We all learn from our experiences and our mistakes. Parenting is no exception to this rule. In fact, making mistakes and learning from them is a huge part of parenting. Say, for example, when we become parents for the first time, the whole experience is so new to us. We face a number of challenges and we probably aren't ready for some of them.
Exactly for this reason, most parents take care of their first and the second child differently in many ways. When they have the second baby, they face similar challenges and problems, but since they know how to deal with them, they feel more relaxed and confident about everything. Second-time parents also realize that however big these challenges may seem at the moment, they're just temporary issues that they won't even remember in the long run.
But it doesn't mean that second-time parents do absolutely everything differently and change their parenting style completely. Many of the things they did to their first child, they also do to their second one. For example, they definitely love their second baby the same way and always make sure that they're safe and happy.
So let's see what habits persist in the parenting styles of first and second-time moms and which ones change over time.
20 Differently: More Relaxed
All first-time moms get nervous about many things. They want to do everything perfectly to make sure that their pregnancy is going well and that their newborn baby is doing fine. If the baby is crying, the first-time mom may feel like she's going to cry, too. If the child falls sick, she may want to hold them all night long. And besides, new parents may even spend hours on the Internet to find the best diapers to buy and ways to check if the baby's healthy.
Second-time moms feel much more relaxed about everything. They know what to do if the baby's crying and they also know that if their child fell sick, they'll get well very soon. They know the signs.
19 Same: Packed For The Hospital In Advance
Every mother-to-be knows that when she's approaching her due date, she needs to be ready to get to the hospital at any moment. For this reason, it's essential to pack everything you'll need there in advance.
Whether it's the first, second, third, or any other baby, all mommies need to make sure they won't have to pack their hospital bag the last minute. After all, childbirth is stressful by itself, why would you make it even more stressful by forgetting something tiny but important at home? If your bag is ready you won't be caught unprepared and make things much easier for yourself.
18 Differently: Had A Healthier Lifestyle During Pregnancy
Some women tend to use their pregnancy as an excuse to eat everything they want, as much as they want and be less active. As a result, they end up gaining more weight than expected, feel unwell, and find it hard to get back into shape after childbirth.
Second-time moms know that it'll happen again if they have a similar lifestyle during pregnancy, so they usually choose to eat healthier, balanced meals and exercise more. Or at least have a more active lifestyle while bearing the second baby. As a result, they feel much better with the belly and look better both before and after childbirth.
17 Same: Took Photos Of The Newborn In A Hospital
What mommy doesn't like to take photos of a newborn baby? And what mommy doesn't want to have these photos in the family album to look at them after the years go by? Many parents love showing them to their kids as grown-ups and say, "Look, these are your first photos! Can you imagine how small you were back then?" After all, the first day of someone's life happens only once, so it's important to grasp this precious moment.
For this reason, it doesn't matter, if it's the first or the second baby, any woman will want to take a camera to the hospital and ask her significant other or her nurse to take some photos of herself and her newborn child.
16 Differently: Didn't Worry Too Much About Germs
Most first-time mommies seem to be huge germaphobes. If their baby takes something in their mouth, it's easy to freak out and start thinking that they'll get some serious disease because of it. They may think that the world is full of germs that will certainly infect their baby if they aren't careful enough. Some use gallons of hand sanitizer and tons of wipes to keep all baby's toys super-clean.
For a second-time mommy, germs aren't that big of a deal. They know that if a toy fell on the floor, there's no need to sterilize it or pour it with sanitizer. The baby will be fine if germs get into their mouth. They'll get there anyway because you can't sterilize your entire house, can you?
15 Same: Allowed People To Hold Their Babies After They Washed Their Hands
Even though germs don't look as dangerous for second-time moms, they still have some ground rules that don't change. The main rule for most moms is to make sure that a person who wants to hold their baby is healthy and has their hands washed. And if this person has a cold, the mommy will probably ask them to stay away from the baby.
It's especially important to follow this rule during the first few weeks of the infant's life because during this time the baby's extremely vulnerable. Their immune system is only developing and it's important to protect the child from respiratory infections and other diseases that can be transmitted through unwashed hands.
14 Differently: Bought Less Clothes
A first-time mommy is so excited about her baby that she wants to buy all these cute tiny clothes she sees in a store, failing to think that the baby won't probably need them or even care what they're wearing during the first months of their life. Besides, babies grow so quickly that it's very likely that they won't even have a chance to put on all the pieces of clothing you bought for them.
A second-time mom realizes that her baby will need no more than half of this huge amount of clothing, so she won't waste so much money on it. Besides, since so much is left to wear after her first baby, perhaps it won't be necessary to buy anything new at all.
13 Same: Considered Nap Times As A Basis Of Daily Life Plans
For a mom of a newborn child, nap time is so precious. Her baby never sleeps for longer than a couple of hours, needs frequent feeding and constant care. For this reason, every minute the mommy doesn't have to hold the baby, cook, or do something else, is the minute when she can take a short nap (at least for many mommas out there).
That's why most moms are very strict about their naps. Creating comfortable conditions for their baby to sleep as long as possible without interruption is very important. Besides, they also create their schedule around their baby's sleeping/eating schedule, and it's a wise decision to do it this way.
12 Differently: Put A Baby In The Crib Earlier And More Often
First-time moms have very little time for themselves and second-time moms have even less because they don't only have to take care of their infant, but they also have an older kid around. For this reason, they can't (and, let's be honest, they don't really want to) hold their newborn all the time while they're sleeping or have them close all the time.
Instead, sometimes second-time moms choose to put their baby to sleep in their crib. It doesn't only make things easier on the mommy, but it's also beneficial for the baby who learns to fall asleep by themselves and has fewer sleeping issues.
