Dad again

How to cope with being a father to more than one child

This page is for those of you who are about to become a father again – with all the joy and worry that can bring. Perhaps this pregnancy was timed and organised, and you feel ready, or maybe it was not entirely expected and came as a surprise. The excitement and anticipation of becoming a father again may be exactly the same as the first time, or be overshadowed by the fact that you already have one or more children taking up your time and attention.

More of the same, but not really

Some couples feel the second pregnancy is more relaxed because they’ve done it before. It is not such a big upheaval as your first child, and you and your partner already have some routines and experience that you can draw on. Or perhaps during the first pregnancy, the birth or the early days with your first child, you were anxious about breastfeeding, sleep, and everything else, and you’re wondering if it will be the same this time.

Here are 3 tips for fathers of more than one child


1) Prepare for the new situation

It is a good idea to think about how you and your partner will deal with the new situation so that it doesn’t come as a surprise. For example:

  • How do you manage your everyday life?
  • Can the big sister or big brother accept that another child is coming?
  • What about your relationship and sex life?
  • How will you both get enough time with your children?
  • How will you make sure the older sister or brother still gets plenty of attention and love?
  • Do you feel guilty that your eldest child doesn’t get the same attention?


2) Learn from other people’s experience

Families are never identical, but other people’s experiences may still be relevant to you. Talk to friends and family who already have more than one child about how they dealt with it. You can also ask your midwife, doctor and health visitor about the different visits and consultations.


3) Help each other

All the changes can be tough when you and your partner already have at least one child. Sometimes one of you may need a little extra space, so perhaps the other can take over for a while.

During pregnancy, the older sister and/or brother may find it difficult to understand that mum is pregnant, and cannot always play just as she used to. This is a great opportunity for you as a dad to bond extra closely by playing with your child and giving extra attention.

When the new baby arrives, he/she will sometimes need peace and quiet with mum or dad. You might want to split up so that one of you stays at home with the new baby, while the other takes some trips out of the house with the older sister or brother.