Then vs now: The differences having a second baby

The difference with the second babyI can’t quite believe how difference the experience of having a second baby is. I know this is unhelpful for first time parents to hear, but I remember my friend saying “typical first time mum” to something I was doing with Theo when he was 4 or 5 months old. I was so offended! But now I realise she was right. Babies ARE easy (or at least, easy to understand if not always to deal with). Meanwhile, Theo knows what he wants, and he wants it NOW. And unlike the baby (who might want, say, milk, or a big poo, or some sleep), the toddler’s needs are totally irrational. This morning Theo had a tantrum because I wouldn’t let him play with lightbulbs!

With that in mind, I’ve been thinking about the differences having a second baby compared to having the first. These are a few things that stand out…

Baby 1: Every single nappy change required two people. At night we had a mat on the table in our room and one (or more likely, both) of us would get up, put the side light on, get warm water, and then do the change.
Baby 2: There is a mat next to the bed. Nighttime changes involve cold wipes. She doesn’t like having her nappy changed either way, so at least this way I don’t need to get out of bed.

Baby 1: Whoever was at the door was greeted by two people wearing significant newborn face for at least the first month. WHAT HAVE WE DONE??? screamed out of every pore.
Baby 2: “Yeah sure, come whenever” has been my response to any possible visitors – the more people that come round, the more someone else can entertain Theo.

Baby 1: “I only got four hours of broken sleep last night, I think I might be dying”
Baby 2: “I got like, FOUR HOURS of broken sleep last night! This baby is a dream!”

Baby 1: The terror! Are we going to kill this child? Can we actually do this?
Baby 2: “No, you’re not. Yes, you can.”

Baby 1: “What is wrong with my baby!? Why can’t he do a poo without so much crying? Why is it so hard to burp him! I must take him to an expensive cranial osteopath for 8 sessions at £45 (!!!!!!) to fix this!
Baby 2: *Burps baby* BBUUUUUUUUURRRRRP *Crying stops* (just kidding! It’s still incredibly trying. But I know it’s a phase so as frustrating as it is, it won’t last long.)

There were, of course, some things that stayed the same…

  1. Breastfeeding still really hurt for the first few days, which I was so surprised by. But the initial latch and let-down of milk was a killer again. Luckily a friend recommended Multi mam patches, which helped hugely – one million times better than lanolin cream. And fortunately the pain didn’t last long – I knew when the latch felt right, so didn’t faff about trying to work that out for ages.
  2. That thing where the baby is asleep and her breathing gets so quiet you think she’s actually stopped and you have to put a hand to her nose or chest to feel if she is actually alive? Yeah, that totally happened again.
  3. I’m still having to co-sleep reluctantly as Beatrice is very unhappy placed on her back, even when at an angle. I hate doing this. I’m gradually getting her off me, but it’s taking longer than I’d like.

Have you had more than one child? What were the main differences you’ve noticed between your first and second children? What did you find stayed the same?

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