As my due date gets closer I have been thinking about what I want or plan to do differently the second time around. Not that I think I did a horrible job the last year and a half with my first child, but more so that I feel more prepared for what I am getting into and what to expect. I feel a lot more confident in how I do things and in the decisions that we make as parents. I don't feel as though I have to do things the way other people do things, I can do what we think is best for us and it's okay if that differs from a friend or family member. That makes me feel pretty empowered as a mom!
So what exactly do I plan to do different and what do I plan to do the same?
I plan to breastfeed again. I had a goal of 8 months last time, but sadly that didn't really pan out. Between gallstone issues (and surgery) as well as a dwindling milk supply, Noah was finished breastfeeding completely at 6 months. I really missed it when it was over, not just because formula cost a fortune but also because I really just enjoyed that snuggling with my little man. This time if I run into that issue I plan to try whatever I can (be it vitamins, supplements, recipes) to increase my supply and go until at least 8 months. I'm not interested in breastfeeding past a year, but it would be nice to skip the formula stage all together and go straight to whole milk.
Speaking of breastfeeding, I plan to build up a good supply of frozen breast milk in my freezer right from the start. I hope to purchase a hand pump so that I can pump and freeze one bottle per day to have on hand for nights out or for times when I may be sick or unavailable to feed. I did a bit of pumping last time, but nothing significant and my stash was minimal.
I want to try my hand at making my own baby food. From what I hear, it's really not all that difficult. Noah was not so into baby jar food and we ended up wasting a lot of opened jars. I wonder if I had tried making my own and if I had been able to toy with the consistency or flavors if he would have warmed up to it faster. If it doesn't work out it's not a huge deal, it's just something I'd like to try.
I want to baby wear so that I can enjoy snuggles with this baby as much as I did with my first. With my first I had all the time in the world to cuddle, but I know with two I am going to be much much busier. I hope that by baby wearing that I can feel close to this child (and he to me) while still caring for an active busy toddler and keeping my house tidy. I've got an ergo for outings and a moby wrap for around the house. Hopefully they will serve us well!
We plan to cloth diaper from the start. We didn't start with Noah until he was almost 9 months old. But this baby can wear the same diapers that Noah wears (though we will get a few more to add more to the circulation) and it will save us a lot of money on diapers. Plus, they look so darn cute on tiny babies!
We plan to sleep train again. I will whole heartily admit that it was the hardest thing I have ever done, and I have heard that for some babies it just doesn't work, but for us, it did! We did it at four months with Noah because he was showing clear signs of being ready for it. It took all of two days to completely change his sleeping habits. No more walking back and forth down the hall way rocking and rocking until my arms begun to fall off.
And speaking of sleep, we plan to have this baby in our room for 6 months or so just like we did with our first. It brought us great comfort to hear him breathing every night and to be able to check on him with a glance. It created a wonderful bonding experience as a family even though he was still in his own crib and never (sleeping) in our bed.
I'm sure there are many other differences or similarities, but these are just the ones that have been on my brain recently. And like I said, this is just what we feel is best for our family! All us mommas are just doing what we think is best for our little ones :)