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We are officially past the half way point in this pregnancy… crazy! We have started talking about what we want to do the same and what we want to do differently in preparing for baby number two.
Let’s be honest… being a first-time Mom is a whole lot of winging it. I read the books, blogs, etc. but it still didn’t prepare me for when Kennadi was born. You learn as you go and as you figure your baby out.
Now that it is time for round two, my husband and I are feeling a lot more prepared. But nonetheless, a bit nervous to do newborn stage with a toddler.
There are a few things we learned with Kennadi that have led me to this list of what we will be doing differently preparing for baby number two. Whether you are pregnant with your first, second, or third; I hope this can be helpful to read through some of our newborn tips.
1. Bottle before bed
I have mentioned it before, Kennadi had some feeding issues as a newborn (more in depth on that here) and I ended up exclusively pumping. However, it took a month for us to figure that out. And during that first month, night time sleep was miserable.
Once I started pumping and she got a bottle before bed (vs. breastfeeding) she started sleeping for much longer durations. So each night, we started offering more in the bottle and allowed her to take as much as she wanted. And by 9 weeks old, she was sleeping through the night.
I am curious to know your thoughts on this but based on talking to other Moms, it seems babies who are breast fed don’t start sleeping through the night until they are much older. I assume it is because they don’t fill up as much before falling asleep and then wake up hungry. I have zero evidence on this but just a thought.
So, my husband and I have agreed that no matter how this baby is fed (breastfed, pumping, or formula), they will be getting a bottle before bed as a newborn and hopefully this will help with newborn sleep.
2. Laying baby down awake, not asleep
Continuing the topic of newborn sleep…after each night time feeding, we would swaddle Kennadi and start rocking and bouncing her until we could get her to fall asleep. And then we would lay her down in her bassinet. Well, she would wake up not too much later screaming and crying (even if she didn’t have a diaper and wasn’t hungry.)
Thanks to Taking Cara Babies, we learned that laying her down asleep was a mistake… you might be thinking umm what? Ya, so were we. But it makes sense. If you lay your baby down already asleep, they wake up and freak out because they don’t know where they are. While it was a bit of a rough transition laying Kennadi down awake, it was the best decision as she learned how to self soothe.
Once we got this down, she would wake up in the middle of the night but would self soothe and fall back asleep without needing us to bounce and rock her forever. When she was crying, we knew it was definitely due to hunger and not just needing to be comforted by one of us.
3. Transitioning to crib sooner
Everyone is going to have such a different preference on this. As a first-time Mom with Kennadi, I did not want her to leave our bedroom… and she didn’t until almost 7 months old. The only reason this even worked was because she was in the SNOO (full review here) so we were able to keep her in it longer due to the clips that kept her from rolling over.
Well, once we transitioned to the crib, my husband and I were so happy to have our room back! I had forgotten what it was like to move around our room freely without having to shower before she went to bed, tip toe around quietly, and keep the lights dimmed.
We also noticed her naps started improving once she was sleeping in her crib at night. We had started naps in the crib around 3-4 months but we saw an improvement once she was in the crib overnight too.
So, with this baby, our goal is to transition them to the crib around 4 months. We enjoy having our own space and freedom in our bedroom and want them to adjust to the crib/nursery. Also, we aren’t using the SNOO this time so there is a possibility they will outgrow the bassinet around 3-4 months.. we shall see!
4. Baby wearing
This is something I wish I did more with Kennadi. To be honest, I would just forget most of the time but life got a lot easier when I did start wearing her! I was able to accomplish a lot more around the house and it helped keep her calm.
With this baby, I don’t think it will be an option but more of a necessity. Kennadi is a crazy toddler and keeps us very busy on her own! I have a feeling baby wearing will be the only way to survive the newborn days.
5. Stress less
This is my biggest goal with this baby. My husband would tell me all the time, in the nicest way, to stop stressing over Kennadi. And looking back, I stressed way too much. I think most first-time Moms do but now I know I don’t need to log every single diaper, nap, wake window, spit up, milestone, etc. I stressed over every feeding, pumping session, and her weight gain.
What I learned is she was growing and was happy and healthy. Logging everything on a million apps and constantly google searching never made a difference in her growth.
My goal is to spend more time snuggling and cherishing this baby than worrying over every little thing. Easier said than done, but I hope to be really mindful over reducing the stress this time around.
Those are our five main changes we plan to make with this baby. I will do a follow up blog post once baby is here to fill you in on what worked!
I would love to hear from you on what you did differently with your second baby! Let me know in the comments below.
And make sure to follow along our journey on Instagram. Can’t wait to connect!