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Old 12.09.2011, 11:52
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Having a second child

I would like to read your experiencies about having a second child.

How did things change? How is life like for expats raising a familiy with more than one child and scarce support from the extended family? What are the biggest challenges? Do the logistics/financing become really complex as some people claim? Does it relly take much more effort to educate two instead of an only one?

Thanks!
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Old 12.09.2011, 12:03
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Re: Having a second child

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I would like to read your experiencies about having a second child.

How did things change? How is life like for expats raising a familiy with more than one child and scarce support from the extended family? What are the biggest challenges? Do the logistics/financing become really complex as some people claim? Does it relly take much more effort to educate two instead of an only one?

Thanks!
We're expats and we have 4 kids...Yes logistics and financially things change, luckily in our case International School is paid for. I found the biggest change to be from 1 -> 2 children , after that it went more smooth.
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Old 12.09.2011, 12:13
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Re: Having a second child

I went through the same questions too. I did a bit of research to find the thread about it.

Here are some you may find good answers (It did help me )

Do you love your kids the same way?

What's wrong with being a single child?

1 or 2 children.....what to do?

Why do people have second children?

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Old 12.09.2011, 12:55
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Re: Having a second child

hey, I have 3 children and for the hardest was the 0-1 transition having the others after was ok routine etx just fell into place. My eldest is in the local school which is free and all the children in our village go there so means when he comes home they all play together and my middle son will be 2 next month i have just found a place for a nursery 3 afternoons a week.. this is 390chf unlike uk they dont offer any free hours for younger children. We have found we need a larger car but still trying to choose one.. we currently all fit in an astra with all 3 children in appropriate child seat so with only 2 children you will be fine with a normal sized car. Good luck xx
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Old 12.09.2011, 13:04
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Re: Having a second child

When I asked those questions I was in that phase of if I wanted to go for a second one or not. I wasn't a happy preggo and I didn't look forward to be pregnant again. I also had a very hard and difficult delivery and a difficult baby.

So for the first 2 years I didn't want to have a second child at all. When someone asked, I was like: Me? Never again!

But I came to think about it because my daughter was so great with other babies and she was acting like a great big sister.

In July, last year, we decided to go for a second one, I didn't have time to change my mind that I was already pregnant.

My boy isalmost 5 months now, and it is the best decision I ever made! My daughter is crazy of her little brother, she is absolutely wonderful with him and as much as she was difficult when she was a baby, he is super easy.

In our case, having a second child didn't make things more difficult. But I am very lucky, my daughter isn't jealous and her brother is a very very easy baby!

Best decision ever!

Ps: No women will be good enough for my boy!
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Old 12.09.2011, 13:42
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Re: Having a second child

I agree that the biggest change happens when you get your first child.

However, some things are a bit tricky when you expect another sibling (it also depends on the age gap between them):
- you can't rest as much as you want when you're pregnant. You can't listen only to yourself and your needs. Your first child will need you, whether you have morning sickness or not!
- same when new baby is born. You can't really sleep when he sleeps and give him your full attention when he's awake. He has to share with his sibling from the start!

Having been a lonely only child, I always thought I wouldn't impose that on my child. My son is crazy of his little sister, and that's really sweet!
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Old 12.09.2011, 15:09
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Re: Having a second child

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When I asked those questions I was in that phase of if I wanted to go for a second one or not. I wasn't a happy preggo and I didn't look forward to be pregnant again. I also had a very hard and difficult delivery and a difficult baby.

So for the first 2 years I didn't want to have a second child at all. When someone asked, I was like: Me? Never again!

But I came to think about it because my daughter was so great with other babies and she was acting like a great big sister.

In July, last year, we decided to go for a second one, I didn't have time to change my mind that I was already pregnant.

My boy isalmost 5 months now, and it is the best decision I ever made! My daughter is crazy of her little brother, she is absolutely wonderful with him and as much as she was difficult when she was a baby, he is super easy.

