My parenting has changed drastically from having my first child to now with my third.
#1: In the early weeks, I remained completely still as she napped on me multiple times each day. Had to pee? Hold it! Had to sneeze? Don’t even think about it! Later on, our schedule all day, every day revolved around her 2-naps per day schedule. She always napped in her crib. Plans would be rearranged if she overslept.
#3: He may catch a morning nap in the carseat or Ergo, but it’s not guaranteed; the afternoon nap happens at home but he will be stirred if he over-sleeps. We’ve got places to be!
#1: I hid in another room to nurse at family gatherings, even when she was cluster-feeding. I pumped to bottle feed in public. We always had a suction bulb nearby just in case. I feared nursing in public.
#3: He nurses in the Ergo multiple times per day. He stays latched as I chase after #1 & #2… I suspect I could latch him on without the carrier and he’d be able to dangle their by way of suction
#1: Everybody had to scrub up before touching her. I attached hand sanitizer to her stroller. Any sniffles and you were banned. I feared older kids sharing their schoolyard cooties with her. No sitting on the floor without a blanket. Pacifiers were thoroughly cleansed if they touched anything but her mouth. Bottles were sterlized.
#3: Germs boost the immune system.
#1: I forced myself to sit up and stay awake for every single night feeding. I fretted over every sleep grunt or hiccup. I was entirely certain I’d never sleep again.
#3: He nurses in our bed while I try to catch some shut-eye. I’m still not sleeping.
#1: I documented her every movement in a journal. I wrote multi-page letters to her biweekly. I read “What to Expect the First Year.” I encouraged her physical development with great anticipation. We attended baby gymnastics classes and mommy-and-me swim. (She didn’t regularly walk until 19-months any way.)
#3: I have maybe two passages written in his baby book (note to self: try to remember when he got his first tooth… he’s on tooth #4 now.) He’ll walk when he walks and then I’m screwed.
#1: Everything was new and coordinated. Getting her dressed was fun. I changed her multiple times a day, completely redressing her every time her outfit had a smear, dribble, or spot on it.
#3: Any top + any pants = dressed. Unless he pooped up his back, wipe the onesie with a baby wipe and keep it rolling, everything is hand-me-downs anyway.
#1: It was a momentous occasion to introduce solid foods. Each mealtime was an event. Each food was painstakingly introduced with cautious assessment of possible allergic reaction.
#3: He hated purees. He eats what we eat.
Putting Baby Down-
#1: I would place her in her Exersaucer or baby swing, ensuring she was reasonably pleased before I tended to whatever duties required me to put her down.
#3: I put him on the floor.
#1: Most of her toys were new. All were thoroughly washed and were sanitized if she ever got the sniffles.
#3: I maybe threw some of his cloth toys in the wash during a nesting frenzy before he was born… I think?? He plays with his own toys, as well as #1 and #2’s toys, but prefers trying to tear apart the shoe basket.
Life is nuttier with 3 kids, but it’s easier not being so caught up in the first-time-mom worry. That’s just exhausting! You have to live it to learn it.