9 Things I Will Do Differently With My Second Baby
This may seem a little premature when I am only 16 weeks pregnant but there are a few things that I know I will do differently with baby number two. I’m not saying that I got it wrong with Jake, I definitely did everything that was right for him at the time and for me as a first time Mum. Being a Mum has been the best thing that has ever happened to me but all babies are different and I am different this time around as I now know what to expect and I have so much more knowledge not only from experiencing it but also from watching what my friends have done differently too.
1. A natural birth
This is dependent on how my meeting with the consultant goes in September but in my mind, this is my only option. After a traumatic emergency c-section with Jake, I feel as though I have a clear plan of how I can prepare more effectively for this birth. I have already looked into ante-natal classes which I never made it to the first time around due to illness and I have been asking friends about hypnobirthing. I know I need to keep my realistic head on because the consultant may take one look at my notes and my scar tissue and completely blow my plans out of the window but I know I personally feel as though I need to experience a natural birth.
2. I won’t be scared of that first nappy
Oh, my word was I nervous? It didn’t help that the midwife handed me Jake and told me to ‘just get on with it’ and when I asked for her help she said ‘no you have to learn!’ Trying to clean up that black sticky poo whilst in pain from a c-section and not really having a clue what I was doing with this teeny baby was such a test for me. There will be no more surprises this time!
I haven’t ever written about my breastfeeding journey with Jake because it all ran so smoothly. He latched on as soon as he scrambled to my boob and he was a natural. I hope this second baby latches just as well and that I enjoy it just as much too. I didn’t want to give up feeding Jake until at least a year old but with his teeth coming in very early he became a biter and after drawing blood twice (ouch!) I felt I had no choice. We made it to 9 months. I hope I have another great feeder and hope we can make it a little longer.
4. Master expressing
Jake fed well from the word go but no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t express my milk. I’m guessing he was the pro and I wasn’t! This meant that I was limited to time away from him and no one else could feed him. I loved breastfeeding but it is exhausting when they go through growth spurts and it would be lovely to be able to even go to the hairdressers without worrying.
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5. Baby-led weaning
I chose to wean Jake with bought pureed food rather than making my own food or choosing finger foods. There are two reasons for this, one because I am already useless in the kitchen and with him feeding from me every 2 hours at night I simply did not have the energy to think about learning what to cook/freeze etc and two, he was a choker and could retch on even purees if he tried to swallow too much. The doctor checked him but just told me he had a very good gag reflex which would mean he wouldn’t choke but he could easily make himself sick. The trouble is that I have had a very fussy child ever since and I wonder if it is because I didn’t introduce him to a good variety of foods early on. I will be more prepared this time.
6. Try more baby groups
I loved a few of the groups that I attended with Jake but others were just full of cliques which made me feel uncomfortable. I know I will do baby massage again but there are many more now available privately. I was mostly using the children’s centres but these are gradually closing so my options will change.
7. Be prepared for teething
Jake began teething at 6 weeks old and he was, of course, the inspiration for my book because I couldn’t find much information on this process. No one can prepare you for an early teether and the pain they experience when they are so tiny. It is heartbreaking, exhausting, confusing and everyone else has their opinion and are not afraid to say it. I can now be happy that I know so much about teething that I will know exactly how to help this new baby much faster than I could with poor little Jake.
8. Ignore others’ comments and input
When people put their two pennies worth in the first time around you tend to take a lot of it to heart. You haven’t been there before and you are looking for guidance from others but let’s face it, it isn’t always right! Hormones and tiredness can make you much more sensitive but after 3 years of being a Mum my skin has toughened to others opinions and can now nod in agreement but know that I don’t have to take on everything they are saying. I know that I know best for my baby.
9. Enjoy every moment that little bit more
The first time around we are all in a bit of a rush aren’t we? We are so eager for that first roll over, crawl, word, step and so on, that we turn around one day and wonder where our baby went! Jake has always wanted to do things quickly and that is just in his nature. He would watch older children at playgroups and want to go over to them instead of playing with babies his own age. You could see he was dying to run with them which is why he was able to stand and walk holding onto your fingers at 6 months of age. By 10 months he was walking unaided and once that happened he was off. I was so proud of him but it felt as though he was a baby for such a short amount of time that I have to really think to remember him being baby-like. I will definitely take all that baby-ness in much more with baby number two and hope that it won’t have quite the same determination as Jake!
Is there anything you did differently that worked for you?
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6 thoughts on “9 Things I Will Do Differently With My Second Baby”
On the food side, I made all my own purees for all 3 with a freezer full of different fruit and veg, and homemade chicken stock to add taste. To make life easy when we went on holiday we used shop bought products, but not often at the early stages. Even with all these different tastes both boys are fussy eaters with the eldest not liking to try new things! but my youngest eats pretty much every thing.
