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Recently, Rob and I talked about the possibility of having a second child. While we didn’t come to a firm conclusion (calm down grandmas) we did talk about some of the things we would do differently the second time around. There are a lot of things that I would just do differently. If I could do it all again this is my advice for new parents.
It’s common to try things with the first child and make mistakes with the first born. Let’s face it they don’t come out with a manual. With the second born we are a bit wiser, a lot calmer, and a lot more comfortable. Of course each child is different from the next, they all have their own quirks and personalities. However, we learned an awful lot about choosing our battles wisely.
Here are just a few of the things I would do differently if we decided to have another baby.
Breastfeeding Changes for Second Child
Holy hell did I freak out way too much about breastfeeding. Bless my poor patient husband for dealing with that train wreck. I was bound and determined to breastfeed for at least 9 months and freaked out when my milk supply suddenly dropped at about the 4 month mark.
I ate flax seed cookies, drank special tea, tried every single wives tale I could find on google. Even pumping several times throughout the day and night to try to stimulate more milk production making me feel like a cow hooked up to a machine all day long. It was hell trying to make it so I could produce enough milk for Lucas.
I did not want Lucas to go on formula and I freaked out when Rob even suggested it. Formula was the devil and how dare he say that. Then the day hit and I was not producing enough and I knew it was time to add formula to supplement. Two months later I was completely dried up and I beat myself up for it. Somehow I was not good enough to produce enough milk for my son, and this made me a terrible mother.
No it didn’t. I was not a terrible mother. In fact, Lucas did so well on formula and once the switch was final I realized he was good with it, so I needed to be good with it too.
Breastfeeding was the biggest pain in the boob and with a second child I’m not going to freak out so much or put any expectations on how long I can breastfeed for. Next time around I might just say eff it and go directly to formula. Maybe not but it’s not something that I’m going to stress out about.
Less Toys for Second Child
Seriously, when Lucas was born we needed every educational toy on the planet. I wanted my son to be singing his alphabet the day he turned 2. Guess what, my kid is 2 and he isn’t singing the alphabet.
You know what? That’s ok. So for a second child I’m not going to request a million toys or even pull out all the ones we already have. Too much to put away and it really doesn’t help.
For a look at our favorite quiet toys check out The Best Toys for a Toddler.
They need books, floor time, conversations, and a few toys. After putting away all the noisy toys we noticed an improvement and started hitting milestones we hadn’t hit yet. My son is a creative problem solver, he is independent, and strong willed. If he wants something he will figure out how to get it. He doesn’t need lots of noise making toys, he has his imagination.
Family Meals are Mandatory
During the first year of Lucas’s life we never ate together. Even once he was on a normal eating schedule. He ate and then Rob and I would pick at whatever or eat whenever we wanted. A lot of the reason for not having family meals was due to my work schedule. Now that my work schedule no longer plays a part in that, we are eating more as a family.
So what happens now that we eat as a family? Lucas is more likely to try new foods. Last night we had ravioli. He’s tried ravioli before and he was not interested. This time around, he was all about the ravioli we ate together as a family.
Family mealtimes are a bonding exercise and expand food appreciation. Family meals will be mandatory from the start with a second child. I’m not going through buying dinners for the baby while also trying to plan our meals. I will not cook twice and eat at separate times.
Check out my post Pacifier Weaning A Toddler Without Frustration.
No more schedule for Second Child
At birth Lucas was on a very strict schedule. Mind you the schedule we put in place worked for us and it was adjusted often as he grew and his needs changed. Even at the beginning of toddlerhood there was a pretty strict schedule for him. We’ve done away with it and here’s why.
The schedule didn’t work anymore for our lives and it created conflict when life got busy. By forcing a schedule our child never asked for anything. His naps were always at a certain time and if he didn’t want to he was walked for up to an hour or more until he took a nap. Meal time was always at a certain time so he never asked for food or told us if he was hungry.
Recently we did away with the schedule. Yes, bedtime is still a strict 8 pm but nap time is only if he’s showing signs of being tired. When he’s hungry he lets us know and then he helps to decide what to eat by picking options.
I’m sure there will be a schedule at first if we were to have a second child. However, once that child starts getting mobile, there will be less schedule and more conversational options given.
Check out my post What To Do When Your Toddler Is Scared To Poop.
That’s it. Everything I will do differently raising another child. I’ve learned from mistakes and totally know how great it’s will be the second time around, right? HAHAHA! That’s a lie all parents tell themselves when considering a second child. At least I’m honest.
Share this out to all your mom friends, first time moms, or pin to your favorite parenting boards. Follow me on Pinterest. Leave a comment below letting me know what you would do differently the second time around.
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