Confession time: I bought almost an entirely new wardrobe for my second baby even though he was the same gender as my first. Why? Because I didn’t want him to grow up as fast as his older brother.
Here’s the thing. With first babies, every mom is so concerned about the milestones, comparing their child to children of similar ages and making sure they’re keeping up. I was the same! When you have just one baby, it’s all you can think about. You take your baby to story time at the library, to the grocery store, or to the park, and it’s comparison, comparison, comparison to all the kids around you. Are they walking as well? Talking as well? Crawling as well? Learning as fast? My first was such a bright little boy and soaked up information like a sponge, so with nothing better to do with my time, I pushed him as far as he would go. I don’t regret encouraging his learning for one second, but I feel like his babyhood raced by at unprecedented speeds, and I did nothing to stop it. In fact, I spurred it on.
And whether consciously or not, part of helping him grow and develop faster was dressing him in clothes that made him seem older than he was. His vocabulary, his mannerisms, and his ability to understand made me feel like he was years ahead of his age, so gosh, it was fun to dress him like a grown up. Bring on the three piece suits and the belted jeans with boots.
But then, my second baby boy came along a few years later, and although I had a dresser full of clothes from his older brother, I had absolutely no desire to dress him in almost any of them. I suddenly realized how fast my first baby had grown up. His newborn stage was just days, and his babyhood only a few months. How could I have spurred it on so quickly?
Instead, I donated almost everything to the local Goodwill — most especially the outfits that made him look grown up — and I stocked up on onesies, bodysuits, leggings, and super-soft moccasins. Anything to make him look like a baby and feel like a baby. (Sheesh — my first was probably so uncomfortable all the time!) I swaddled him for months, nursed him for over a year, didn’t care that he was a late walker, and still dress him in onesies. Why? Because he’s a baby, even at 2-and-a-half years old. These are the moments of our children’s lives that are gone in the blink of an eye, and even if something as silly as a whole new super-cuddly wardrobe helps them stay little for at least a few months longer, it’s worth every penny.