Baby Tips

10 Things I did differently with baby number 2

What I changed with my second baby

Motherhood is a never ending learning experience. Google was my best friend (and worst enemy) when I had my first born.

There is truly no way to be prepared for your first baby but by the time your second ones rolls around you feel like a pro.

Caring for a newborn is not easy and you never know what challenges may arise. I encountered several challenges with my first baby that I was determined to overcome with my second.

So here are 10 things I did differently with baby number two to make my life much easier.

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Disclaimer: All babies are different so what worked for my kids may not work for yours. This post is simply to inform you of my personal experience.

1. Use Pacifier right away

After my first baby was born I was told to wait on giving a pacifier for a few weeks so I could focus on breastfeeding and getting that perfect latch each time. Well 2 weeks later I decided to try the pacifier and to my surprise she did not take one and I was never able to get her to.

Therefore, I made sure to give my second baby the pacifier as soon as I felt comfortable with our latch. This ended up being within the first 24 hours after she was born. The pacifier has been a life saver when I am out and about or when I need to attend to my toddler. Check out my favorite pacifiers here.

*Please know that some babies do have nipple confusion and may not go back to the breast after using a pacifier which is why some recommend waiting to use one.

2. Introduce a bottle sooner

I ran into a similar situation as I did with the pacifier. Once again, I waited too long to introduce a bottle and my daughter never understood how to use it. I honestly tried every bottle on the market and different methods but never was able to get her to drink out of a bottle.

This was very hard on me because I could not leave her for more than 3 hours at a time. Basically meaning no break for mom. Finally when she was around 6 months old I was able to get her to drink out of a sippy cup.

I was determined to not let this happen the second time around so I introduced a bottle a few days after my baby was born. From there I made sure to give one at least once a week. These bottles have been working great.

What I did differently for baby #2

3. Stop changing diapers at night

For some reason I thought I needed to change my daughter’s diaper every time she woke up to eat at night. This just caused her to wake up even more making it very difficult to get her back to sleep.

For second baby, I simply lathered this on and didn’t worry about changing a diaper until morning (unless of course I smelled poop).

4. Letting baby cry

It was very easy to pick up my first born and soothe her when she would start crying. I never really let her cry for more than 30 seconds honestly. She never got the chance to learn to self soothe so I always felt like she needed to be held and it made sleep training so much more difficult.

With my second baby I had come to terms that a crying baby is a healthy baby. I didn’t always have the freedom to soothe my second right away with a toddler at hand. Even if I wanted to do the same for my second I just could not all the time.

My second is a very content baby and she is a great sleeper too. I think a big part of this has to do with learning to self soothe.

Now I am not saying leave your baby to cry but a few minutes before scooping up your little one will not do any harm. Same goes for if you are having a really rough day and you just need 5 minutes to take a break. Setting your baby down is always better than trying to push through.

Which brings me to my next point…

5. Setting down more often

I held my first born ALL the time and I mean ALL the time. Not that it’s a bad thing because you can never spoil a baby too much.

Once again, this did not help with self soothing and my daughter did not like to be put down so I felt I never could get anything done or catch a break.

I knew I needed to change this for my second because I would have to help my toddler, make dinner, etc. So from the get go I would set her down significantly more than I did my first.

Don’t get me wrong I still love all the baby snuggles I could get but being able to get a few things done around the house or do something for me was a huge life saver.

My daughter loves hanging out in her Fisher Price Swing and Baby Trend Bouncer.

I recently purchased this floor seat and this jumperoo now that she is getting pretty good at holding her head up.

10 things I did differently with baby #2

6. Start pumping early on and consistently

Another thing I did not do with my first was pump early on and consistently. By now I am sure you can see the trend of doing things “too late.” At least I learned right? Anyways, I wasn’t able to pump much and never had any saved. At most I would get 1.5 ounces total.

Now I knew I was going to introduce the bottle early on so my baby would a) take it and b) would allow me some freedom. But what is the point of that if I did not have any pumped milk? So this time around I made sure I could build up a stash.

See how I built up a stash of over 200 ounces in just 2 months here!

7. Swaddle

This definitely was a “first time mom” mistake. I thought my baby hated swaddling because she would cry when I initially swaddled her. So I kept her arms out and half swaddled. I’m sure you can guess but she was not a good sleeper. She would wake herself up so often and I was so exhausted.

With my second, I made sure to get a good easy swaddle, I use this one, and stick with it. Let me tell you it is a life changer. My daughter has been sleeping through the night since she was 6 weeks old!

8. Tummy Time

So apparently I did not get the memo that you should be doing tummy time starting at 2 weeks old. At my first born’s two month appointment my doctor asked how “tummy time” was going and I just gave her this blank stare…luckily my daughter seemed to have good strength for her age and she did not have a flat spot. It did seem to take her longer to reach milestones than other baby’s I knew though (Not that it is not normal or a bad thing).

With second baby, I made sure to start tummy time by 2 weeks and be consistent every day. My daughter now enjoys tummy time and has great strength.

10 learned Tips for baby

9. Prioritized myself more

After having my first I felt that I no longer could have or do anything for myself. I went through the baby blues those first few weeks and was luckily it did not progress to postpartum depression. It took me about 6-8 months to finally do something for myself.

I do not know why I waited so long. It made such a difference even doing the smallest thing. Improving my mental health makes me a better mom. Moral of the story, do not feel bad for doing something for yourself because it will make you a better parent.

10. Accept Help

Last but not least accept help. I am sure you have heard this many times already but it really is great advice. Get some sleep, take a shower, or get out of the house!

Well there you have it! These are the 10 things I did differently with baby number 2. These tips helped me care for my newborn and made life so much easier. I hope they work for you too!

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8 thoughts on “10 Things I did differently with baby number 2”

  1. Some babies do not get “nipple confused” when introducing a bottle or Paci early and some do. Please don’t advise moms to introduce early if they really want to experience breast feeding. You should put something that warns new moms of this possibility. I’ve been a newborn nurse for many years now, and some babies really will not go back to the breast after having a bottle or Paci early. Others seem to not be affected. The other advise about self care is good.

    1. Hi Nancy, thank you for your feedback. I have updated my post to reflect this and agree that it is important for moms who want to experience breastfeeding to wait to introduce the pacifier until they feel comfortable. It was never my intention to advise new moms to give the pacifier right away instead the post was meant to showcase my personal experience with what I did differently. All babies are different so it ultimately boils down to the mother knowing what is best for her and her baby.

  2. How did you feel putting baby down affected your attachment to baby number 2? Because I always held my first we have had strong bonds from the start, my second I find myself easily able to walk away or pass her off to someone else or plop her in a baby holder for longer. I struggle to feel close to her even when feeding 😭

    1. I bonded fairly quickly with my second, however, I then developed a ton of guilt towards my first born so I had to force myself to put down my second. I had a lot of anxiety about it but eventually found a good balance between getting those baby snuggles in and spending time with my oldest. If you are not feeling attached to your new baby just know that it is completely normal to not bond right away. Get as much help as you can with your oldest so you can have that one on one time (You can even do skin to skin). Baby wearing is also a great option if you don’t want to put them down. Transitioning from one to two kids is really tough but it does get easier. I recommend talking to your doctor as well because it could be a form of postpartum depression. You are doing great mama!

  3. I loved this. I am pregnant with my second and truthfully very nervous, remembering exactly how much time I devoted to my first one and wondering how I could go through that again with a toddler. This post made me feel so much better and more empowered.

    1. Hi Sarah, I am so glad you enjoyed my post and found value! Ultimately, it is my goal to relive some of the mom anxiety by showcasing my experiences.

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