Are You Ready for Baby #2?

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You have an adorable little boy whom everybody loves, most especially you and your hubby, and you’re thinking, “Wouldn’t it be absolutely fabulous to have another one just like him?” It would be twice the work for sure, but it would also be twice the fun, right? Hold your horses, mommy! Before you start thinking of having baby #2, you might want to consider some issues and concerns that you are bound to encounter.

Issue #1: Are you up for another pregnancy? Age is a primary consideration. If you want more kids and you’re in your mid to late 30’s, then you might just have to start cracking. But if you’re in your 20’s, then you can take a bit more time. However, do keep in mind that women who get pregnant later in life are more likely to experience a variety of medical conditions like high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, and miscarriage.

Consider too that you need time to recover from pregnancy and childbirth. Ideally, your body needs anywhere from 18 to 23 months to heal from the rigors and stress of pregnancy and childbirth as well as to replenish and store up vitamins and nutrients for baby number two. Studies have shown that getting pregnant within a year and a half of the birth of your first child increases the chances of your second child being born prematurely or being underweight.

Doing the math may also help in your decision. If you’re 28, for example, you’d only be 46 by the time your child turns 18, which is typically when he goes off to college. But if you’re 35, you’d already be 53 when your child turns 18.

#2 Concern: Are you ready for full-on mommyhood? A child will most definitely change your life, but there is a significant difference between having one child and having two. With one child, you can still be pretty much mobile, and may even enjoy the lifestyle you were accustomed to before you had baby. You can bring your little bundle of joy practically anywhere from a date with a hubby or a crafts workshop with a friend to an out-of-town trip with the family. It’s also easy enough for you to catch a breath or two while the little one’s asleep.

When baby number two comes, your whole lifestyle will change. For starters, it would be more challenging to be mobile with two kids in tow. Even if you had a helper or two, taking a trip or just going out would not only entail more detailed planning, it would also translate to more expenses. This takes us to our next issue…

Concern #3: Can your wallet handle it? A second baby will most definitely take its toll on your finances. Apart from the costs of pregnancy and childbirth, there are all the other expenses which comes with raising a baby, from doctor visits and medicines to food and clothes. You might be able to save on some costs as your second baby would undoubtedly use your first baby’s clothes, gear, and equipment. But babies grow up, fast, and with every passing year comes more expenses, from books and toys to enrichment classes and tuition fees. The ideal would be to forecast all the necessary expenses and compare with your projected income. This would give you a better idea of your future financial picture.

Concern #4: Are your household systems all set? With one baby, you can still have a laissez faire attitude towards household systems and everyday routines. But with two kids, you have to start making schedules and sticking to them. You have to develop systems in your household as well to ensure that everything that needs to get done is done, and done right and on time.

#5: Is your marriage babyproof? Last but not least, is your marriage ready for another baby? Having another child must be a decision which both husband and wife must come to an agreement on. Some couples find having one a bit of a challenge especially if one or both are not totally prepared for it. The wife might get too attached to the baby, to the detriment of her relationship with husband. Or the husband might not be confident of his skills in taking care of an infant, to the frustration of the wife who was expecting her husband to be as hands-on as she is. If there are issues which sprung up with the birth of their first child and they are unsettled, the arrival of a new one would only aggravate the situation. Having another child is rarely the solution to marital stress and conflict.