Last Updated on
Parenting is by far one of the most difficult yet enriching jobs that exist. Being a parent is tough, and it can be terrifying for first-time parents. You may read a lot of books on parenting, baby milestones, and child behaviour, but the moment your baby arrives and you start taking care of him, you may realise that more than anything, someone else’s parenting experiences can teach you best. You may find out that sometimes, it’s also about instincts; you’ll have to understand your baby’s needs and see what works best for him.
After having your first child, you may have listened intently to every new or experienced parent out there, panicked when your baby cried, kept a note of every single one of his milestones, washed your hands 10 times before taking him in your arms, and asked visitors to use the hand sanitiser kept near the baby’s crib before touching the baby. This frenzy is understandable in first-time parents, and there’s nothing wrong with it because at that time everything would have been new to you, and you were still in the learning stage of parenting. However, things change and so do you, when your little one grows a little older, and more so when your second baby comes into your life. Find out what you might be doing differently (without even realising it) while raising your second child!
8 Things You Do Differently After Having a Second Child
When you become parents for the second time, you may notice many changes in your parenting style. As you take care of your second munchkin, you will realise that you are a little more lenient or you no longer panic or worry about trivial things. You are more relaxed with your second child and there are certain things that you’d be doing differently while taking care of him. Find out what they are!
1. You worry less about germs.
Most first-time parents tend to turn into germaphobes as soon as they have babies, and you may have also turned into one without realising it. While taking care of your first baby, you may have felt that your surroundings were full of germs and anything and everything could infect your innocent baby. If your baby put a pacifier in his mouth and by chance, dropped it, you’d have sterilised it and wiped it clean before giving it back to him. You might have used gallons of sanitiser and packs of baby wipes while taking care of your first little munchkin. But after the arrival of your second child, you probably don’t feel the need to do the same. You no longer think that germs are plotting a scheme against your baby. If your baby’s toys fall on the floor, you may give them right back to him without sanitising them. You now understand that a few germs won’t harm your baby and that you don’t need to panic for every little thing!
2. You don’t document every single milestone of your second baby.
On embracing parenthood for the first time, you might have purchased a cute little record book to keep a track of your baby’s milestones or may have filled your phone with plenty of pictures every time he did something new. You might have memorised the date and time your baby smiled for the first time, when he took his first steps, or when he started teething. And if by chance there was any delay in him meeting his milestones even by a couple of days, you may have panicked and called your baby’s paediatrician in a frenzy. However, you probably don’t do the same with your second baby.
You might have taken enough and more pictures of your second baby, which is normal to do, but you probably don’t have a fancy record book for your second one. You know now (or can at least guess) by when he will start teething, walking, or even smiling. Not recording your second baby’s milestones does not mean you love him any less, of course! You’re probably just caught up with all that it takes to raise two kids and know that there are certain things that will or won’t happen, irrespective of whether you’re tracking them or not. And if you’re honest to yourself, you’ll admit that you don’t check your first child’s milestone book anymore (at least, not the way you did earlier!), so there is really no point in doing it all over again. You are raising your children with love, and that’s what they need.
3. You buy fewer clothes for your second baby.
For your first baby, you’d have wanted to buy (and would have bought, in fact!) every single ‘cute’ item of clothing without realising that your baby wouldn’t care whether he looks cute or not, and would outgrow those clothes in just a few months. But after giving birth to your second child, you may have realised that your baby doesn’t need so many clothes, because he grows quickly and there is no point in spending so much money. Hence, you probably buy only the bare minimum for your second baby and dress him in the old clothes of your first child (the ones which look like new, of course!).
4. You stress less about not getting quality sleep.
This usually happens with most new moms. When you became a mother for the first time, your sleep schedules would have gone for a toss more often than you’d have thought or than what people would have told you. Lack of sleep might have affected your mood and you must have felt exhausted at all times. As a first-time mom, you wouldn’t have understood why you felt so extremely tired always, and quality sleep would have seemed like a coveted luxury. But as the time passed, you’d have realised that unless and until your baby grows, you can’t do anything and that there’s no way around it, except for depending on your partner or other family members to help out whenever they could. Now that you have a second child, you must be going through a similar cycle of sleep deprivation, but we are sure your attitude towards it would have changed. You know what to expect in the first year after your second child’s birth, how much sleep you will get, and most importantly, you know that this phase will pass, which must be comforting enough for you to not stress about it. You must be much better at dealing with it now.
5. You call your baby’s paediatrician less often.
Do you remember the time when your baby sneezed thrice in a day and you called his paediatrician asking him if your baby was sick? New parents are always anxious about their babies’ health; a minor symptom of a cold, and they take their babies to the doctor or call them at odd hours of the day. You might have been through this phase too, but now, on having a second child, we know that you don’t get as anxious as you did earlier. You probably are more relaxed and confident about everything now. You know how to deal with minor problems; if your baby cries, you have a fair idea that it must be because of colic or hunger or some other small problem, and that it can be taken care of at home. To sum up, you are more experienced now, and you call the doctor only if it’s anything severe.
6. You embrace the chaos.
When you have two children to take care of, you hardly have the time to clean and organise your home as much as you’d want to. By the time you get your older one ready for school, your little one is awake, and you get busy with his schedule. When you put him to sleep and think of cleaning your house, doing the laundry, or running errands, you simultaneously wonder whether you should utilise that time to enjoy a siesta with your baby and save the housework for a later date. Having your hands full with your children, you may no longer care much about what other people think of your house. You are probably no longer a clean-freak; you tidy up around your house as much you can, but otherwise, you mostly would have learned to go with the flow and embrace the chaos.
7. You don’t seek advice from anyone and everyone.
You might have heard the phrase ‘many heads, many minds’ many a time, but only a few years after the birth of your first child would you have understood its true meaning. After the birth of your first child, you’d have welcomed every little piece of information on parenting coming your way, whether from strangers or your relatives. You’d have intently listened to them on what they had to say about raising a child or what they did when their baby had a rash or threw tantrums. But a few years after your baby’s birth, you’d have realised that too much of information helped you little and confused you more. Now, on having a second child, you must be determined that you won’t seek advice from everyone out there. You trust your instincts and you will do what’s right for your baby. You have been there and done that, and now you can trust yourself!
8. You give up being a helicopter parent.
A helicopter parent is one who pays extremely close attention to their child’s problems and habits. Many first-time parents worry about their baby’s habits fanatically. In doing so, they tend to become a helicopter parent; always hovering around their babies – worrying whether their baby is sleeping well, eating enough, or pooping right. Many of you would have turned into a helicopter parent with your first child without even realising. But after the birth of your second child, we know you must have changed a little. You no longer worry about the little habits of your baby. You’d be far more relaxed by now, and that ‘first-time fear’ would no longer be there.
Being a parent for the first time is more stressful and difficult than being a parent for the second time – as a new parent, you hardly have the experience of raising a child, which is why you do certain things the way you do. No doubt, you make mistakes too, but soon learn to be the best parent to your child. But when you have your second baby, you become less anxious and worry less about trivial things, unlike the way you did after having your first child. However, that is not to say you don’t love your second child just as much, because we know you do – you love them both equally and take care of them the best possible way! It’s just that your knowledge from your experiences with the first baby now allow you to be a little more relaxed with the second one and you’re no longer a new parent – you’re an experienced super-parent! Your parenting style might have changed to becoming slightly more lenient and relaxed, but you, as a parent, haven’t – we know you love your kids unconditionally and take care of them impeccably.