Wow, the second time around is quite different. I thought I’d write down the ways that the second baby is a totally different experience.
1. I read ZERO books this time around. Yep, literally didn’t crack open a book about pregnancy, breast-feeding, or sleep training. I do plan to read Siblings Without Rivalry soon.
2. I don’t watch the clock nearly as closely. I still believe Eat, Play, Sleep is the way to go and that she should eat about every 3 hours, but in the evenings she likes to eat every 2, but then she sleeps a 4 and then 5 hour stretch in the night, so I’ll take it!
3. I hold her a lot. Partly because she wants to be held a lot, and partly because she could be my last newborn baby and I don’t want to miss any moments.
4. She is not bathed very often. When her hair gets greasy I bathe her. I have no schedule for this, unlike Ellery who was bathed strictly every other day. I wonder how dirty she would get if she didn’t have hair, I don’t know what would ever trigger me to bathe her!
5. I rarely put her in cute clothes. Basically church is the only place I dress her for. She wears footie pajamas pretty much all the time. I realized if I was a baby I would want to wear comfortable footie pajamas. It’s cold here and baby socks are a pain in the butt to keep on so I change her into a clean undershirt and footie before bed every night and she wears that until the next night. Very different than the cute outfits I would dress Ellery up in just about everyday (this has also helped me not really buy anything).
6. She sleeps in a bouncy seat at night. I would have NEVER allowed Ellery to do this every night. I was so worried she was going to die in her sleep that I made sure she slept in the bassinet all night, every night, with the breathing monitor always on. This time I just feel more laid back about it and I need my sleep with two kids and not really being able to take a nap most days. This week we started having her nap in the bassinet or crib at least one nap a day so the transition won’t be the worst thing ever. Maybe it’s because I was pregnant 5 weeks longer this time, but I just keep thinking about how she was all squished up and cozy in my womb and I hate the idea of her sleeping flat on her back, especially when her legs don’t flatten out yet.
7. Nursing is a complete non-event this time around. The first time I didn’t want to leave the house the first 6 weeks because I was so uncomfortable with the whole process. Also I was SO paranoid about pumping too much because I was told not to pump the first 6 weeks so I spent time just being uncomfortable or soaking my clothes because I just produced too much and Ellery couldn’t eat it all. My baby is just now one month old and I believe I’ve pumped around 100 ounces, I refuse to be uncomfortable!
8. I forget to burp her all the time. I somehow never remember and then wonder why she is fussing while nursing. Perhaps I’m just more distracted this time around, but you would think a month in I would start to get the hang of it.
9. I haven’t even opened her baby book yet. Ellery’s was already filled out as much as I could prior to the birth. I will fill it out, no clue when, but someday I’ll set out time to do it.
10. And my favorite way that the second time around is different, it is more fun. Not because she is necessarily a more fun baby, but because I’m allowing myself to have more fun. I don’t really let her cry much and I don’t stress about her sleeping or eating. I also don’t feel guilty about spoiling her a little bit because she is already getting the short end of the stick because she can’t have my undivided attention all day like Ellery did.
So to all you mama’s out there that are preparing for your second child, relax. It’s not as bad as people tend to make it out to be. Or at least it’s not so bad yet, we are only a month in. I’m not sure why people always tell you how hard things are, completely not helpful, (although my birth story was a little less than encouraging) the second time around has a few hard parts, but mostly it’s just great and fun because you already kind of know what you are doing.