11 Same: Stopped Sleeping Through The Night
There aren't many new moms in the world who can sleep peacefully through the night. Most spend many nights awake, trying to put their baby to sleep for a couple of hours or figuring out whether the infant has a fever or not. Then they may take a nap for 30 minutes and have to stay up for many hours later. They have so many things to do that they can hardly sit down to take a rest, let alone to get some quality sleep. And it doesn't matter whether it's the first or second child, sleep deprivation is always there — that's what it takes to be a mommy!
10 Differently: Less Stress About Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation is inevitable, and second-time moms learn to embrace it. When a woman has her first baby, she may freak out about her constant tiredness and wished to get some quality sleep. But it never seems to happen until the baby's old enough, so it can all get pretty stressful.
But when this woman becomes a mommy for the second time, she knows what to expect from the first years of her child's life. She stops counting the hours of sleep she had and realizes that being exhausted isn't the worst thing that can happen. She just learns to live with it, knowing that one day it'll be over because her baby will be old enough to sleep through the night and she'll finally be able to do it, too.
9 Same: Swaddle Their Child
If you swaddle your child, you help them feel more comfortable. See, they spent so much time in your—womb where they felt so nice, warm, and cozy—that it's hard for them to adapt to the world we live in. Swaddling helps them feel like they're back in the womb, and for this reason, it's so important. If you stop swaddling your baby too soon, they won't sleep well and, consequently, won't let you get any sleep at all.
So both first- and second-time moms prefer to swaddle their babies for as long as they need it for their own benefit and the benefit of their little ones.
8 Differently: Embraced The Challenges Of The First Weeks After Childbirth
Most mothers suffer from postnatal depression (aka baby blues) because of all the responsibilities they have to fulfill, sleep deprivation, and hormonal changes in the body. Some first-time moms become frustrated about having baby blues and may even think that they're bad moms. But since it's just a reaction to everything that is happening after the baby is born, it soon goes away.
Second-time moms know about it and they embrace all the challenges brought up by the first months of motherhood. They understand that baby blues might strike again and they're more prepared to deal with it. For this reason, they usually overcome these problems easier and faster.
7 Same: Followed Pediatrician's Advice On Feeding
All mothers of newborns know that they can trust a professional pediatrician when it comes to feeding their baby. For this reason, they follow the schedule their doctor gives them. They breastfeed (or feed baby formula if they choose not to breastfeed) during the first months of the baby's life. Then they begin introducing solids, such as rice cereal, and gradually begin feeding a wide variety of foods to make sure that the baby gets all the necessary nutrients.
It's also important to consider a pediatrician's advice on when to stop feeding the baby at night and finally let them sleep longer hours.
6 Differently: Didn't Call Their Pediatrician So Often
A first-time mom always worries about her baby's health. Whenever the infant gets a rash or any other minor symptoms, she most likely calls her pediatrician to ask if it's normal or if she needs to do something with it. Some moms become so nervous that they start calling their doctor even at night.
Second-time moms, however, aren't so anxious. They feel much more confident and relaxed about everything. They know what symptoms are normal for the baby and which ones need the attention of a specialist. And they also know how to deal with some minor issues, so their doctor can live peacefully without getting endless calls.
5 Same: Kept A Baby Diary
At some point when their kids are grown-up, all moms will most likely take a look back at their lives and recall how things were when they were teeny, tiny babies, who couldn't even eat by themselves. Baby diaries help them refresh these memories and recall the day when their baby took their first step, said their first word, and ate their first solid food.
There're so many of these firsts and all of them are so cool that no mommy can stay away from writing it all down, thinking how wonderful it will be to show this diary to her baby when years go by and they grow up.
4 Differently: Always Had An Extra Pack Of Diapers At Home
For first-time moms, it seems that diapers are never enough. As soon as you buy a new pack, it's finished. Then you buy another one and, hey, it's also gone! At some point, you can't help but ask yourself how often does this baby poop and how many more diapers will you need?
Remembering how challenging it all was, second-time mommies know that they always have to have an extra pack of diapers at home. The rule goes like this: if you need to buy a new pack, buy two or three. Do this every time you buy new diapers, and you'll never end up learning that you need to change a diaper and don't have any of them at home.
3 Same: Took LOTS Of Photos
During the first months and years of their lives, babies grow so quickly and change their looks so rapidly that you just have to take photos to remember how your kid looked, when they were one, two, three or more months old. After all, they'll never look like this again in their life!
It's also a great idea to make a special photo album devoted to a growing baby. It doesn't mean that you have to photograph your child every single day. A couple of photos per month will be more than enough to document your baby's growth and create the cutest photo album in your family!
2 Differently: Savored Each Moment Spent With The Baby
Because of having the baby blues and being overwhelmed with all the new responsibilities, first-time moms often become so tired that they stop finding pleasure in everyday moments they spend with their newborn. Some moms just want it all to end as quickly as possible so that they could have some quality rest.
Even though second-time moms are no less tired, they realize that these times shall pass. Their baby will grow up and these precious mother-child moments that happen only during infancy will never happen again. For this reason, even though things are so difficult, second-time moms try harder to savor every single moment they spend with their baby.
1 Same: Give All The Possible Love To The Baby
All mothers should love their children unconditionally. Whether the child is crying or laughing, learning new things slowly or quickly, or whether it's the first, second, or any other child in her family — a woman loves this baby so much that she can give her life away for their sake. Even though she gets extremely tired during the first months of her child's life, she knows that there are the things no one else can do. She keeps on doing these things and keeps on loving this little human being every single day of her life. And it doesn't even matter how old her baby is, they always remain her precious little baby.
Sources: Parents, Life with My Littles, Thriving Home Blog