4 Things I’ll Do Differently – Preparing for Baby #2

img_6116I’m two weeks away from my due date, anticipating the birth of my second baby. Since becoming a mom, making my way through the first three mystifying years of parenthood, and sorting through mountains of research while co-authoring The Other Baby Book, my perspective has shifted. As a result, so have my decisions. I’ll give you a brief run down of what I plan to change this time around.

1. Birth. We’re preparing a natural home birth, a huge departure from the epidural hospital birth I planned the first time around. After sorting through the data, I found that home births were as safe or safer for healthy moms and babies, and I relish the thought of being surrounded by family and caring midwives who see birth as a empowering natural process. I also value being able to call the shots about how I labor and what happens to my baby immediately after birth.

2. Sleep. The first time around, I famously said that the baby would sleep in her crib, in her own room from day 1. I had all sorts of illegitimate fears about how bringing a baby into my bedroom might negatively impact my marriage, and misconceptions about healthy and appropriate sleep environments for newborns. This time we have a co-sleeper on hand, but we now know that the best way to optimize sleep and care for our baby will be to bring him/her safely into our bed from the start. (For a safe bed-sharing checklist, click here.)

3. Diapers. The first time around, I was afraid of the stigma and workload involved in cloth diapering. We used disposables for the first 4-5 months, though we pottied our baby beginning in her first week of life. This time around, I plan to use cloth from the beginning, and to be a bit more pro-active about pottying the baby both at night and when out on the town. With a 3 year old who’s very nurturing and attuned, I’m hoping that my little helper can help me keep our baby attuned to his/her pottying needs.

4. Baby Wearing. The first time around, I was terrified of putting my newborn in a carrier, and spent many hours holding her and sitting. With an active toddler to care for, this time around I’m planning to make a lightweight cotton wrap that I can use to tote the baby to all our activities. I’ve learned that there’s little cause for shlepping those heavy carseats everywhere, that the freer my hands are and the closer my baby is to me and to milk, the happier we all will be.

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5 thoughts on “4 Things I’ll Do Differently – Preparing for Baby #2”

  1. Those are some wonderful changes! And I’m sure even though the work load will be a little tougher this time around, you are making things easier on yourself by keeping baby close during sleep and the day.

  2. Congratulations what a journey of growth and openess to your female and mothering potential you are on!
    Looking at your ‘plan’ I would encourage you as a first option to withdraw into yourself and away from sensory stimulation to increase your labour hormones especially your endorphins if your labour is slow and difficult in any way. The need for this is explained in The Functions of the Orgasms (Michel Odent) and Dr Sarah Buckley’s Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering.

  3. This is almost exactly what we did differently too! Although, first time around I wanted a natural birth, it didn’t happened (and I wasn’t nearly as well informed as I was second time around). With my first we ended up cosleeping, cloth diapering, and babywearing but it took awhile for us too whereas with my second we started from day one pretty much. I have to say I found having a second to be a lot easier because of all these things!!

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