Second time around

Second time around

When you’re pregnant with your second baby (or 3rd or more!), you may feel more confident and in control than first time around – after all you’ve been here before!

However, the balance of family life is about to change, so here are a few things to think about to make sure another baby fits in happily.

We suggest ways to cope with a second pregnancy, think about life with a newborn and a toddler, and offer tips to help siblings adjust to having a new baby brother or sister around.

During your second pregnancy...

How (and when) do I explain to my eldest about the baby in my tummy?

Before you tell your child you’re pregnant again, start pointing out pregnant women you see when you’re out and about, or visit pregnant friends and explain that they’re growing a new baby in their tummy. It’s up to you when you tell them the news, but you might want to think about waiting until later on in the pregnancy. Nine months is a very long time for a child and they might get very impatient!

When you tell them, it’s a good idea to have your scan picture to hand, as well as your scan from when you were pregnant with them. Cuddle up together and go through your child’s baby photos too, so they know what a new baby will look like. Children love to hear about what they did when they were babies, and you can also use this moment to reinforce how excited you were when they were in your tummy.

How can I prepare them for the arrival of another baby?

Talk about the new baby and let your child feel your tummy when the baby kicks. Visit friends with young babies, look at books about babies or second babies.

Be honest about what the baby will be like … at first babies just sleep, eat and poo! Don’t make your child expect an instant playmate, as they’ll be disappointed!

If you need to move your child into a new bed, or room, do it as soon as possible, so they don’t feel they have to move because of the baby.

At what stage in pregnancy should I stop picking up my eldest?

Unless you’re having specific problems, like pubic dysfunction, you should be OK to pick up your child until you’re four or five months pregnant, depending on how heavy they are.

Try to give another reason for not being able to carry them, so that they don’t blame their lack of comfort on the baby. And make sure you find plenty of other ways for them to feel the same closeness, such as cuddles on your knee.

What do I do when I go into labour?

Well in advance, arrange two or three people that you could leave your child with, and make sure that they know them and feel comfortable with them. It’s best to have several options as you can’t plan when labour will start, and your first choice might not be able to drop everything. Don’t forget, your second labour might progress more quickly than your first!

Don’t promise your child that you’ll see them later, or the next day, just in case you need to stay in hospital, or labour goes slower than you imagined. When you do see your child for the first time after giving birth, make sure someone else is holding the baby, so that you can give them a special cuddle and show them that the new baby won’t change how you feel about them.

Helping your child adjust to their new sibling...

How can I help my child bond with their new brother or sister?

While you’re pregnant, let your child feel the baby kick and talk about things you’ll do as a family with the new baby. When they first meet, have a present ready for your child, from the baby as a little sweetener!

Don’t put any pressure on your child to be a big boy or girl, to help mummy out, as they may feeling quite vulnerable. But do involve them as much as you can with changing nappies, choosing clothes, finding toys and so on. Show them how to be gentle with the baby, and give gentle kisses and cuddles, and make sure they know not to try to pick the baby up by themselves just yet.

A mum says..

“While Charlie slept, I’d play games with Sophie, paint pictures and make creations out of cardboard boxes! If Charlie started crying, I’d have to make sure Sophie was safe and occupied, before going to him. I felt guilty for leaving him to cry, but on the plus side, he’s always settled himself far more quickly than Sophie ever did, and now plays more independently too.” Jane, mum of Sophie, Charlie and a growing bump

How do I get one-on-one time with my eldest once my baby is born?

Special time alone with your child is really important, for both of you. Your newborn will probably sleep quite a lot to start with, so use this time to focus on your child, rather than to catch up on jobs around the house. Even just 15 minutes a day is 15 minutes well spent.

Bedtime is a great opportunity for one-to-one time, looking at books and cuddling up while your baby sleeps in another room, or spends time with dad.

If you’re busy with your child when your baby starts crying, try not to dash off immediately. Your baby won’t come to any harm for a minute or two, and it will show your child they’re important to you too.

How can I stop them being resentful of the baby?

It’s only natural if your older child feels a bit resentful; they’ve been centre of attention all their life, and now have to share the limelight.

Be careful how you phrase things, so that you’re not giving the message that the baby always comes first, and make sure you share plenty of time, activities and experiences together, so they feel special and important.

