What would/will you do differently, or have you done differently with your 2nd DC compared to your first?(69 Posts)
I know this is a bit of a common dilemma on here but currently agonising over whether to try for DC2 and I think I'm actually frightened that I'm not really up to it mentally (amongst other things like finances etc).
I'm quite an anxious worrier type anyway but I can now see that some of my fears e.g. my worries over dds perceived lack of sleep as a baby were irrational. I also realise that perhaps some of my actions may have lead to her being quite clingy and mum orientated now at 2.5, but I guess they are just the "mistakes" of the first time parent.
Have any of you had similar concerns and what would you/will you do differently next time around? Similarly, if you have already had dc2, did you manage to implement these changes and did they make things easier?
Trying for DC2 now. Overall I expect we'll be a ton more relaxed on most things because a) we'll have done it before; and b) we'll KNOW that DC won't die / hate us / grow up a psycho because of every little thing.
I have 2 ds, 5mths and 3yrs.
I am so much more relaxed with both, there isn't the time to not be! I vowed not to let mil interfere as much with ds2, which I have. I also hoped breastfeeding would go better. It hasn't but I'm more relaxed so it's not such a big deal.
I'm pregnant with dc 2 (and 3!) at the moment.
I think this time I'll be more relaxed. Last time, I killed myself to breastfeed (exclusively pumped for months in lieu of latch) . This time, if it doesn't work, I won't do it and I won't feel guilty!
Last time I didn't ever relax, I was always cleaning the house or trying to give my newborn intellectual stimulation by reading books aloud. This time I'll sleep and watch telly.
Co slept with dc2 she was Velcro baby and wouldn't sleep anywhere but on me. Bonded better with dc2 - didn't suffer with PND. Generally do much more relaxed with dc2, not worrying about weight, milestones, potty training etc as I knew that she would get there eventually.
With dc3 I care even less. The PND came back with a vengeance, but as long as everyone is alive, fed, clothed, washed and had a cuddle by the end of day it will do. My standards have dropped considerably!
I think the worries just change as they get older. My midwife told me with my first that he was just my practice baby - it would get easier with another
Yes, I was exactly the same Guy with the not relaxing. Thought I had to be stimulating her during every waking moment! I look at tiny babies now and think how silly I was!
When I had ds2 and ds3 I was just a lot more relaxed. I didn't care what the books said my child 'should' be doing at certain ages, I let them cry for a bit and it wasn't the end of the world - it was a baby crying in a Moses basket perfectly safe or dealing with the toddler who was trying to get a knife out of the drawer kind of thing. I also felt a lot more confident when dealing with health visitors and Drs - I didn't feel like the over protective mum. I also ignored advice from my mother and mil in how I 'should' be feeding, changing, etc.
Yes I suppose you realise letting them cry for a bit won't harm them!
Dc1 - no cartoons til 1
Dc2 - 7mo and watches cartoons every day (albeit a small amount)
Dc1 - detailed schedule sent to the CMs
Dc2 - "just feed him when he wines and put him down for a sleep when he rubs his eyes"
Dc1 - fully stocked changebag every trip
Dc2 - buys a coat with pockets big enough for a nappy in one and a bottle in the other
Dc1 - co ordinated bedding in crib
Dc2 - pillowcases as crib sheets
I think I could write a book on what I did differently with DC2.
With DC1 I was fresh out of a demanding high powered job where I was in control and I went into motherhood unconsciously expecting I could be the same.
Of course I couldn't but it took me ages to realise that.
With DC2 I went with the flow. My standards were no lower but my expectations were much more realistic.
And as others have said, you already have your daily pattern and commitment of DC1; DC2 just slots in amongst them.
DH and I have just started TTCing number 2, after much agonising (similar issues to you, OP).
My main goal will be to put the baby down more often! Or at least get a sling. DS would not be put down. Ever.
I probably won't start "activites" as early with DC2 - we started swimming lessons with DS when he was 12 weeks and baby gym at 6 months. He loves both but I mostly went to meet other mums so I'll probably wait a little longer with DC2.
Seriously thinking I might mix feed DC2 - I found BFing utterly draining with DS1. Would be great if DH could give me a break.
I followed all the "rules" with dd and she was a terrible sleeper until 3. I gave up with ds - let him sleep
on with me, then rocked him to sleep in pushchair when a bit older. Carried him around everywhere and haven't made any attempt to encourage independence.
He is a brilliant sleeper and incredibly sociable, confident toddler.
