I’ve written before about how I parent differently with Baby Boy in an Open Letter to my Second Child. That he may not have toys of his own, or clothes that have only been worn by him but that he does benefit from a Mummy who is more secure in her parenting style.
Which got me thinking of the other little differences second time round. The things I’d never have done with the Big One that I don’t think twice about with the Baby. Or things I did do that I now think are unnecessary.
For even though both boys have the same Mummy, with the same (slightly crunchy) fundamental beliefs in raising children, they have been parented oh so slightly differently. In part due to different personalities but in the main because I’m a more confident parent. In short, I parent differently second time round….
My nappy bill is lower
If it doesn’t stink then I don’t worry too much. Do you remember the wetness indicators on teeny baby nappies? With the Big One when they had the tiniest indication that they were wet he was whipped off to be changed. The Baby? Well that’s why they’re called Pampers Baby Dry right?
I’m not afraid to dish out Calpol
The Big One had to have a roaring temperature, be sick, have actual bleeding before I gave out Calpol. The Baby? A feel of him can tell me if he’s battling a temperature. The grumpy mood and pulling on his ears tell me he’s teething (along with the biting). A bunged up nose and a reluctance to breastfeed tells me he’s feeling rotten. Calpol to the rescue.
Skipping the purees
From hours lovingly roasting veg, simmering fruit, cooking up meat to be blended into mush for the Big One. Followed by hours spent cooking up recipes from the (still marvellous) Baby Led Weaning cookbook. The Baby got thrown in the deep end. Straight to full on Baby Led, with the occasional half hearted attempt from me to spoon feed weetabix, dinners cobbled together from his brothers meals or ours.
And it is so much easier.
Aside from the mess.
The Baby is on the move a lot earlier than I would like to be honest. Having been crawling since around 6 and a half months. (By crawling I mean commando crawling, which is adorable. It was all his big brother did before walking as well.) Which means I’ve had to baby proof a lot sooner.
And by baby proof I mean throw out the little pieces of Lego that end up scattered round the house. Nothing to do with me standing on them you understand?
I’m completely with Louise from Mum of Boys here, the Big One was in outfits as soon as I could get him into them.
Mainly dungarees as they were my all time favourite.
But the Baby? He is staying my baby is vests and comfy clothes for as long as I can. I especially love the Mamas&Papas vests, funky yet comfortable, now it’s cooling down mixed with my all time favourite Blade & Rose alien bum leggings!
I still have all the dungarees from the Big One, they’re just yet to make it out of the wardrobe.
I no longer panic – or apologise – when my baby cries in public
Babies cry. It’s their main form of communication. Hungry. Tired. Bored. They cry.
With the Big One I used to think people were looking at me thinking what an awful mother I was, and I have lost count of the number of times I burnt my mouth necking scalding coffee before fleeing the building.
This time? Well, for one it takes a lot longer for me to flee gathering up two of them. And if I did then it is just as likely that the Big One would throw an even louder wobbler. We just stay where we are. We stay calm. And I don’t apologise. I’ll get him to stop crying in the end. Hopefully.
I don’t stress about routine (well not as much as I used too)
Fairly easy to do when you don’t really have one…..
I know roughly when he will be tired, I definitely employ the philosophy “when in doubt whip it out” for feeding. I’m following the Baby and his cues rather than feeling the insane amount of stress I did with the Big One when he wasn’t napping at 9:07am AND THE BOOKS SAID HE SHOULD.
All in all, these days, I’m more relaxed about the little things whilst the big things? They are the things I make sure I keep doing. More kisses. More cuddles. My biggest lesson from parenting first time round was that you can never have enough love. And this is one thing that I am not doing differently second time.
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