Parenting Your First Baby Vs. Parenting After Your Second Baby (or third)

posted in: Parent Talk | 11
My husband and I have three beautiful babies! Two boys and a girl. Big brother is 6, little brother is 3 and little miss is 6 months old.
I always have to laugh when I compare the three of them because it makes me realize all of the things I did differently when each one came along. It went from overly prepared and clueless with the first, to who really cares if he looks like he bathed in pasta sauce with the second, and finally back to clueless and crazy with the third because oh shit it’s a girl! Our poor middle baby, he did not get pampered, he got hand-me-downs…
But seriously, it really is amazing how much parenting styles change between child one and two and between boys and girls. I don’t mean that in a sexist way, it’s just the truth. You end up doing things different with each kid and in most cases, usually after the fact, it’s all pretty humorous.
Here’s all the funny and maybe not so funny things we did different with each child.

  • You know that commercial where the mom packs a huge amount of snacks for her first child and then with the second she grabs a handful of goldfish on her way out the door? Yeah that’s completely accurate. For some reason, feeding the first-born was more of a priority than the second. I won’t lie, half the time I probably ate the goldfish myself.
  • The infamous baby bag. It was packed full with the first and always in hand. I may not have ever used what was in it but by golly we were not going to have any puke, poop or hunger issues on my watch, so bring on the 15 extra onsies, diapers and puff snacks. How quickly things change when you need that baby bag hand to now hold an infant while dragging a toddler by the other. Needless to say, my purse became a baby bag (trash receptacle is probably a better term).  I had no change of clothes and one or two diapers. I’ll admit, my baby bag effort went out the window. It’s even worse now with baby 3. I don’t even take my purse with me 90% of the time. There is a packed baby bag in the truck that never moves and I’m pretty sure the extra diapers and onsie in it won’t even fit her anymore.
  • With our first baby we cared that everyone washed their hands before holding him. Baby number two cried so much I probably would have paid a bum to hold him for 5 minutes so I could cry in peace. By baby number 3, dirty hands were the least of our problems…I caught my 6-year-old eating his own knee scab the other day and my 3-year-old licks the entire length of his hand for no reason, if we aren’t immune by now we won’t ever be.
  • I never yelled with my first baby until number two was born and daddy deployed 4 months later. I was so much calmer with my oldest. I guess after the first you tend to lose your shit more.
  • I documented EVERYTHING with my oldest and by the time little brother came along I was so exhausted I didn’t document a thing. I did take a million pictures because I’m a picture nazi, but all the firsts, yeah those did not get written down (he didn’t even have a baby book until after little sister was born and I bought them all new ones to make up for my laziness).
  • We used to give our oldest baths religiously almost every night! Let’s just say that now, we’re lucky if they all bathe once a week.
  • With the first I pumped every chance I had so we would have milk saved up. I pumped a little with number two so that we could have a little milk saved up. I haven’t even opened the pump for the third baby. Who has time to wash pump parts with 3 children in the house…not me!
  • We used to go out to eat with our first child, he was a very calm baby. That immediately stopped when our second son was born, he was not a calm baby. And then little girl was born and now I never leave the house.
  • I was very clingy with our first, I never wanted to let him go. With the second one, any chance I could get of him playing quietly on the floor was heaven-sent. I’m kind of back to clingness though with the third, I think it’s because she is our first girl and most likely the last baby I will be having.
  • With the boys I didn’t worry too much about what clothes they wore. We have family who give us all their boys hand-me-downs so we rarely buy the boys clothes. They have so many it’s ridiculous. But with our little girl, we don’t have any hand-me-downs so whenever I see cute baby clothes I go crazy! I really should be cut off! A girl can only wear so many rompers…
  • At one point in time I was brave enough to go grocery shopping with both of the boys. I will not, however, go grocery shopping by myself with all three kids. It’s a fucking disaster and I flat-out refuse to do it. My husband comes with us or we don’t go at all…team effort is key here!
  • I really did not want to hear advice about parenting when we had our first child. I was young and wanted to do things my own way. Now we have three kids and unless you have more children than us, keep your opinions and advice to yourself. I guess in this scenario the change got worse instead of more relaxed. We’ve been around the block a few times, we have managed to keep three kids happy, healthy and very much alive for 6 years. I think we can handle it from here.
  • With child number one I didn’t think I could ever love anyone or anything as much as that squishy little human. But guess what? Three kids later I realize that I love them all so much I can’t even begin to explain the feeling. In fact, sometimes I love them so much that I feel like I want to love them more but I don’t know how to physically do that. Like I’ve said before, this is where that whole licking your child thing happens (not for me personally but I’ve definitely heard about it on the world-wide interweb).
So what did I miss? What things did you do differently with your kids?

11 Responses

  1. Dominique

    I’m laughing so hard because this is incredibly on point! I was so extreme with my first and the second, not so much. The third was also a boy for me, but he was born with a disability so he got treatment like the first. My middle child is the sweetest though, very understanding. Great post!

    • Kylie

      Thank you! I’m so glad you like it! It’s incredible how things change so much with each baby. My kids are the opposite, my oldest is super sweet and patient and our middle boy is stubborn!

  2. Sarah @ Foxy's Domestic Side

    Oh gosh, I pretty much nodded my head to every single one of these! Especially the parenting advise, haha. We chose to the CIO method of sleeping training and don’t judge me because both of my kids sleep till 9am and still love me just as much. hehe 🙂

    • Kylie

      No judging at all! We did that method too and worked amazing for our oldest. Not so much for our middle baby but all kids are different. I’m sure we will try it for baby girl when she gets a little older.

  3. Solveig

    Oh oh, I just have one for now, but in many points I have been relaxed as if it was not the first, but then I have young cousins and even remember how my mom was with my sister. Being a young mom helps too I guess. 🙂

  4. Allie

    I only have a dog but hubby and I are talking kids soon. This makes me chuckle a little and gives some great perspective, thanks for the honest read!

  5. brycerae

    I very much see where you are coming from. The thought of been responsible for a child was such a scary thought. I was even to scared to hold the niece and nephews. Many say your second kid is tougher because they aren’t in cotton wool so much. That would be our case. There is nothing like experience.

  6. Dana

    This is so true. My “second child” was twins, so it’s perhaps doubly true in my case. And I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who wouldn’t brave the grocery store with three kids in tow.

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