A Few Different Questions About Having a Second Baby

Updated on September 27, 2010
M.'. asks from Keller, TX
23 answers

Ok here's the first one. My husband and I have been talking about baby number 2. Our daughter will be 4 in December so more than likely will be on the closer side of 5 when a sibling is born, this all barring everything goes well with conception. My thought process is less stress on me b'c she will be old enough to be more involved but also to know her dynamic in our family. What is your experience with this kind of spacing. Pretty much what I've found has been mostly positive feed back. My second question is a shower. Obviously I have no idea if we would have the same sex but I think with this pregnancy, more than likely being the last we would like it to be a surprise on the gender. I don't have anything left from my daughter when she was a baby bc my brother and his wife got pregnant soon after my daughter was born so we passed things down, then they passed it onto my sil's sister. So needless to say we'd be starting all over. Is it tacky to have a shower again??? And how would you word it that we wouldn't know the sex so maybe gift cards would be best???

****** I appreciate all the responses. I just wanted to mention that I wouldn't throw my own shower b/c I think that is tacky, and the reason I asked in the first place was just b/c of the spacing was so far apart. I have a friend who has a 18mth old and she is due with number 2 in Oct and its the same sex, and honestly I just thought her having a shower was tacky lol. I'm just getting some opinions b/c I am an information gather and like to plan and think things through thoroughly. These 2 questions just happen to be what I was thinking of that day. I just wanted some unbiased opinions on the situation. :o)************

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So What Happened?

Well thanks to everyone for all your responses :) we are now trying for baby number 2. I was a little apprehensive but am now looking forward to the future of being a mama to 2. Here's hoping all goes well.

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answers from Houston on

I have a 3 year old baby girl. And we are also thinking about baby #2 maybe next year. So he or she will be born when my baby girl is close to 5 years old. I think that's a good amount of years in between. We are mainly doing it because of daycare costs. As far as the baby shower, I have always thought that it's to shower the baby. NO matter what # they are. So I have told my husband that I want a baby shower for each and every one of my babies. I don't have any of her baby stuff either as we also passed it down the line. I do think gift cards would be great since you wont know the sex of the baby.

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answers from Dallas on

In my opinion every baby is special and you deserve a shower/welcome party for each one. My daughter will be having #6 in December and a shower will be planned with all her friends invited. I hope you get pregnant soon and have a healthy baby and a big shower too.

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answers from Anchorage on

With a larger gap and no left over stuff, I think a shower would be just fine. Just put on the invite that the gender will be a surprise, they should be able to figure out from there that they need to buy gender neutral gifts. I would not mention gift cards or it could sound like you are just asking for money.

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answers from Colorado Springs on

I don't think it really matters what the spacing is. Your family will be fine with whatever it is. There is no such thing as perfect spacing.
About the shower, I think it is right and good for every baby to be blessed with a shower. I just wouldn't hold my own. If someone offers to do a shower, then go for it. I wouldn't ask someone to do it, and I wouldn't host it. Those are just my personal thoughts on it. I have a friend who is having her shower for her 11th next weekend. I love it! Each baby is unique and special in its own right. So, we celebrate it. As for gifts, you can either wait until baby is born, or just let people buy what they want to buy. I think it is tacky to be so specific when people are gifting. Now, if they ask you, you can suggest whatever you think is appropriate. Blessings! It's kind of cute that you are already wondering and worrying about presents when you aren't even pregnant yet. ;)

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answers from Honolulu on

My kids are 4 years apart. Just so happens.
It is GREAT!
My eldest, my daughter... adjusted well. BUT it was because, while I was pregnant, I PREPPED her... not just concentrating on 'my' pregnancy.. but including her.
I explained in child terms, that my tummy grows, and each month we took photos together of her with my tummy. She loved that. She loved, her baby brother, in utero.
She sang to my tummy, talked to it.... I told her I will get tired and have to take care of my 'tummy'... and we napped together. She'd even pat my rear as I went up stairs, to 'help' me.... when it got harder for me to get around.
I took her to all my prenatal exams... which my Doctor encouraged.. and he even taught her how to use the Doppler heart monitor on my tummy... and she LOVED that.
I ALSO... explained about what a "baby" is.... that they cry/wake/mommy breastfeeds... just like she did as a baby. But that it is not her 'job' to be 'perfect' or to suddenly grow-up... .but to be HERSELF... and to ALWAYS tell me how she feels... good or bad. And that I will be there for her.

