The 5 Hardest Things to Handle Going from One Child to Two (or more)

I feel like most people say they had the hardest time going from no kids to one child.  Of course, I get it.  It's totally life changing.  All of the sudden, you have little to no freedom, you are fully responsible for keeping this new being alive and life can be tough! However, I feel like going from one child to two children was probably harder {at least for us!}.  It's truly all a mindset, but they both have their challenges.

These are the top five toughest challenges from my experience on adding a second child:

1. Sickness-
This may depend on the time of year that you deliver your second baby, but I found this to be really tough the second time around.  Brody started his MDO (Mom's Day Out) program a week before Madelyn was born.  That meant that he was bringing home new germs each week.  Madelyn was pretty much born with a stuffy nose and lasted for the first 3+ months of her life.  Once winter hit around December she ended up sick numerous times.  One sick baby is hard to take care of...then two is exhausting!!   We had a rough winter with these babies giving colds back and forth to one another.

2. Leaving the kids-
We've been so fortunate to have amazing family close by to take care of our kids when we are out of town or in need of a date night.  This Spring we had lots of weddings and travel and realized how much harder it was to leave town when we had two babies instead of one.  In the beginning, it just feels like you need two adults to handle these two kids.  Bed time can be tough.  Day time is exhausting and breaks are needed.  So even leaving for one weekend, we were trying to have both grandma's around to help with the kids.  Now that Madelyn is almost 10 months and Brody three, it's getting a bit easier.

3. Nap times and bedtimes- 
Mornings, lunch time, and bedtimes seemed to be the most chaotic with two.  We try to make the mornings full of snuggles and time to pile in Mommy and Daddy's bed for a bit, but as soon as snuggle time is over; things can get hectic.  Daddy's out the door, kids need to be dressed, fed and some days taken to school.  In the afternoons, I always try to have both kids napping at the same time; so I get a little down time in the afternoon.  It took some patience and trial and error, but we've got it down pretty well now.  But again, it can be a little chaotic.  Bedtime is divide in conquer in our household.  We bathe the kids at night.  I usually put Madelyn to sleep and Matt takes on Brody.  The first 6 months of a baby, their bedtime changes a few times through the months.  So the nightly routine changed too, but now we've got it down and life is easier!

4. No longer having downtime-
It's not that you NEVER get downtime, but it's just a lot more limited.  When the baby takes their morning nap, you still have a toddler to entertain.  Afternoon naps aren't always perfectly aligned.  Some days the toddler refuses to nap.  Or some days the baby's afternoon nap only last 30-40 minutes or it may not overlap perfectly with the toddlers nap.  Lots can happen, but I just try to remember that this too will pass.  We will blink and they will all be in school full time!

5. You have to break some Rules- 
I was pretty diligent with our schedule and routine when Brody was a baby.   He was a fairly tough cookie and we both did better following a stricter routine.  With the second child, it's a little more difficult to stay on a perfect schedule.  Some times you just have to throw the rules to the wind and do your best.  You now have the needs of a toddler that must be met too and day time naps will not always be in the crib.  Some days naps will have to be in the car, stroller or on the boat and you just have to roll with it.  Being a rebel isn't so bad sometimes ;-)

I started writing this post just a few months into having two kids and I'm glad I've waiting until now to finish it.  I'm out of the newborn fog and had time to reflect on my thoughts of life with two.  It does certainly get easier and every ones experience is different.  For reference, my kids are 2 years and 3 months apart.  Brody just turned three on June 27th and Madelyn will be 10 months this week! 

What am I missing??  What was toughest for you when you went from one to two children??


  1. "Call your friends to vent" haha I bet that's major key for keeping sanity! What a great read! I took care of two toddlers (as a nanny) but it was much easier as far as naps, schedules etc because they were for the most time on the same page. Except for those random days that they were sick or having an off day! Happy Tuesday!

  2. yes, yes, yes to all of these! It's like you read my mind. The sickness thing was horrible. 2 weeks after Graham was born all of us but him came down with strep throat! It was miserable. I finally have both my boys napping at the same time in the afternoon but that means waking Graham up at 10 from his morning nap no matter what! It's worth it to me to have that afternoon nap time! Thanks for sharing this, It's been something on my mind lately.

  3. Yes and amen to all of this! A lot of people told me it would be easier to go from 1-2 than 0-1, but I totally disagree. You're right: mornings, nap times and bath/bedtime are controlled chaos in our house. When Brandon travels, it's not quite so controlled, ha!

  4. I'm definitely fearful of the transition -- Lilly will be 22 months when new baby is born. Already grateful for double nap times coinciding with my first trimester exhaustion, wondering how next year will go!

  5. Oh, goodness!! We just can't quite make the decision to go for Baby #2... and I think after reading this I might be even more afraid! But grateful for the information, thank you :)

  6. Thank you!! We are thinking about having another one so its so nice to be able to read this!!

  7. Going from 1 to 2 is WAY harder than going from 0-1. All of those things you mentioned plus everything else is harder! I think shopping is one of the hardest things. My oldest is 4 and my baby is 20 months now. I just seem to find it so overwhelming to go out in public with them when it's just me. If my husband can tag along then it's not so bad but doing things alone with 2 kids is HARD!

  8. Loved reading this! We've started talking about #2 and I'm honestly terrified because I've heard the above from so many Mamas of #2. Maybe one day, but I'm not ready to jump in just yet :).

    Erin, Attention to Darling

  9. Agree with this post 1000%! It was definitely life changing having Caleb, for sure. But I still had a lot of down time with just him that I was able to get things done. Nowadays, not so much. My downtime is almost nonexistent it seems - and will definitely be nonexistent when baby #3 arrives (eeek!) Being out and about with two children is very difficult, and something that I avoid as much as possible lately!

  10. I thought going from 1 to 2 was much harder as well. Mostly because the oldest had a hard time adjusting, and because 2 and 3 are already hard ages, so throw a newborn/toddler into the mix and it's crazy town! Great post. It's always good to know other moms are going through the same thing ;)