Thursday, June 26, 2014

Lessons Learned

So, five days into baby #2, I've already noticed a few things I'm pointedly doing differently from how I did them with JJ. Some things are just happening differently, others are "yeah, we're not doing that this time".  It's a bit of a mind warp to realize.

1. Taking the Anne Geddes pictures.  Oh, I took tonnes of pictures when JJ was born, you all know this, but I didn't really take the "posed" stuff as a rule. This time, yeah, doing it.

Because they only do this for the first few weeks.

2. Naps.
 Cute, right?
You might think that's a picture of JJ... until you look closer and realize that in the upper left is the rocking elephant I *just* gave to JJ about six months ago. Nope, that's Anabelle, and she's having a nap in the living room.

See, with JJ, we put him to sleep in his cosleeper, in the bedroom, with a CD of a thunderstorm playing, or a fan blowing, for white noise. Then we proceeded to tiptoe and whisper and treat the sleeping baby like an active IED, because, clueless first-timers. It got us a two year old who Will. Not. Sleep. anywhere else unless he's so tired he just can't keep his eyes open anymore.

I am absolutely determined that Ana is going to learn to sleep when she needs sleep, regardless of what noise is going on around her. So except for actual night-time sleeping, she hasn't napped in the bedroom, but out in the common areas with the normal household activities going on. Neither am I letting anyone constantly shush the two year old (though he is getting lessons in the concept of "indoor voices").  Right this minute, Ana is sleeping with her head pillowed on my knee, on the living room couch, with the tv on (at a normal volume), and right outside the wide-open windows, John is mowing the grass and JJ is harassing the dog. Loudly.

 She's not even twitching.

3. Charting breastfeeds and diapers.  Most moms will recognize this, or something like it:

Or maybe you used an app on your preferred electronic device. When JJ was born, was my best friend. (And it's GREAT, for those of you who like to track diapers, feeds, meds, naps, etc.) Except it really really wasn't a good thing for me at all. My massively OCD self got extremely hung up on all the beautiful numbers it allowed me to keep track of, and it turned into a source of stress when baby didn't behave according to the charts.

So this time? Not doing that. Just not. Like, at all. I've been keeping it in my head day by day what diapers I got the day before, and that is good enough. I'm not writing down feed times, whether she started on the left or the right, or giving myself minutes of feeding time to obsess over. Just not. She's gaining weight and requiring diapers changed, and even if I leave her entirely to her own devices she's not slept longer than 3 hours at a stretch. Today I'm purposely getting her up to feed more often, trying to get her to do more of the cluster-feeding during the day, because I like sleep, but otherwise?

So. Not. Tracking. ANYTHING.
4. Introductions to pets.  With JJ, I didn't let the cats anywhere near him until he was turning over on his own, and certainly not when he was sleeping.  No, I don't have any silly ideas about the cat sucking the breath from the baby. But the smallest of my cats outweighs a newborn by a good fifteen pounds. So squashing the baby is a definite possibility.

Unbelievable cuteness.

See, Minnows loves babies. He adored JJ and made a very effective feline babysitter once I allowed him around the baby. So that's happening early this time too. And seriously, LOOK at that face. How can I say no? 

5. Cosleeping. Right from the get go. With JJ, he stayed in the cosleeper at first. I lasted 4 nights being woken up every 30 minutes by a crying infant. By the time he had his first checkup, I was so completely fried I could barely keep my eyes open. That doctor told me to bring him into the bed, just keep the pillows & blankets away from him and put him between me and the cosleeper, not me & daddy. It worked, suffice to say. This time? Right straight to the bedsharing. First two nights, I swapped beds with JJ so I could put the baby between me and the wall. Then it was just too much to remember, because that means putting JJ to sleep in our bed, and he's not used to it and doesn't sleep as well, etc. So we switched back, and the last couple of nights have been much smoother. She's got a little DIY "moses basket" made out of pool noodle that creates a small protected space, but otherwise? Right in next to mama the way we like it.

Baby's gonna go out into the yard for the first time here as soon as she wakes up, which is also different, but that's due to the season, not the life lessons of child #2! It was sorta winter when JJ was this size, and yeah, going outdoors with the baby is a lot easier in the summer time!

So how 'bout it, folks? What did you do differently with kid #2?

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