Top Tips for Having Another Baby
Nat Cutler-Welsh is a mother-of-three (2,4,6 years old) and co-author of Parenting Blog and Podcast “If Only They’d Told Me”. She’s an at-home mum with a messy house full of laughter and love.
Whether it’s strangers in the supermarket, your mother-in-law or that little voice in your own head, there comes a time that you get asked about having another baby. Here are some things to consider about having another baby:
1)Is it the right time?
There is no ideal time or age gap. Some people plan and others get pregnant sooner or later than they’d hoped. There’s also no ‘ideal’ time in terms of career, money or your first child’s development. In saying that, having another baby (whether your second, third or fourth) is a big change and the experience will differ slightly based on age gap, among other things.
2) Being on the same page
Ideally, you and hubby will be ‘on the same page’ or wavelength about having another baby. Alas, this is not always the case. You may be in agreement about the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but not the ‘when’. Whatever your situation it’s a huge decision and it’s a great opportunity to look at your vision or goals for you and your family. We always agreed we wanted two and had a ‘just replace yourselves’ philosophy. But after number 2 was born, I kept thinking ‘with the next baby I’ll do this…’ It took us 8 months of discussing and weighing things up to decide that we did want number 3!
3) Enjoying the Moment
Trying to get pregnant can become quite a focus and stress as a couple. Remember to ‘enjoy the moment’ as much as possible during each stage that your child is going through. Making a special effort to spend ‘quality time’ with your child/children BEFORE and AFTER a new baby arrives is very important!
4) Your Beautiful Body
While some people dread their waistband expanding again, others love it! I was fascinated by my ‘basket ball’ belly and thrilled about the big boobs –a now distant memory. Some moms feel like they only just or haven’t yet got their ‘body back’. The body, the boobs and the back, veins etc will be compromised by another pregnancy and baby - but it’s worth it!
5) Getting Back into Baby Mode
Regardless of how big your age gap or to what capacity you went back to paid work, going ‘back to baby mode’ is a bit of a shift. It helps to adjust your mindset before baby arrives in terms of what you’ll achieve each day, hubby’s role, your priorities, help/involvement from grandparents etc. Re-adjust your expectations of what you’ll achieve each day. Aim for OTAD ‘One thing a day’ off your to do list.
6) Childcare and Quality Time
Depending on your age gap, work situation and parenting philosophy, you may or may not have your child in some form of childcare when baby arrives. Have a plan (and a backup plan) for your child/children that ideally allows for you to have some one-on-one time with baby now and then. For some, this may be pre-school two days a week, for others it may be Grandma taking little Lucy out for lunch/a play once a week so you can have some baby-only time.
7) Relationships Change
Another baby does affect relationships -mainly in positive ways. Anticipate the change and be proactive about how you want things to be with your child/children, hubby and friends. Have a brainstorm date with hubby where you chat about what’s important to you as a couple about how you treat each other and time you spend together. Then you can have a plan about how to keep that stuff alive when things get a bit crazy with baby.
Things may feel a bit awkward with friends who have been ‘trying’ for a baby for ages and there you are pregnant ‘again’. Be sensitive by spending time with them without your child in tow or give them their space if that’s what they need.
8) The Birth Plan
Depending on how things went for you the first time round, you may have a similar or vastly different birth plan. Our main message is don’t expect things to go as they did with your previous labour. Some people carry a lot of grief or frustration over their first labour. Remember that ‘healthy baby and mom’ is the goal.
9) A Helping Hand
Even if you tried to ‘do it’ all with your first baby, you may want to practice saying ‘YES’ this time round. With additional kids you seem to get less offers of help than with your first. Friends have kids of their own, everyone is busy… but when they do offer then have a list on the fridge with things that they can do that would help you out. Meals, babysitting, movie nights and more! Some help that I wish I had was a ‘Baby Whisperer’ like Dorothy Waide to help with baby sleep and settling.
How did you decide whether or not to have ‘another baby’? What would you suggest as tip number 10?
Authored by Nat Cutler-Welsh, owner of blog If Only They Told Me.