Having a second baby has been an interesting experience. Sure, I’d done it once before so I should have known what to expect, right? Perhaps… if I hadn’t waited 10 years to have my second one. Yep, my son was 10 last year when I had my baby daughter, and, boy were things different this time around.
The body does not bounce back with the Tigger-like spring like it did with my first child. Oh no, 10 years later, I pine for that 26-year old metabolism and elasticity of skin. Now, I really have to work for it. And often. Father Time is like, "Zumba twice a week ain't gonna cut it, Toots."
That weird smelling goop didn't make one bit of difference the first time. This time around, I cut the crap—which meant not buying things I really didn't need. No anti-stretch mark, caffeine infused cream, no wipes warmer, no ridiculously expensive baby skin products or ridiculously expensive 0-3 month clothing.
A lot of technology and innovation happens in 10 years. And this could not be more true with regard to baby gear and products. When my son was a baby, 10 years ago, our monitors were like toy walkie talkies, but only one could talkie. So basic. They were essentially just used to alert us that the baby had woken up. And hopefully the baby was crying loudly so that we could hear him over the ridiculous sounds of static. Fast forward to now when monitors have screens, two-way capabilities and infrared features. The strollers and bouncers have iPod and iPad docking stations. They even have onesies with built in sensors that monitor baby's heart rate, skin temperature and general well-being. Before we know it, they'll start making robot babies. I'm scared.
Maybe it's already having one child to tote and chauffeur around and keep in line, and maybe it's also that my work load is way busier than it was for the first child, but let's be honest, maybe it's simply because I'm much older now. And I can't pull all-nighters with a fussy baby like I used to. No, I lose steam much sooner with this child than I did with the first. And I demand a lot more coffee this time around, too.
I've already had one baby, and I'm (a little) more mature now. Yes, experience and time really helps cut the worrying and stress the second time around. My son is 10 now, and I have been thankful to see that he's turned out just fine. And I'm able to see that some of those things about which I freaked out when he was a baby didn't affect him either way. He's perfectly happy and healthy, thus far. And that helps me relax more and trust more in my parenting ways this time around.
I was strict about sleep training with my first child. I established a routine, and stuck to it. My nights were spent teary-eyed, listening to him cry and making "reassurance" visits to his room every 10 minutes. I can't say that all of that work every really trained him. He always just wanted to sleep with me. And I also can't say that at around 3 years old, I wasn't like "aw, screw it" and gladly put him into bed with me on many occasions. This time around, though I try to have my daughter on a sleep schedule, I have no problem scooping her up and plopping her into my bed in the middle of the night when she is crying out my name. I know now how quickly it all goes. How fast they grow and how soon they no longer want to snuggle. This time, I'm taking all the snuggling I can get.