Second time around
Life with a baby is a very peculiar time. At least I find it is. Day and night start to blur together and the days run into each other. We’re four months in and I find I can’t decide whether it feels longer or shorter than that!
I have been pleasantly surprised by some of the differences I’ve noted in caring for a newborn second time around, in comparison with the shock to the system that occurs when you bring your firstborn home. Some of the differences are minor – like discovering that Pampers have changed their newborn nappies so that they now include a stripe that turns blue when they’re wet. So simple, yet it makes life a little bit easier because you’ve now got this quick visual aid to see whether or not a nappy change is required. (It’s the little things that make me happy!)
We’re dealing with a different baby this time around as well of course. Little Woman feeds well and she has long periods during the day when she’s alert and relatively interactive (as interactive as a baby can be!). Sooooooo different to the early weeks with Little Man, which were spent dabbing him with wet cotton wool and stripping him down in an effort to wake him up and get him to feed. I can still remember the stress of it!
I guess the biggest difference is me though. Knowing how fleeting this stage is just makes it so much easier to deal with. Last time, I spent my days reading parenting books trying to figure out what I should be doing. I was already worried about establishing a routine at this stage. Not so this time around. What difference does it make whether she feeds at the same time today that she did yesterday? None whatsoever! So I just take each day as it comes, and it’s wonderful.
I think that having a toddler around the house means that I’ve grown used to having very little down time. So on the days when Little Man is in crèche or summer camp and it’s just me and Little Woman at home, I feel like there are hours of time in which to get things done. I’ve managed to get laundry done, make dinner, tidy the house, and have a shower each day most weeks! Just basic things I know but for some reason they seemed so unmanageable last time. Perhaps it’s because I don’t expect to have time to sit down and relax until 8pm each evening anymore – and I haven’t expected that for years.
But I think it’s now when we’re seeing signs of the four month sleep regression that I really notice a difference. First of all, I didn’t even know that sleep regressions were normal last time around. But this time I do, and so I just go to bed a bit earlier to make sure I’m rested and then I go with the flow. And the irony is that I think I’m getting more sleep as a result!
Second time around is definitely easier!