17 Moms Describe What It's Like To Bring Their Second Baby Home From The Hospital

Ad failed to load

When I was pregnant with my second baby, I thought I had everything figured out. Turns out, I didn't. From the moment I brought my second baby home from the hospital, I realized that parenting two children was an entirely different ball game. On one hand, I was way more confident as a second-time mom, and especially about things like breastfeeding and baby care. But, in so many other ways, I felt like I was in over my head. If there's anything that's harder than being a new mom, it's being a mom to a newborn and a toddler.

When I asked other moms about their experience bringing home their second babies, I learned that I am not alone in finding the transition from one to two kids difficult. To be honest, for me, it was actually harder than becoming a mom for the very first time. I was trying to find my stride in caring for my brand new baby, but I had another child demanding my attention, throwing tantrums, and regressing big time by peeing on the floor and refusing to sleep.

It wasn't all bad, though. In fact, it was nice to actually feel like I knew what I was doing because I had been there before. Unfortunately, I also learned that babies are different, y'all. I don't know if it had something to do with coming second, but baby number two wouldn't take a pacifier, hated swaddling, and wouldn't sleep unless he was touching me. So, I felt like I couldn't use any of my old standbys.

Ad failed to load

While different parents have different experiences bringing their second babies home, we all have one thing in common: having a second baby will change everything. If you are expecting baby number two, read on for some real-life mom experiences, which just might help you get through the transition relatively unscathed:

Ad failed to load

Jody, 36

"I was so worried about how my firstborn, then 3 years old, would react to his baby brother. It turns out I didn't need to. We walked in the house and said hello to him, and then we introduced him to his new little sibling. Andy toddled over, gave Matthew a kiss on his little peach-fuzzy head, got a little baby hair in his face, and announced, 'he tickles me.'"

Rachel, 34


"Mine are two years and 12 days apart. It was great. My husband took the week off, I had a very easy birth — much better than my first (it was a repeat C-section). I stayed my full allowed hospital stay just eating room service and snuggling my new baby. Baby was super chill and content to snooze in his own space, so I still spent a lot of time with older one. It went so smoothly, I was actually bored by the time I went back to work."


"My son wouldn’t speak to me or look at the baby. I must admit I was a lot more across it this second time. I didn’t leave her in the car seat thinking, ‘WTF do I do now?'"

[Note: Jessica is from Australia. There "across it" means you've got it covered, and she totally did.]

Ad failed to load



"Easier. I was so much more confident. I had concerns about my eldest, of course, but no fears of parenting my second."


"My first child was 19-months-old when my second was born. I had left him for the very first time with my mother-in-law for a few nights, while I went to the neighboring city to give birth two hours away. I missed him the whole time, and was heartbroken when I realized I could have brought him with me, like the mama down the hall had.

I finally got released, and took the new baby with me to pick my eldest up. I got out of the car, and could hear his little feet running through the house, excited to see his mommy. I was so excited I was almost in tears. I carried the new baby inside and set his car seat down just inside of the door to get a hug from my first-born. He looked at the new baby, looked at me, then turned and walked away from me. He was so mad at me that he wouldn't let me hug, kiss, or even speak to him. He refused to even come home with me. I have never been so hurt in my life."



"Fantastic. I was in nowhere near as much pain as I’d been in with the first. I had a slightly better idea of what I was doing, and my mother had taken the oldest for a week’s holiday, so we were just together in our own home (instead of four hours away like I had been with the first). Getting to know each other, while the oldest had the time of his life with Nonna."

Ad failed to load


"Your now eldest suddenly looks gigantic. It's hard not to expect too much of them or expect them to grow up overnight. But watching their relationship develop is actually one of the best things ever."

Andrea, 33


"My 4-year-old daughter is obsessed with 'her baby.' She is constantly running to grab me a diaper, gas drops, or pacifier, but she gets upset about all the time I have to spend feeding him. She even made up a song about it. I'm so much more aware of how quickly this stage goes since this isn't our first rodeo, so I'm trying to soak it up, including the sleep deprivation, leaky bodily fluids, excessive diapering, and all the rest of it."

Kristina, 33

"The first three to four days my 22-month-old sobbed uncontrollably every day when he came downstairs and saw his baby sister. He was OK seeing her in the hospital, but apparently not with her coming home."

Ad failed to load



"I wondered, 'What did I do?' Haha no, just kidding. It was much much easier than the first time actually. I prepared myself for postpartum depression/postpartum anxiety and, thanks to the Fed is Best Foundation, I was much more prepared for feeding, which was a major source of anxiety the first time around. My first child, who is 4, was very helpful and only slightly jealous. Overall, it was a much much better experience. We still struggle with sleep. I haven’t quite figured that out yet, but at 4 months now, we are doing pretty good."

