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Friday, August 8, 2014

next time around

Meet Laura.  Laura is a mom to her 8 month old daughter, Natalie, and she is also a fellow blogger!  Like any new mom, Laura has learned from her I Guess I'm Due moments with baby #1.  Enjoy reading what Laura has to say about things she may want to do a little differently with baby #2.  
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Hi, I'm Laura and I blog over at Little Moments, Big Moments. I had my daughter, Natalie, on November 22, 2013 and the past 8 months have been an exhilarating time of figuring out this whole parenting thing. As a whole, I think I'm doing pretty good...if I do say so myself. Most of the time I just stick to my gut instinct, and so far it's working out. But as I'm navigating this new thing called motherhood, there are a lot of things that I'm learning and picking up as I go along. No matter how many books you read, or how much advice you get from mothers who have been there, done that...we are all sort of reinventing the wheel with each new child. I find myself saying on a daily basis "I'll do 'this' for the second child" It's hard not to feel like my daughter, Natalie, is just nothing but a guinea pig simply placed here for me to learn how to "really" raise a child. Of course everyone feels this way, there's no question that nothing can prepare you for being a parent other than actually being a parent. Plus, as an oldest sibling myself, I'd like to think that my parents got it right with there's that. :)

Still, these are the things I would like to do differently next time around:

1. I wholeheartedly plan to nurse my future children, as I have done with Natalie. However, I would like to have my next child more used to taking a bottle, especially at night time and especially with others. Natalie can go to bed with someone other than myself - it's just sometimes a struggle, and she doesn't prefer it. This one is hard because I truly love putting her to bed, I truly love our nighttime routine, and I don't mind being the one responsible for it. It only becomes an issue when I need to be somewhere or want to go out well...anywhere. 

2. This one is hard, but I may have to just put my foot down about not having so many visitors for the first few days when I have my second child. I'm so lucky to be surrounded by a fantastic support system, but when you're trying to breastfeed, and you really don't feel like taking a shower, and you feel like a whale, it's a very stressful and vulnerable time. I know there's nothing like a fresh, newborn little baby, but those that visited a few weeks after Natalie was born had a better time anyway because she was more alert and had a bit of a personality showing through. 

3. I'm going to be fine with bringing my next child to bed with me or sleeping with him/her in a chair on difficult nights for the first few weeks. I always felt guilty, or like I was doing something so wrong when I did - but it really did save us many nights, and she had no trouble transitioning to a crib because of it. Now, Natalie is a great sleeper! 

4. That being said, transitioning to a crib at 11 weeks was WAY easier than I initially thought it would be - I think I might try it earlier with my next child because it was so nice to not have to whisper or tiptoe around my room every night at bedtime. 

5. I will wait to introduce solids of any kind until after 5 months, or hopefully closer to 6 months or a little later. I largely introduced rice cereal and oatmeal to Natalie due to pressure from my doctor and husband. My husband was eager to start her on food, and eager to participate in feeding her since I was solely nursing. I understood that, and I don't regret starting her when we did. I don't think it was hurtful to her in any way, I just don't think it was necessary. Feeding her food was actually more of a hassle than just nursing anyway - high chair, bib, mix oatmeal, have pumped milk on hand to mix with food, thaw fruit or veggie to mix in - it was a whole new element to the day that while fun, wasn't really necessary so early on. 

6. Natalie kind of naps wherever and whenever right now. We're not on a set schedule and it all depends on how she sleeps each night (which tends to vary) When she naps she's either in her crib, on the couch, on a blanket on the floor or in her swing. Any of those places doesn't affect me now, but I know that our next child will not be able to take a nap in the middle of the living with a toddler likely running around making noise. I'd like to establish that naps happen in the crib and only the crib. (or swing for extra difficult days), in the child's room, upstairs, and away from any noise or distraction. 

Maybe some of these are pipe dreams and I'll end up doing things exactly the same as the first time. But it will be nice to go into the next one with a little experience, a little more confidence, and a little more peace of mind knowing that no matter how much I plan for the next baby, she/he will probably be the complete opposite of my first anyway. 

What are some things you hope to do differently with your next child? What did you do differently when you had your second child? (or 3+)?
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Thanks for sharing, Laura!  Make sure to check out Laura's blog: Little Moments, Big Moments

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