It is still a whirlwind to look back at the first few weeks and months of bringing home my second child. The amount of times I thought to myself or expressed to others about how different baby number two was from baby number one are countless. Now that my second is approaching a year and a half, I’ve had ample amount of time to think about this obvious, yet surprising, fact that each baby is so different.
TimeI often get sad thinking about ALL of the time my oldest used to have with me because he simply does not get that anymore. And his little sister never has had that. He had 100% of my attention 100% of the day. Now they each get maybe 50% of my attention, give or take, and it just doesn’t seem fair. The first two weeks were really hard on my then two-year-old. It took him some time but he eventually got used to the new normal and I’m happy to say he has adjusted really well. Time flies. What seemed to take my son forever to learn (rolling over, sitting on his own, etc.) was here before I knew it with my little girl. In fact, I missed my daughter’s first two times rolling over by herself because I was busy helping out my toddler! I can promise you there was no way in heck I could’ve missed some of my boy’s firsts – because my eyes were on him all day long. My baby girl’s newborn stages didn’t seem to last nearly as long as my little boy’s. Time is a difficult thing to keep up with when you’ve got more than one child!
ConfidenceMy confidence level bringing home my second baby compared to my first was astronomical. I knew somewhat what to expect and I was aware of the fact that babies are tough and resilient should a mistake happen. I wasn’t as paranoid, I implemented better – more practical – methods and sleep habits, and I already knew some important things like how to swaddle a baby--things that took me a long time to figure out with my first. Not only was my confidence better, but my husband’s was too. He wasn’t as overwhelmed as I remember him being the first time around and wasn’t on Google every other hour asking questions about this or that. He handled the transition to another new baby like a champ.
Gender DifferencesObviously, gender differences aren’t going to be relatable for everybody having their second child, but I experienced a few things in this category that I figured I’d share anyway. When it comes to newborns, it is really difficult to pinpoint differences in genders personality wise. So there’s really only the obvious… physical differences. We decided to have my boy circumcised, which was done at his first doctor’s appointment a few days after he was born. The healing and maintenance following this procedure was a lot of added stress for me as a brand new mom and I was so happy to not have to deal with any of that with our girl. I always imagined that changing a boy’s poopy diaper was more challenging than changing a girl’s poopy diaper due to all of the cracks and crevasses. This assumption was quickly tossed out once my baby girl came along! Wiping from front to back took a minute to get used to, and it turns out it's trickier to get to her cracks and crevasses than it was my boy’s. But the biggest poopy diaper difference is that there is nothing stopping the poop from heading all the way up the front and out the top! Boys have a little bit of a barricade to keep it more confined to the back. Accessories with girls has been a whole lot more fun than I imagined it being. Boys have adorable clothes, but girls are lucky to have a variety of bows, headbands, jewelry, and even tights to spruce up their outfits. This was a fun gender difference for me to play around with a bit.
Because of my previous experience with a newborn, when my daughter came along, I had an idea of what to buy. First, I knew what I liked the first time around (like Huggies diapers) but I also had an idea for what I was missing the first time around that I wanted this time (like a better nursing cover). I already had the basics like a crib, a chair, a swing, a pack-n-play, and a whole slew of clothes –-a good handful of which I was able to convert to girl clothes. Being able to reuse so many items was quite the money saver! Especially because babies grow out of many of those things very quickly!