Breast feeding, I loved it with all 3, my eldest I lasted 7 months, but as he was a really good feeder when he started looking around and not feed as well I had to reluctantly give in to the bottle (he was already having a bottle of expressed milk….electric pump was the best for me and the best one was the Medela Swing pump, though expensive worth all the money, especially after having my daughter when my breasts were so so sore). My second, I had to stop breast feeding at 5 months due to continued re-infection of oral thrush (and the amount of times he had to have a mild antibiotic to cure it). My daughter was the biggest challenge when it came to feeding, she had her own issues with feeding, (but that is another story) I had to wean her off the breast at 3 months as I had to return to work when she was 4 months (plus the need for high cal formula she was on more bottles than breast).
I love the fact you want to go natural for your second, I was more than happy to have a c-section with my second, (and then third) after the complications I had with my first, and my consultant looked at my notes and said that there was no chance of a natural birth. Though neither my 2nd or 3rd were happy to wait for the planned date and wanted to arrive early, just so I could experience labour pains again (love them!!)
I wish I had done more groups with my second, but there were no groups in my area that catered for both a toddler and newborn, or the ones that did run didn’t run on the days my eldest was at nursery. So I missed out on the groups. People did ask me why I kept my eldest in nursery when I was at home, my answer – it gave him stability and something that was for him, but it also gave me 3 days when I could give the time to my second, and I would not change it if I did it again.
With my eldest I used to compare him to others (there was a small group of us who all had our children at the same time), and I wish I hadn’t as I kept wanting him to be the first to do something, he never was! (until he was older!) my second, I had to keep reminding myself that he was a different child and was not my eldest, it is not something you can control, you will compare your second with your first. I was lucky with my daughter, one she was a girl so there is already a difference, and she was premature and had developmental delay so she was always going to be behind her brothers, and other babies born at the same time (she has caught up now, and you would not believe she had any early difficulties).
Enjoy every moment, but remember you are only human, you already have a child that you want to give attention to (don’t forget to let him give baby lots of cuddles and help if he wants to), you can’t do everything, and sometimes a re-heated cup of tea and a sit down is the only thing you can do, and never feel guilty about taking a break from it all.
Thanks for your comment hun and I will look into the pumps. I am definitely keeping my mind a little open to the csection otherwise I will get upset but so far my midwife seems positive that natural should be possible so just have to wait for the consultant to check.
I think if I had a second baby (I am a single mum now so this is highly unlikely) I would just take the time to enjoy it all a bit more. I split up with my ex when Cygnet was 5 months and I do feel any enjoyment I should have derived from his first year was robbed from me. If I were to do it all again, I’d just spent hours of each day just looking at my baby and admiring the wondrous little creature that they are. It all flies by so quickly and you can never get that time back. Good luck! Pen x #RVHT
Being the eldest of 4 myself, I felt pretty relaxed when I had my first, and I didn’t think there’d be much I’d change 2nd time around, but I was definitely wrong! There aren’t huge things I’ve done differently, but subtle tweaks I guess… Like you, I stuck with pre-prepped food for weaning my first, mainly because I was back to working 40+ hours a week by the time she was 7 months old. 2nd time around I made *most* meals and purees, but also didn’t beat myself up when I had to grab a jar from the shops! More recently (Wills is 1 now) we’ve moved him to a booster seat at the dining table rather than his highchair. We all sit together for our 3 main meals of the day, and I’m encouraging him to say “Ta” when he wants something rather than yelling which is his instinct! As soon as we made this change I was amazed at how quickly he picked things up from us, and he’s now using a fork with about an 80% plate to mouth success rate… I thought I did well with my first when it came to eating/feeding herself, but at 1year and 2 weeks my 2nd wins haha!
With teething, my first relied on teething powders for months, but my 2nd doesn’t seem bothered so I’m just rolling with it… I also swore I’d cherish more of the little moments, but I won’t lie – with a (2 when he was born) 3-year-old and a 1-year-old it’s pretty much all flown past in a blur. I couldn’t tell you dates of most of the milestones, but I do know the rough month haha!!!
Anyway, sorry for the essay! Congrats on your pregnancy!!!
I did baby led weaning with Ro, as couldn’t with J due to prematurity. It has been great. She will try anything and is a really good eater . She still occasionally is spoon fed some things but I’m so glad I did it.
As for expressing, I expressed for J in nicu/scbu but struggled to keep up supply and didn’t have much luck this time around either. One thing that I found great was a Haakaa.
I did a sort of unintentionally did blw with Greg because he just completely refused to eat off a spoon from about 6 and a half months so I had to change all of my plans! Good luck with your VBAC, my friend had one after a nasty C-Section a couple of years before and everything went really smoothly.