Lisa, 29

"I felt nothing but guilt and dread. My first son was 22-months-old, and had been absolutely doted on — we bed-shared, my husband sat in the back of the car with him on journeys, he still breastfed, we had a perfect routine, and he was thriving. All I could see was everything we would have to lose or change. I could only envision this new baby taking away from our perfect lives.

Then they met and loved each other immediately. My eldest took it all in his stride and adapted so easily. I was still sad and concerned, but he helped me to deal with it because he had dealt with it so well."



"My 2-year-old ignored me for a week, which was honestly so much better than the tantrums I was expecting. I wasn't afraid to use formula when my milk didn't come in, so feeding was way easier. And it was my second C-section, so I knew what to expect recovery-wise and had the sense to keep taking my pain medications.

But although the first couple weeks were easier, after that things were very difficult for us for a few months. The toddler started acting out and the baby started screaming most of the time instead of being the sleepy laid-back newborn she was when we first brought her home. I had quit my job to stay home full time, developed postpartum depression and was alternately weeping and yelling all over the place. Baby number two is 8-months-old now, and I wouldn't change our family for the world, but I can honestly say that overall the first six months were much harder this time around."

Ad failed to load

Desiray, 27

"Thankfully, my oldest was 7. So he was very excited and wanted to help as much as possible. It was also a lot easier with him being in school as the new baby was on a reverse schedule for a week, so we all slept from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m."



"My first baby was very preterm. He came home after 4.5 months in the NICU, and on an apnea monitor with of oxygen around the clock. My second was full-term, and she came home after three days. I was shocked they just let us leave with her. My 3.5-year-old son adjusted OK to his baby sister. He loves her, now. He did ask me a couple of times, 'So, when is her mommy coming to pick her up?' After I explained to him that I was her mommy too, he said, "OK, I guess she can stay, but I’m not sharing my Paw Patrol Toys."

Kaitie, 31

"The baby was so much easier. I felt that I totally knew what I was doing. But my 2-year-old had some feelings. He told me 'go away mommy' whenever I came in the room. It lasted about two days, but broke my heart every time."

Ad failed to load

Cayleh, 27


"Was so much more exhausting bringing [my son] home. My toddler is very high needs, and he kept trying to 'help,' so we were constantly having to run interference so the toddler didn't accidentally hurt the baby. He's a great big brother, and now that baby is bigger, he's not trying to pick him up all the time."

Morgan, 36

"Coming home with baby number two was a blur. This time, instead of being able to sleep when baby sleeps, you're playing princesses, reading books, or for your sanity you've put a movie on and hoping your toddler stays put so you can close your eyes for two minutes. Coming home was different, an ego boost. We didn't feel like we were going to break the baby. I didn't cringe every time the infant cried and try to 'fix' her right way.

Seeing the love my eldest daughter has for her newborn sister has been priceless. With our second baby, we didn't worry about the house projects being done before she arrived. I also knew what to expect recovering from a repeat C-section. Overall, coming home with our second daughter our house was immediately filled with double the love."

Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

The Pressure To Worry About The Gap Between Kids Is So Bad For Moms

"Two under two is absolutely crazy," a friend recently told me upon hearing the news that I was expecting a second child. "Why would you do this to yourself? Seriously, why?" However harsh her words, she was only echoing the same feelings I'd been ba…
By Marie Southard Ospina

To Be Honest, I Couldn't Survive Motherhood Without My Job

The decision to work outside the home once you've become a parent can be a complicated one. Some people don't really have a choice, and go back to work because they're either a single parent or can't sustain their family on one income. Some choose to…
By Priscilla Blossom

I Feel Guilty That My Kid’s Dad Is A Better Parent Than Me, & That’s Bullsh*t

I was scared, and he was sure. I was clueless, and he was well-researched. I was making mistakes, and he was picking up the pieces. From the moment I found out I was pregnant until just last night, when I threw my hands up in the air and left the alw…
By Danielle Campoamor

These Millennial Parents Are Taking Gender-Neutral Parenting To An Entirely New Level

A woman on the subway looks at my bulbous shape and asks, “What are you having?” I take a deep breath and throw a glance to my 5-year-old. “I’m having a baby,” I say to the woman. “No, no” the woman says laughing as she pushes further. “Are you havin…
By Madison Young