We made up special 'hand shakes' and nods... so that she could feel 'bonded' with me and special.... and like a 'team.'

I told her... to NEVER feel, that I am 'too busy' with baby... because SHE is important too... she just has to tell me. And its OKAY.

I fully prepped her, while pregnant... for what is going on and what to 'expect'.
I told her that she will ALWAYS be "my first baby...." always.

I also told her... that her things are hers... and I will respect that. That I do NOT expect her to 'share' everything. To a child, this is important.
Its okay.

I told her... that just because she is the 'oldest' that she is STILL a child... and she does NOT have to be suddenly all perfect and flawless... that I will NEVER use her as an 'example' for her little brother... nor will I "expect" things from her that she is not yet capable of....

I had a baby-shower for my 2nd pregnancy... which friends did for me.

PREP your eldest child... BEFORE the baby comes home. Let her ask you questions and to express her feelings about it.
It is not only you, that is having a baby. She is too....

My kids, are super close and like 2 peas in a pod.
My daughter "loved" her baby brother, even while I was still pregnant. She did not feel threatened by it... I prepped her during my pregnancy and before baby was born.

all the best,

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

My two oldest are 5 years apart, and the biggest adjustment was my 5 year old adjusting to not being an "only" child. She did fine at first, but then there was a period when she didn't understand that she was not the center of attention at all times. They are 9 and 4 now, and they do pretty good together. The crazy thing is my 9 year old wants to play more with my 2 year old than my 4 year old.

As for the baby shower, I had a second one as well because I did not have anything leftover from my oldest. In the invitation, I would just write something like Baby Gender will be a surprise, gift cards are welcome. I would also register for stuff because some people don't like to give gift cards as gifts.

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answers from Dallas on

It is definitely okay to have another shower. I have 2 boys. My oldest was 4 yr 3 mo when my youngest was born. It has been amazing. He loves his little brother so much. He is always willing to help. We did try to prepare him with sibling classes at the hospital and we bought books on it too. I was worried the age difference would be too far apart but it has been wonderful. I am hoping they stay this close. The only thing that has made it a little hard is getting out and doing things. My oldest loves to go swimming and to the movies and we really weren't able to do that this summer. I am sure next summer will be different though.

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answers from Dallas on

My kids are 6 1/2 years apart...not by chose but I'm very, very glad it happened that way! I got to spend amazing quality time with my son, he went to school, we had another baby and now that she's 2 1/2 and we're home alone most of the day, we get to have our quality time. My son is so good to his sister, he helps with her, he plays with her, protects her. Yes sometimes he gets tired of her being in his stuff, etc. But I don't think they fight as much as some siblings because they are so different in age, they each have their own special things they get to do, etc.
I agree with the others, every baby should be celebrated...maybe have a Welcome Baby party!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Myra, I caught lots of grief about having my kids 4½ years apart, but it has been fine. My kids are now 4 and almost 9. There is bickering and picking, but that's what little brothers do for big sisters...no matter what the age gap is!! My brother and I are 3½ years apart and are VERY close. My husband's brother is 6 years older than him, and they too are VERY close. I also have 2 siblings that are 12 and 15 years younger than me, and even though we aren't AS close as my brother and I, we still have a pretty strong sibling bond.
As far as a shower, I don't see one thing wrong with it. People always talk about 'shower etiquette' but I say poo on it. I didn't do any registering for #2, though, because I still had a crib, stroller, carrier (the big stuff) and I bought my own bedding and stuff, so the gifts I received were mainly clothes. My family threw both of my showers, without being asked. We all look at it more of a time to be together and have fun, and gifts are just an extra 'perk'. We all pass down and share them eventually, anyway!! :o)
Best of luck! :o)



answers from Dallas on

Re: age difference, sounds nice! She will love being mommy's little helper and old enough to understand the role she has as Big Sister!
Shower: a bit tacky unless demanded by friends (not family) and if a new/expanded set of friends (did you move since last baby, add a few new folks to the mix, new church family who wants to celebrate with you, etc).
It stinks that all the stuff is gone or passed on, but there are a lot of resale options out there. A more appropriate approach with second and thirds and fourths is a sip'n'see after baby is born where the emphasis is to meet/welcome the baby and not "get stuff."
The suprising thing is, with my second, I did not have shower, but tons of my friends still sent the baby gifts, gift cards, puzzles, toys after he was born. I was shocked by the outpour of sweet gestures. I bet you will be, too!



answers from Dallas on

It is traditional to throw a shower for new moms only, but you can do whatever you want. Just keep in mind that some of your guests will perceive it as tacky and may not attend. However, instead of a shower, wait until the birth and then send out birth announcements - and you'll probably receive just as many gifts. I also think that requesting specifically gifts cards is also tacky. Would you only ask for cash? Same thing.



answers from Dallas on

I have two boys that are 4 years apart and for the most part it has been a good gap. At times it has been difficult, because they were unable or unwilling to do the same activities, movies, etc. But for the most part they are great friends and enjoy each other. Other than two years in Elementary, they will never be in school together which is good and bad. Good that they can have their own identity, but bad that I have to be involved at two different schools.