Keep them involved with the baby, and let them make choices for the baby, such as clothes, toys, room decorations, books. Let your child open presents for the new baby too, and tell them about all the presents they had when they were born, so they don’ t feel left out.

It’s also a good idea to explain to your child about newborns, the kind of care they need and why, and reassure them that their role in the family is equally important.

Should I expect any changes in my toddler’s behaviour?

Quite possibly, yes. If they see the baby getting more attention than them, they might regress to being more baby-like themselves, sucking their thumb, forgetting to use the potty, talking in baby-talk and so on. Or they might react in a more negative way and start throwing tantrums, misbehaving or refusing to eat.

The expert says

“Coping with changes to the family dynamic is hard for a young child, especially when they can’t express themselves fully, or really understand your explanations. Behavioural problems are very common as family life readjusts and while it can be stressful for you, it should just be a passing phase. Try to be patient, and talk to your health visitor about how to cope with your older child.” Sharon Broad, midwife.

Settling into a new routine...

How do I keep my child occupied while I’m breastfeeding the baby?

The key is to be prepared. Have a special box of toys that only come out while you’re feeding, so that your child sees it as a good thing. Get a snack ready for you to share, and try to think of anything they might ask for, so that you don’t have to interrupt the feed. If they’re potty trained, try to get them to go to the toilet before you settle down, so that you won’t be disturbed. Have couple of books to hand too, so you can cuddle together and read a book to keep them occupied.

How do I find a routine that suits us all?

Many second time mums find that the new baby has to fit around the older child. However, it’s best to keep an open mind and be flexible. If the older child’s routine has to change, try to do it gradually and don’t be too strict.

Can I potty train with a newborn in tow?

To be honest, you’re probably best off leaving potty training until you’re in a routine. Introducing major changes at this time can be unsettling for your child, which can make potty training all the harder. Keeping your child in nappies at the moment is easier all round, so just don’t worry about it for a while.

How do I cope with the school run with a baby?

For the first few weeks, ask other mums you know to help out – most will be only too happy to, if they can. Try to plan feeds to fit in with pick up and drop off times. Make sure you’re well organised each evening too, so that your child’s school bag is ready and waiting, to make getting out of the door that bit easier.

Top tips for coping with a second child

  • Be flexible with meal times, meal choices, bath nights and so on. Trying to stick too rigidly to a routine can just create extra stress.
  • Let some things slide! This is no time to try to be super mum. So if you don’t change the beds as often as you would normally, or vacuum, don’t stress about it!
  • Ask for help, so you have some time alone or some time on your own with the new baby. If you’re coping with broken sleep and a lively toddler, you’ll need your energy.
  • Stock up on easy-to-cook meals and keep a few takeaway menus handy, including ones that deliver!
  • Keep toys handy in each room, so you can occupy your older child if you need to tend to your baby.
  • Try to eat healthily most of the time, so that you get the all-important nutrition that will help boost your energy.
  • Avoid any major changes that might unsettle your toddler, until things have settled down, such as potty training, moving nursery or starting nursery.
  • Make sure there are plenty of cuddles to go round and make time to share special moments with each child in turn, as well as each other!


