My first child was born right at the end of my 32 years. Like all new parents, I wondered where the baby manual was and if I was ready to take care of this helpless little lump. I was older than most moms at the time, but not at the flattering geriatric maternal age of 35 and over. Motherhood was a fun time. He had already had a career and traveled quite a bit. So when my maternity leave was about to end, we were lucky enough to be able to stay home and decided not to go back to the office. Fast forward ten years and I’m sitting here with my one-year-old. Now I am definitely in the category of older mother. You’d think you’d remember what it was like the first time, but nature has a way of overlooking those details.
So what has changed this second time as a new parent? Well, there are more nifty baby gadgets, a lot more safety and nutrition information, and my body is definitely different. Below are 10 things I noticed.
1. I didn’t need a Boppy nursing pillow this time, apparently my breasts have dropped enough to reach my nursing baby on my lap, sadly the dark side of getting bigger breasts from pregnancy.
2. I don’t know what I was doing without my smartphone back then. Even though I didn’t have it when I was 32, I know that having access to my email, the Internet, Facebook, and those addictive Words with Friends games prevented any postpartum depression with this second baby. I never felt the isolation that sometimes comes with motherhood, when I can read and write about it with the internet in general.
3. I am more tired. Boy I thought I was tired at 32, I’m doubly tired at 42. Definitely take the time to nap with the baby this time.
4. I am more patient. Maybe because I’m more tired, I feel like I don’t have the energy to rush things. I can read the books over and over or re-stack the glasses for the umpteenth time without feeling like I’m freaking out (probably because I’m making moves with Words with Friends or checking my email on my smartphone at the same time). hour). This is also probably the second child syndrome in which parents are most relaxed about their expectations from the first time.
5. Baby food comes in disposable bags with resealable lids! Much easier to transport than jars or plastic boxes that once you ripped off the lid, you had to use it. Now they even make the kids drink directly from them.
6. So many options for baby carriers. When I had my son, I was the strange mother who carried her son in a sling. Now at least where I live you see babies in all kinds of front / back / hip carriers or foulards which is truly a fashion statement.
7. More organic / natural options for baby food / products. People are becoming more educated about what they are wearing and companies are responding. I’m happy to have access to non-toxic baby products and cleaners for my home, more organic food options than ten years ago that didn’t make me look like a radical environmentalist.
8. It is recommended that infants remain rear-facing in their car seats until 2 years of age or 30 pounds. Ten years ago, we waited until their first birthday as the big milestone to turn them around. For my son, that made all the difference in his happiness in the car. He couldn’t bear it any other way. Now studies show that there is a 500% increase in crash survival rates if the car seat is kept facing rearward. Too bad for my daughter. She also hates her seat like her brother, but will be looking back as long as she can keep it that way.
9. Easy Squeezy baby bullet and feeding spoon. I bundled this together because I just have to go back to how clean baby feeding appliances have become. Ten years ago, I had to use a regular steamer and my blender if I made my own food. Now there are dedicated devices. And I love traveling with my Easy Squeezy Spoon, where I don’t have to carry a separate bowl and spoon to feed myself on the go. Only cover it if the baby is not finished.
10. Each child is definitely his own personality. I know we say to each other, don’t compare the kids, but you can’t help but comment on how each of them reached different milestones at different times. Such a different current topic is weaning. This second baby loves to breastfeed and I have no idea how I’m going to wean him. I bumped into the year with my first one but he would accept a sippy cup. She, on the other hand, doesn’t drink well from a sip cup, but does like to drink from a regular cup (and splash it across the front, which doesn’t help fill her tummy as she lies down to sleep). I will have to write another post on how I can solve that dilemma.