Making the decision to have a second child was an easy one for us. I think we both knew we didn’t want our first to be an only child and we enjoyed being parents so it was a bit of a no-brained.
There is just under two years between our two children so we did give ourselves quite a bit of work to do. I found the experience with my second very different, not least because this time I had a toddler demanding attention all the time.
Here is my rundown of what I found different the second time around (good and bad):
I worried less
With Bubba One I stressed about room temperature, what she should be wearing, routines and whether she was eating enough. Now these things come pretty naturally with Bubba Two. Don’t get me wrong, I still have the odd wobble. Breastfeeding was a different experience this time as I pumped with Bubba One so knew exactly how much she was having. With Bubba Two breastfeeding worked from day one which was fab but left me wondering if she was getting enough. This time though I was way more chilled out – as long as there were lots of dirty nappies and she seemed to be growing all the time I didn’t stress.
I got less sleep
I’ve said to my hubby we didn’t know we were born with Bubba One. She slept 12 hours a night from 8 weeks old. Fast forward to Bubba Two and at seven months old she’s still up at least once in the night. Things have improved from the five times a night wakings but it’s still a struggle. And I have a toddler to look after all day regardless of how much sleep I’ve had. It amazes me how you adjust to lack of sleep but I look forward to the day both kids sleep through.
I relied on children’s TV more
Bubba One watched hardly any TV at all in her first two years. We just didn’t need to rely on it. We had time to occupy her or get her engaged with her toys. Now my toddler doesn’t nap anymore I have to stick the TV on so I can get chores done. Bubba Two is also still waking at night so I’m a zombie in the morning. When Bubba One gets up I generally stick in front of Netflix on my iPad so I can wake up properly.
I struggled to get a routine going
I had a crazy strict routine with Bubba One that rarely varied by more than 30 mins as I was terrified any changes would stop her great night time sleep. With Bubba Two there was just no chance to implement a routine. As I was getting breastfeeding established feeds were all over the place and her night time sleep has always been completely unpredictable. No we’re weaning things are a little more set when it comes to when she eats solids but her breastfeeding is still all over the place. Naps are too as they vary in length so much. This used to stress me out but I’ve learned I need to just go with the flow and remember that so much will change by the time she’s one.
I didn’t turn to Google
There’s so much good advice on Internet forums but there’s also a lot of nonsense/hate/lecturing/judgement. It can be easy to tie yourself up in knots so I’ve avoided Google as much as I can. I find if I don’t Google a problem and instead think about how I want to solve it, I feel less stressed.
I had fewer breaks
Between a baby who doesn’t sleep well at night and a toddler who has ditched her naps at two years and three months there are few opportunities for breaks. My toddler is in nursery two days a week so I do try to get some sleep when baby is napping on those days. It’s bloody tough some days though. All I want is ten minutes where no one is climbing on me, demanding I get something or crying to be fed.
I’ve left the baby book gathering dust on the shelf
I diligently filled in Bubba One’s book and added photos as her first year went on. However I have been utterly negligent when it comes to Bubba Two’s baby book. I will have to fill it in retrospectively at some point otherwise it’s bound to cause a row in 20 years’ time.
I didn’t pay as much attention to milestones
It can be easy to panic when your child isn’t crawling, walking or talking at the same time as other kids their age. Bubba One didn’t walk until about 16 months. But her language has always been amazing. I worried about her physical development though. It was totally pointless as she’s always on the go these days. Now Bubba Two is here and I don’t pay attention to the milestones. They all get to the same place in the end and comparing to other babies can just cause unnecessary worry, and we already have enough of that as mums.
I didn’t stress about weaning
I’m so much more laid back when it comes to solids as Bubba One is a great eater now. I worried about how much she would consume at some meals but in the end that was pointless as her growth never dipped and she just got the hang of it in the end. With Bubba Two I’m doing exactly the same veggie and fruit purees which are going down quite well at the moment and am moving on to introducing meat too. However if she eats nothing some days then I won’t worry as I know she gets plenty of milk.
I am more confidant
I had zero confidence in what I was doing with Bubba One. I was sure I was missing some great mystical answers to all the issues and worries I was having. In reality Bubba One was an incredibly happy and healthy baby but I got too bogged down in doing things “the right way”. Now I realise there is no “right”. You just have to follow what’s best for you and your baby, you can’t go far wrong with that attitude.