After reading Natalie’s post about what she plans to do differently next time, I began to think back on my own experience, now that I’ve had two to compare.
I remember before I had Fuzz, I imagined a totally different baby than Shnook. This baby would cooperate with all manner of things. This baby would sleep at night. This baby would take a pacifier. This baby would be totally chilled out, cuz hey, he’s the second child. He’ll have to be, right?
Not exactly right. Fuzz IS a very different baby than Shnook. He has a totally different personality. He is very chill…until he’s not. He has had moments of sleeping better than his brother, and moments of sleeping much worse. He has way more issues with separation than Shnook did, which surprised me about a second baby as well. There are dozens of other differences, but well, obviously. He’s a different person.
In addition, I also told myself that I’d do a ton of things differently (which would also result in a totally different baby). My pregnant brain totally forgot that it’s very difficult to control the babies. Here is a list of things I refused to accept were out of my control.
This time around I swore I would:
1. Not Panic during the first two weeks of breastfeeding: I told myself that this time, I’d trust the process, and thus my milk would come in sooner. Even with trusting the process, my milk took five days to come in, and thus, I panicked again, and lost more sleep.
2. Schedule Feedings: Last time, I fed my baby on demand, and while I felt like I was doing the right thing most of the time, there were times when I was driven completely bonkers due to the frequency of feedings. “Next baby will be different- he’ll eat when I say.” That did not pan out. Fuzz feeds on demand, but interesingly, while sometimes it is annoying how frequently he nurses, I’m cool with it this time. Also, I’m really glad I didn’t schedule feedings because I read it makes your milk supply run out before you’re ready to stop nursing. This has happened to a few friends of mine.
3. Sleep Train- When I was pregnant the second time, I was determined that a) I’d get a good sleeper, so I wouldn’t have to sleep train, or b) if he wasn’t a good sleeper, I’d definitely nip it in the bud by 4 or 5 months so I wouldn’t have to go through another whole year plus of interrupted nights. Hmm, well if you’ve been reading any of my posts this year, you know that I did not end up doing that. Well, at one point I tried and then abruptly pulled the plug because I didn’t want to go through what I went through last time. Instead, I went the complete opposite direction and starting cosleeping with the Fuzzball whole hog. Things have been peachy ever since (except, uh, the last week).
4. Put The Baby In the Crib Sooner- Shnook was in and out of the crib the first year, then in the bed with my husband until eighteen months, when we finally made the move to crib for the whole night. They still snuggled in the mornings, though. Fuzz slept in his crib for the first leg of the night from about 5 months until we left for Vermont (10 months). In Vermont he’s boycotted the pack-n-play. Now, it’s all bed all the time. Not sure what we’ll do when we go back to L.A. in a couple of weeks.
5. Chill Out- I thought that Fuzz being the second child would make me more relaxed about parenting. I have been more casual about some stuff, such as allowing him to eat things like french fries at eleven months (I don’t think Shnook had a french fry until he was at least two, but what’s the difference? Now that’s one of the only things he’ll reliably eat). But, I still worry constantly. I still check to see if he’s breathing all night long, I freak out if he has a weird red bump, or when he doesn’t get enough naps.
Did you vow to do things differently with your second child? Did you end up doing anything differently?