In our case, having a second child didn't make things more difficult. But I am very lucky, my daughter isn't jealous and her brother is a very very easy baby!

Best decision ever!

Ps: No women will be good enough for my boy!
Thank you so much for this post. I felt exactly the same way and it took some time for me to be prepared to go through it all again! So many of my friends have two children younger than my daughter.

It seems the norm is 2 years apart here. But I am glad Iwaited til I was ready, even if they will be nearly 4 years apart. Now we are reallylooking forward to another daughter arriving this December!
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Old 12.09.2011, 15:24
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Re: Having a second child

We have 3 and everyone always said that having 3 is no problem, the bigger jump is going from 1 to 2. Weeeelllll, while I adore (usually, at least) each of my children, having 3 does prove to be a logistic issue, when they are little, at least. You are simply outnumbered! If all 3 of them need attention at the same time (which conveniently seems to be all the time!) one of them just has to wait (that is assuming your hubby is there to help as well).

I personally never considered just having 1 child, as I feel that siblings are great and I think as a parent you have a lot more work (in some ways) entertaining that child - when there is more than 1 they have each other to play with, if that makes sense.

Obviously, it is every couple's personal decision - there is no way I could have 4 children, and really admire those who can handle it! But, my littlest is now 2 and things do get easier.
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Old 12.09.2011, 15:40
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Re: Having a second child

I've been thinking about the change to 2 children a lot lately, as our second is due in January. They will be a bit over 2.5 years apart.

I haven't gone through having 2 children yet, but being pregnant with a toddler is certainly challenging. This was especially true during the sleepy 1st trimester. I couldn't just nap the whole day. It's a bit easier now, though I have to be careful not to carry him for too long.

Another issue we still haven't solved is what to do with our son when the time comes to give birth. We have no family nearby. I scheduled all my prenatal checkups on mornings when our son had preschool, which worked out well, but it's not like I can instruct my body when to go into labor. Last time it was the middle of the night.

We're planning on reusing clothes, toys, expensive things like the carseat, etc. as much as is possible with babies born in different seasons and of the opposite sex.
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Old 12.09.2011, 15:55
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Re: Having a second child

I found the transition of going from 1->2 very tough. Both our children were very good babies but I found 2 so tough. My eldest was jealous. I remember one morning my sister-in-law smsing and asking if all was ok and I wrote back saying: all was under control - the eldest is having a tantrum and the 3 week old is watching sky news.

I honestly felt I couldnt get on top of things. We would get up in the morning breast feed, give toddler breakfast, clear up, get dressed, wash hands and teeth, make a house out of lego, do a drawing, read a book, watch cbeebies, stack the dishwasher and clean the kitchen (in so far as you can holding a baby and keeping a toddler entertained with the task), make a cake, make a fish/rocket/bunny or something from a migros basteln set and Id look at the clock at it would still only be 8:27am. It was terrible - LOL.

But it got better.

My theory is that some people have a tough time going from 0->1 and some dont. The former may have more sleepless nights, more hospital trips, more tantrums. The latter quite quickly fall back into a certain level of life balance and are baffled by what the former are going through. Then the second comes. The former are more road weary parents they are used to the chaos, the latter are totally not ready for it! We definitely fell into the latter category.

That said .... we are talking about a third now - so it cant be that bad.
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Old 12.09.2011, 15:57
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Re: Having a second child

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I've been thinking about the change to 2 children a lot lately, as our second is due in January. They will be a bit over 2.5 years apart.

I haven't gone through having 2 children yet, but being pregnant with a toddler is certainly challenging. This was especially true during the sleepy 1st trimester. I couldn't just nap the whole day. It's a bit easier now, though I have to be careful not to carry him for too long.

Another issue we still haven't solved is what to do with our son when the time comes to give birth. We have no family nearby. I scheduled all my prenatal checkups on mornings when our son had preschool, which worked out well, but it's not like I can instruct my body when to go into labor. Last time it was the middle of the night.

