Lifestyle

9 ways parenting your second child differs from your first

Nothing compares to the sheer joy and utter confusion that comes with becoming a mum for the first time. Yes, you have no idea what you’re doing, but what you lack in experience you certainly make up for in love.

The good news is that with every motherly mishap, we discover what works and what doesn’t. When you’re ready to add to the clan, you’ve learned a thing or two in the parenting department.

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What changes with your second child?

With your first baby comes a sense of excitement and a sense of adventure. With your second baby comes this same sense of excitement and adventure, but also a newfound sense of confidence that you actually know what you are doing this time around. Or at least you have an idea.

So how is parenting different the second time around?

1. You resist the urge to fill your house with baby junk.

With your first, you probably bought every bouncer, jumper and swing on the market only to discover that bub won’t sleep anywhere but in your arms anyway. With the second, a blanket on the floor will do the trick.

2. You realise the best advice out there is your own.

Before you become a mum, it’s only natural to want to follow everyone else’s advice, especially those who have had kids. But with your second one, you realise that you do what works for you. And you learn from what doesn’t.

3. You learn to sleep through those disturbing baby sounds.

Like grunts. And farts. And groans. And sighs. As cute as they are, when you have your second, your radar for baby noises tends to take a dive. And you actually sleep when baby sleeps, rather than staying up listening to every adorable grunt.

4. You start to enjoy the little things, rather than worrying about them.

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It’s only natural to be concerned every time your baby spits up, does an odd-coloured poop or makes a strange noise. With your second, there isn’t anything you haven’t seen before. And when you eliminate the fear, then it’s easier to see the funnier side of things, like green coloured poop all over your white carpet.

5. You accept help.

Proving you can do it all doesn’t seem all that important when you have a newborn and a toddler to keep happy. By the second you are more than happy for someone to tag team the duties with you. Even if that someone happens to be the television…

Or your firstborn even.

6. Dial-A-Doctor is no longer on your favourites list.

Turns out, you don’t need to contact a doctor every time your child sneezes or has a blocked nose. By the second one you’ve probably discovered the healing powers of Vicks (placed on the soles of bub’s feet at night to help with a cold), a warm wash cloth (placed on your little one’s head during a fever) and a soothing cuddle.

7. You adopt “baby led weaning”.

Or… as it should be known, “letting your second born eat the crumbs off the floor that your first born threw there in disgust”. Turns out, spending hours pureeing food is pointless when your second born is just going to inhale his older brother’s food when you’re not looking.

8. You let your child live in a nappy.

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Because adorable baby clothes just end up being adorably dirty baby clothes that need to be washed, hung up, folded and put away. And disposable nappies can just be thrown in the bin.

Babies don’t really care if they are wearing a Homebrand nappy or a three-piece designer outfit.

They are still going to spew all over it either way.

9. You learn to let go of the ‘perfect’.

The perfectly-behaved baby. The perfectly-clean house. The perfectly-together mum. Being perfect sounds way too exhausting. And by your second you come to realise that. You learn to embrace the imperfect moments, as messy, chaotic and sleep-deprived as they may be.

Sure, being a perfect mum-of-one has its moments (or I assume it would – I must admit I was never quite there). But what I do know is that nothing compares to the sheer satisfaction and happiness that comes with being a less-than-perfect mum-of-two.

Here is four ways to boost your energy when you’re sleep deprived.

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jenna
written by:

Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna traded in the cold mountain air for the laid back lifestyle of Australia nine years ago. She is now a mum to one son, one daughter, one dog and one cat, all of whom live with her and her partner in Cairns, QLD. When not writing about the ups and downs of parenting, she is usually outside doing some form of physical activity or indulging in a glass of antioxidant-infused fruit drink. Okay, it's wine.