1 Jul 2013

Round Two

Parenting, especially for the first time is the one of the most unpredictable and challenging things in life. I say this because the outcomes and experiences are unique for each person that there really is no one right way approach to it. 

However as I await the arrival of baby number two I've realised there are a few things I would do differently next time around. Mind you I say this now and probably look back on this post and think "You're an idiot, that didn't happen.

Things such as:   
  • Get out more when they're not mobile. I feared getting out on my own with a little one especially when I was still breast feeding. How I look back on that time and think that was the easiest. They were content to stay in the pram, could feed anywhere without the need of supplies (bottles, formula, food etc) and basically you could do more because they were content to sleep most of the time.
  • Maintain a routine of somewhat. I have not decided whether I would completely commit to a routine .... I do have a toddler and he's unpredictable and plays a factor in maintaining a routine. I will however, attempt to monitor things such as time between feeds, how long baby feeds on each breast and length of time baby sleeps. I never tracked these things last time and for me it meant I wasn't sure whether my child was hungry or tired making it difficult for me to read Eli.  
  • Trust my own decisions. Being surrounded and having the support of family was really beneficial especially as a first time parent. There was always extra hands to help but meant hearing, doing or witnessing (without consent) other parenting methods you may not be comfortable with. For example every time Eli would cry some person assumed he was hungry this meant I lost track of when he had is last proper feed or when his next one was due. Being on our own this time we can actually maintain the kind of parenting style we want and say "no" to well meaning people.  
  • Minimise co-sleeping. Eli now has his own bed that he sleeps in however he still wakes up at least once at night and crawls into our bed. He hasn't .... ok we haven't taught him how to put himself to sleep in his own bed ... yet. We enjoyed sharing our bed with Eli but unfortunately the next one wont be so lucky. The cot is where the baby will sleep no matter what. Haven't decided whether we will try any controlled sleeping methods however co-sleeping is something we want to avoid this time around.
  • Accept people's offer to babysit or hold my child so I can eat or watch him while I run some errands. First time around I built an expectation on myself that I had to look like "I gahts dis child bearing / parenting gig under control." But with two little perfect humans and getting over my pride I know now sometimes we all need help. The help keeps me mental and actually makes me a better mother. I've also come to realise those who do offer their services are genuine and want to be there for you, so let them.  

What lessons did you learn from your first pregnancy that you applied in your subsequent pregnancies?
Any tips or warnings for dealing with a new born and toddler?

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