We're planning on reusing clothes, toys, expensive things like the carseat, etc. as much as is possible with babies born in different seasons and of the opposite sex.
Where are you located? Maybe one of us EFers could help out? We were in the same scenario. Worse case scenario we decided to bring LO with us. The hospital said this would be ok. As it happened it started while she was in Krippe so my other half got me to the hospital and was able to go back and get her.

Do you have neighbours you could ask? Or another mum in a play group? Or as I said one of us.
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Old 12.09.2011, 16:01
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Re: Having a second child

We left 3.5 years between our first and second (not quite intentionally!) and were glad of it because our son could understand the concept of Mummy being tired and needing him to play by himself in his room for half an hour. He adores his little sister (now 2.5 years old) and she thinks he's the best thing ever. Of course they still argue too! It's also a good age-gap if you're worried about finances, because with any luck number one is out of nappies/university before number two arrives/turns eighteen.

@Yosemite: For the birth, we arranged with local friends to look after our son for the whole day - so he went to them as soon as reasonable after contractions started and they knew they would have him for at least 24 hours from then, thus taking the pressure off us to pick him up or anything. They knew the same offer would be available to them of they ever had another child too. I don't know what we would have done otherwise - maybe arranged for a sibling to be here for a couple of weeks covering the due date? We did arrange for my in-laws to come here one week after my due date, as our son was a week late, so they arrived the day after our daughter did and were able to help out while I was in hospital.

During pregnancy we put our son in daycare three half-days a week, which is worth doing anyway to give them a start on the local language (he's now in 2nd kindergarten in the local school). That was great because I would just catch up on sleep while he was out. And he made one good friend there who is at school with him now and whose mother has become a great friend for me. Sending kids out to nursery/day-care/school is a great way to meet other stay-at-home mums who may be able to help as the birth approaches (and who you can help in return, of course).

Something else that worked out well for us was someone here whose daughter is the same age as our son, and whose son was born around the same time as our daughter. We were able to swap all the baby clothes, so I've hardly had to buy anything feminine for her at all. So I don't think it has to be a major financial hassle. Our kids shared a room for a few months, currently they don't except when we have guests, but they will again if we have another child.

I agree with drmom about siblings entertaining each other. Also, our second is very happy to play by herself (I don't know if this is just her personality or a second-child thing) whereas the first needed loads of attention. I would definitely say having two has been better, for us.

Best of luck!
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Old 12.09.2011, 16:03
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Re: Having a second child

I'm trying to get prepped as much as possible - although I know there will be bumps along the way

One of the things that I feared dearly is the change from the 'cuddling' of the 2nd baby and how the oldest would feel seeing everyone 'oggling' over the little one. I am hoping with the migration into pre-school 2 days a week now (I'm currently in my 7th month) so that way she has something that she can hang onto and not see so much of the faces that people make with the new baby in the way.

I started now as well as I've seen some families have problems with putting their first one into pre-school/daycare right before the baby is born, as the oldest feels like they are being punished rather than a reward system of going away to a 'school' type feel - but each child is different.

As for the oldest understanding that there is a baby in my belly and it's her new baby brother, she understands as much as any 2.5 year old will. The rest, I feel, like every other piece of life's crazy puzzle pieces, will fit into place. Finding your own way of making it your own will be the challenging, and hopefully best, part of having the 2nd one (or third, or forth...)
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Old 12.09.2011, 16:07
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Re: Having a second child

There are definitely 'economies of scale' and a 'higher learning curve' when going from 1 to 2, in my experience. Second one is generlly easier having experienced parents and an older sibling to entertain. Genererally try to keep the 2 to the same rhythem and routine, and I don't think you will notice a big difference between 1 and 2. Biggest adjustment is 0 to 1 in my opinion.
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Old 12.09.2011, 23:33
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Re: Having a second child

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I would like to read your experiencies about having a second child.