I’m Registered At Babies “R” Us, & I'm Freaking The Hell Out

Hi. My name is Abi, and I’m registered at Babies “R” Us — and I’m freaking out. This may sound silly, but after being a die-hard Toys “R” Us kid, I was so excited to register at their baby store once my husband and I finally got our big fat positive …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

My Daughter Is Obsessed With Being "Pretty" & I'm Way Past Terrified

Last week, when I picked up my daughter after school, she immediately wanted to know if I liked her hair. "Is it pretty?" she asked. Her hair was pulled up into two ponytails that were intertwined into thick, long braids. A shimmering pink and purple…
By Dina Leygerman

7 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 20s, But I Will

I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The pregnancy was a surprise, since I was on birth control (side note: antibiotics and birth control don't mix), but my partner and I decided to continue with the pregnancy and committed to m…
By Candace Ganger

Women Who Miscarry Early Deserve To Grieve — Here's How Hospitals Should Be Helping

When I lost my baby back in 2013, it was because of a very early miscarriage. Because of the little amount of time I spent being pregnant, it was though my child had never really existed, which made the next few years hard — I felt like they had been…
By Risa Kerslake

7 Things I Wish My Partner Had Said To Me In The First Hour After Giving Birth

I don't know if it was the buzz of the surrounding machines, the non-existent cry of our son as the doctors tried to resuscitate him, or the fact that I'd already been through labor and delivery once before, but I knew something was missing after I h…
By Candace Ganger

Moms’ Groups Weren’t For Me, Sorry

I go to my moms’ club everyday of the week, but not usually on weekends. My moms' group is a place I can always count on finding fellow mothers who understand the daily struggles and triumphs of parenthood and of juggling life’s responsibilities. Dep…
By Samantha Taylor

Millennial Women Are Getting Married Later Than Gen X, & The Reasons Why Are Pretty Badass

The battle of the generations seems to come up when it comes to every lifestyle or career choice people make. Women, especially, are an important demographic when it comes to analysts looking at the lifestyle choices we make or the expected milestone…
By Josie Rhodes Cook

I've Had 3 Miscarriages But *Please* Keep Telling Me About Your Pregnancy

I can feel the tension the moment my friend announces her pregnancy. I can hear the forced nonchalant attitude she's willing herself to exude as she fishes for the ultrasound. I know why I was the last to learn that she was expecting; why she keeps l…
By Danielle Campoamor

7 Early Signs You're Going To Need An Epidural, According To Experts

Even if you've constructed an elaborate birth plan, it's impossible to control every aspect of labor and delivery. Complications can occur, proactive measures might be necessary, and your mind is subject to change when those damn contractions really …
By Candace Ganger

I'm Pregnant & I Refuse To Read Any Parenting Books

I didn't read any parenting books when I was expecting my daughter, and I refuse to read any parenting books as I await my second child now. I'm the first to admit that I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to raising my daughter. A good d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

7 Reasons Why March Babies Are Total Badasses

From the moment you become pregnant, you begin to wonder what your little one will be like. Will they look like you, your partner, or your Great Aunt Edna? Will they be the quiet, thoughtful type or arrive on this planet raring to go? It's fun to ima…
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

12 Overnight Face Masks To Use To Wake Up Feeling Pampered AF

Spring is right around the corner, and as far as I'm concerned, the sunshine and warm breezes can't come soon enough. But now that we're about to say goodbye to winter, it's a good time to take stock of your facial skincare routine. You know, in the …
By Katie Malczyk

11 Essential Products To Pack In Your Hospital Bag, According To OB-GYNs

The minute you go into labor (or think you're going into labor), chaos ensues. You and your partner are likely to get a little frantic, just like in the movies, so you most definitely want to have a hospital bag packed before the day comes. This prec…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

7 Photos You *Must* Take In The First 6 Months Of Motherhood

In my experience, becoming a mom is like becoming an amateur photographer. There's just something about the need to capture every single coo and sorta-smile that leaves you obsessed with all things photography. I know I couldn't stop taking selfies w…
By Candace Ganger

Here's How Early An Ultrasound Can Actually Determine Your Baby's Sex

From the moment you see those two lines on a pregnancy test, there are a few markers along the way that stand out as especially exciting. Amongst them are hearing your baby's heartbeat and feeling that first, sweet little kick. And if you are finding…
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

9 Easy Kid Foods To Turn Green, Just In Time For St. Patrick's Day

The best part about having kids is that you get your own personal crew to celebrate the holidays with, in all your color coordinating and matching glory. And with St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, you are obviously working on turning everyth…
By Mishal Ali Zafar