Becoming a mum for the second time
Double trouble! Everything you need to know about becoming a parent for the second time from sleep and routine to expectations and involving your firstborn, from the National Childbirth Trust Shop
No doubt you learnt a lot from your first pregnancy; this time around you're more in the know and better prepared. This is your chance to use the knowledge you picked up along the way last time - but don't forget there are going to be whole new obstacles to overcome as well.
Each pregnancy is different, but the second time around you'll at least be more aware of what's to come. It can be difficult to find time to relax during pregnancy when you already have a child, so make sure you get help from friends and family where possible so you can give your body the rest it needs.
With your first child you may have worried when they cried, and even when they didn't; with your second child you're bound to be more confident. It's worth investing in a high-quality baby monitor so you can spend time with your firstborn while keeping an eye on the new baby.
Expectations vs reality
Yes, the house may get messy and washing will pile up, but as long as you and the children are okay, try not to let it bother you.
Don't be hard on yourself. There's always going to be a transition to work through, but eventually you will get into the swing of things. It's just about finding out what suits you. Talking through things with your friends and family will help, too. They are there to support you, so let them.
Involving Your First Child
However old your first child is, it's very important to involve them from the moment you find out you're pregnant.
The more you prepare them for the new arrival, the less of a shock it will be. Remember they are used to having Mum and Dad all to themselves, so it will be a big adjustment for them.
Involving them in nappy changes, story time and playing with the baby will make them feel safe and secure and part of it all, and ensure they don't feel left out. Why not let your first child pick out the baby's bedtime stories, or the outfit you'll bring your newborn home in?
Sleep and travel
If possible, go hands-free. A baby sling is a great way to keep a baby safe and maintain skin-to-skin contact while giving you the flexibility to care for your other child.
A noticeable change to your routine will be sleeping patterns. As you're no doubt aware, children don't abide by set nap times, so it's about accommodating for both children's needs for rest, and making time for your own too.
Second-time parents need just as much support as those experiencing it for the first time. That's why it's important to be flexible with your routine and not worry about the little things like running late or forgetting to do a food shop.
If friends and family offer their help, welcome it. It's the perfect opportunity for you to have some much-needed down time and gives the children chance to bond with their extended family.
If your family is growing, take a look at NCT Shop's wide variety of pregnancy, nursing and baby products.