10 Differences Between First And Second Time Moms

funny differences in parenting with first child and second childI originally wrote this post for the blog Mommy Shorts when she was just on the verge of explosion into second-time motherhood.  I’d already been there for about 9 months at the time and was constantly struck by how different I was with the second one than the first one.  With Asher, everything had to be researched, sterilized, baby-proofed and worried over.  With Meyer?  That poor kid was carried around like a football and had his paci popped back in his mouth after it fell on the street a few seconds after a Mardi Gras parade passed by without so much as a swipe on my pants leg.  Yep, a little different.  Want more?  Read on.



1ST BABY: You have a vast collection of new baby clothes gifted from various baby showers or that you’ve purchased yourself while out browsing for your “layette.” They’re all pre-washed in gentle, hypoallergenic detergent and hanging in the closet coordinated by color.

2ND BABY: You have a collection of pre-owned and pre-stained baby clothing, most of which baby #2 will never wear because you just keep putting him in the same 3 outfits as they rotate out of the wash.


1ST BABY: Baby drops pacifier. You dive across the room, hands extended like an NFL wide receiver, with no thought as to your own bodily harm, and narrowly miss it before it hits the kitchen floor. Afterwards, you sterilize it in boiling water, then give it back to her.

2ND BABY: Baby drops pacifier on grocery store floor. You pick it up, swipe it on your pant leg and hand it back.


1ST BABY: You have a carefully crafted baby book with photos of every “first.” First smile, first time rolling over, first tooth, first word, first step.

2ND BABY: You have a newborn photo they took at the hospital. Somewhere.


1ST BABY: When you leave your baby with a sitter, you insist she call or text with updates at least every half hour. You take your phone out continually to see if you’ve missed a message. At 10pm, you tell your hubs you just wanna go home and kiss the baby good night.

2ND BABY: Your friend’s neighbor’s boyfriend’s first wife’s stepdaughter only charges $8 an hour. You leave so fast you forget to give her your phone number.


1ST BABY: You’re constantly sticking your finger in your baby’s diaper to check for wetness or sniffing her tushy to see if she pooped. You take her to the changing table to put on a new diaper just so her bottom won’t get “irritated.”

2ND BABY: The diaper gets so full sometimes, the velcro tabs pop. Your “changing table” is the couch.


1ST BABY: You throw a giant Sesame Street-themed 1st birthday party and invite all your friends, family and coworkers. You buy matching decorations, a bakery cake and rent a jumpy house for a child too young to go in one.

2ND BABY: You stick a leftover Chanukah candle in a Twinkie and call it a night.


1ST BABY:  If your baby is the least little bit fussy, you take his temperature rectally, under his arm, in his ear and across his forehead with one of five thermometers. Then you call the pediatrician to see if a 99 degree temperature warrants a trip to the ER.

2ND BABY: Your first kid flushed the thermometers down the toilet last year and you still haven’t bought a new one.


1ST BABY: Whenever you leave the house, you have a dedicated diaper bag with everything the baby could possibly need while out (diapers, ointment, wipes, bottles, burp cloths, change of clothes, assorted toys, etc.) separated into designated labeled compartments.

2ND BABY: Your “baby bag” is your purse with a diaper and some Starbucks napkins inside.


1ST BABY: You mail out a custom-made baby announcements to all your friends and family and get baby gifts in the mail almost every day.

2ND BABY: When you’re asked your baby’s birth weight and length, you often tell people your bra size or street address because you’re so damn tired. No gifts come in the mail.


1ST BABY: If someone comes over to see the baby, you make them wait until her nap is over because you don’t want her schedule getting “messed up.” You remind people constantly to wash their hands before they hold her.

2ND BABY: If someone comes over to see the baby, you hand him to them without hesitation and ask if you can run out for a few minutes to pick up some juice*.

*Juice = wine.

Those are my top 10 differences between first and second time moms.  Now I wanna hear yours.  Make me laugh!  GO!

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  1. Kimberly Fraim says:

    First kod eats dirt while playing outside, you freak out and call dr while washing their mouth out. Second kid eats dirt, you wonder if they really need supper now.

  2. Kimberly Fraim says:

    *kid not kod. Haha!

  3. I got one for ya…With our son, our first child, I waited until he reached a product’s recommended age range for use (i.e. I didn’t even sit his butt into the walker until he was nearly 6 months — well after his feet could touch the ground. With my daughter? Hell, I put her in the bumbo at three months. “Mama’s got things to do, and she needs both of her hands back.” And don’t even get me started about the fact that my daughter has only one girl-themed bib — and someone else bought it. Most days, you’ll find her in a “Daddy’s little quarterback” bib. Today she wore a onesie that said “Lil Maintenance Man.” Oh, well.

  4. first baby- you’re constantly comparing how brilliant it is that the child sat UP at 6 months old and exclaiming to anyone who will listen that you’re raising a genius with an above average development. Second Baby- You are happy to report that your child is an idiot because they were the first to eat the GF finger paint at preschool. (though maybe she is an artistic genius because it made for some really spectacular poo art on her wall later that evening)

  5. I am having our second in three weeks (hopefully less) and all the onesies ARE stained.

    First Time Around: Nursery is pristine two months out with hand-made curtains hung and books organized by height.
    Second Time: Three weeks to go and nursery looks like a bomb filled with baby clothing and accessories exploded, crib mattress is tossed on the floor like it was searched for drugs, and the toys you want your 2-year old to stop %$#@^ playing with are stashed in the closet and corners.

