Having a new baby is HARD work, especially when it is your first child and you’re trying to figure everything out. Once you get into a groove, though, there are a few perks. The problem is, you usually don’t appreciate these things until you bring home your second baby and realize that they no longer exist. New mamas: listen up and enjoy every minute of the newborn phase! Veteran mamas: I know you can commiserate with me, and probably have many more points to add. Below is a list of the five things you’ll miss about the newborn phase the second time around:
- Actual Bedtimes
You might have to get up a time or two in the middle of the night with the newborn, but that’s easy compared to bedtime routines that take 2+ hrs for the older sibling. What’s the right way to tackle this? Divide and conquer with your partner? Have the older child read or play quietly until you have put the baby down? It doesn’t matter which one you choose. The toddler always wins, and both kids won’t be asleep until at least 9:00 pm. Sorry.
- Long Days
Maternity leave isn’t just sitting on the couch in your PJ’s watching the 4th hr of the Today Show and endless commercials of female cows while nursing the baby anymore. If you’re lucky enough for the older child to be in school during the day while you have a few hours alone with the baby, you’ll realize just how quickly 8:30-3:00 can go. The day completely shifts once the older sibling comes home, and those few hours were just a short blip in the day.
Though it sometimes felt like overkill and you thought to yourself “can’t I just be alone with my baby to bond!?” the first time around, with the second child (& I can only assume even more so with each subsequent child) you’ll be wishing you had more visitors to help. Where is everyone?!
- Cheese & Crackers for Dinner
While cheese & crackers for dinner might still be ok for you and your significant other, the older child still needs a balanced meal. So keep up the good work making sure there’s a protein, vegetable, fruit, and carb with every meal. You don’t get to skimp on dinner this time around.
With one baby, it was easy enough to get Grandma or a sitter to come over in the evening and give a bottle or two to the baby and lay them down for bed at 7:30 pm. With an older sibling AND a baby, it’s harder to ask someone to volunteer to be told incessantly what to say in an imaginary scenario while trying to feed a crying baby and get two wild banshees to bed (see #1). You’ll feel like you need to split up the kids so the burden of watching both doesn’t all fall on one person, so good luck either finding two sitters or the courage to ask someone to watch both of your children so you can go to book club or out on date night with your hubby.
I must say although you’ll wish you had taken advantage of the above when you brought home your first baby, seeing your two littles giggle or snuggle together will make up for everything you miss about the newborn phase the second time around.