Going from One to Two Kids: 25 Honest Reflections

When we learned we would be having a second child, I expected our life to shift. I couldn’t wait for our son to have a sibling, and I was excited to raise my children as close comrades. Even so, there were so many changes I never anticipated between parenting one and two kids.

As I reflect on our first ten months with our baby girl, I realize there have been subtle shifts within us as parents, changes to my daily routine as a stay-at-home mom, and countless lessons learned in raising our two children.

Welcoming the New Baby: How It’s Different the Second Time Around

Going from One to Two Kids

In contrast to our careful son who always wanted to be held as a baby, our infant daughter has no inhibitions. She is constantly on the move and tries to keep up with her older brother at every step.

In addition to their opposite personalities, here’s how welcoming our second baby has been different for us as parents than having just our firstborn:

1. We have extra appreciation for those tiny newborn snuggles (if that’s even possible).

Going from One to Two Kids

As we took care of our rambunctious toddler and awaited the arrival of our baby girl, my husband and I constantly talked about how we couldn’t wait to hold a sleeping newborn in our arms. Our baby girl did not disappoint, and we cherished every second of it.

2. We were way more relaxed as parents during the newborn phase.

Our second baby was a much better sleeper early on than our first, and I have to wonder, is it because of us? Studies have shown that babies pick up on parents’ stress, and my husband and I were much more relaxed for the newborn months the second time around. Since I knew what was coming, even pregnancy, labor, delivery, and breastfeeding seemed less scary.

3. We don’t have to buy nearly as much baby gear — but somehow we still have to buy a lot.

Going from One to Two Kids

We thought we’d be set on baby gear the second time around. Certainly we didn’t have to buy the big stuff like a bassinet, pack-and-play, and larger baby toys, but there was still a lot to take care of. Small things like diapers, seasonal clothing, and newer pacifiers and bottles are all necessities for a subsequent child.

4. Hand-me-downs are precious.

When our daughter starts to grow out of her clothes, I’m always excited to run to the basement and grab hand-me-downs from our son. There’s nothing cuter than baby clothes, and reusing them brings back all those great memories of buying them the first time.

5. Life keeps moving, and the second baby comes along for the ride.

Going from One to Two Kids

When we had our son, he stayed with us in the house for what felt like months after he was born. This was partly because we were terrified of a sick newborn at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and partly because we were adjusting to life as new parents raising a tiny human.

Our daughter made her appearance in early summer, when we were already entrenched in activities for our son. Instead of her arrival disrupting some of the things he loved doing most, she joined us frequently at the pool, at the playground, and at story time, once we got the okay from her pediatrician.

6. Baby #2 lives in the baby carrier.

Going from One to Two Kids

Especially during her first six months, our Beco Gemini baby carrier was a lifesaver for having our infant with us on adventures and keeping my hands free. (For other carriers we love, see our roundup of the best baby carriers for travel, and our reviews of the Solly Baby Wrap, the Artipoppe, and the Ergobaby Omni 360.)

7. We aren’t nearly as quiet when the baby is sleeping.

When our oldest was a newborn, we would go to a separate floor just to crack open a beer can. This time around, it’s not uncommon for our son to be singing the alphabet at the top of his lungs while his sister sleeps. Our toddler has an inability to not be loud, and even when he tries to tip-toe, his footfalls sound like dinosaur stomps. Despite the constant noise in our home, our children rarely wake each other up, even though they share a bedroom.

8. We learn and adapt to what’s handed to us.

Going from One to Two Kids

When we see new-parent friends or family with a newborn, we often picture ourselves at that stage of life, remembering how overwhelming it could feel to have a tiny infant in our hands. At the time, we certainly couldn’t imagine what it would be like raising two, until that precious new one came along. That’s how life works, though. We evolve, we adopt a new normal, and our heart grows bigger to love even more.

9. We know it only gets better and better.

We always tell new parents we see, “Just wait, it gets better!” With our second baby, we’re cherishing every stage, but we also know that it only becomes more wonderful with time. Difficult phases pass, sleep comes back around, life doesn’t stop rolling, and the magic just keeps coming.

Changes to Our Parenting Experience: How Taking Care of Two Is Different

Going from One to Two Kids

In addition to my iCloud storage now always being full, adding a second child to the mix has changed my daily mom routine in unexpected ways.

10. There’s even more joy.

Going from One to Two Kids

When friends ask my husband and me how it is with two kids now, we always respond by trying to explain that it’s just happier, more fun, and more entertaining. The house is louder, the group hugs are bigger, and even the bad days are filled with love. 

11. There are fewer breaks.

With two youngsters, the laundry is endless, and the rare nap overlap is a precious treasure not to be taken for granted. Even so, I’ve come to love those daytime hours when one is sleeping and I get dedicated one-on-one time with the other sibling. It’s more difficult to find time to work or read, but my heart is full and happy.

