Charlie O'Brien Blog: Second babies, are they really easier than the first?

by Charlie O'Brien

When I was pregnant with Luna – so many people sold me the dream that motherhood is easier second time around. Second births are anecdotally smoother and so many people lured me into thinking that second babies are calmer and more relaxed because they have to be.

Almost six weeks into new motherhood and I’m yet to see the evidence.

My planned home birth ended up being a heavily monitored hospital delivery due to our daughter arriving early. The labour was faster but certainly not easier and my recovery was once again painful and slow.

It's been a really tough week
It's been a really tough week

And then there have been the numerous trips to the GP and A&E. We’ve had a scary rash (which thankfully turned out to be nothing), the dreaded silent reflux which we also experienced with our son, and then over the weekend not one, but two trips to hospital with bronchiolitis – the second resulting in an overnight stay and a very unhappy baby on oxygen and monitoring for 12 hours.

'I'm also insanely jealous of my two-year-old son who gets to sleep for 12 hours a night'

To say we’re exhausted is an understatement.

Very little sleep has been had and I’m finding myself fantasising about staying in hotels on my own just to get a full night’s kip. I am also insanely jealous of my two-year-old son who gets to sleep for 12 hours a night in his cosy train bed.

The other night when he asked me to lie down with him during the bedtime story, I found my heavy eyes closing before we’d even got to page two of Thomas and Friends.

Having a good day with Luna
Having a good day with Luna

My husband and I already find ourselves at the stage where we’re bartering over snatched episodes of disturbed sleep ("If you could just wind her darling I promise I’ll do the rest of the nappies and night feeds") and we’re both utterly convinced that we’re more tired than the other.

Some things however ARE easier second time around - I am more confident and less paranoid.

I know I won’t break her and I don’t feel the need to have a camera pointing on her every second I’m out of the room. She gets lugged around (very happily) in a sling while I tend to toddler breakfasts, lunches, dinners and bath times.

The two of us in a rare moment of calm
The two of us in a rare moment of calm

And not forgetting the loo trips – I’ve become a dab hand at wiping bottoms while breastfeeding.

The point of this blog is not to moan. Although I am feeling more than a little cranky this week! The point of this blog is to let other new parents know it’s OK to feel a bit overwhelmed, even if you’ve done this before.

I guess the advantage this time is knowing that it definitely gets easier. Well until adolescence that is ….

Charlie X

Follow Charlie’s daily life on her Instagram feed at

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