Hi, I'm expecting my second child. My first is 2 yrs and 10 mnths. I feel this time round I have put on weight quickly and I'm only approx 5 weeks. The first time I lost weight first and didn't gain much for ages.
CutyGurl, My partner and I have been trying for a baby for over two years now, We were going to a fertility clinic for about 5 months before somebody told us to contact this spell caster who is so powerful, We contacted him at this email; zogospellcasters@gmail.com , for him to help us, then we told him our problem, he told us that she we either conceive in January 2013 or February 2013,but after two years of trying we were at a point where we were willing to try anything. And I'm glad we came to Dr zogo, Because he predictions put us at ease, and I honestly believe him, and his gods really helped us as well, I am thankful for all he has done.
CutyGurl, My partner and I have been trying for a baby for over two years now, We were going to a fertility clinic for about 5 months before somebody told us to contact this spell caster who is so powerful, We contacted him at this email; zogospellcasters@gmail.com , for him to help us, then we told him our problem, he told us that she we either conceive in January 2013 or February 2013,but after two years of trying we were at a point where we were willing to try anything. And I'm glad we came to Dr zogo, Because he predictions put us at ease, and I honestly believe him, and his gods really helped us as well, I am thankful for all he has done.
I am 20 weeks pregnant with my second child, my daughter is 5 (she will be 6 when baby arrives). She has always disliked babies, never engaging with friends little ones and has always preferred to play with older children.When we told her she would be having a baby brother or sister she was distraught, she wants it to just be her, but gradually she has come around and is now very excited. We made a big deal of her being a big sister, that she could help choose toys and clothes and most importantly it would have its own bedroom. As my husband and i both work and she goes to sfter school club we explanined that mummy wouldnt be going to work for a while after having the baby so i could pick her up from school everyday. She is desperate for me to do this like the other mummies so this has also helped make things easier. My advice, use a bargaing tool that will work for your child and i am sure they will slowly come round....good luck X
Hi. I have a 9 year old daughter and have just found out i am 4 weeks pregnant. I and the father are thrilled but my 9 year old is distraught! I have tried to make her feel secure about the whole pregnancy and have said that all the baby will do is eat and sleep so i will still have plenty of time for her but it just doesn't seem to be working. I feel so guilty that me having a baby has upset her so much. Does anyone have any advice on how to deal with this situation?
Hi Carla, my little girl is 3, she turns 4 just before my second is due. I started talking about a brother or sister before we tried, then I told her as soon as we were expecting, mainly as I was quite poorly inthose early days, she said 'already' ! I'm 22 weeks now and have quite a big bump, and she just loves it. Constantly asking to cuddle it, kiss it, lick it! It's quite strange but lovely, she also has been hunting out her old baby toys to give to baba, makes up names for him. She is so excited, and understands the baby won't come til she's 4 so is quite understanding about the long wait. I hope your little boy takes it as well. Let me know how you get on!
ive got a 5 year old will be 6 when new baby arrives. i am dreading telling him to be honest.. hes a lovely kid caring, friendly and loves his mummy but i just dont want him to think hes gonna be pushed out or anything ive been dropping hints and he seems ok im goin to have to tell him soon but i really am dreading it any tips would be apreciated.
I am expecting my second but my first will be 17 by the time baby arrives, so it wasn't so much a need for explanation but avoiding his embarrassment that his mum and step-dad had been 'getting it on' lol My biggest worry is starting again after so many years and I'm not so young any more, but we are very excited :)
FOR PrincessDarcysMaid I am the same - I'm 9 weeks pregnant, with a 14 month old son. And I'm stressed, my tummy feels different from last time (1st time I could relax and and enjoy being pregnant) this time I can hardly remember I pregnant sometimes between housework and constantly trying to kept baby no.1 fed, clean, happy etc. Stomach sometimes gets cramps, or feels strange...but baby is healthy (says midwife). Because of this I constantly feel that 'What if...' feeling of, What if something goes bad. I think because, Baby no.1 was a 'too good to be true' baby (as I had a perfect pregnancy and birth and he's healthy), but because I was soo lucky I feel that this time around couldn't possibly be as lucky and that somethings got the give :S I know I really shouldn't feel like this but I do :( I'm scared.
Hi im 22 i have a 18 month lil boy n pregnant with my second but this time its a girl my lil boy hardly understands that theres goin to be another baby in the house but hes started to rub my stumic n says aww baba n sumtimes kisses my stumick hope he gets the hang of it soon as shes due in dec