12. The kids entertain each other.

Going from One to Two Kids

One of the best parts of raising our daughter is watching her become more engaged in back-and-forth play with her brother. Although the other sibling’s toy is often more interesting, our two children play with each other nonstop. Our toddler does everything he can to make his sister laugh, and she tries to copy his every movement.

13. We play more at home.

Going from One to Two Kids

Taking care of two tots with offset nap schedules and evolving needs means spending more time at home during the day. We’ve learned to find fun in simple activities like building forts, doing arts and crafts, and playing with our ever-growing supply of toys that are slowly taking over the house.

14. There’s more mess. 

More kids, more playing at home, and fewer break times means our house is in a constant state of disarray. I’ve come to learn that the chaos is well worth the fun, and the joy our kids find in dumping every basket of toys onto the floor is unmatched. Raising a toddler has taught me that mess is temporary, and I know I’ll miss this stage of parenthood when the kids are older.

15. It takes 30 minutes longer for us to get out of the house.

Going from One to Two Kids

I’ve never been the timeliest person, and raising an infant and a toddler has erased any hope an on-time arrival in the near future. It’s amazing how long it can take for a mom to put coats and shoes on two kids, pack snacks and water for the car ride, and make sure diapers and bathroom trips are taken care of.

16. Our schedule has to be more flexible.

Before welcoming our daughter, I often had each day of the week planned out with activities for our son. We’d go to swimming, soccer, music class, the children’s museum, and story times at the library. I loved keeping us busy, and he’d be exhausted just in time for his afternoon nap.

Now we still go to regular activities like swimming lessons (a water safety priority!), music, and soccer, but we bail if we need to. If someone is teething (a seemingly constant process), sick, or finally taking a good nap, we roll with it and postpone our activities for another day.

17. Grocery shopping is more interesting.

Going from One to Two Kids

It might take longer than it used to, but I love going to the grocery store with our two children. I’ve learned not to let our son throw the container of blueberries right into the cart, and to double-check for anything he might have picked up off the shelves before checkout. I actually miss our kids when I go grocery shopping without them, as efficient as my trip might be.

18. It’s harder — but just as important — to prioritize self-care.

With the demands of two youngsters who need constant supervision, it’s harder to find time for self-care and exercise. With twice the littles to love and take care of, it’s that much more crucial that I offer our children the best version of myself. It’s important to find time for the things that keep me collected and energized, like trading morning baby duty with my husband so I can fit in a workout before the day begins.

19. The stroller is heavier.

Going from One to Two Kids

I frequently run with our kids in the stroller to stay active, and I can say from experience that there’s a major difference between pushing our toddler in the single jogging stroller and adding our infant in the double. With the kids, trailer, and cargo altogether, the load adds up to over 100 pounds. Those hills become serious real quick, but I love watching our son and daughter snuggle up for the ride.

20. Meal time and bath time are even more entertaining.

During family meals, our son is always trying to feed our daughter, who inevitably throws more food onto the floor than into her mouth.

21. It takes twice as long to wind down for naps and bedtime.

Going from One to Two Kids

Our kids share a bedroom, and every time we get upstairs to get ready for sleep, they take it as their cue to sprint in circles and throw stuffed animals across the room.

22. Traveling is trickier.

Going from One to Two Kids

There is no denying that traveling with two young ones is more unpredictable than traveling with one. Although road trips aren’t that different for us, there’s something about being surrounded by strangers on an enclosed airplane that makes things feel dicier.

In the end, despite handling twice the little-kid energy and lugging twice the gear, it’s always worth it to bring our children to see relatives and make memories together on family adventures.

23. The days go by faster.

Good or bad, my days fly by now with our two children. I am always busy, always on the move, and always fulfilled and exhausted at the end of the day. It’s true what they say about kids growing up too quickly, so I’m just trying to soak up the moments and tell them how much I love them every chance I get.

24. Time as a family unit is that much more important.

Going from One to Two Kids

Now that we are a family of four, our time together is even more precious and fun. We love staying engaged with friends to fill our weekends, but there’s really nothing better than prioritizing time with family and exploring the world with our little ones.

25. The cuteness overload is out of control.

Going from One to Two Kids

I can’t count the number of times I spend 30 minutes of nap-time scrolling through photos of our children, when I’ve just spent the whole day taking care of them. I know I’m a biased party here, but our son is so sweet to our daughter, and the two of them are beyond adorable together.


For our family, twice the kids has meant twice the joy and laughter. It’s hard to believe it has already been ten months since our family grew by one. I can’t wait to watch our children grow up together as best friends, and to continue on this exciting, one-of-a-kind whirlwind that is parenthood.

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