Thursday, April 18, 2013

Next time

I don't think it's a secret that I would like to have another child. One day. Not anytime soon but One Day. Being a first time mom I really had no clue what I was doing. Yes I read pregnancy and baby books and stalked babycenter and mommy blogs and those things were all helpful but until you have that little bundle in your arms you really have no idea what to expect.

I think in the 15 1/2 months that we've been raising Hunter we've done pretty well at keeping him happy and healthy and not completely losing our minds in the process. It helps that, for the most part, he's been a fairly easy baby/toddler. We never had to deal with colic or reflux or food allergies or any other number of issues that parents encounter and I can only hope and pray that if we're blessed with another child in the future he or she will be just as easy-going if not moreso.

With all that said, knowing what I know now there are a few things I would like to use or do differently next go round.

1. My birth plan will include two items- deliver a healthy baby and make sure I'm conscious when the baby is born. Whether I end up with a VBAC or scheduled repeat c-section I just want to be awake when the next child is born. I don't think I would handle it very well if I'm knocked during the birth of another child.

2. Should I have another c-section, we will send the baby to the nursery overnight for at least a few hours (but have it brought back for nursing). We kept Hunter in our room that first night (before he went to the NICU) and I was so sick and in so much pain after the c-section it was impossible to take care of him and poor Kristian really had no idea what he was doing so it was hard.

3. Don't immediately start supplementing with formula unless absolutely necessary. With Hunter I breastfed and that's what he primairly got but from day 1 (because he was in the NICU) we supplemented with formula and I didn't put up a fight because I just wanted him healthy. I'm not opposed to using formula again but I would like to try to keep from using it as long as possible. Not because I think it's bad but because it's expensive.

4. In the early days/weeks only use sleepers that zip or the gowns. I learned quite fast that sleepers with a million snaps are a HUGE pain in the ass for all those middle of the night diaper changes when you're half asleep.

5. Skip the swaddle blankets and go straight for the HALO sleep sacks with the velco swaddles. I could never get the blankets tight enough and Hunter was always breaking free of them and then waking up, once we started using the sleep sacks he couldn't get out of them until he was around 5 months old.

6. Get a SWING! I don't know why we didn't get a swing early on with Hunter, when we finally did after a couple months he loved it and would nap in it so well. Next time I will probably forgo the bassinet (which Hunter hated) and let the baby sleep in a swing or the infant cradle part of the pak n play (which Hunter also liked). I don't know why but I felt like he NEEDED to sleep in the bassinet and really there are so many other options, the main goal is just to get them to sleep.

7. Baby-wear more. This was hard to do with Hunter for the first few weeks because he was always hooked up to his monitor that checked his breathing and it was too hard to put him in a wrap or carrier without disturbing his leeds. By the time he was off the monitor I was just used to carrying him around and the few times I tried to use the Moby or Baby Bjorn it just wasn't comfortable for me. I think next time I will splurge for an Ergo which I've heard good things about. Plus I will be chasing a toddler so I think baby wearing will be imperative.

8. On a similar note, I will try to really sit and just enjoy cuddling and holding the baby. I now know how quickly it really does fly by and how fast they grow and since the next one will probably be our last one I want to savor every last minute.

9. Take more than 6 weeks off for maternity leave. Now so much of this will depend on where I'm working and our financial situation but I really want to try to take 8-12 weeks off. Six weeks just goes by too fast and they are still just so small, I hated taking Hunter to daycare when he was so young.

10. Not be so afraid to take a newborn places. I was terrified of leaving the house with Hunter in the beginning and really when they are newborns and spend most of the day sleeping, that's the easiest time to actually take them places. Granted next time I will also have a toddler to deal with which will be the real challenge.

For those of you that plan to have more children what do you want to do different next time?


Nessa said...

Interesting topic. Swings are so great! Chloe hated hers at first (well, she hated everything) but then for a little while it was the only place she napped. This time around I don't want to try breastfeeding at all. That's what made Chloe's first month so hard on me. I want to relax and not worry about so many things this time around. I was so high strung last time.

Mrs EyeCanSee said...

I hope to take more than 6 weeks off next time as well! We were lucky my mom watched Jamie and he didn't start daycare until he was 3 month, but unfortunately we won't have that option next time!

And I agree about getting out with a newborn. We were so nervous at first, now I look back and realize that would have been the easiest time to get out. All he did was sleep!

C and J said...

I absolutely love how candid you are when it comes to topics like this. I have 2 boys and I can honestly say that I feel like I am a completely different mother the 2nd time around. I wasn't constantly second guessing myself about gut decisions.

KatiePerk said...

Great post. I hear you on the getting out more! I wish I had been more adventurous. This might be weird but I think if #2 happens for us, then I will try to look forward to nursing instead of being terrified of it.

Shannon said...

I agree with SO many of these. Especially the Halo sleepsacks and the baby wearing. I think if I wore Tay more, our first ten weeks would have went more smoothly. I'm also going to try to take 12 weeks of with #2. I took 10 weeks off with Tay but I still felt cheated when I could have taken those two more.

Fiona said...

Oh I have a similar list! Many things I would do the same but there are definitely little things I learned that would be useful to know and be prepared for next time... the sleep sacks and no buttons sleepers.. yes yes yes! I think a swing would be handy too. Lids was such an amazingly calm baby so we didn't ever feel we needed it with her but who knows what the next baby will bring and better to be prepared because it isn't as if we can just pop out and get one down here!! Great list!

Anonymous said...

Amen on the Halo sleepsacks! Those things were lifesavers for us. We just weaned M off of it at 4 months and into a Sleep Suit because she can basically roll over.

And definitely buy an Ergo. It's totally awesome.

Next time I won't change the diaper unless it's actually wet (I changed M WAAAY too often and wasted a lot of diapers). I'll hire a maid every 2 weeks rather than trying to do it myself (I'll make SURE there is money for it!). I agree about the gowns and zippered clothes--I hate using snaps on newborns. And I'll probably also try to get out earlier with her..the first 6 weeks I stayed cooped up in the house a LOT because I was terrified of her catching the flu.

Brittney said...

Ditto all around!

Stephanie said...

As the mom with newborn #2, I love this list! While we are doing many similar things with R as we did with C, there are things we wanted to change up. But just a warning, every babe is totally different! R is teaching us that! For instance, the swaddling thing. C LOVED it and needed it, and while we're using more Halo Sleep Sacks (our hospital gave us 2 'free' plus we had 2 from C) and not Aiden + Anais blankets so much, R HATES it. If he can't have his arms/hands out and free he's miserable! I wish I'd read more posts from 2nd time moms or talked to more or something and gotten the warning about how different round 2 would be from round 1! But yes, this time around I'm embracing the late nights and early mornings and all the snuggles and cuddles because I know now how quickly it goes by!

Jamie said...

Yes, yes, yes to this. Yes to BF, baby wearing, skipping the bassinet, cuddling more... Yes!

Sara said...

This is a great post! I am already thinking about what we want to do next time (take more time off!) but it's a good reminder to embrace some of there now with Graham.

Sara said...

This is a great post! I am already thinking about what we want to do next time (take more time off!) but it's a good reminder to embrace some of there now with Graham.

Anonymous said...

if i had another baby, i would totally do #8 and #10 more. i was so stressed out as a FTM (i was also battling depression) that i feel like i missed out on kayla's first year. i was also so scared to take her places because what if something happened? then again, my mind was clouded and my judgement was off (PPD).

kayla *hated* being worn. i bought every sling there was and she hated every one of them! i have a brand-new mai tai baby hawk that i've never used because she hated it and i spent over $100 on it :(