There’s a certain kind of tentative care that goes into raising your first child. You’ve never done it before, everything seems new, and you don’t want to mess anything up. You put so much thought into every action that you take with your new baby, and you strive to be the perfect parent. Now that baby #2 has arrived, things have somewhat changed. You’re a bit more tired, a little overwhelmed, and a lot more messy. Here are some differences that you might notice in the caring for your eldest and second child.
13. The All Natural Way
With your first baby, you most likely looked for the healthiest, best rated baby products. All natural diapers, dye free toys, 100% cotton onesies. Then baby #2 comes, and it’s the cheapest diapers you can find, whatever toys are left over from your oldest child and whatever onesies that you could find while you were buying groceries. With baby #1 you most likely attempted to make your own baby food, or bought organic purees from the store. Now with your new baby, you’re perfectly content to get whatever there is on sale, or heck, even chew up some of your veggies from dinner and feed it to them like a baby bird.
12. Educational Toys
Your first born child most likely got the benefit of all the toys. Toys designed to encourage their brain development, tablets with education apps loaded, and any cool new thing that was being advertised at the time. After your second child, you look around a see that you’ve become fine with them playing with an empty bottle of Tylenol. Is that safe? Probably not? But they’re so quiet and happy playing with that bottle o’ meds you let it slide. You’ll find yourself yelling out, “Hey, has anyone seen Olivia’s favourite empty water bottle that she always plays with??”
With your oldest child, you most likely made sure their naps were like being shrouded in a peaceful cocoon. Their rooms had blackout curtains, there was gentle music playing, and everyone tiptoed around the house in deference to the all mighty nap time. With your second child, you find they are most likely napping in the car on the way to somewhere, or being placed into their crib while your eldest proceeds to hold a small parade in the living room.
With your first child, everything was disinfected regularly. If something fell out of your precious babes hands you most likely rushed over and cleaned it off in sink before you would give it back to them. When your second child arrives, you will maybe wipe off a surface if there’s a mystery substance stuck to it. Anything that falls out of your child’s hands is given the 10 second rule, or 30 second rule, or really whenever you get to picking it up. A simple wipe on your jeans will surely clean it off.
Your firstborn child had a very large wardrobe. There were matching outfits, holiday outfits, occasion shirts that stated things like, “It’s my Birthday!” or “First Halloween.” Now that you’re second child has arrived, they are in hand me downs all the time. If they can’t squeeze into their siblings “First Halloween” shirt, then no problem, you can just throw them into a black shirt or something. Anything cute that they own most likely came from their older brother or sister.
8. Baby Proofing
You prepped for baby #1 with the military precision of an army general. All electrical outlets were covered before the baby could even crawl. Baby gates had the strength of the Great Wall of China, and all cabinets and drawers were baby proofed shut. When baby #2 arrives, whatever is left over still from your first baby will probably be fine. The thought of going around and making sure every single thing is locked up seems tedious. The odds of them actually getting into something seems very unlikely, you are sure your collection of samurai swords will be fine piled in the corner.
Your first child’s life is so well photographed that there will never be a chance of forgetting any minor detail of their lives. You managed to catch their first smile on video, you have a cutesie photo of them anytime they turn a month older, most likely with a cute sign or sticker that you got online. Their first Christmas has been professionally photographed, and you have all photos arranged properly in albums. Then comes baby #2. You forget to do most “month old” picture, there are pictures of them, but way less, and most likely lost somewhere in an online album titled “2017.”
With your eldest child, you took them to Mommy and Me yoga classes, music lessons, early years centres, and play groups. You put yourself out there and made sure you went to any outing that would have other babies and moms. You attended library programs, went to fairs and festivals, and made sure they had any opportunity to try new things. Baby #2 pops out and they have basically become a pet of the eldest child. They come to any event that your eldest child goes to, and not much else.
Gifts for baby #1 were thoughtful, and planned well in advance. Their first Christmas was filled with special ornaments and mementos. Their first birthday had a photo shoot and cake smash, which was framed and placed on their wall right away. Their first birthday was filled with tons of toys, and a special first that marked all of their favourite things over the first year of their life. Your second child gets the gift of wearing their older siblings special Christmas and Birthday outfits, and get whatever gift you remember to pick up. You really did MEAN to get them a “First Christmas!” bauble for the tree, but you were busy! You can always get one next year, they’ll never know.
Your first child’s milestones are most likely categorized in perfect chronological order in a scrapbook or memory box. You have a lock of hair from their first hair cut perfectly pressed, and their first baby tooth is in a special box tucked away for them to see in the future. There is a strong possibility that your second child accidentally swallowed their first tooth, and you randomly gave them their first haircut yourself because there was a weird bit sticking up and there was no time to go to the hairdresser. His hair looks totally fine if you only look at him from the right side of his head, don’t worry about it. You know for a fact your second child started crawling early, you’re just not sure exactly when.
When your eldest child was little, you had all the time in the world to listen to their babbles, or sit there and play the game of “pretend to fall over every time she coughs.” You could give them all of your attention and focus, and your mind would never wander off on a tangent about what laundry soap was on sale. If you eldest wanted you to watch their one woman production of Master Puppet Theatre, you were good to go. With your second child, your focus is so off that you’ve caught yourself calling them the dog’s name more often than not.
2. Teaching New Skills
You used to spend HOURS with your first born, giving them tummy time, modelling how to crawl, putting toys right in front of them to encourage them to move. Your second born is put on the floor and encouraged to “go for it when you’re ready!” Your first baby was put in Mommy and Me swimming lessons right away so that they would be comfortable in water, and would have a lifelong love of water. Sometimes for your second baby, you’ll fill up the bathtub really dip and have them mime swimming.
1. Holiday Characters
For your first child, any holiday was strategically planned out. At Christmas time, the Elf of the Shelf had a new and creative place set up each morning, and Santa left hand written notes to your child. With your second child, you let them know that the Elf is in the same spot from yesterday because they were probably sick or something. When your first born loses a tooth for the first time, the Tooth Fairy leaves money in special bejewelled bag. When your second child loses a tooth the Tooth Fairy accidentally forgets to leave money, and you have to explain that she gave it to you to keep in your wallet for “safe keeping.”