How did things change? How is life like for expats raising a familiy with more than one child and scarce support from the extended family? What are the biggest challenges? Do the logistics/financing become really complex as some people claim? Does it relly take much more effort to educate two instead of an only one?

Thanks!
I think you have raised a really important question here about extended family. Having a baby here, particularly a second, without someone like a mom or mother-in-law on hand to babysit means taking your toddler to your doctor visits unless you arrange a babysitter, and of course, you need to have someone who can stay at your home when you have the baby. If you have a family member from your home country who can stay here, that helps, otherwise you need to hire someone.

It costs money to raise a child, as for education costs, those costs really depend on the type of education you opt for.

I know many people who were only children who never wanted to have just one child. I always found that interesting. I suppose they feel they missed having a sibling.
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Old 13.09.2011, 11:05
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Re: Having a second child

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Having a baby here, particularly a second, without someone like a mom or mother-in-law on hand to babysit means taking your toddler to your doctor visits unless you arrange a babysitter,...
I don't know what it's like in other cantons but having two kids at the doctors isn't really such a big deal, here at least. There are usually toys in the surgery itself to entertain the older one, and it also helps them have the feeling that a doctor's surgery isn't such a terrible place to be and doesn't always involve having injections or being ill. I try to schedule normal check-ups so both kids can get looked at in one go. Last month due to a scheduling flaw I ended up taking both toddler and kindergartner to my pap smear test and that was fine too... but I realise not everyone would want to do that!
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Old 13.09.2011, 15:17
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Re: Having a second child

Regarding the birth, I suppose we will try taking our toddler with us. We just need to find a child-friendly hospital. My labor was only ~2 hours last time, so if it's as fast (or faster ), we'd hardly have time to bring him anywhere anyway. My son was almost born on the car ride over to the hospital. I'd also feel guilty waking someone up in the middle of the night to watch him. I'm just not sure yet.

Regarding taking children to the doctor's office (for my appointments, not ped apts), I think it really depends on the doctor. I try to avoid it, but sometimes it's unavoidable. My current obgyn is ok with it (my son just waited outside the examination room and charmed the nurse/receptionist ), but I saw one (evil) obgyn who would not allow it. When I showed up with him, she forced me to reschedule for a time I could come alone and charged me for the few minutes' "consultation" of essentially kicking me out. She was horrible for a million other reasons as well. Just a warning that some doctors are not at all child-friendly.
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Old 13.09.2011, 15:32
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Re: Having a second child

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Regarding the birth, I suppose we will try taking our toddler with us. We just need to find a child-friendly hospital. My labor was only ~2 hours last time, so if it's as fast (or faster ), we'd hardly have time to bring him anywhere anyway. My son was almost born on the car ride over to the hospital. I'd also feel guilty waking someone up in the middle of the night to watch him. I'm just not sure yet.

Regarding taking children to the doctor's office (for my appointments, not ped apts), I think it really depends on the doctor. I try to avoid it, but sometimes it's unavoidable. My current obgyn is ok with it (my son just waited outside the examination room and charmed the nurse/receptionist ), but I saw one (evil) obgyn who would not allow it. When I showed up with him, she forced me to reschedule for a time I could come alone and charged me for the few minutes' "consultation" of essentially kicking me out. She was horrible for a million other reasons as well. Just a warning that some doctors are not at all child-friendly.

I know you feel guilty about waking someone up...but, you really don't want your husband to be worried about kid number 1 if you want any sort of support at the hospital from him. We somehow got lucky and my parents were able to drive in (we were in the states about 2.5 hours away) for the first 2. For my 3rd, one night we did call on our neighbor to come over at 2 in the morning and we went in. Of course, it was a false alarm and my water broke the next night! By that time, we had fetched my parents again so that worked out.

Do you have a neighbor, or even better, a playmate of your 1st who could help you out? I, too, was scared that I would deliver at home if I didn't get to the hospital pronto (hence my false alarm the night before with my 3rd) - luckily that didn't happen. To be honest, I think most people would be honored in a way that they were able to help out...
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