Hi I'm 9weeks with my second child and this pregnancy is stressing me out way more than the last!! I feel like something is going to go wrong constantly "/ I'm suffering with stomach cramps really bad but the doc has assured me all is fine and I still have no clue when my first scan will be which I just want out the way to put my mind at rest! Anyone else finding here second more stressful? Bag of nerves x
I have a 4 year old daughter and an 11 week old daughter and I have to say that my eldest is brilliant with her little sister.she so obviously cares for her and likes to do things for her.i bought a brilliant book called there is a house inside my mummy and that helped as well as taking my daughter to the scans etc.school runs are interesting but we get there on time and in relatively good moods including the new born.
hi every1 first of all good luck to you all. This is my 2nd pregnancy im 4wks n 5 days, i have an 11 month daughter and i love her to bits but im worried that she might miss out on her share of tlc when the newborn arrives and i dont know how i will cope with 2 of them.
I am a little worried as i am 7 weeks pregnant and already have a beautiful 3 and a half year old daughter, but she is very attatched to me and always has my constant attention, how will she adjust to having a baby brother/sister?
.Hi everyone we are six weeks !! A bit worried the now as Im sure we all are the same, waiting on scans and wanting everything to be ok. <3 My family know and they are all over the moon for us it has been six year's since we had our 1st son. Who over herd us talking so I had to say to him sometime's it not. So just need to wait and see, think the happy glow for the last five days is fadeing might just me need bed. But I hope every one is as well as they can be <3 and hugs for now xxxxx
Hi Mitchy12, I am in the exact same boat as you and would love to hear how you got on since you posted as I'm very nervous about telling everYone being so early at 6 weeks! My close family know and are all excited but I'm kind of terrified:-/
Just found out im 6 weeks pregnant, got a 7yr old who is the light of my life and shes so Looking forward to being a big sister, so happy right now :-) xx
Hello I've just found out I'm pregnant with my second child I'm only about 2weeks gone and I've got a 20month old little girl already I'm worried I won't b able to cope as I'm a single mum.. My daughter goes her daddy's at the weekends but this one I'm carrying is another persons.. I'm worried what people will think when I had 2 kids by 2 people when it weren't like that and I'm worried if I would be able to cope with 2 on my own and money ain't to great now and I don't know what to do can someone help.
I've just come across these personalised photo books books which might be helpful My baby brother and My baby sister, here are some links: http://www.love2read.co.uk/see-demo-book.html?bid=106 http://www.love2read.co.uk/see-demo-book.html?bid=27
Hi all, was wondering if any of you have experienced this, I'm 11 weeks pregnant. Apart from the normal symptoms tiredness, sickness and cravings. I'm on my 3rd pregnancy but strangely this time I feel queezy at various smells and foods, worse of all I feel like my husband makes me feel queezy lol. I love him very much but can't be close to him as I feel queezy around him sometimes, almost like how some food makes me feel? Is that weird or what?? Have any of you experienced this before???
Hi, i'm a 2nd mum to be, still early weeks but i've started to notice things r different with my body already. My boobs and lower stomach r hurting all the time. Is that suppose to happen because when i was pregnant with my first this things didn't happen till i was 7 months gone.
hi all i have a 16 month old and i am 10 weeks pregnant and excited :) but worried as i dont want to leave her when i go into labour as i have never left her with anyone as she is my baby as my partner and mum is going in with me its guna be hard :( xxxxxxx
Hi i have a 2 1/2yr old and a 9 month old, expecting number 3 in 10 weeks time. the oldest took to the new arrival very well and managed to fit the newborn in with the routine that was already in place, although the little one had sometimes to wait a minute longer. oldest is always trying to talk too bump and knows theres a baby in there. a tad apprehensive about coping with 3 under 3 but will just have to take each day as it comes.
Hi, im 23 weeks now and already have a 2 and a half year old, i told her from day 1 that we was having another baby and she couldnt have been happier, she is very motherly in herself anyway and ignores toys when ever a tiny baby comes into view, and loves nothing more to go and fuss over them, she is very gentle and loving and i couldnt be more proud, daily she hugs and kissess my tummy in excitememt and says the baby is asking for chocolate cake (good choice yum yum) and even tries to offer her own food through my belly button!! lol i think as long as you involve them from the very begining they should have no problem accepting the changes as they feel they are taking this prescious journey with you. and gives you both an excuse for extra bonding....win win
