I 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.
TOP 10 DIFFERENCES BETWEEN FIRST AND SECOND TIME MOMS…
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.
4. CHILD CARE
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.
5. DIAPER DUTY
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.
6. BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
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.
10. VISITOR PROTOCOL
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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