It’s amazing how different you feel about things the next time round. Before having Isla, I had a lot of stuff certain in my mind about how she would be fed, sleep, eat etc but this time round im far more laid back about it all. I guess that’s because I realise now after having one child that stuff doesn’t always go to plan, so planning for absolutely everything until the very last inch is just a waste of time and effort. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fab to have a game plan but mine won’t be so full on this time.
And having said that… in the next breath, I know that there are things we hope to do differently so I thought I’d share them with you.
1. We plan to breast and bottle feed – Isla was exclusively breastfed for 7 months and although this worked for us then it meant I was the only one who could feed her. Given that we will already have her to think about, I think it would make sense to get him used to a bottle so that others can feed him too as I might not always be able too. I plan to express so that it’s my milk he is taking from the bottle but I’m also open to the idea of introducing a bottle of formula before bed if it means getting a few hours extra kip. Exclusively feeding Isla for 7 months also meant I never spent any time away from her and then found it super hard when it came to handing her over.
2. Routine – Isla was about 5/6 months old before we introduced a proper routine but this time round I’m hoping to getting going with one almost straight away. This will include feeding every few hours to encourage fuller feeds instead of on demand ‘snack’ feeding, putting baby down for naps and introducing a bath, bottle and bed routine far earlier on. I was happy to stay up with Isla until 11pm most nights before she was 5 months old as I knew we could sleep in until 10am the next morning but now with her to consider who wakes up at 6:30am almost every morning, I know the 10am layins are a thing of the past!
3. Consider myself more – for the first 8 weeks of Isla’s life, we had visitors every single day. For the majority of those days, I loved it and wanted people to love and enjoy her but it did become too much at times. There were days when I wanted to stay in bed and not get washed or dressed, but I had too, days when I wanted abit of privacy and not to have to hide my massive leaky feeding boobs in my own home, but I felt I had too. This time round I’m not putting myself through it and we will have family days just the four of us in between visitors. Isla isnt used to people coming in and out the house everyday either and I think it’s important to keep things as normal as possible for her.
4. Getting out and about – I now realise that going out with a newborn and or smaller baby is super easy in comparison to a toddler. As long as I’m well enough, I plan to get out of the house as soon as possible! I’m hoping for a lovely warm summer, picnics at the park and evenings in the garden!
5. Mum guilt – In the early days I stressed so much that I wasn’t doing enough with Isla or showing her enough. We didn’t start baby groups for some time and I remember having a moment when I realised she was months old and hadn’t been to the zoo yet. A cousin took me to one side and told me to give myself a break as she will never remember any of it and my god, I wish I had listened. Now Isla is at an age where she needs to be doing stuff most days and I wish I had relished the down time of just being able to chill at home a little more. That being said, little man will probably see more than what Isla did when she was little purely because he will be following her about – but – I won’t push myself on days when I don’t need too and I won’t feel bad if we don’t take a trip to the zoo before he is 18272 seconds old.
6. Wait to wean – we weaned Isla fairly early on and on reflection it was the wrong choice as she wasn’t ready and neither was I. She was so little and as a consequence I spent hours awake at night terrified of her choking and each meal time was filled with stress and anxiety which was rubbish for us both. This time I plan to wait until the baby is 6 months old if all the signs are right. I also started Isla on sweeter foods (fruit etc) but in hindsight I wish I had introduced bitter foods first as I feel it would of increased the variation in her diet now.
Someone asked me if there is anything I will definately do the same for both babies and my answer is yes. We plan to use our next-to-me crib like what we did with Isla and will also be using our sleepyhead again too. He will probably stay in our room for the first 6 months like recommended and then move into his own nursery. We will also try to use white noise again as comforter rather than a dummy. Isla had a dummy for a short while and it was such a pain taking it away that I’d rather not do that again if we don’t have too.
I will be using all the same brands of nappies and wipes (Mamia, ALDI) as they great value for money and Isla has never had a problem with them! They also have the urine detector on the newborn nappies which makes counting wees for the midwife a lot easier!
And no joke, as with Isla, I will be keeping 111 on speed dial! As this is my second baby, people keep telling me I will be more confident but in my eyes you can never be too cautious. I will always trust my gut and if I think something is wrong you won’t catch me waiting.
It’s not long until he is due with just 8 weeks until my due date and I’d be lying if I said my excitement isn’t closely equalled by pure fear of having two children! Chapter 27 is going to be an interesting one, wish me luck!
Thanks for reading as always
Lots of love