My friends insisted on having a shower for my second child, since I also had not saved everything. To my knowledge no one had a problem with that since they were so far apart. It is nice that the older child can be more helpful and understanding with a new baby, especially with a daughter. I have several friends that have big spaces between their children and it has not been a problem for them. I even have one friend that has 3 children that are each 7 years apart and all with the same husband. Her youngest is 7 now and I keep teasing her that it is time for another one!

I wouldn't worry about it, since you really have no choice at this point to change the gap between them, it is simply a matter of rather you want a second child or not.


answers from Los Angeles on

While I don't have more then 1 child, each of my siblings (and me) are 5 years apart. I liked the age gap, for a number of reasons. =)
Oh....and i attended a "gender unknown" baby shower before. The wording was something like.....You're invited to help us welcome our new little one
We don't know if we're having a daughter or son!
I can't recall if there was more to it, but it was a clear message. =)



answers from Dallas on


I totally encourage you to keep the gender a surprise. I LOVED not knowing until the birth! It was hard the day when my husband found out the gender at the sonogram, but a few days later it just wasn't a big deal anymore. And he did a great job keeping it a secret :-) Some people may bug you about it, but they just have to get over it.

Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

I believe the shower is to celebrate the baby, and ALL babies deserve to be celebrated - so by all means have a shower!! I have 3 boys; the first two were 2 1/2 years apart, and friends threw showers for both of them. I didn't have a shower for my third, and I hate that there's a big gaping hole in his baby book on the "baby shower" page. It makes me feel sad for him, even though we didn't really need gifts, ya know? I did end up getting gifts from some people, which was very much appreciated.

I didn't register for anything the second time around because we knew he was a boy and we'd kept everything, so most of the gifts were diapers, wipes, shampoos, medicines, etc. I don't think you could phrase the "please give gift card" thing without sounding a bit tacky, but I'm sure you'll still receive a few gift cards.



answers from Dallas on

I have three children and my first and second are about 4 1/2 years apart. I have nothing but positive things to say about the spacing. They are now 15 1/2 and 11 and they get along well (they have never had a fight!) even though they are very different from each other. I knew I didn't have the stamina to deal with multiple young children (I'm too high strung and I know it!) so we intentionally spaced them apart by several years. And our third child is only 3 1/2 so you can see how much I like having a spread of years between children! As for finding out the sex . . . I'm pretty old school on that one. I have three daughters. I didn't want to know the sex of any of my pregnancies. With my first I caved in at 7 1/2 months (my hubby really wanted to know!) and found out and then regretted it, because I truly enjoy the surprise at the end! So I refused to know with my second or third. With my third daughter we had to start from scratch with all the baby supplies. No one gave us a baby shower and I would never have set one up on my own. Instead we just shopped frugally . . . you just don't need a $1,000 crib for a child who is going to use it for only 2-3 years at most! We bought a crib/changing table combo. And we were able to recycle some stuff from our older girls because they were outgrowing it (dressers, night stands, etc.), so maybe you can do that, even with stuff from other family members. And I shopped in some kid consignment stores as well.

I will tell you that the toughest part about not knowing the baby's sex was buying clothing, etc. in advance, especially for my youngest. All of the newborn stuff is mostly pink or blue now . . . very hard to find neutrals! But I found enough to start with, then supplemented after. I always laugh at new parents who buy car seats, strollers, etc. that are distinctly boy or girl, especially with their first child . . . it makes no sense because there is no guarantee your next child is going to be the same gender and then what do you do, go out and buy new ones? What a waste of money!


answers from Tyler on

My girls are 4 yrs apart and you are right, the older child will be a big help when your baby is an infant. My girls are 15 and 11 now, and I the upside is my youngest feels comfortable at the Middle School she attends now because we spent so much time there when her sister attended, I expect the same when we enter high school with her. I was lucky and still most of my baby things when #2 was born, but the baby industry is constantly improving their merchandise so there were many things that we desired for our second child. My church friends and my social friends both wanted to give me a second shower, and we knew we were having another girl. I do not recommend asking anyone to throw a shower for you or throwing one for yourself, that is inappropriate. But, more than likely you will have friends or family who will want to welcome your second child with gifts. It's a little early to worry about that in my opinion.



