8 things I won’t be doing if I have a second baby (and won’t be feeling guilty about)

As with everything first-time around, being a first-time mum is a little daunting – you haven’t got a clue what you’re doing and you have a lot to learn. You can ask for all the advice in the world (and will no doubt be given it even if you don’t ask), but the only way you’re really going to learn is once you’re actually ‘on the job’.

8 things I won't be doing with a second baby

Yet once on the job parenthood tests us – we suddenly have a real human being who we are completely responsible for, and the pressure (along with hormonal urges) to be the perfect parent can sometimes get the better of us. We’ve hung on to every word in the antenatal classes, we’ve read up and watched videos about everything we’re going to need – and we’re ready to put it all into action. But after a couple of months of finding your feet, you soon realise that what works for you and your baby isn’t necessarily what you’ve been advised ‘is best’ – and it’s your right to throw the rule book out of the window.

I feel that I’ve already learnt such a lot on this crazy journey of parenthood and here are some of the things I won’t be doing if I have a second baby.

1. Stress out about breastfeeding

Throughout pregnancy I felt I was constantly educated about how breastfeeding will give my baby ‘the best start in life’ – with every leaflet, antenatal class and visit from my midwife there was another reminder that ‘breast is best’. And I really did want to make it work.

Yet when Taylor first latched on I couldn’t quite believe how painful it was – and with every feed I got more sore and the pain became more and more unbearable. In the end we introduced a couple of bottles as I was so sore I couldn’t bear the thought of Taylor latching on again, but then my milk production slowed right down and I ended up expressing alongside feeding to try and increase it again – meaning that I hardly got a minute to myself (day or night).

Not being able to breastfeed made me feel like a failure and like I’d let my daughter down. I kept thinking (and was advised) that if I kept at it, the pain would get less, and the production would come back. But neither happened and one day I just decided to stop. Once I made that decision it was like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders and I’ve never looked back since. I like to think that I might try it again, but I certainly won’t beat myself up if I can’t.

2. Try to maintain a tidy house

When you’re the one at home all day whilst your husband is out earning the dollar, it’s difficult not to feel a little judged when he walks through the door at 7pm to a bomb hole. In those early months I couldn’t grasp the fact that I had absolutely no time to ‘get things done’ – pretty much every minute was spent holding, feeding, or rocking to sleep a screaming baby and any time I did have was spent madly dashing around the house trying to clear away the carnage we were leaving in our tracks. At the time you can’t imagine this is ever going to end, but it does – a few months in and you’ll have a much more content baby who is happy to be put down and take a nap. Housework can wait until then – embrace the moment, cuddle up and realise that your life isn’t yours for the time being.

3. Worry about establishing a routine early on

At some point during the first couple of months I started to try and get Taylor into some sort of routine with her feeding a sleeping. Endless times did I try and rock her to sleep in her crib, only to give up 45 minutes later, put her in her bouncer and watch her fall asleep straight away.  We made up endless bottles of milk that went to waste, convinced that she must be either hungry or tired, ‘why won’t she stop crying??’ Around three-four months something just clicked. Perhaps Taylor finally got used to being on a 24 hour clock, or I just got to know her better and read her signals, either way I hope I’ll be less frantic if there’s a next time – babies will find their own routine eventually, and it’s very little to do with you.

4. Care what people will think when she’s making a scene

As a new mum I often felt as though I was surrounded by ‘perfect parents’ with ‘perfect children’ and when Taylor would have one of her hissy fits I did feel as though I was being judged by those around me for not being able to comfort my baby. I’m sure this was entirely nothing to do with other people, and everything to do with my own lack of confidence in what the hell I was doing.

