In May, on my 29th birthday actually, I gave birth to my third child. He was ten days over due so his arrival on my birthday was a sweet surprise. Over the last seven months, it has become increasingly clear that I parent my newest arrival differently then my first, and sometimes my second. Now, what I mean by this is that with the first baby it’s so new and over-whelming, in that you have no idea what the heck is going on, that everything is unfamiliar and can be a real challenge. With the second, things come more naturally and even if the situation is completely different, you’ve had a child before and can generally figure things out. With the third, you’re at that point when you know what to get upset over, what really isn’t all that important to have (think most baby products), and you come to the realization that the baby isn’t going to die at the hands of everything *big sigh of relief*.
I was barely 21 when I had my daughter and had no clue what I was in for. I was your stereo typical new mom who had to have one of everything, a complete nursery before the baby was even born, a cabinet full of every flavor baby food, and the list goes on. Now with my son (#3), I’m doing things much differently, but not because of a conscience decision I made when I had him, but because I’ve just learned over the years what works for me as a mom and maturing woman.
So here is a list of the things I’m (& maybe some of you are) doing differently as a returning mommy:
Taking the newborn out of the house the first week
First: I’ve heard of new moms not taking a newborn out for the first month…I was not like this. But I did however not leave the house for the first week. I thought she would catch some crazy disease and that would be it for her.
Third: I took my four day old to one of the most populated tourist attractions in Europe, in the rain, and let cute little old ladies touch him…without hand sanitizer *gasps*
Letting people touch, hold, get near the baby
First: Don’t even think about it! She’s my baby and you are a discussing, germ covered, disease ridden human. Try again in 6 month, with hand sanitizer.
Third: Within the first week you’re offering the baby to whoever will take him because you need a shower, to be with one of the other children or to just breathe. And you may or may not think about hand sanitizer.
First: The nursery is finished, like, a good three months before baby is even born. With my second, I had a complete, gender neutral nursery ready to go before I was even pregnant, yep. Both babes didn't even use their nurseries until they were 8 months old.
Third: He’s seven months old and I still haven’t put together a nursery. He’s lucky to have a crib.
Sleep Training, at night
First: I was very strict with my daughter’s sleeping at night. She was not allowed to sleep in bed with my husband and me
I would feed her in her room and put her back in her bed.
Third: He starts off in his bed, I’ll feed him in mine, let him fall back asleep and cuddle for a bit, then put him back in his bed. We do this about two or three times a night. I mean, he’s my last baby and I’m enjoying every single second of baby-hood.
First: I was horrible. I let her sleep when she wanted and basically had her sleep around my schedule.
Third: My whole life, day, schedule revolves around that little guy's sleep schedule. Luckily, I have figured out a way to get him to sleep around the older two’s school schedules.
First: I literally had a whole cabinet full of every flavor baby food there was (thank you Costco) and introduced new foods according to a schedule I got online.
Third: What is baby food? This kid will eat whatever the rest of us are eating but in blended form…and he loves it! My mom bought some baby food, so I gave it to him the other day. He basically turned his head and wouldn’t eat it. I ended up mashing up the veggies in my soup and giving that to him.
First: I needed everything new…like, yesterday, and only in pink or green!
Third: I know what products worked for my other kids and which didn’t, and I'd say for the most part, babies don't need that much stuff. And hand me downs, yes please!
I know there are so many other items I didn’t mention. Let me know if you agree or if there are other things you did differently with your babes.