5 Tips I Learned as a Second Time Mom
Sure, there are a ton of things you learn when you have your first child; I mean, it is a complete life change! But there are a certain set of tips I learned only after having my second child that I would like to share with you today. Let's get right into it!
1. Attention goes on the firstborn, not the baby
When you bring your new baby home, you may feel inclined to prioritize the newborn baby's wants and needs. While this is important, the priority should be on the child you already have at home. After all, your oldest child is used to having you all to him or herself, and it is quite unfair to all of the sudden put that attention only on the new baby. What you want is for your oldest child to know that the new baby is not going to take his spot. We do not want to encourage envy.
2. Involve your firstborn
Branching off of point number one, I found the best way to involve my firstborn when caring for my newborn was to involve him. When I would have to change a diaper, I would have my oldest go throw the diaper away, or get me wipes. I would also have him help me grab things like the remote or my phone when I was stuck on the couch cluster feeding. This as super helpful in making him feel like he was involved with the new baby, and now, after 7 months, he still will naturally help him when he is crying by bringing him his favorite toys or his pacifier.
3. Pacifiers are not bad
When I had my first, I was not really on board with the whole pacifier thing. I was his pacifier. I remember being stuck on the couch for HOURS trying to get him to fall asleep. I nursed him every hour because he was needing to suckle. He had lots of reflux problems due to overeating, and it was not until he got old enough to sleep train that he stopped using me as his fall asleep crutch. After a few months of this, I gave in and tried to give him a pacifier which he would not take because he learned to only want me.
After having my second, I requested a pacifier as soon as possible in the hospital to improve his chances of taking one, and he did! I am so thankful he does. He has zero reflux issues, he goes to sleep easily, and I am able to get all of my house chores done because I am not stuck on the couch being his pacifier. This is super big to me and goes back to point number one. I would not be able to tend to my oldest's needs to the best of my ability if I were stuck on the couch all day being a pacifier. I like the pacifier a lot!
4. Meal prep
I am not much of a meal prep kind of gal, but when I need to, I do! Having two kids on different nap or activity schedules means that I need breakfast and lunch items ready for me to grab or heat up at a moment's notice. Meal prepping has saved me so much time because if my oldest wakes up from a nap and needs lunch, I do not have to stop what I am doing with my newborn to spend 20 minutes making him something. I keep hummus, pretzels, apples, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch and peanut butter protein balls for breakfast. If he needs a snack, he usually just wants a piece of bread.
As for my 7 month old, Whitney has a great recipe for First Baby Food that is super easy to quickly prepare and freeze for any time you need to feed your baby.
When it comes to dinner, I usually make only 3-4 meals a week, but I make enough to have leftovers for the next day. This saves me time since I do not have to make dinner every single night.
5. Let them cry
Babies cry for a myriad of reasons, and as a mom you pick up on their different cries and what they are crying about pretty quickly. If your baby is hungry, of course feed him, but what I am talking about here is that it is okay to let them cry if they are crying for seemingly no reason, if they are fussy due to tiredness, or if you need a break. Lay them in a place that is safe and come back in a few minutes to comfort them. I find that the crying wears them out a bit, and they are much easier to console after a cry sesh. It is also much safer to put them down and let them cry if you need a break rather than getting flustered and angry at them, because I know we have all been there. ("Please just shut up!"Yep, I've been there.)
If I am in a crunch and need to quickly clean or tend to my oldest while my youngest is crying, it is okay to let him cry. Babies cry, welcome to motherhood!
Disclaimer: I don't recommend letting them cry for long, long periods of time. What I am talking about is a few minutes while you get something done, cool off, or tire them out.
These are just a few things I have either implemented, learned, or changed my mind about after having my second baby. I do wish this helps bring some help to those second, or third +, mommas who could use some tips. I could talk for hours about motherhood, but I thought these were the top tips that I could give. What are some tips you have learned as a second time mom? Let's chat in the comments!
See you next Monday,