As a mom you're constantly learning as you go, especially as a first time mom. You're totally winging it. After learning a TON with my first, there are 6 things that I plan to do differently with my second baby. But, it's also important to remember that you'll continuing winging it even if you're a “seasoned” mom. You can have all these wonderful, ideal plans and then be forced to pivot and totally change them.
Disclaimer, my second baby is like 9 months now, but when I made this video, I was 20 weeks pregnant AND these are things I've stuck to and truly done differently this time around.
So, let's get into it.
With our first, AJ, we really didn't know that you were supposed to like have a schedule and move her to a crib. She would be sitting in the room with us and sometimes she would be sleeping and sometimes she'd be awake.
Around 4 months is when babies start to get sleep more like adults have. This is when I started to pick up on sleepy cues (and realized that these exist). When these happen, you can pick your baby up, bring them to their crib or bassinet (or floor bed in our case) and actually put them down for a nap. This way they fall asleep in their room and get used to doing that. So, I'll be starting earlier on that this time.
I'll also have a much better system for tracking sleep this go around. When you first bring baby home from the hospital, they tell you to track their food, poops, sleep, etc. I recently found the way I did this for my first and it was a chaotic sheet that had random notes written in all the margins and I always had to remember to bring with me or remember to record that info later. A ton of people sent me this app called Huckleberry. I started using it religiously to track AJ's sleep and have loved it. So, I will definitely be using it for baby number 2 for sleep as well as feedings and poops. It's incredibly easy to use, gives you super helpful insights, reminsd you based on their history when their next nap should be, and is just a much better system for tracking this info. We ended up hiring a sleep consultant with our first and this is a MUCH cheaper alternative than that.
2. Labor and Delivery
Okay, there's a lot of things I will do the same here, hypnobirthing, the workouts, the probiotics, etc. I wrote a blog about all of the things I will do the same here. And I've shared about my second birth experience and how I naturally induced labor.
BUT, there is also something I wanted to (and did) change.
I will NOT do the purple push this time. That's the push through the pain, your face turns purple, and you're pushing as hard as you can. I've learned that your uterus does 90% of the pushing and you just need to assist it. I think 99% of the male population can understand this one. When a man takes 45 minutes in the bathroom, you can't just force push the poop out. You gotta wait for your body to be ready and then slowly assist it. It's the same with a baby. When you're dilated and ready to go, your body does most of the work on its own. The contractions push the baby out, and you just gotta give it a little extra help.
I had a nurse on my podcast who has had 3 unmedicated births and she shares all of her tips for natural birth. If you're interested, you can listen to the episode here.
I have rosy retrospection of this topic, for sure.
I want to teach this baby to take a bottle.
With my first, she would not take a bottle, she exclusively breastfed which meant she was tethered to me. For some reasons it was great. I didn't have to pump, clean bottles, etc., it's a great bonding experience, and I could do it anywhere with no supplies needed. But it was also exhausted to be so tethered to my baby. So, I'd like to have the option this time.
And breastfeeding is another fantastic things to track on the Huckleberry app.
4. LESS stuff + more second hand
With your first baby, you have the registry. You have all the things you could ever want, and lots of things you don't need. You have no freaking clue what you need and honestly usually don't until you get to know you're baby. It's actually insane how little you need. (here are the only 5 things you truly need during the first 6 months).
So, this time around, I'm really trying to be more minimalistic AND get wayyy more things second hand whether it's hand me downs, Facebook Marketplace, etc. It blows my mind how much we all spend on new baby items that are used for only a handful of months when we could be reselling, sharing, gifting, etc.
I was TERRIFIED, like sweating with my first when I was in the doctor's office and she told me it was really time to start feeding her solids. I knew I would do it because it's good for them – for their motor skills, for talking, etc., but I was horrified. But, she wasn't ready at 6 months. And I don't know if it was her that wasn't ready or me, but we didn't start until about 8 months and she is a great eater. Knowing that I can start at 7, 8, 9 months and not have to do it right at 6 and they will still be fine alleviates a lot of stress.
I will be doing baby led weaning again, which also eased some anxieties for me. I think is just a great way to do it, ease into it, and let them develop naturally.
6. Start sooner
The first time around, you get home from the hospital with this tiny human and you're like oh. my. gosh. this baby is mine, I am in charge of it, I have to keep it alive and healthy…it's overwhelming.
I had all these plans with my first to do elimination communication, cloth diapering…nope! You're overwhelmed and focusing on the basics and more important things so this stuff gets put on the back burner. I don't think I started cloth diapering until like 3 or 4 months. Elimination communication (aka potty training for infants), I tried at 4 months, it was too much, then I tried again around 6 months, stuck with it, and was so happy I did.
So, for round 2, I will be able to start these types of things sooner since I will not be so in shock of having another life to care for. I'm so much more confident this time and don't think I'll be as overwhelmed by all of the newborn things.
Again, there are a LOT of things that I will do the same with my second baby. I'm proud to say that, but there's also a few things I've learned that have made me want to make a few changes/adjustments. All you can do is have hopes/goals and see how it goes!