The differences between the firstborn vs second-born children are obvious. All the way from pregnancy to toddlerhood and beyond. I never expected it to be so drastically different. The second born is not babied near as much as the first.
They both are alive and well, so we must be doing something right!
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. This means that if you purchase through the links provided in this article, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclaimer for more details. Thank you for your support!
First pregnancy vs. second pregnancy
First pregnancy rules are never (rarely) broken. You probably will not drink any caffeine, you will definitely not eat any junk or sweets. No “fun” activities for you because you are scared that it might harm your unborn baby. Not to mention absolutely no alcohol.
These are guidelines for a reason because they are just that. Guidelines. But of course, you follow them to a T because you never EVER want anything to happen to that precious tiny human being that you are growing inside of you.
Then comes the second time around.
You are up to two cups of coffee and a diet coke in the afternoon because you can’t keep up with that other kid running circles around you. A cup of coffee will NOT harm your unborn baby.
Junk food? Sweets? Have at ‘er. A cookie or six every day. You’ll most likely be doing some activities that a pregnant lady probably should not be doing. And maybe one glass of red wine on a Sunday evening because you just can’t with the other child running around and a nagging husband.
Yes, nagging husband. It happens.
Labor and delivery 1st vs. 2nd
Your first labor might be well thought out and prepared for with a written birth plan. You know you will go in on your due date, your water will break, you’ll push and boom! Baby time!
The honest and harsh truth to the above statement: Not so much. Good luck with that. It’s best to not have a plan.
After experiencing it once, you know that the 2nd labor and delivery will be “whatever” and “whenever” that baby decides to come out. And you hope that it will come out sooner rather than on time!
Written birth plan? HAH! Not gonna happen this time around, you have already learned that it is quite frankly a waste of time. You could be getting the nursery ready instead.
Oh, another difference with your first and second pregnancy… the first one you will have every single thing ready to go for when that baby comes. The nursery will be ready with every picture and wall art decor hung and baby clothes washed, bottles washed, laundry is done, organized and folded.
The second one, you will be digging out those hand-me-down clothes from the first after you get home from the hospital. You’ll want to grab the essentials when you’re in labor because it is likely that that baby will come out a lot quicker.
Your attitude may be to just get that baby out, get it out ASAP so you can go home and enjoy it!
The first baby will be rushed to urgent care probably every month for the tiniest sniffle or the smallest cough.
Once you figure out how resilient they truly are, along comes the 2nd one and you can be more prepared as to what to expect.
Baby number two will be left to cry a little. You’ll end up giving fevers or colds an extra day or two and they typically get better just fine! As long as you have the right thermometer and nose frida, those colds will not seem near as bad as they were the first time around!
You will be putting a lot less energy into things like making sure bottles are washed and sterilized every single time, and the baby is in extra clean clothes. Your babe can spit up, it can be wiped up and they will be just fine staying in the same outfit!
Things with number two will not be near as organized as they were with the first, and that is okay! Both of our kids are alive and well. One might even sleep better than the other. For your sanity, I do hope all of your babies let you sleep at least a little bit!
Firstborn vs second-born children – the wrath of the toddler years
The firstborn is disciplined well and you try hard to instill good manners, etc. The techniques used on the 1st, may not work for the 2nd! For us, 123 Magic worked like a charm with the firstborn, and with the second… we shall see. Seriously, if you have not tried it and you need a discipline plan for your child, it is exactly what it says…. MAGIC!
The second one, not so much. That kid is going to be sassy and probably talk back since you just sit back and let them learn more on their own.
I distinctly remember more trips to urgent care with the first toddler when he fell and bumped his head and scrambled to find out if whatever he ate was toxic.
The 2nd one you will end up telling them to get up and walk it off. They’ll also most likely eat dirt and chalk… they’re fine. No need to google and freak yourself out.
The not-so-obvious differences
firstborn vs second-born children have differences that are not so obvious too! Worrying is something that will never go away, but it definitely does get easier. Kids should be treated as individuals and taught that differences are okay and a good thing.
As a mom, you’ll worry less with #2
Mama, you will always worry. Always. They are your babies after all. The best advice you can get is to:
- Stay off of Dr. Google
- Trust your mommy gut
- Worry less and play more
You do what you have to, to be able to keep your sanity. If this means going to the doctor for a sick baby no matter what it might be, then do that. Lucky for you… it most likely will not be that way with the 2nd.
With your firstborn, you will worry constantly and lose sleep over every little thing. Hate to break it to you, but that’s the truth. I do promise you, however, after you have been through it once, it makes the 2nd time around a lot easier to worry less and be in the moment more.
They will be DIFFERENT humans – treat them as such
Take what you learn from your first baby, and remember what is worth losing sleepover, and what is not with your second. Your babies will be completely different human beings. Each one unique in their own way, requiring you, mama, to easily adapt to the changes for each child.
What works for number one, will not work with number two.
Take their totally different personalities and hold on tight for the wild ride of motherhood. Raise them with love and compassion.