answers from Wichita Falls on

You could have a meet the baby party after the birth or even a "birthday party" for the new addition. My first 2 children were 15 months apart and I was given a shower for both. If someone wants to give you a shower it is not tacky regardless of how close or far apart the babies are born. It could be seen as rude if you refuse to let say a friend or sister throw you a party. My kids are 12, 11 and 2. The first 2 are girl, boy. They fight like crazy, but they also stand up for each other. It has been nice having the older siblings with baby #3 because at least I wasn't still changing diapers. It is like having 2 families though, the further apart they are.



answers from Dallas on

I have heard (and seen from my brother's kids) that the farther they are apart the more likely it is that the kids won't get along as well (until teenage/adulthood) because they just have very little, if anything, in common. I would not let that deter you from having another one though, just be aware that it could be a possibility. It will make it harder to come up with family things to do that both kids will enjoy too (at least for a few years and then it might all equal out, but I know the 5 year difference in my niece/nephew hasn't yet and my nephew is 13, but that could be gender differences too I'm sure). Anyways, it iwll be fine though and you will never know how a second will change the dynamics until it happens! As far as the shower, YES - have one! Register for things that are gender neutral and people will get the point or google invitation wording for gender neutral babies (I have seen this before and it's cute too). I highly recommend registering though because otherwise they won't know that you need a swing, etc. all over again and will be more apt to jus tbuy you clothes...so register away! Have fun and good luck!



answers from Dallas on

On the shower, I've never heard of someone throwing themselves a shower. Usually it's a friend or family member who wants to throw it.

We're expecting our 4th baby, and are in a similar situation as you describe. We're not in need of any tiny things like clothes or diapers, since we have tons of clothes and use cloth diapers, but some of our bigger items have worn out after going through three kids, like the infant carseat, the swing, etc.

I went ahead and registered for these things (plus I think a portable, fold-up bassinet thing and an Arms Reach co-sleeper) at Babies R Us but did not register for any little things. My friend offered to throw us a shower since we have not had a shower since our first baby, so I mentioned to her that that would be a lot of fun and very helpful but we only need the big things. She may coordinate it so that everyone pitches in to get us one big thing. I think it's more fun for people that way, to pitch in and get to buy an actual baby thing rather than just giving money or gift cards. I know it is for me.



answers from Dallas on

My kids are 4 1/2 years apart and it is great! Go for it! I think a shower is fine if you have a friend who really wants to do one. But also hit the consignment stores and sales. There are tons of great things there for much less and it is in good condition.



answers from Phoenix on

I have a daughter who will be 4 in Dec and my second is due in Dec. (another girl) My best friend is throwing ma a baby shower and in our circle of friends and family everyone is really excited about it. I passed a lot of stuff onto family and friemnds because we werent sure of a number 2 or not so that is why they decided to throw us a shower. If you dont know the sex you can always register for gender nutrual things or both boy and girl stuff then return or exchange the things that you get which are for the wrong sex. I am excited about our childrens age gap, my daughter is old enough to understand that there is a little sister groeing in my bellyand she cant wait for her to be born. She has gone to ultrasound appointments and loves pointing out bibdy parts of the baby, she also talks to my belly and kisses it goodnight. We shop and pick out naby clothes together as well. I think if they were closer in age she would not understand it all as well as she does. Also she is in preschool and very independant so it gives me some quality time with the new one when she arrives and my daughter is more than happy to help "but not with diapers" she says. Good luck and lots of ((HUGS))



answers from Dallas on

I think the age difference and how that works for your family really depends on the kids personalities more than anything.

Concerning the shower question I think it is a little bit tacky to have a second baby shower. Baby shower are typically reserved for new parents. That said, I think celebrating a new baby is a great thing. The primary difference between the two is how it is all framed. A baby shower is all about giving the new parents gifts for the baby. Celebrating a new baby is focused on the growth of the family and the joy that a baby brings without the expectation of gifts. With our second we are going to do a meet and greet for the new baby. Six to eight weeks after the baby is born we are going to have a little party at our house so everyone can meet baby. If people ask about what we might need I tell them but otherwise don't expect anything.

Best wishes on your expanding family!

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