- June 24, 2016
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Life After Birth: In With the New
One of these things is not like the other…… And one of those things is my kid. And so is the other thing.
This is my round about way of talking about just how DIFFERENT two little kids can be, and how a mama is supposed to deal with that. When you have already gone through the circus that is raising one babe, you have some experience and you’ve learned to deal with the ins and the outs, and some days you actually feel like you’ve got it together!
And then babe number two shows up. Oi. All of a sudden the things that worked like a dream with your first (or things you never dealt with) have no affect, and the panic sets in. Well don’t stress too much mama, just take a breath, and remember that you successfully did this with one little one, and you can do it again!
Since I was was going from a boy baby to a girl baby I was expecting to have some things I wasn’t used to, but I can honestly say that baby number two rocked my world and questioned everything I thought I knew about being a mama. I needed to learn how to deal with things that I didn’t need to learn with my first because he didn’t have the same problems!
If you’re feeling anything like me and your new little one has forced you to make some changes and learn a few new things, or are looking for some tips, I’m here to (maybe) help! Here are a couple of things that are majorly different between my first and my second and how I’ve done my best to work through the trial and error period all over again!
I, like most human beings, truly enjoy sleeping. And with my first I was blessed with an absolutely great sleeper. I’m talking naps, through the night, in the car, at the movies– This kid would sleep, and sleep through anything! The fact that we lived above a Filipino rock band the first year of his life probably had something to do with the hard sleeping, but who knows!
Baby girl enters the scene, and sis is a light sleeper in every way! Early on I had a tough time with the fact that she would basically wake up whenever she heard the teeniest sound, and with the world’s noisiest toddler and an HOA that insists on doing yard work like every single day (?!) I felt like we were set up to fail.
In order for any of us we had to change things up around the house! Morning nap became quiet time for my little guy, which unfortunately means some extra iPad time, but sometimes that’s the way it goes. We also decided to sleep train a little earlier than we did with our first, because we needed to make sure that our son wasn’t losing too much sleep. Since our kids share a room, we also had to adjust our toddler’s sleep and nap schedule to accommodate babe. In our house that means that baby goes into the crib before brother for both afternoon nap and bed time for about 20-30 minutes giving her time to settle down and then we put our older boy down. It also means that a noisemaker is a must. Keeping that thing on absolutely makes the difference between her being up all night and her falling back asleep easily and quickly.
The change up helps both kids a lot! It gives our youngest time to cry it out and self-soothe, while giving us a little one-on-one time to focus on a nighttime routine with our oldest. Our schedule isn’t perfect, has taken a lot of trial and error, but 10 months into our fam of 4 we’ve got two little ones that (for the most part) sleep through the night and nap during the day.
I nursed both of my kids until about 9 months, when I switched to formula until their first birthday. Luckily my first babe took both a bottle and nursed without any issues, and made it easy for me to go back and forth and pump when I wanted to take a break, and nurse when it was more convenient. He also didn’t have any issues when we switched from breast milk to formula to milk, which made my life so easy. Too easy…
Unfortunately our little girl refused bottles from the beginning. We tried a couple different nipple shapes before just deciding it wasn’t worth trying every bottle on the market. We also tried to get her to use a binkie in hopes that the sucking would help her to take a bottle– no dice. When we finally started to wean off nursing, and after talking to her pediatrician, we ended up going straight to a sippy cup! Since I had some breast milk in the freezer I was able to slowly introduce formula, which turned out to be a good idea, because she hated it at first!
Not only did she not like the taste of formula, but the standard milk-based formula made her so colicky that I was borderline losing it everyday! We tried switching her to soy formula after I reached out to a couple of friends for advice. And what do you know, she’s acting happier but breaks out in a weird rash all over her body. Good heavens, this girl is trying me! Until finally (about 2 weeks ago) we switched to sensitive milk-based formula and thankfully it has done the trick! After feeling like I was at the end of my rope, we found a solution, but sometimes that’s the way it goes!
Our son takes after his dad and has honestly the most beautiful, tanned skin. He’s had it since he was born, and has really never had a blemish, a mark that stuck around too long, or a rash. Never had a sunburn (maybe something to do with the sunscreen I’m kind of neurotic about), never had bad reactions to soaps or lotions, and has pretty much been a breeze.
You guessed it! Our babe has had never-ending skin issues since she was teeny tiny. She took after me in that department, poor thing. Right after she had her first bath she had some of the worst baby eczema/acne that was red and irritated and flaky. We bought so many things to try and help, and were pretty much the blind leading the blind looking for a solution.
She has also had notoriously bad diaper rashes that we would try to analyze- is it the formula, is it the teething, is it the bath soap? We would try to treat with basic zinc-based creams, but they weren’t cutting it, and our little girl was struggling. Oh, and (of course!) she also gets sunburnt just from being in the car for too long. This chick.
Since her brother literally has had zero issues ever we needed to figure some things to help sis out! One stand out product that we have lived and died by is the Tubby Todd All Over Ointment. this stuff is pretty much magical and solves nearly every skin issue she has! Took care of her eczema, treats her random rashes and helps with diaper rash! Never needed it till little miss showed up, but now we can’t live without it!
It’s a given that our kids are going to be different, and that our parenting is going to change moving from 1 to 2, but trust me when I say I know how it feels when you’re dealing with brand new problems and losing sleep in the process. Try to remember that most things are just for a season, and some things that are life changing for us in the moments won’t last forever. Trial and error is the only answer that is really an answer, and to remember that no matter what the love you have for your kids will make all the difference in the world. XO
Brooke Allington is a 27-year-old nap lover living with her adorable family in Orange County, CA. She feels lucky to be able to stay at home with her 2 kids, Hudson and Sienna, and work on her multi-tasking, park hopping, and momming. A graduate from BYU in Psychology, she has experience working in early childhood education. Passionate about making mamas more confident in all things baby!
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