It is necessary for a couple to consider some things while planning for a second child. Read on to learn about the things to keep in mind while planning a second baby.
Once you become a parent, your life revolves around your little one as you strive to provide her with pure love and care. The newborn becomes the centre of the universe and parents devote all their time and attention to their child. With a second baby, parents go through the same process of parenting once more which also involves double responsibilities. Not only do you have to carefully plan your next pregnancy, you have to be prepared your first child for her new sibling. You would also need to be physically, mentally & financially able to manage two children within a reasonable age gap. What points, therefore, should parents consider when planning their second child?
1. Age and Health Condition
Doctors usually advise mothers to maintain a gap of eighteen months between each pregnancy to allow the uterus to shrink into its original form.It is also prudent to not get pregnant when you are breastfeeding as your body will have to cater to both your babies. If you are above 35 years of age, you should not delay your pregnancy. Moreover, you need to recover fully from your first pregnancy and work on a wholesome diet rich in calcium and iron.
2. Mental Preparation
Ideally, you should wait for a couple of years between each child to let your body recover from the earlier pregnancy. There could be chances of premature and underweight babies if there is a lesser gap between the two pregnancies. Moreover, by the age of three, your child would not need your constant attention, which would be helpful in raising your new baby.
3. Healthy Habits
New mothers are advised to wait out until they have lost her post-delivery weight, but they can always continue their light exercises and a healthy diet. Obesity can lead to a number of fertility problems such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, miscarriages and stillborn babies. You could join an aerobic class to improve your chances of conception. As you did for your first baby, you need to give up smoking and alcohol completely.
4. Prepare Your Older Child for a Sibling
Your first child should be told that she is going to have company to play with. Not everyone in India can afford a full-time nanny, so make sure that she knows how to put her toys away after playing or knows how to eat with a spoon. She should not presently be on bottled food or formula, as then there would be no end of bottle washing and sanitising. Moreover, she should not be dependent on diapers, as two packets of diapers would disappear in no time, when shared between a toddler and a newborn. Read to her a big book about being an older sibling, take her out to do something fun and teach her to share things with her sibling when she grows up.
5. Arrangements for the First Child
You need to make sure that the first child is well-cared for while going through a second pregnancy. Have a friend or family member who would come over in an emergency when you need to go to the hospital. Keep a little backpack for her with nightclothes, a pair of day clothes, snacks, wipes, an extra sippy cup and a favourite toy. Make a schedule of your childâ€™s day for your babysitter and prepare your child for the new baby. Include the phone numbers of both you and your husband, so that they know whom to contact when needed.
6. Preparing for the New Baby
Start by washing things that would be used for the coming baby such as bodysuits, bibs, blankets and the bassinet. If you have a diaper bag, clean it out and buy newborn diapers and a nursing cover. Stock up on household necessities such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste and detergent to limit your trips to your grocery store. Buy baby essentials such as baby soap, shampoo and baby wash as well to be well-prepared for the little one.
Planning a second baby therefore needs a number of things to keep in mind. However, go ahead only if you as a couple want to, and not because of family or society. You are the parents of your present and future child, so it is your decision to choose the best for yourselves.
Which things should a couple consider while planning a second baby? How to prepare a child for a sibling? Is it necessary for a child to have a sibling? Discuss here.
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- The Indiaparenting Team