First-time parents? God love ‘em. They’re so determined to get everything right, it can drive you batty sometimes just to watch. But it’s okay, I get it. After all, I was a first-time parent once, too. I remember my over-achieving ways when I only had one child to wrangle. It was a noble endeavor to be sure, but I have no doubt it caused me to stick out like a sore thumb. You see, there are simply certain things that are dead giveaways that you are a first-time parent, and I totally did them all.
1. You’re on a first name basis with the advice nurse because you call her every other day with some concern or another.
Our advice nurse legitimately knew who I was because I called her so many times when I had my first child. Now, as long as I can stop the bleeding I don’t sweat it.
2. You actually buy pacifier wipes in case your baby’s binky falls on the ground.
Second timers just pop it right in their baby’s mouths or maybe wipe it off on your pants. Hey, 10-second rule.
3. You record all of your nursing sessions and your baby’s diaper changes religiously.
You feed your baby when they seem hungry and you change diapers way less the second time around, and none of it seems particularly noteworthy.
4. Your baby has elaborately styled month-by-month photo shoots to document their development.
The first time around, my daughter had adorably styled monthly photo shoots, complete with a theme and props and coordinating outfits. The second time? I laid my baby on a rug and snapped a quick photo on my phone … usually 1-2 weeks late … and I missed month 11. Oops.
5. You ask people to wash their hands before holding your baby.
As a second-time parent, I happily handed my baby off to pretty much anyone with a pulse.
6. You read all the books.
Second timers just sort of wing it.
7. Your baby’s nursery looks like it belongs in a Pottery Barn Kids catalog.
The second child room typically gets a lot less fanfare.
8. You still look pretty put together.
When you have one kid, you have a bit more free time (i.e. more time to shower and put on real clothes). This takes a lot more effort with more than one child to appease, and second-time parents will likely be spotted rocking a mom bun and yoga pants far more often.
9. Your baby has a baby book that is completely filled in with photos and words and everything.
When did my second child roll over for the first time? I guess we’ll never know.
10. You sent out fancy pants baby announcement cards.
OK, I actually didn’t do this for even my first child, but I’m pretty sure it’s a first-child type of thing. A lot of my friends sent out announcements for first babies. Second babies? Not so much.
11. You check to make sure your baby is still breathing 87 times every night.
In the mind of a first-time parent, a quiet baby is cause for worry. It’s understandable. I mean, they do cry a lot. Second-timers tend to take the silence as a blessed miracle, and would never even dream of opening the nursery door to potentially disrupt a sleeping baby!
12. Your kid is dressed in adorable little outfits most of the time.
The first time around, my daughter was in adorable outfits with coordinating bows and shoes. My son? If we’re at home, he’s almost always running around in just a diaper, and half the time he is shoeless even when we go out in public. #Priorities #LessLaundry
13. You bathe your child every day.
Bath time is a key part of many a first-time parent’s evening bed time routine with their little ones. But, wrangling more than one kid in a bathtub? Well, let’s just say those baths become more infrequent as the number of children increases.
14. You post every single baby milestone on social media.
Typical first-time parent status update: “Good news! Baby can roll over both ways now! #babygenius #smartestbabyalive.” Typical second-time parent status update: “My kid pulled himself up. I’m gonna go push him over so I don’t have to start chasing him around. Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
15. You can be found sanitizing all the things when out in public (or trying to avoid them altogether).
Nothing screams rookie quite like a shopping cart cover. Just sayin’.