10 Things You Should Know Before Bringing Home Baby #2

When you get pregnant with your second child, chances are that you'll spend the next nine months worrying quite a bit. Sure, you know how to handle a newborn, and you know all the tricks that go along with feeding and burping. You’ve been through the introduction of solids, and those crazy few months of your little person becoming mobile. An added bonus is that your house is already baby-proofed! More than any of that, chances are that your busy social schedule has long been traded for countless nights of Netflix binging. So no worries about how you’ll adjust to your new life as an exhausted parent, falling asleep on the couch by 10 p.m.

But when you learn that you’ll be adding a second child to the family, you worry about different things: How will your older child adjust to the change? How will you and your partner deal with the baby when a toddler is already a handful? Everyone talks about the big switch from zone defense to man-to-man—but how will that translate in your household?

As I wade through my first few weeks as a mother of two, I have come to realize a few things that I hadn’t really considered before. I still have a lot to figure out (how do you handle a toddler mid-tantrum when the baby is screaming to be fed??), but my husband and I are slowly getting our ducks in a row.

1. Your older child will seem so much bigger than before the baby was born

But he’s still the same little boy you loved a few weeks back. It might be tempting to treat him like a big kid and expect him to suddenly act more mature, but keep in mind that this is a major adjustment for him too. Before baby, he was the baby, and that’s all he knows. Oh, and the toddler’s poop is far grosser than you remember too.

2. Your experience with your first child has prepared you well

You’ll realize how easy you had it when there was just one kid. Now you won’t think twice about changing diapers, getting a teeny infant bathed or dressed, or what to do about all that spit up. It’ll be second nature, which is good because you won’t have time to figure this stuff out—you have a toddler screaming in the next room.