Things with a second baby are so different than with your first. Might sound like an obvious statement, but one month in, and it is is strikingly obvious to me when I look back over the first four weeks of Malachy’s life and realise how we have done things so differently this time around. This is partly led by Malachy, as by nature he is a different baby to what Lylah was in so many ways, but also partly by us, because as parents we have approached the newborn days with a different attitude.
It’s still a world of unknowns…even though you do go into it with a certain air of cockiness and an ‘I know it all attitude’, a second baby will present many differences to the first. For example, unlike with Lylah, the breast feeding is going really well this time, and has done from day one. So I thought I’d got away with it scott free; he’s putting on weight, feeding well, etc etc. But no, he has developed oral thrush, something new and unknown and which has already had an impact on his feeds.
These are a few things I’ve noticed that we’ve done differently with baby round two:
Google. We hardly use it! With Lylah, I recall us being up at all hours in our bedroom, the only light coming from Chris’ iPhone as he frantically Googled how to get this wind out of our little girl! We Googled everything, from breast feeding (I saved every page I could find on breast milk storage), colic, methods to relieve colic, ‘why is our baby crying’, ‘why is our baby still crying’, and the old favourite, ‘how to stop my our baby crying’.
Going out. I didn’t properly leave the house for some time after Lylah was born. I was happy to stay in, dressed in PJs, feeding on the sofa and perhaps freshening up for the occasional visitor. This time, I was taking Lylah to pre-school, baby in tow, by the end of week two, and had ventured out lots before this with Chris’ help. A month in and we are out and about most days, Malachy just being dragged along for the ride of our pre-existing toddler routine.
Soothing. Uh Oh, the baby’s crying! What, you mean your second baby, who you can’t actually get to because the toddler is having another meltdown whilst hanging from her swing set? Oh, the baby has stopped crying already and settled himself? That’s good then! As soon as Lylah made a sound when she was a baby, one or both of us would be there in a flash. No such luck for Malachy, he gets to soothe himself while Mummy is pulling her hair out over number one. This isn’t to say we don’t ever comfort him (I can imagine you’re thinking this poor child is left to fend for himself!), it’s just that it might take a little longer to get to him than it did the first time round!
Cuddles. On the other hand, Malachy does get a lot of cuddles. When Lylah is tucked up in bed, and we can spend some one on one time with the little man, we cuddle him, a lot! We would never have dared done this with Lylah. When she was settled that was it, we didn’t dare touch her for fear of her never sleeping again!
Bathing. Washing Lylah as a baby was two person job, filled with the dread that we were going to accidentally scold her/drown her/drop her. It was a long time before I bathed her confidently on my own. With Malachy, I can easily bathe him in his baby bath, while Chris is bathing Lylah in the tub, simultaneously chatting away to them, with no fear about whether I’m going to accidentally dunk the baby.
Photos. We haven’t taken as many photos or videos or Malachy as we did Lylah. Everyone says this happens, but I didn’t think it would apply to me. It will save the computer memory. Please note; I have still taken A LOT!
Socialising. I would NEVER have taken Lylah out to a restaurant/party/meal, somewhere public, at one month old. But last night we took our two year old and baby to a birthday meal, in a restaurant with actual people, whilst attempting to have adult conversation and a hot meal. It was pretty much a success, and just made us realise even more, that number two just takes it in their stride, and slots in to family life.
So, as Malachy continues to settle into our lives, we realise how blessed we are to have such a relaxed little boy, who seems to be becoming as much of a social butterfly as his sister!
In Malachy news, he weighs a whopping 1 stone. Yep, we’ve started wearing his 3-6 month clothes today, and now he actually looks comfortable!
In Lylah news, today she corrected me and then asked “understand?” She also told me I was bossy this week. Our conversations are getting funnier and she is getting cheekier! We also went bowling, but it was too busy so we ended up just playing in the arcade. Now Lylah thinks that going bowling is mummy and daddy frantically trying to win her a Sven cuddly from the grabber machine.
Lylah is currently staring at me repeating ‘mum’ ‘mama’ and ‘mummy’ over and over again and the baby has just started crying. Time for me to go!