So I wouldn't worry to much about what your actions have caused. Also, your second will be different because they will have an older sister to copy.
Finally, my dd was like yours sounds at 2.5. Incredibly clingy and shy with strange adults. She would only talk to me despite being an early talker. Now at 3 she is completely different.
I think with your first, you have an expectation that you will be able to control things more and you have a plan in your head about how things will go and what parenting will be like iyswim. When DC2 comes along, you have lower expectations and so don't beat yourself up when things are difficult.
I remember when DS1 was a baby, I would unplug the phone when he slept, tiptoe round the house etc. With DS2, 18 months later, I saw nap time as a good time to get the hoover out.
You are definitely more relaxed.
DC2 just has to 'fit in' with the rest of the family - DD went to her first toddler group at 6 days because that's what DS was doing. If school run doesn't fit in with nap/feed etc, school run happens first etc
Biggest shock was that babies are different - what worked with DC1 won't necessarily work with DC2 and vice versa.
Ds was 22 months when dd was born.
Second time around I:
Feed when hungry, no feeding schedule
I don't spend every minute 'interacting' with baby, it's ok for her to sit in her chair and watch her brother, us and just coo and babble to herself
I won't be 'reading' endless books to dd, no time and it didn't do ds any good! He hates books now, so if they are going to like them they like them! Am sure it'll all come good though.
I'll not be spending hours batch cooking, steaming and freezing sweet potato type dishes, it'll be finger foods and yoghurt, toast, porridge as I'll have no time do it.
I think second dc just fits in around the family rather than the other way.
Just to reassure you, despite the small age gap, I've found dc2 much easier than dc1. She's just slotted into our family and to be honest, you'd hardly know there was a baby in the house.
She sleeps brilliantly too!
DS1 needed to be cuddled or fed to sleep. It limited me massively, as it was so time consuming. I was in awe of friends who could put thieir babies into their baskets or cots, and just leave them to settle and then they could get on with soemthing else.
When we had DS2, I was determined to try and get him to self settle. It took a while, but I kept rememebring back to what it had been like with DS1, and DS2 did learn to self settle. It freed up a lot of time for me to do things with DS1. It may have been that DS2 was simply always going to be a better sleeper, I don't know. But I was glad that it worked out.
Also, DS1 would only eat home cooked food. Until he was about 2 yo. Nothing out of a jar and not even an Annabel Karmlem shepherd's pie from the supermarket. And I tried them all. He would only eat things I'd made. Which was fine in some ways, as he ate everything I did make, but I did spend a long time preparing a wide varieety of things for him.
I introduced DS2 to jars quite early, so that he would get used to them. But no, he would only eat home made food too. Looking back, it was fine (he is now 3yo), but getting Ds2 to eat jars was something I wanted to do differently. But it didn't work
We've done lots of things differently, but she's a very different little person so I guess I'll never know if any of it actually made a significant difference to her overall.
DS was formula fed on a rigid schedule, our whole day was solid routines, I constantly interacted with him, used a pushchair until 3.5yo because his legs were too little to walk more than a mile (surely?), used disposable nappies and wipes with massive eczema issues, made sure all sleeps took place in travel cot/cot and got him weighed regularly.
DD came along and shook me up! She was breastfed whenever/wherever for 16 months, we have a loose schedule that mainly revolves around the school run, she will happily walk 1.5 miles (granted it take an hour) at a time despite being a tiny 2yo, we use cloth nappies and wipes, did baby led weaning, used a sling a lot in the early days to feed on the school run, still use it for long walks sometimes, she will still only nap in the he pushchair/on me and ends up in my bed more nights.
I'm currently 35wks pregnant with DC2 (a DS). I was actually quite chilled out with DD (thanks to MN!) but did still take 'advice' from MIL a bit to heart which I won't do this time. I expect there will be less of it as we've already got a confident, chatty 5yo so clearly did okay the first time
I'm getting a sling and using it from day 1. DD hated the sling but it took a few months for me to work up the courage to put her in it, this time, he won't have a choice. He'll also just have to fit around the school run as that will take priority (although I am signing DD up to every after school club running to give me a bit longer to get there!)
Also - it's fine for a baby to be out and about in a baby grow. they don't have to have different outfits for every occasion!!
