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What I will do differently for baby #2 (if there is one)

First of all let me say that baby number two is not on the horizon at all. I have joked to Daniel saying that when Oliver can make me a PB&J then we can think about trying for another one.

Becoming a mother has been so wonderful but it has also been painful, exhausting and emotional. You can’t prepare someone by telling them what it’s going to be like – they just have to jump into the pool that is motherhood and learn how to splash around until they can swim by themselves. Of course we can support one another by taking meals, going to unload the dishwasher, holding baby while mama showers or has a sleep, but no one can warn you that the waters aren’t all that smooth at the beginning for everyone.

There are some things that I will do differently if we are fortunate to have another one, now that I’ve gone through the rollercoaster newborn phase:

1. Be prepared to labor at home.

I thought I was going to labor in the wonderful rooms at Baby + Co. but little did I realize that 99% of my laboring would be at home. Read my birth story here. I was not expecting them to turn me away after checking that I was 3cm dilated. I wanted to use the pilates ball, the big warm tub, the powerful shower sprayer, and the gym bars for early labor. I also knew that the Nitrous Oxide would be available if I wanted some relief towards the end. I probably wouldn’t have used all the equipment later on in labor as I was tired from contracting and preferred to lay on my side, but they would have helped a girl out earlier on. Next time I will buy a pilates ball and make sure I labor more in the bath at home, even though I did get in two or three times.

I had really bad pain in my back during contractions. This photo was at taken at home at 3:15pm and Oliver was born at 5:25pm, a mere two hours later.

2. Don’t go to the shops on day three.

I know, I know. What was I thinking? Well, after the huge surprise of having a baby boy, I desperately wanted to buy a gorgeous “boy” outfit as all the clothes I had were white, gray and yellow. I waddled into BuyBuyBaby, suddenly noticing other ladies walking slowly like me with a sort of grimace on their face as if they too were recovering from having a baby and were venturing out too early. In hind sight I should have bought a baby boy and baby girl outfit and just returned the one that I don’t need. Duh! Those first few days you need to rest, rest, rest, especially after tearing. Going to the Pediatrician on day four was also traumatic, so if I can avoid that and go after a week rather, I might. I wonder if my Doctor does house calls?

3. Find out the gender.

It was so wonderful to have a surprise for our first, but for our next one, I definitely want to know what it is! Do I need to prepare myself for another sweet boy or can you let me loose to buy all the tights and hair bows? How does anyone wait those 18 weeks????

4. Get a cleaning service.

I love living in a clean house, but I don’t love the actual cleaning. Life with a new baby (and even now) is so crazy that in your gaps of “free time” you need to sleep, shower, eat or just sit. I wish I had hired someone, or had a service come once a week for the first three months. Even now, having someone once a week would be lovely but it’s just not on the cards for us at this stage.

5. Start a coffee club (aka mama support group).

Once Daniel went back to work, I really needed people to talk with. It got lonely pretty quickly, especially since I had a fussy baby that cried a lot and was very unpredictable. I wish I had gone to a Le Leche meeting or set up a coffee club or mamas group where we could meet in each other’s homes and chat together. I am totally a people person and thrive on tea and chit-chat. I have found that getting together with other moms now is pretty tricky with different nap schedules and kids getting sick, but I love hanging out and watching our kids play. It’s so great to chat about life, get advice and know that you are not alone.

6. Get my mom (aka Bongi) to come live with us.

Not forever, but at least for a week. When Daniel went back to work I had the hardest time. Oliver got reflux and colic and I was stuck at home with a screaming baby. Of course my mom was great at taking Oliver for walks, coming to appointments with me, and taking us out to coffee and I’m so grateful, but next time I want to ask her to book some time off and come stay at our house, especially since I will have Oliver and a newborn. Whew! That sounds busy already and I’m not even pregnant.

7. Take more videos vs photos.

I have TONS of photos. If you have ever taken photos of kids, you know that you have to take 130,297,547 to get ONE good one. Sometimes you get ten good ones so you just keep all of them because they are all so cute. I do wish, however, that I had taken more videos of Oliver just sleeping, feeding, sneezing, yawning, or being a newborn. The videos give you so much more of a picture of what they were like and are fun for them to watch as they grow up as well.

Six days new. I can’t believe how quickly they grow. I just want to remember how small he was!

That one time he slept on his back #neversince. I wouldn’t change anything about sleeping on the floor in the nursery with him for the first few months. It was perfect.

8. Stick with a bottle a day.

Daniel was feeding Oliver a bottle a day from about 8 weeks on but we stopped because breastfeeding got a lot quicker, easier and more enjoyable than pumping and warming up bottles. However, I wish that we had kept up with one a day, or one every other day because trying to get him to take a bottle again after 3-4 months has been very tricky. Daniel now feeds him after his third nap every day and we are using a Mam sippy cup transition bottle that seems to be working pretty well.

He does a lot of chewing and shaking of the bottle but he is getting there!

Some of the things I wouldn’t change:

  1. Letting Ollie sleep on his crib mattress on the floor from day one was great.

  2. I loved sleeping in the nursery on our queen mattress next to him.

  3. I’m glad I only introduced solids at 7 months.

  4. I’m happy that we still feed on demand, and aren’t on a schedule.

  5. I’m grateful to be at home with him and also looking forward to starting to teach yoga occasionally.

That’s all I can think of for now but I know I’m going to think of others after this is published. Anyway, have a great weekend everyone!

I’m so curious to know what you would do differently or did do differently with your baby number 2, 3, 4…!?

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Hi, I'm Kendra

I am a qualified Montessori teacher and yoga teacher up to my ears in diapers, toy cars and the best kisses a mama can handle. I am passionate about connecting with moms and supporting each other on this journey of motherhood. I share family-friendly recipes, my pregnancy, postpartum and parenting journey, Montessori inspiration, and products we loveI am a South African living in the US with my hubby and two boys.

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