Ten Things We Plan To Do Differently, with Baby Number Two
From the beginning, Joe and I weren't your typically neurotic first time parents. Maybe its because he's older and kept things in perspective for me, who knows, but we were pretty easy going, for the most part. Neither of us are big germaphobes (I took Jayden on the subway for the first time at 4 weeks). We started traveling with him, across country before he was three months and we never really stressed about sleep and just kinda went with the flow. That being said, with our second child joining our family next month, we recently had a conversation about our parenting style and what if anything we would do differently this time around. At first we looked at each other and honestly couldn't think of anything... but once we were on a roll it was pretty easy. It's refreshing, now almost 19 months later, to be able to look back and think–yes, things we're pretty good, but if given the chance, THIS is what we would do differently. So we put together a list (at the bottom of this post) to share with all of you and also hold ourselves accountable. [one-half-first][/one-half-first] [one-half][/one-half]
Denim Jacket, Kut from the Kloth // Shirt, To Little Arrows (maternity) // Pants, Le Tote (maternity) // Crossbody, Le Tote // Sandals, c/o Dansko // Sunglasses, believe it or not, I found these at Michael's Craft Store for $7 (link to a similar pair below)
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1o Things We Plan To Do Differently, With Baby Number Two
#1 Get him in his crib earlier //
With Jayden, we co-slept from the beginning. Leaving him in the bassinet made me nervous, plus Jayden hated his moses basket bassinet (which I had to have...). Co-sleeping was so much easier on all of us–we all slept more and breastfeeding was easily accessible. Co-sleeping was also great for traveling, as we didn't have to worry about, where was Jayden going to sleep, when we were not at home. Jayden didn't transfer to this crib until seven months (after we got back from a month of traveling on the west coast, Hawaii and Puerto Rico). The transition to the crib was actually pretty easy, thanks to the DocAtot (currently on sale at Target), but we would still like to transition baby number two earlier, if possible. We still plan to co-sleep... because for us it works! But, we would like to get baby number two more accustomed to sleeping on his own a little earlier this time around.
#2 Find a trusted babysitter //
I'm embarrassed to admit it, but we STILL don't have a babysitter. Jayden will be 19 months on the 24th and we have only gone out on two dates–one was this past December when we were in California and my sister watched him and the first time was a year earlier for Joe's company holiday party and my brother happened to be in town so he watched him. That's it. Yes, I know how bad that sounds and yes, we need to do better. But man is it hard to trust a stranger, with all of the crazy stories you see on the news. With that said, we plan to find a trusted babysitter early on this time around and hopefully get a regular date night going, because not only is it important but I don't think neither of us will be able to survive without it.
#3 Not be afraid of formula (if necessary) //
Jayden has been exclusively breastfeed mostly since day one and still at it now. But we had a very tough beginning from about week two to week six, we had to supplement 1-2 times per day with formula... I was heartbroken! It was such a devastating thing to be told that your baby is not getting enough milk and therefor is not gaining weight, especially when you're doing everything you can and trying so hard. I still remember the exact moment when Joe came in with a formula bottle and I cried feeding it to him. In hindsight, I was being silly (thanks, hormones) and I now know that formula is not bad, it's just another way to feed your baby–and at the end of the day a feed baby is all that matters. I still plan to exclusively breastfeed this time around too but I have promised myself to be okay with using formula is necessary. As mothers, we already put so much unnecessary pressure on ourselves, that we don't need to add one more thing to the list.
#4 Trust our instincts... Don't be afraid to get a second opinion //
Speaking of breastfeeding... a big part of our problem early on, was that my son had both a tongue and lip tie, which is something my lactation consultant pointed out week two. When we brought this information to our pediatrician, they noticed it but said it wasn't that bad and didn't need to be fixed. They did recommend their ENT (ear, nose and throat) doctor to us, who we made an appointment with and were told the same thing. I went into that second appointment hopeful and left devestated, in tears and quite a lot of pain, as breastfeeding was just not working for us. We stuck with it, but the pain continued to get worse, practically unbearable (I cried from pain every time I nursed at home and fought back the tears in public). Four more weeks passed and my lactation consultant finally talked me into to going to her doctor of choice, which wasn't covered my insurance. We went, the doctor diagnosed my son with a tongue and lip tie and said she could fix it that day with a laser. We had it fixed, the doctor latched my son on to my breast and I kid you not, it was the first time in six weeks, that I didn't feel any pain at all! Two days after the visit, my milk finally started flowing (with the help of some other things as well, which I'll share later) and we were able to stop all supplementing. This time around, if something is not going right, I will trust my instincts and get a second opinion right away. And this goes for anything... as mothers, our instincts are often correct. If something doesn't seem right, never be afraid to get a second opinion!
#5 Ask for help when needed //
I'm not the best at asking for help in general, but this time around, I plan to do better. There will be days that I just don't have the time or energy to make dinner, or maybe I need some "me time" and I need to be better at communicating this to my husband and/or friends and asking for help when needed. With two under two, asking for help will not only be something I need to work on, but a non-negotiable to survive.
#6 Know that it's okay for the baby to cry //
This was one thing, where we did freak out a bit in the beginning whenever Jayden would cry... but we quickly learned that sometimes nothing is wrong and the baby just needs to get out a good cry. This is another place where you have to trust your instincts and decide how to handle each situation on a case by case basis.
#7 Less is more! //
We were actually not terrible with this, but I still think there is room for improvement, especially with keeping my mother in check when it comes to buy too much "stuff" for us (love you, mom). One of the things, in particularly that I plan to be better at, is only buy clothes as we go. In the beginning, we had a ton and while Jayden wore most of it, did we really need the same pair of leggings in ten different colors? No. Also, for us, white onesies were not necessary. I think I put Jayden in a white onesie, once, maybe twice. We're just not the undershirt type of family. I recently went though all of Jayden's old clothes and found that we had anywhere from 3-10 white onesies (thanks to value packs and baby shower gifts) in every size, that had never been worn. Same goes for toys. While I think we've been pretty go at this too, the one thing we do have too much of is newborn - 6month toys. You really only need a handful.
#8 Know that a little TV is not the end of the world //
We didn't do any TV until around 15/16 months and Jayden is just now getting into it at 18 months, especially Moana and Sesame Street. And if you ask some parents, they would say it's even still too early to let him watch TV. But you know, as long as it doesn't become an all day/everyday thing, then I'm okay with it. We still predominately do music, but if I need to turn on the tv every now and then to get a little break, I'm okay with that and that means I have to be okay with baby number two seeing it a little earlier (the perks of being the second child, I guess...lol).
#9 More mommy and daddy one-on-one time //
As I mentioned, date night hasn't really been a priority for us, but will be this second time around. We've both committed to it. No.2, "Find a trusted babysitter", will be a big help in making this happen.
#10 Don't sweat the small stuff... Patience, patience, patience! //
Things will go wrong, we wont have all the answers and you know what, that's okay! Having more patience with myself, my kids and my husband will be top priority for me this time around.
Any other 2nd, 3rd, 4th plus time mom's out there?
What are some of the things you found yourself doing differently, the second time around?