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When You Go From a Family of 3 to a Family of 4

HealthDay News
by By Len CanterHealthDay Reporter
Updated: Nov 23rd 2018

new article illustration

FRIDAY, Nov. 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Wondering if having a second child will affect your marriage even more than baby number one did?

There's no doubt that having a baby and changing from a couple into a family requires a lot of adjustment. But research shows that the adjustment period that follows a second child typically isn't as long.

For most couples, the first month is the most challenging, but within four months, the quality of the marriage should be back to where it was before the second child arrived.

As with so many aspects of marriage, good communication is key. More important than the division of childcare responsibilities is clearly talking about who's doing what, as well as working together to find solutions to problems that crop up. It also helps to have a network of support from family and friends.

Yet even couples who face a difficult transition and experience more disruption in their lives when they have a second child still return to their "pre-baby normal" by the fourth post-partum month, studies show.

Having navigated parenthood for the first time can give you the confidence you need to add to your family. And some advance planning for how you'll manage after your second baby comes will ease the way to growing into a family of four.

Keep in mind that finding ways to handle the logistics of a new baby and helping your first child adjust to the new member of the family will also help ease the stress that both you and your spouse may feel during this time.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more advice for parenting a second child.