To have a second child after the first is an easy decision for some people but may not be so for others. One of the parents may not be in favour of a second child. It may be economically unviable for some. If the first child is a special needs child, then the parents may feel that they would not be able to provide adequate attention to the second child.
Some of the things that should be considered while thinking whether to have a second child are:
- What are the physical and emotional impacts of having another child?
- If working, will it be possible to continue to work after the second child?
- What will it be like three/five years down the line?
- What are the financial effects of having the second child?
- What will be the impact of another child on the first?
Before making the decision to have the second child, some tips to follow are:
Have a talk
Having a frank discussion with your partner will ensure that both are aware of each other’s concerns and expectations. Having such a discussion will help to allay any fear either one may have and plan in advance for any foreseeable problem.
In Indian families, many times the extended family, particularly the in-laws from the father’s side tend to pressurise the parents to have a second child, particularly if the father himself has one or more siblings. However, parents should remember that the decision to have or not have a second child should be their decision, as the long term welfare and expenses of the children will be the parents’ responsibility. Giving in to family pressure is not advisable.
Decide when to have the baby
Proper spacing between children is important for both the children concerned and parents. The time gap between two children will be different for each couple and depend on various factors such as age, economic condition and health.
Why the second baby?
It is important to consider the reason you want a second child and weigh all the pros and cons carefully before coming to a decision. Having a second child usually means having two small children together in the house and requires a higher degree of commitment in terms of time, energy and finances. Both partners should be sure that they are willing to go ahead with the second pregnancy and will able to commit themselves fully to the responsibilities of two children before going ahead.
However, the joy of having two children growing up together and the special bond between siblings is a powerful fact to consider too.
Are you ready for the commitment?
There are many things that are possible to do with a single child but may not be possible with two. For example, outing opportunities with two babies are limited. The time you are able to devote to the children gets divided between two children after the second child is born. The elder child may feel neglected when he sees the baby getting more attention in the initial days after the birth. So before deciding to have a second child it is very important to prepare for foreseeable issues and mentally prepare oneself to cope with any situation that may crop up unexpectedly.