What were we thinking! promote confidence and reduce distress in parents with a first baby

Things I want to remember for number 2!

By Morgan

Things I want to remember for number 2!

I have been meaning to write down the parenting pointers I’ve most valued since having William. The pointers have come from many sources and I want to remember them for next time! Here they are, in no particular order, for anyone else who’s interested.

0-4 months

·         Never wake a sleeping baby at night. (Susie)

·         Relax and be guided by your baby in the first month. (instinct)

·         Don’t sleep the baby in your room, you will hear him if he needs you. (Pops & Mum)

·         If he is putting on weight string out feeds if you can. (Susie)

·         Sleep. Feed. Play. (Bernadette)

·         Hot showers to clean baby snot. (Laurs)

·         If you feel like your milk is low, string out or extra feeds and rest – there will always be enough. (Granny Sue & Mum)

·         From the get go put your baby down awake without any ‘tools’ to help them sleep (dummy/ rocker/ pram/ white sound) (Bernadette)

·         Nappy off time is great for fun/ exercises/ reading/ chatting. (Susie)

·         Flip him over for tummy time every time he’s on the change table from about 6 weeks. (Megan)

·         The morning sleeps are always the best. (Mothers Group)

·         Get onto instant coffee when the day starts. (Missy)

·         Trial out a bottle from about 3 weeks. Store some milk in freezer when they have an unexpectedly long sleep. (can’t remember)

Expert response from What Were We Thinking! expert, Sue Doogan

Well, despite the steep learning curve you’re already speaking of number 2! It is lovely to read that you are relaxing into your role of parenting, Morgan. What a difference a few weeks/months makes! Most new parents feel overwhelmed, anxious, stressed etc. but are soon able to list some helpful advice. Equally though, I’m sure you could come up with a list twice as long for unhelpful advice you’ve received!

As new parents it is very important to listen to “anyone and everyone” BUT only take on board the advice that sits well with you, your values, your long term goals, your lifestyle, etc. It is also pertinent at this point to remind you of WWWT - Your Family. Both you and your partner have been parented in different ways along a very large spectrum. From being raised in very similar ways to ways vastly different it may be hard to even comprehend the reasoning. We all think, “there’s nothing wrong with me and the way I was raised” but now you have ton come together and raise YOUR baby. It is thinking, compromising and merging the ideals, advice, values from both of your families but also those that you have gleaned from your own life experiences and choices.

Having a list of things you will and won’t do next time is fantastic but as you have already learnt as parents – you need to be flexible. The principles remain the same but we are all individuals and baby number 2 or 3 could and probably will have a different temperament to baby number 1!

Rest assured, parenting will never be as daunting as what it is with number 1. You will no doubt do some things similar and other things you will learn along the way and negotiate a path that works for your family.

How many of you have come up with a similar list like Morgan’s? (With the exception of the instant coffee that is!!)

Posted in:  Baby 13-16 weeks