Deciding on whether or not you want another baby can feel like a huge decision. Some parents struggle with wondering if having a second child is worth it because they have a busy lifestyle, are overwhelmed with just one kid, or had a traumatic birth experience.
No matter what the reason is for being hesitant, it’s important to weigh out the pros and cons of having another baby. This will help you feel at peace with your decision.
How We Decided to Have More Children
Truth be told, my husband and I agreed on two children when we got married. Then when we got pregnant for the first time and our hearts didn’t know how many babies we wanted. As time went on, we loved being parents and thought 3 or 4 kids sounded like a good number.
And then…. we had our second daughter.
She was born with a rare congenital heart defect and truthfully, I didn’t know if I could fathom having more children. When the doctor gave us her diagnosis, he brought up the chance of having more children with CHD and I told Him I didn’t want any more children.
As time passed, I realized that I still want more babies. I’m not done. Even IF, I were to have another child with a heart defect they would be such a blessing and absolutely worth every hard moment.
I didn’t just wake up one day and decide I was ready to have more kids.
I’m sharing all of this because I want you to know that this list of pros and cons on having a second child comes from a momma who’s been in your shoes. I was hesitant and unsure, too.
Is Having a Second Child Worth it?
Having another baby is absolutely worth it! You will only regret the children you never had.
On top of that, there are health benefits to having a second child. According to this study, the mortality risk in mothers was lowest when she had 2-4 children!
With that being said, let’s get talk about all the things you will need to think about before trying for baby #2.
Pros + Cons of Having a Second Child
Before I share all the pros and cons of having a second baby, I want you to keep in mind that just because something is a pro for me… doesn’t mean it needs to be for you. I highly recommend using this list to write out your own pros and cons, so you can decide what will be best for your family.
Pros of Having Another Baby
1. They Will Have Each Other
As parents, we hope our children will be close to one another. But even if they aren’t best friends, at least they will have each other to deal with all the things life throws at them.
2. Built-in Playmate
For the here and now, they will have someone to play with. My daughters started to play together when my second turned one. It’s been so nice to not need to entertain my kids all day long.
3. Will Have Each Other’s Back
Although I’d love to be there when tough moments arise, I know that it’s not possible. I love knowing that our children will have each other’s back no matter what happens.
4. Learning Life Skills
Having a sibling means they will learn how to share, be considerate, listen, and take turns. As they grow up, this will help them to interact in the real world.
Some might argue that they can learn these things in school, but there is a level of vulnerability that is reached at home. This gives them more opportunities to practice these life skills with their family versus a stranger.
5. Learn How to Resolve Conflict
I decided to give this one a point of it’s own because I think this is incredibly important. Yes they are going to fight (this is actually listed as a con as well), but in the end, they will learn resolution which is invaluable.
6. They Will Learn What Healthy Relationship Looks Like
Although I also placed this on the cons list for needing to divide your time between the two, this can actually be really good for them. An only child get’s all the attention and tends to feel a bit more entitled when they get into the real world.
By having two children, this will help them learn how to share your time and be okay with not always being the center of attention.
7. You Already Know How to Take Care of a Baby
Once my second, was able to come home from the hospital, I felt like being a mom was much easier this time around. All the trial and error while being a first-time parent really paid off.
I always wish I could go back and be the parent I am now for my oldest. I’ve learned so much about leaning into my intuition and I now have the skills to soothe a crying baby.
8. Your Older Child Can Help
Even though our girls are only 23 months apart, my oldest has always been a huge help. Even when it comes to things like grabbing a clean diaper or bringing me a blanket. I know as she gets older, she will only continue to be more helpful!
9. You will Only Regret the Children You Never Had
An older church friend shared this advice with me. Imagine yourself at 90 years old and look back on your life…. are you grateful to have two children? or do you feel regret?
When I put myself in that scenario, I only felt regret. This was one way I knew I wasn’t ready to be done.
10. You will Get to Enjoy ALL the Baby Things Again
There is nothing like those newborn snuggles, the first giggles, or listening to your child say “mama” and “dada.” Just think about all those moments you got to have with your first, you can enjoy them all again!
11. It’s Good for Your Health
I know I mentioned this earlier but having multiple children actually lowers your mortality rate as a mom. In this study, they found that mothers that had between 2-4 children had the lowest risk.
12. You Won’t Need to Buy Everything New
If you end up having a second child, you won’t need to register for everything again. Although you will need to buy diapers and maybe some new clothes if you have a different gender, there isn’t too many things you will need to worry about purchasing.
13. You Won’t Need to find a New Pediatrician
Cons of Having a Second Child
1. Age Gap That’s too Big
My little sister and I are 13 years different. Although I absolutely adored her and couldn’t imagine my life without her, it does change the dynamic of our relationship.
If the age gap between the kids would be too large, some of the pros above may not be a factor until much later in life.
2. Expenses Will Increase
This seems pretty obvious, but another child means more expenses. If you are struggling financially this might be something to think about.
3. They Have Someone to Argue With
I had to include this one because even though my youngest is still a baby, they get upset over toys already. I can only imagine what it will be like in a few years.
Although this is listed as a con, I think it will be helpful for them to learn how to handle conflict.
4. They May Struggle with Competition
If you are a sibling, you know there is always a little competition… especially when it comes to your parents. Things like sports, gifts, and your parents’ attention are all things to keep in mind when parenting two children.
5. Can Not Give Them Both ALL of Your Attention
As you read in the pros section, I actually find this to be beneficial to helping them learn about healthy relationship. Although if you already have a busy lifestyle, adding a second child could take away from the amount of time you can spend with your firstborn.
6. Potential Genetic Conditions or Anomalies
I need to add this because my second was born with CHD. Of course the chances of this happening is 1%, I know that these things do happen. I think it’s something to keep in mind as you think about having a second child.
7. Your Age
If you are towards the end of your childbearing years, you may want to consider your age. Although this doesn’t bother me (my mom was 40 when she had my sister), I think it’s something to keep in mind.
8. You Will Need More Room
You don’t necessarily need to go buy a new house to accommodate another child, but it’s something to consider for down the road. I will say that we got pregnant with our second while Full-Time RVing… but when she was diagnosed with CHD we knew we needed a house.
You just want to keep this in mind for down the road.
9. Very Little Alone Time
We don’t get much time to ourselves. Sometimes we crave an evening to ourselves. Although we don’t mind having grandma watch the girls for a few hours, every now and again!
Overall, I don’t think you will regret having another child. I’ve never met someone who said they have. It may feel impossible to love another child, but I promise you find that space in your heart.
I hope this list of pros and cons will help you decide if having a second child is worth it.
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