At every postnatal class I attended with her, it seemed as though she was the only baby ‘acting up’ and would scream the place down until I finally had to leave. I did feel as though other mums were probably thinking ‘she’s obviously tired, hungry, wants a cuddle’ etc, but I soon came to realise that when Taylor was like that, nothing at all would calm her down. She was diagnosed with a kidney infection at 11 weeks and had to stay in hospital for three nights for intravenous antibiotics. After she came out she was so much happier. She still of course has the odd meltdown but I’ve learnt to deal with the fact that babies often disturb the peace – and other people will have to deal with that too.

5. Have baby sleep in our room until six months

nursery baby's own room

I know that the guidelines tell us six months, and I would’ve stuck to this had Taylor not been such a restless sleeper. It was either us waking her up, or her waking us up – either way, none of us seemed to be getting any sleep. Taylor would thrash around in her crib bouncing her arms and legs off the bars like a caged animal.

I started to put her into her cot in her own room for her daytime naps (as she refused to go down in her crib) and she seemed to instantly prefer it. She then went through a phase at night of constantly spitting out her dummy and crying for it back – I would be up all night putting in back in to try and prevent an all-out melt down. We endured this for a couple more weeks until our health visitor suggested we try her in her own room at four months. She seemed so much more content from day one. And I am a much nicer person now that I get to sleep.

6. Buy a separate changing bag

Don’t get me wrong, I love our changing bag and I do use it all the time, but I love my leather handbags more. I now realise that my changing bag is just a big bag with lots of pockets – of which I already own plenty. I don’t even use the bottle warmer/cooler compartment which came with it as it’s pretty rubbish compared to my separate AVENT one which was bought for us as a present. I could be £70 better off.

7. Buy lots of newborn clothes

There’s nothing quite so tempting as browsing cute newborn clothes when you’re nine months pregnant and super excited about the imminent arrival of your little one (apart from perhaps a box of Krispy Kremes). But trust me, you really don’t need much.

Aside from the fact that your newborn will live in nothing other than babygrows and vests for the firsts few months of his/her life, your family and friends will have it covered. Yes, everybody else loves cute newborn clothes just as much as you do and you’ll be amazed at the amount of gifts you’ll receive.

8. Sterilise bottles after six monthsavent bottle steriliser

Okay, so I’d be fibbing if I was to say that I don’t do this anymore – at seven months I still do. But this is really because I find the steriliser a good place to keep all of those ugly bottle parts which would otherwise be making a mess of my cupboards.

I do however struggle to see the logic in sterilising the feeding bottles of a baby who is now deemed okay to drink tap water from an unsterilised beaker – and I won’t be judging anyone who has done away with the steriliser altogether. I’m sure I’ll be doing just that next time.

Super Busy Mum
MaternityMondays

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32 thoughts on “8 things I won’t be doing if I have a second baby (and won’t be feeling guilty about)

  1. I find it so interesting to read how other countries such child care. In America we were told our daughter needed to be put on a sleep schedule ASAP and in her own room by three months. We are super similar on breast feeding. We also don’t have health care providers that come to our homes. On our military bases over seas we do have them though.

    I also won’t buy another diaper bag as it was much easier to just buy a larger (and much more outfit pairing) purse instead. And we are constantly told to sterilize our bottles. I think I sterilize our bottles three times a day still and she’s 10 months old.

    This is such an excellent post. I really enjoyed it, thank you for sharing it on #MMWBH

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    • Thanks so much, glad you enjoyed reading it. It really is interesting how countries can vary so much in the advice they give us – I think alot of the time it’s using our own common sense and ‘mother’s instinct’. Thanks for stopping by

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  2. #1… amen. Had a similar problem, but he *couldn’t* latch! Started pumping after two weeks of very frustrating effort, but production just slowly dripped away into nothing. Now I’m not sure why I ever did (emotionally) over-abuse myself on the subject, so I completely agree with #1!!!

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    • Thanks for sharing – it is very frustrating when you feel like you can’t produce milk as you’re ‘supposed to’. But yes, I’m not sure why we put ourselves through it to such an extent if it’s not working – it can only be hormones!