I'm dabbing my eyes at the 'this time I'll be more relaxed' and 'baby will just have to fit in with our routines' comments... I was adamant dd was going to take an occasional bottle, sleep in her Moses basket after self settling and generally slot in to me and ds (2yr) routine. She turned up three months prematurely, left our routines in a smoking ruin, came home 81 days later on two hourly round the clock feeds and 16 different meds and we had to give up all toddler groups for six months to keep her safe and swap them for 60 or so outpatient appointments with her favourite five consultants. Bottles caused her breathing and choking issues and no one invades my bed more than her. Life has a funny way of throwing you a curve ball when you try to plan too much, especially when it comes to babies.
I've done mostly the same things with dd2 as with dd1 but with more conviction
Bf on demand but this time I reply to the you are feeding a lot comments with that's how we feed now.
Co sleep with both but this time it was planned and informed and don't care what people say (including mw and hv) - following the 'safe sleep seven' by La Leche league which wasn't pubkished when I had dd1.
No particular routine with dd2 but was the same with dd1 as I'm not that into routine anywY.
Things which ar different - dd2 has a different temperament, not as frantic as dd1 and is bigger. So a bit easier to take out in sling, fits bouncy chair better etc (dd1 low birth weight)
Oh - actually a couple of things I'm not doing cloth nappies this time. And I Started at work when dd1 was only about 4 months but left her with other people (but went to feed her during day) but this time I've not really stopped work, I work for myself and spend the whole time typing one handed. But will not leave her with other peopl until she is older, as I want to make the most of it in case I don't have another baby !
All the comments of it will be easier second time around- I really haven't found that to be the case tbh, and I've never been someone who had high or particular expectations of how things should be. DD is now 2.7. She was a relatively 'easy' baby I suppose, no problems breastfeeding, easy to take out, generally a well and happy little thing. I was never good at getting her to nap in her cot in the day though, and I just went with the flow, let her sleep on me after feeding, and she slept in the pushchair a lot. She didn't sleep through the night until 18 months, I still fed her in the night until then, none of which was a massive problem for me.
DS is 13 weeks now, and fairly similar to DD, a bit more clingy maybe. But he has had a tongue tie, which has made breastfeeding a total battle, as opposed to the pleasure it was with DD. I would happily switch to bottles but he got on no better with that so I'm just carrying on breastfeeding but it's hard. Hoping the third tongue tie snip will work... I'm sure the tongue tie has affected other things, there is no set pattern to his feeds amongst other things. It's all well and good trying to do things differently or try to get them to nap better than the first etc, but I'm finding that so hard with the older child to look after to. Especially as the tongue tie has taken up so much of our time. It's all left me a bit of a wreck tbh.
The main thing is far, far fewer baby activities. Couldn't afford them as easily, and realised that they were mainly for mummy socialising, which I'm rubbish at and hadn't done much of anyway.
More laid back over food (no more organic everything and plan, plan, planning)
Breastfeeding far easier as I'd been practicing on DC1 for so long.
Accepted that I simply don't breed good sleepers, and went with the flow far more.
More TV - youngest was screen-deprived, then DVDs (approved by me) only. Now a screen obsessed Minecraft loon, so not sure it did any good anyway.
DC3 just got dragged up! TV, snack food, no classes in anything until she's at school!
Out of interest, why do you think the fact that your DD is "clingy" at 2.5 means you have made a mistake?
Toddlers are clingy, especially at 2.5 It's a sign of good attachment to you. It's normal, and this age is when it is at its height. She will gradually grow out of it as she develops a more mature understanding of time/space and an "internal mummy" that she can carry with her when separated from you. Doing this is what they are working on at 2.5.
In terms of what you'd do differently with your second, I think having another baby makes you realise that perhaps the way your eldest is is maybe little to do with what you have done. You aren't the rainmaker! It''s quite nice - it relieves you of the responsibility for everything.
For example. My eldest wouldn't be put down. My second was happy as larry to lie in his cot and look about him. I remember when he was just born actually worrying because he wasn't howling about lying in his cot. But they were just different.
My eldest was a fairly easy toddler, who, leaving aside whinging, was in general fairly flexible and accepting if the answer was "no". My second (despite much more chilled out as a baby) really REALLY struggles with the fact that he can't always get what he wants, even though he is over 3.5 now! He is slowly learning but its taking a while. He gets REALLY cross and upset about it and he struggles still to "get" that there are other people in the world other than him. My daughter had clocked that much earlier on. That said, he never ever whines and whinges, like my eldest did!
My eldest was very independent and happily trotted off to preschool at 2.5 without a backward glance. My second has taken a lot longer and a lot more sensitive management and hand holding to get him to the point where he now is (at 3.5) happy to go off to nursery.
They are just different!
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