I'm due to give birth to my 2nd baby in 2 weeks time. My 1st son is 3 and really excited about having a baby brother. He's known from early on,and has always asked qusetions about it. Even when i had my most recent hospital appointment,e was disappointed because he thought i was bringing the baby home. He asked me where he was. As its getting closer to the birth,i can tell his behaviour is changing slightly. He's becoming more clingy to me,wants cuddles alot,wants to sleep in my bed. Keeps telling me he loves me. This morning when we woke and ready to go downstairs,he wanted me to carry him down.I had my hands already full with things i was taking down. He said he's wait for me to come and get him.I kept calling him down but he wouldn't come down. I went up to get him,and he was sitting behind the door on the floor pretending to weep like a baby. I called him to me ,picked him up,wich was surprisingly easy with me being 38 weeks pregnant.He clung to me like a baby. I have read somewhere that they do that for your attention,because they know whats coming. He even asked me a few weeks back,if i will forget him when i go into hospital. I had to reassure him. When baby's here i won't put my 3yr old to the side,i will give him the love i always have done.I also hope he will help me,which he said he will. I'm looking forward to taking my both children out for strolls and to the park. I also have to get used to the school run. My 3 yr old only started pre-school a few weeks ago,so fingers crossed it will work out with practice.
im 23 and have a 6 year old boy! im 15 weeks pregnant with my second child, and a little worried about how our little boy will be after being so used to it being just the three of us. :/ im hoping everything will be ok must admit im a little scared about giving birth, as i had a long 27 hour horrible labour with my first! hence the reason theres such a big age gap as i swore id never do it again, but here i am :) hoping it will be easyer and faster this time.
i have a 5 month old and a 6 year old, it was a big change and my eldest felt quite jealous at first - things have settled now and its like my son has 2 mummy's!!!! that 1st school run was chaotic but we have it off toa tea!! i just make sure i have one on one time with my daughter so she doesn;t feel left out!
im 13 weeks pregnant with my 2nd child. i am excited but nervous as my daughter will be nearly 11 yrs old when this one is born, i feel like the age gap is way too big however is know she will be over the moon when i tell her. how can i encourage that closeness as they grow so the age gap doesn't cause frictions ? xx
Hi every1. I have 2yo and now 9 weeks pregnant. Im so happy to be a mum again but also worried how my boy gonna deal with it. He take all my attention and now he will need to share it. We have close friends with son in similar age as mine. They like spend time together and play but my little one is really jealous of me. He not aloud my friends son even touch me. And also start be jealous of his daddy when we close. We didn't tell our boy we are expecting, it's to early. I even have no scan yet. Just so scary how it's make him feel when he find out and new baby comes.. Any tips how to prepare him and make less jealous of me?
Hey Mums to be, I am 32 and 5wks pregnant with my second so excited, I have four year old daughter and a little worried that she will get very jealous when the baby is born as she has had four years of our sole attention.
hey mums to be, iam 28wks pregnant with my second, very excited and nervous about coping with my toddler who will be 2yrs n 2wks on my due date 23 June.
Hello ladies. I am 6 weeks pregnant (at 40 years old!!) and have a 6 year old. This is all quite scary second time round, and with such a big gap! Going to wait till we have the scan before we talk to our daughter, she will never be able to wait till November!
Hi all, I'm 25 years old and expecting my second baby. I have a little boy who will be 2 on 30 June and I am 27 weeks pregnant (due 18 June). I have tried to tell my little one that there is a baby in my tummy and he rubs it saying baby lol. I was just wondering that as he is still quite young how do I prepare him more for this new baby????
Hi I am expecting my 2nd in 5 weeks, my daughter is 17 months old, not sure if she understands that she's having a baby brother, am excited but scared, how will I cope? Share my time between both?
hi all, im 8 weeks pregnant with my second baby which will be due on the 23/10/12.
Hi all, I recently gav birth to a girl, who is currently 4 months old and hav just found out tat am pregnant again jus feeling wp Worried tat I had a c section and if this will affect me.
Hi My son will be one this month and I have just found out that i am 6 weeks pregnant. I am really excited but also really worried how I will split my time with my son and a newborn and how I will cope with a toddler, newborn and no sleep? I only just came back to work 4 months ago and I am really stressing about telling them that I am expecting again.....
Hi my daughter is 7 months old and I found out im 8 weeks pregnant.it will be difficult as the first is still little but im looking forward to the next,im just concern that when the bump gets bigger it will be difficult to carry the other one around as all baby loves to be carried.But to all pregnant out there ....Bless us all.Y
