How to Prepare for a Second Child? Many women have ambivalent feelings about second pregnancy. They either feel unsure if they really want a second child or cannot decide if they are ready to go through pregnancy again, especially if the memory of discomforts from the first pregnancy is still alive. In addition, there is the first child. Is he or she ready for arrival of the baby? How he or she will react? These and similar questions are going through every woman’s mind when thinking about a second child. However, if and when is the best time to conceive again is a decision that has to be made on your own although there are several factors that should be taken into account when preparing for second pregnancy. Some parents believe that it is best to have kids as close together as possible so that they can play together, while the others think that it is better to “space“ the kids in order to make sure that each child receives equal amount of attention. On the other hand, you cannot afford yourself to wait a few years for your toddler to get older if you are 35 years of age or older and would like to give birth to the third and perhaps the fourth child too. Picking the right time for the second child is not an easy task but it is generally always a good time as long as your first child is not younger than 6 months of age and if you are healthy.
No special preparations are necessary for the second child other than eating a healthy diet and take care of your health. However, it may be a good idea to start taking prenatal vitamins about three months earlier in order to reduce the risk of birth defects. Some nutrients such as folic acid are crucial for healthy growth and development of the baby from conception onwards but they are very difficult to obtain from diet in adequate amounts. For that reason most health experts recommend to start taking prenatal vitamins as soon as you decide to get pregnant again in order to provide the baby all the necessary nutrients from the start.
The greatest challenge in second pregnancy is to prepare the child for arrival of the baby. How and when to tell your child that he or she is going to receive a brother or sister depends on his or her age as well as on whom you ask. Some psychologists recommend to wait until the end of the first trimester when the risk of pregnancy loss decreases, especially if having younger children who may have difficulties understanding what is going on until you start showing physical signs of being pregnant. However, the others think that it is better to tell children about pregnancy as soon as possible in order to prevent them from feeling excluded.
It is necessary to prepare the child for changes that will occur after arrival of the baby. Include your child in all important decisions and preparations for the baby such as taking him or her shopping for clothes for the baby and decorating the nursery room, for instance. You are also recommended to start potty training and introduce toddler bed at least a couple of months before your due date to avoid resentment towards the baby.