As they say hindsight is a wonderful thing, this probably couldn’t be more true when it comes to raising children as the whole process just feels a lot like guess work and blind dumb luck. With this in mind there are a number of things that I would try to do differently with our second child to hopefully make the process of having a newborn a little easier for us second time around. Here’s the list of things I’m hoping to do differently:
1) Don’t hold the baby while he’s sleeping.
I think this by far was our biggest pit fall with Jake, we held him while we got him to sleep and then during the day as I was just resting and recovering from the c section I would continue to hold him the whole time he slept. I enjoyed being close to him, watching him sleeping and breathing in and out and falling in love with him, but I can see now that this is the reason why he also demanded to be held while he slept through the night also. Meaning Jamie and I slept in shifts so that one person could always be awake and holding Jake. This is not going to work for us at all second time around! So the baby will only know sleeping in a Moses basket / crib, of this I am quite determind.
2) Expressing some bottle feeds.
I intend to breastfeed again as I did with Jake. However due to family circumstances there were a few times that Jake had to be away for me for a few hours at a time, so I expressed his feeds into bottles. However as we weren’t regularly giving Jake a bottle feed he really struggled to get any milk and the whole process was very traumatic for both Jake and the person looking after him. This time round I intend to give the baby more expressed bottle feeds, perhaps one a day once we have established breastfeeding so that if circumstances do arise beyond my control I don’t need to be as concerned about the baby going hungry. This also will likely be helpful with me getting some more sleep as it will allow Jamie to do one of the evening feeds.
3) Have the house more prepared in advance of the birth.
At the time we felt we were prepared for Jake’s arrival, the house was clean and all his clothes we’re put away ready etc. We didn’t however have any frozen meals or easy to cook meals stocked up in the house in advance as we failed to see how difficult feeding ourselves was going to be with a newborn, as it turns out it was surprisingly difficult. We didn’t manage to get out and do a proper weekly shop for about the first month so Jamie had to keep rushing out to the local shop to buy a few bits here and there to see us through the next couple of days. This just added extra stress and cost to a time when we were too tired to think clearly. This time round I intend to have the freezer filled to the brim with pre made meals ( I’m sure some ready meals may creep in) as well as having my cupboards fully stocked with tins and dry goods and plenty of healthy food for Jake.
4) knowing when to say no to people.
Of course when you have a new baby in the family everyone wants to meet him and you want to show him off to the world also. However there were a few times with Jake when I was just so so so tired that having visitors in the house was actually painful for me to force myself to stay awake, look happy and not cry. This time round I know that the people who are visiting are all people who care for me and my family so they should understand if we have to cut a visit short or if I say they are welcome to stay and baby sit for as long as they want, as long as I can go to bed ( this would actually be quite ideal!)
Everyone says that having baby no2 is a lot easier then it was the first time round and I’m really hoping that they are right and that if we do manage to make these changes to how we do things it will makes things go as smoothly as possible for us. Only time will tell…..