hi all my son has just turned 3 months and i have found i am expecting again :/ i dont know weather im happy or sad, part of me thinks that at 32 when school time comes around i will have more time on my hands! but i also feel my son will lose out on the bond with me and will be more for my partner as i will be tired as the pregnancy progress im also nervous on how much hard work its going to be by the time the new baby comes my son will be 11 months is there anybody else out there who have expierenced this and how did you cope thanks :)
these are good tips, but geared very much towards toddlers. My son will be 8, any specific advice for a child who knows and understands exactly what is going on? I'd like to add 'babywearing' as an option for mums who need hands free while feeding or comforting new baby. Also I intend on taking him to the second scan if I can, to help him get some kind of bond. If dad is on scene, don't forget he can spend special time with both children to give you special time with the other child too.
Hi all, my daughter is 4 years old and due to start school in August but she has since started to wet herself and sometimes poo herself, she says when asked that she didn't have time to go or she forgot or something along those lines. I'm now concerned she is worried about the new baby coming and i've been trying to reassure her that she is still my big girl and we are doing lots of stuff together but it doesn't seem to be helping. Does anyone have any suggestions that may help me get her over this??
hi im 36+4 weeks withmy 6th baby i would just like to say when i had my 5th it was my 5yr old boy which was also my youngest atthe time that was the closes to the baby he was great he cuddled her made her smile wen ever she seen him he makes her laugh whenshe in a mood shes now 1yrs old and they both still the same today it made my life easy im hoping for same this time fingers crossed x
Hi, I have just had my second, now 10 weeks old. Fortunately both births went relatively smoothly, although can't say much about the after care. Really struggled with breastfeeding my 1st as had pethidine for pain relief, 2nd took to breastfeeding well as only had gas and air. Also 1st picked up infection as no waters present on delivery, 2nd my waters broke as she was delivered (a bit weird). I did feel bullied into breastfeeding with my 1st and tried for 6 weeks. very difficult with fretful baby. 2nd I breastfed for 5 weeks and then onto formula. I definitely believe you are more confident 2nd time round. Fortunately I have a brilliant routine with my 1st which my 2nd is now starting to fit into. Took longer because she suffers with colic and very sicky so was having irregular feeds but is now settling down. I am now attempting to potty train my 2 yr old boy. What they say is correct, there is definitely a 3 month haze, it is about this time where you start to feel like your old self and generally have a better grasp on life.
hi im 22 and i have a 5 year old boy and im currently 27 weeks pregnant with a girl. my son seems excited about havin a new baby and wantin to do things for the baby but i suppose im just worried about things changing with him being the centre of attention for 5 yrs just wondering if there is anyone out there tht has been in a similar situation and how did u cope :)
hi everyone, im 16 weeks with my 2nd child due in july, my first is 4 and due to start school in august this year. Does anyone have any tips for me trying to cope with a new baby and school runs etc? xx
Sumbum17- im 20 aswel with 2nd child (17 weeks) and my girl is 16months. Best thing to do is write down on a paper what routine will you use after ur 2nd child pops out:for example-bath times,feeding time, going out, house chores etc. It will help u keep on track :)
hi every one im only 20 and have already got a lil girl that i love to bits and she is nearly two and now expecting my second child i am 11 weeks gone im really excited but at the same time im really worried as my first birth was abit diffcult wot u think guys !!!!!!!!!!!!
Hey misstyldesley I found out i was pregnant wth no.2 when i was 18weeks gone. Was pure shock. (Im now almost 25weeks, due 6/4/12) I have a 15months old little boy. I dont think its too soon at all. The age gap will be nice when they grow up Okay my son wont understand theres a baby in my belly, and he will most deffo get jelouse when it arrives. All i think about is how nice itll be when there older and have someone to play with. And to protect them at school xx
Hi ya im sorry am i readin this correct, you have just found out your pregnant at 22 weeks? if that is right, then wow! how come you didnt know before this? im sorry if this is a personal question but i knew before i took a test the day i missed my period. In regards to your question. no i dont think it is too soon. i am just over 3 months gone and i have a baby that has just turned 1. i planned for my children to be close in age as i want them to play together. i think it would be very hard to have children with two different age groups. being pulled pillar to post all the time. dont get me wrong it is going to be hard looking after two babies. but they are not babies for forever. i have got a very good routine with my baby and im planning to keep pretty much on the same routine but include the new baby when she/he arrives.( well thats the plan anyways.!!) good luck!!