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  3. I was exactly the same with point #1, I spent so much time and energy worrying about breastfeeding our first that I ended up really depressed as it just wasn’t woking for either of us. Our second was on formula after the first couple of days, he was happy because he was actually getting enough to eat and I was happy because I wasn’t in pain or stressed all the time.

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    • Glad to hear it. Mine was so much happier once I finally introduced formula – it really was a godsend. If you can breastfeed then great, but if you can’t we shouldn’t be made to feel like it’s a much more inferior option – I think that’s why as mums we put so much pressure on ourselves to carry on fighting a losing battle. A happy baby and a happy mum is surely all that really matters in the end. x

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    • We definitely live and learn don’t we! I’m all about the onesies in the first few months – anything too pretty just looks a little bit funny I think! Good luck with your third!

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  4. We live and learn hey. So sorry about your breastfeeding struggles; breastfeeding pain is gut wrenching, isn’t it. It can be a vicious circle with the pain / Formula / pumping / supply / demand. It’s more work than I could have imagined. So important to make the best decision for you and your family and hope you have all the support you need, beyond the glossy message next time round.

    And the worrying about what people think when our babies don’t ‘behave’ as we think people prefer … the sleep worries … the house tidy expectations … o yes, I can relate. I think most mums will. 🙂

    All the best to us next time round. #MaternityMondays

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    • We definitely do live and learn – first-time mums do have a but of a tough time getting to grips with everything and figuring out what really is important beyond all of those patenting books, advice etc! No wonder parents with more than one always say that the second was a lot easier. Thanks for commenting x

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  5. Agree with lots of these points, especially 4 – 6. I gave up on the nappy bag months ago, I can easily fit everything in my handbag so there’s no need for it really. Leo went into his own room at 5 months and we all started sleeping better straight away, wish we had done it sooner.xx ##maternitymondays

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    • Glad you concur! Yes I do think a changing bag is a bit of a waste of money – plenty of much nicer (and more reasonable) bags on the market that do just as good a job! I’m with you on the sleeping in their own room – one of the best decisions we made for a (half decent) night’s sleep! Xx

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  6. With #2 due in two weeks this has really made me think about what I’m going to do differently and I agree with so many of these! Especially the routine part. We tried far too early on to get Indiana into one, and then when we gave up she did it herself haha xx

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    • Aw glad you agree! Definitely not worth stressing out about sofa time – I will certainly be cherishing those moments if there’s a second. Good luck if you decide to go for baby #2 xx

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  7. I definitely need to take your advice on points 1 and 2 – I am currently sat with a baby who refuses to latch and a house that looks like it’s been burgled.
    On another note, I agree with point 8 entirely – why sterilise the bottles of a baby who crawls around licking the floor…? #maternitymondays

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  8. I’ve relaxed with number 2. He’s not as keen on dummies as his sister was (is-oops) but I can’t remember the last time I sterilised any *does an ashamed face*
    The clothes thing is a nightmare. I cried packing some of g’s awY that he had worn twice #maternitymondays

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  9. Haha this is great, my (2nd baby) little girl is 14 weeks and now in her own room, I will probably stop sterilising again as soon as she starts to crawl and care so much when she’s making a scene. Great post.

    Helen – #maternitymondays

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  10. I read that bottles had to be sterilised because they have ‘nooks and crannies’ that beakers don’t. I would sterilise if they’d been in contact with the air for more than a minute and then one day I was like, he’s literally eating dirt and then hot soapy water it was!

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    • Haha, I know it is difficult to suddenly shift our mindset when it’s been drilled into us from day one how important sterilising is! I still do it, but then Taylor literally tries to eat our dog’s ears – all seems a little futile! 🙂

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  11. I often wonder how different it / I would be second time round. Much more relaxed I hope. Tried my best to fake being a super chilled Mum with number one but it’s hard to stop the craziness, or comparing myself to other Mums whose babies are developing faster / they seem to have it more together. Nice post! #Brilliantblogposts

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