured out exactly how I was going to raise my baby (ha). Then I actually had my baby and realized I know absolutely nothing and am not in a position to give advice to anyone. ;)

So that's why I better hurry and give advice about multiple babies quickly, while I still have only the one child. I've never been more qualified! :)

I wanted to get lots and lots of advice about what it's like to bring home a second (and third, for me!) baby, and how to help my toddler adjust the best. So I turned to the experts - actual mothers of multiple children. I posted my question on two different mothering Facebook groups, as well as for my personal friends. I was blown away by over 65 mothers giving paragraphs and paragraphs of their best tips and tricks for bringing home baby #2. I was also astounded by all the confidence and love mothers everywhere gave me, even though most had no idea who I was!

I cut a lot of the advice down to keep it simple and concise, and to eliminate repeats. I also edited a tiny bit to remove names of children, etc. I hope you find this as helpful as I did!


I found stocking up on things like toilet paper, pads, etc was helpful so if I didn't want to leave the house I didn't have to. Sammantha D

Freezer meals were awesome. I had a whole bunch ready in freezer bags before baby was born so it was easy to throw in the crock pot! It was seriously a life saver! Britney L

We talked about the baby with our son a TON before #2 was here. How exciting it was, how things were going to change, how he should treat/touch the baby, etc. I mean a ton! Katasha K


Get big sibling a really awesome present from the baby that they get when you all come home from the hospital. My oldest thought it was ok that baby came home because he had this amazing garbage truck from her, so she must be sort of all right. Elise C

We gave my oldest a gift from the baby when they met, and he still talks about it so I'm glad I did that. Carli F

Be sensitive to how difficult it is for the older child, it's a big adjustment for everyone. One on one time with daddy or grandma is great! Eventually just wearing baby 2 while you do something baby 1 loves helps. Stephanie P

Do NOT be holding the baby the first time when you see your toddler! Have your hands free so your toddler can hop up into the hospital bed to hug, cuddle, and talk with you for a few minutes. Then, have someone bring baby over and set him/her in the toddler's arms. That way, the toddler feels important and doesn't feel replaced. Cheree S


Let baby #1 help! My daughter loves being a big sister to her twin brothers. We let her get diapers, shake bottles, find binks... Anything we can come up with to let her help us. Then we give her tons of praise for being such a great big sister and such a huge help to mommy and daddy! Her face just lights up! Rebecca K

I tried to carve out time with my older child everyday. Even if for just a few minutes when she had my undivided attention. Also on Friday nights, after baby was asleep I would let her stay up and have a pajama party with me! (Pjs, games, movies and popcorn) we both looked forward to it all week long. Sheritee H

Don't feel guilty if your older one watches a lot of TV at first, or you don't get to spend as much time together. This newborn thing is just a season, and it's hard. Do what you can and lose the guilt. Leigh L

Give yourself a lot of grace. I'm only three weeks in with number two but the house is a mess. My first watches a lot of little Einstein and eats pbj and yogurt most days. I finally realized after a few days to stop worrying about the dirty house. Both kids are happy, fed and alive! Success. Lacey B

If your husband is home for a couple weeks make sure to take advantage of that. Kelsey C

Learn how to nurse while baby wearing. Life saver! Erica C

Ask for help!!! You don't have to be superwoman. Take at least a few days a month to take a break, even if it's for just an hour. If you don't take care of yourself then it's harder to take care of everyone else. Jessica D

Some good advice my pediatrician gave me is to keep your disciplining/rules consistent when the new baby comes. Lots of parents will relax their rules or their discipline on the older child because they feel bad about rocking their world, but this just leads to more problems/bad habits, so it's best to stay consistent those first few weeks! If you normally would put your older child in time out for something, go put them in time out (even if you're in the middle of nursing your newborn!) Then they learn that nothing in their routine/world is changing, just because they have a new baby in the house. It's best for them in the long run! Kassie M

Have daddy do a feeding at night if you are totally dead. (Build up a milk supply so this can happen) I was told for a mom to be functional she needs at least 4 hours straight a night. Daddy can help, let him. Ashley S


There will be times when you're sitting there with the baby crying to be held, the toddler whining about being hungry and wanting to "help" with dinner, and you're trying not to go insane actually getting dinner on the table. Pretty sure I nursed standing up a couple of times. Kylie P

I once heard it said "Crying is okay. It means they're alive." But seriously, I had to learn that sometimes, someone needed to cry (including myself). If they both needed me at the same time, I went to whoever needed me more. And so far, the tears haven't killed anyone! Janae H

There will be days when the TV will be on nonstop and you will think, "Gosh, I'm a horrible mom." There will be mornings where you drag yourself out of bed and find yourself yelling at your toddler for no good reason because you are exhausted. You might get in the shower and feel guilty because you don't think you are meeting any of your kids' needs but gosh, you love them so much and you are trying so hard. Keep trying! You can do it! You are NOT alone!  Summer Ssmile emoti


Get them to nap at the same time! Start working on this as soon as your younger ones are on some type of a schedule (for me around 4 months old). It makes life SO much easier if you can have anywhere from 1-3 hours of quiet in the afternoon to nap, clean, blog, do your nails, whatever!! Justine Y

It's hard, but try not to physically push the toddler away from the baby. Even if he's climbing all over the baby or being too rough with them. Just gently help them down and explain how to be soft with the baby. If they get physically pushed away, they learn that mommy chooses the baby over them and start to resent the baby. Stacy M

Make sure the kitchen is clean every night! Alexa Z

Have a basket of fun things next to where you feed the baby for the older sibling. A snack, a couple of new toys, and when big sibling comes up so sad because she needs you, but you can't stand up because you're feeding or rocking the baby, you can give the special candy/snack/toy to the toddler. You can have multiple of these baskets around the house, wherever you might be feeding baby. Katie A


Kids are going to color on walls, trash the refrigerator, stick things in the toilet, spill bags of food all over the ground, and sometimes it's frustrating, but I think it's better to see it as the adventure of raising kids, and sometimes decide to just laugh with them, and then teach instead of discipline. And I think this works for any number of kids. Ashley B

Seeing that older sibling hold the baby, love the baby---your heart bursts. There is no more magical or exasperating thing than your kids making each other laugh blowing raspberries at the dinner table. It's truly a beautiful mess. Kylie P

"This too shall pass." Meaning, you won't die (even though you will feel like you're going to) and it WILL get better. Give yourself a break, and realize that survival mode is ok. You got this mama! Ashley M

I was in tears near the end of my second pregnancy daily thinking that I was somehow abandoning my first. Somehow your heart grows and the love you have with your first is the EXACT same.
 Kathy L

The biggest thing to remember when things get tough: I am giving my children the BEST gift ever - the gift of having a sibling! It's super hard and there can be jealousy and resentment at times but it's worth it for them. I'm so glad I have siblings and I'm sure my kids will be grateful for that too! Leigh L

In all seriousness, you're going to do great. It's so much easier than you would think. Sarah M


Aren't these moms awesome?
THANK YOU to everyone who contributed!
If scientists can figure out a way for humans to thrive on no sleep before July, 
I think I'll be set ;)

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