Expecting your second child? While this babe will most definitely be loved as equally as your first, most moms of more-than-one will tell you that your second is a game-changer—meaning, Baby #2 is going to change up your parenting game. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. A few things you’ll most likely do differently as a second-time mom:
You’ll get over the ridiculous clothing. With my first baby, I had a collection of gorgeous layette sets, adorable little dresses and matching outfits, and hand-knit blankets. I washed everything in gentle, “baby-friendly” detergent and hung everything up in the nursery closet sorted by season and size. When we went out—like to our monthly checkups to the pediatrician—I put her in a special outfit with a matching bib and booties. (Matching! Booties!). And if my precious girl spit up? Total outfit change. My second child, however, wore an assortment of spit-up–stained hand-me-downs that were barely folded and stuffed in the top drawer of his dresser. The poor kid sat in a slightly damp shirt for the first four months of his life (bibs? What bibs?) and I don’t think I bothered putting socks on him until he could actually wear shoes and keep them on. As for special baby detergent? My second had his filthy onesies thrown in with the rest of the family’s wash.
You’ll stop being such a germophobe. Many women, including yours truly, become total hypochondriacs when they become mothers. All of a sudden, you realize the world is full of germs, just waiting to infect your precious little defenseless baby! With my first, I boiled bottles and pacifiers daily, wiped down toys with organic “toy wipes” (yes, they iexist), and went through gallons of hand sanitzier; I had a bottle strategically placed by the front door and another mini-version would dangle from my diaper bag for easy access. No one was allowed to touch my baby without washing their hands first. And if you sneezed, coughed, or sniffled—just once—in our direction, my attitude was, pretty much “please keep away completely because you’re clearly sick. And I didn’t want any of that sickness around my baby.” With my second, I actually embraced germs. Iif he spit his binkie on the floor, I’d pick it up, wipe it on my pant leg and hand it back. I never wiped down a grocery shopping cart before I put him in it, and he sometimes went days without a bath (sometimes I did, too.) IHe also ate a lot of Cheerios off the floor because…
Your housekeeping standards will change. As a new mom to one infant, I still managed to keep my house clean, stay on top of laundry, and organize toys. With baby #2, days would go by before I unloaded the dishwasher, the laundry piled up all around me, and if I managed to vacuum once a week, I was killing it. With your second baby, any chance you can get to sit or lay down is a precious commodity—dishes be damned. “There will always be more dishes, laundry, and organizing—but naps save your sanity,” says mom of two Anita Belle.
You’ll give up on documenting every. little. milestone. I have a perfectly put-together baby book outlining all of my daughter’s first milestones. I have photos and videos of her doing everything—trying a cracker for the first time, sleeping, close-up shots of her first teeth coming in. For my second, I got hospital pics taken and three years later, I have no idea where they are. I most certianly never did a baby book for my son, I’m not sure where or when he took his first step, and most of the photos of him as a newborn were taken by his 3-year-old sister with my phone (meaning: they’re out of focus and unidentifiable because they were taken by a 3-year-old).
Your helicopter-mom tendencies will ease up. I used to worry all the time about my firstborn. Was she eating, sleeping, and pooping enough? Was Micky Mouse Clubhouse rotting her brain? And if she got hurt, my God, watching her cry, I felt like I would cry too. But when my second baby showed up, my helicopter propeller slowed down a little. “When your first kid falls, you hold them all night. With the next kid you’re like ‘You alive?…Ok, cool,'” says mom to two, Marni Fish Nathanson. And all od those late-night Google searches for the best night-time diapers or how to know if your kid has a fever without actually inserting a rectal thermometer will fall by the wayside. “I researched everything non-stop as a new mom,” says mom to two, Olivia Howell. “With the second kid, my confidence was sky-high, so many of the newborn things just aren’t as scary.” Monica Banks, another mom of multiple children, agrees: “What you’ll do differently the second time around is not stress as much,” she says. “I checked to see if my first born was breathing every 20 minutes. I went crazy about my milk supply, whether my son was gaining sufficient weight. The second time around, I realized that I could relax more since there was no longer that first-time mama fear.”