Wednesday, June 5, 2013

First vs Second Kid

After 2 weeks, I have realized a lot of my parenting style has changed since my first child was born. I have learned what is 'normal', what I don't need to worry about, etc. And of course, I have forgotten all the fun newborn stuff over the past almost 3 years.

With Evie, I was trying to make sure she ate every 2 hours. It was tiring, and she was really hard to wake up. When newborns are asleep, it takes so much effort to wake them up. Undressing them, changing their diaper, tickling their feet, blowing on them (heard a good tip to wet finger and put it on their belly then blow on it). It is just hard and none is guaranteed to work. None of these worked on Evie.

But with Julian, I have learned to let a newborn sleep. Never wake a sleeping baby. They will wake up and let you know when they are hungry or when they need a diaper change. Really. If you are tuned to them and they sleep next to your bed, you can catch them waking up and rooting way before they sleep.

I guess that is something else I have learned with already having a kid, the being able to sleep with keeping an ear out for any noises. I did not sleep well when Evie was a newborn, but with Julian I actually sleep. I am not checking if he is breathing as much. I actually sleep at night when he sleeps. Also I am OK with the idea that I can fall asleep while holding him on my chest burping him. I am not on the edge of the bed. I have both arms around him, and I am more sleeping aware I guess....

As stated above, we tried to feed Evie every 2 hours. This was exhausting since I needed to pump, we syringe fed for a while. Then I graduated to a nipple shield and used that for a month. We still supplemented with a bottle here and there.

With Julian he latched immediately. I know how to sandwich my boob to get it in his mouth. I know when his latch is good. I know when his latch is bad. I can walk around while nursing him! I am so much more knowledgeable of the hungry cues and he rarely gets too worked up to eat. He nurses on demand, so at times I feel like he is constantly on the boob, but times where he is not nursing for a long stretch.

Leaving them be
I have learned that I can go upstairs to start laundry while he is downstairs sleeping in the pack n play. Yes I look down to make sure he is ok often, but I don't tote him around with me. I guess this is a bit more freedom and less worry. I have learned how to take a shower (bouncy seat in bathroom) and take one regularly without issue. I am getting more done around the house.

Listening to my body
If I am tired I try to take a nap, or at least relax on the couch. If I am sore I sit down and force myself to not push myself. Really, it is simple, but I think when Evie was a newborn, I felt like I had to do this, this, and this and really let my recovery take longer.

Getting out of the house
I don't know why, but it is so much easier to get out of the house! I know what is needed in the diaper bag and I can quickly get it together. I am not worried if the baby cries, since usually I know what he wants. Also I am now a baby wearing mommy - so much simpler to do things and keeps him happy. I have gone to the grocery store, target, moms groups, etc. I am not afraid to take my baby out in public. This also lets me keep my sanity. Getting out of the house daily is really important. Also for quick outings, yes I bring the diaper bag, but no I do not bring it into the store - So much easier!

Baby Wearing
I have learned that baby wearing is so much easier to do things in and out of the house! I have a boba wrap, I made a ring sling, and I have an ergo. With him being so tiny, I am using the wrap and ring sling. The ring sling is so easy to put on and off, but I feel he is more secure in the wrap. I was very smart and made the ring sling of linen so it is nice and breathable in this heat! I am able to clean around the house, clean up dog poop, etc with him on me. Such a great thing to do!

With my first, I always watched all of Evie's clothing separate. I continued this for a good 1.5 years. Then I started washing all our clothing together. Julian's clothing is already mixed into ours. I use the same laundry detergent (rockin' green) for all our laundry - so why not. Makes laundry simpler!

Forcing myself to eat an drink
This is so important with a newborn. I have so many snacks around the house. Every time I go to the kitchen I chug a glass of water. I know I need to eat breakfast and lunch, and have that food around the house. I think it is helping me loose the baby weight and helping me keep up my milk production!