posted in Parenting
Let’s face it, there are definitely advantages to being the first-born child: Having a relatively higher IQ, getting your parents’ undivided attention until siblings come along, and bossing around younger brothers and sister are just a few. However, one disadvantage of being the oldest is we’re basically guinea pigs.
Since our parents had no idea what they were doing when we came along, their approach wasn’t very refined — making our childhood one big trial-and-error experiment.
Moms expecting their second, third, fourth, or more children have been discussing this very topic in the BabyCenter Community. Now that they have a little experience under their belts, what will they be doing differently this time around? Here are a few things they hope to change.
No more co-sleeping
One mom learned the hard way that co-sleeping isn’t ideal for her family. Because she wants to prioritize her own sleep this time, she won’t be making the same mistake with her fourth baby. “My 2yo and 4yo still give me problems at night about wanting to sleep with me,” she wrote. “I still plan on breastfeeding but don’t want to co-sleep anymore.”
Try to enjoy pregnancy more
Another mom hopes to relax and actually enjoy her pregnancy this time around. “I’m resolving this pregnancy not to worry so much! With my daughter I went above and beyond the pregnancy rules. I was terrified to eat at restaurants and I drove everyone crazy. This time I’m trying to be common sense about the rules and just enjoy the pregnancy, because if it all works out (praying it does!) this will be our last child.”
Help baby develop better sleep habits
Yet another mama hopes to train her baby to be a better sleeper from the get-go. “I will also try to get my new baby used to falling asleep without me holding him/her. LO (little one) is terrible at falling asleep, especially for naps,” she wrote. “I’m not going to have time to spend hours rocking baby to sleep while taking care of a toddler.”
Be more committed to breastfeeding
“I attempted to last time, but I don’t think I was truly committed & starting giving baby the bottle before I even left the hospital,” the mom wrote. “I’m also thinking about cloth diapering this time, but that’s still up in the air. Baby wearing is another thing I want to do more of with this baby, even around the house so I can multitask more & still have baby close.”
Skip breastfeeding, ditch the stroller & chill
Yet another mama has a list of areas she hopes to improve upon. “I won’t be breastfeeding at all,” she wrote. “I’ll use a stroller instead of just carrying baby in my arms on walks. I’ll be less freaked out about the first haircut. I’m going to chill waaaaaay out on the birth plan.”
Kegels & meal prep
Having been through the postpartum time once before, this mom already knows what she’ll do differently. “Kegels. Omg I’d love to not pee myself every time I cough/sneeze/laugh/run,” she wrote. “I will also hopefully meal prep more bc cooking with a newborn and other kids sucks.”
Skip the infant seat
Another mom has just one thing she’ll change with her next baby. “We plan to go straight to convertible car seat — infant car seats are just an extra expense and far too heavy to lug around when you’re also holding a toddler’s hand,” she wrote.
I’ve made little changes each time we’ve added to our family, and I think they’ve made everyone’s lives easier. When I was pregnant with our third, it was my mission to potty-train our toddler before her little sister arrived. (I had learned the hard way that two in diapers was NOT fun.) And with each kid, baby-wearing became increasingly important —–so much so, that for a fourth child, I would skip the infant bucket seat and go straight to a convertible one, too.
The bottom line: Every experience is different. What works for one family might not be the answer for another, and that’s okay. Because all of us are in the same boat, figuring out this whole parenting thing as we go.
What did you do differently after your first child?
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