  6. 1st Baby: all safety gates were up and cabinets locked. Baby safety standards followed to a tee.
    2nd Baby: he tore all gates down like Godzilla and we don’t know where he is half the time. He also got a butter knife at age 2 1/2 and is frequently running with scissors (they are safety scissors at least)

  7. You wouldn’t believe the things I’ve found my 2nd one with. I could tell you but I’m afraid someone would call social services on me!

  8. Thanks! Yeah, I think she looked beyond adorable, but, alas, I am a bit biased. And if she grows up to want to play in the NFL like her daddy, well, ‘eh. Sure as hell beats pageants. #NoDivasAllowed

  9. Lori Cherry says:

    This made me laugh– I loved it!!! My daughter was a 30 week preemie so when she came home we were EXTREMELY protective– everyone had to use hand sanitizer or wash their hands as soon as they stepped in the house; had a cold, you could forget even coming by the house. She has had her share of bumps, fevers and eating things (hair conditioner) where we have freaked out (ok…. well I have freaked out) but lately it’s “oh, she ate sand? Eh, she’ll be fine. Its some added sodium” or “mommy doesn’t feel like cleaning your room right now but you can’t play with all of these toys either. So, sorry, they are getting locked in the closet. You can have them another day.” A few diapers and wipes typically end up in my pocketbook even though we have a nice diaper bag…. so if im right between the two stages already with the first child, how am I going to be if I ever have a second child???? 😉

    • I had a 29-weeker but he was my second child so it was kind of a mix of carefulness (with colds and hand-washing) and 2nd-childedness (stained handmedowns, carrying him like a football). You should read my post “The day a baby fell out of my vagina” and leave your story underneath in the comments like some others. I’d love to hear it.

  10. First: Christmas was a veritable toys r us under the tree with dozens of toys she wouldn’t play with for months (if ever).
    Second: you realize there is one bag of socks for her so you keep giving her boxes and ribbons to play with and call it a holiday.

    • Mine’s been through 2 Christmases so far and MAY have received one present that was actually new. The rest of them have been pulled out of the attic and wrapped.

  11. I can’t even watch Toddlers and Tiaras for fear I’ll end up throwing a shoe at my television…which might damage the TV…which would make it impossible for DS to watch Yo Gabba Gabba…and I really, really need Yo Gabba Gabba in order for me to fire off a blog post in peace.

  12. Great post…because it’s true! One more for you:

    1st baby – When you leave them overnight you carefully type out a 5 page instruction manual that says things like “read books in a soft tone before bed and don’t forget to close the blinds, turn on the humidifier, make sure he has 5 binkies and 4 loveys in his bed.”

    2ns baby – You are lucky if you remember to say: “You can put her in her crib while you read her brother books. She’ll fall asleep eventually.”

  13. I started a twitter account to record milestones and happenings of my younger 2 because #1 had a babybook, #2 had a calendar, #3got nothing!

  14. 1st baby, 5 page long birth plan, full sized suitcase worth of stuff that’s been packed for atleast a month for the hospital, second child, no birth plan and you bring so little, hubs has to make multiple trips to get things you forgot.

  15. #1 everybody has to wash hands before touching even a baby foot
    #2 she’s one week old and has a piece of blue play dough stucked on her head

  16. Oh my godness! Have you spying me? hahahaha
    I do subscribe everything! Maybe except for the birthday (I am crazy about celebrating anything), but I do subscribe everything!
    The point 9. have made me a Little bit sad, I thought #2 was not going to ve loved at all…

    My difference:
    Meals #1. I kept giving him smashed food above two years old! I didn’ t even let him eat his fisrt birthday cake!
    #2. She began to eat adult meals barely when she was one!

    Thank you, Toulouse, as I have discovered I am not a witch 😉

  17. First one: you go and get professional pictures taken at all milestones and have them hung up every where.
    Second one: 10 months old still no professional pictures and have not hung up a new picture for 3 years! And you wonder how you ever even afforded those pictures in the first place! She is alive and here some where, that is all that matters right?!?! Besides that fact that I am pretty sure she just stole her brothers pop tart and is hiding and eating it right now.

    • We have so few photos of the 2nd – at least almost no formal ones. Yet there are entire photo albums dedicated the our first son’s first half of his first year. Hilarious, huh?

  18. Socks and clothes: Baby number 1: always wearing something cute at all times even at home and of course matching socks because what if their tiny feet get cold. Baby number 2: only wearing clothes if we leave the house AND its cold outside, and you can’t find their socks because you didn’t keep the fancy mesh laundry bag you got with your first kid. Baby food: Baby number 1: you make sure to feed them healthy puréed baby food with as little “unhealthy salty table foods” as possible for as long as possible. Baby number 2: at around 5 months you give them chopped or mashed anything to eat with their hands because you want to eat at dinnertime too.


  1. […] First And Second Time Moms Differences […]

  2. […] Toulouseandtonic – Seriously good stuff!  Humor and truth to pretty much every post, this is another blogger to follow daily.  The writing is on point and the topics are spot on. […]

  3. […] pregnant for the second time, I thought I got this! And in some ways, that was true. I didn’t stress nearly as much about every little thing. But I quickly learned that boy #2 was his own person — and that I still had a lot to […]

  4. […] pregnant for the second time, I thought I got this! And in some ways, that was true. I didn’t stress nearly as much about every little thing. But I quickly learned that boy #2 was his own person — and that I still had a lot to […]

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