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Last week I shared with you guys some of the things we did differently with our second baby. I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback and I enjoyed writing it, so today I want to share some of the things we did the same with our second baby.
As a parent, you find that some things work, and some things don’t. Part of it depends on you, and part of it depends on your baby. Our daughter was not as relaxed as our son, but we were still able to do a lot of things with her that we did with him. Here are the things that we did the same with our second baby.
1. Announced the pregnancy with a cute pregnancy announcement. With our son, we announced that we were pregnant with a fun little photo on social media. With our daughter, we actually stepped it up a notch and took seven different pregnancy announcement pictures. It’s fun and I enjoyed it the first time, so we decided to do the same thing the second time!
2. We waited until the second trimester to announce the pregnancy publicly. This is a very personal decision and it’s different for everyone, but we didn’t announce our first or second pregnancies publicly until the second trimester. You can read more about why here, but basically I would hate to miscarry and have to be constantly telling people who weren’t that close (aka, most of Facebook or random church members) that I lost the baby.
3. Found out our baby’s gender at 20 weeks. I am not one of those people who could just plan a gender neutral nursery and have a bunch of yellow and white clothes for their baby and plan on being surprised at the birth. Woo hoo for those people, but it’s just not me. So with both of my pregnancies, we found out what gender our baby was.
4. Packed hospital bags weeks in advance. I am also not one of those people who waits until the last second to pack their hospital bags. I packed my hospital bag and a bag for my baby both at least a month before my due date. You never know what is going to happen, even if you’re having a normal pregnancy. I didn’t want to be caught unprepared!
5. Took newborn pictures at the hospital. Our hospital offered newborn pictures while you were still there, so we did that with both of our kids. We’ve never lived in places that would work well for pictures at home, and I just like how fresh my babies are in their pictures!
6. Sent babies to the nursery at night while in the hospital. I know some people think this isn’t for them and that’s fine, but after having a baby and all the work it takes, I just need to sleep for a few hours. I never had any problems with breastfeeding and the nurses always would bring my baby to me during the night so I could feed him/her, so it’s not like I was abandoning my baby. And I also think it’s great that you can take advantage of that extra help while you can since when you get home you’re 100% in charge. Thank heavens for the nursery and those sweet nurses who let new moms sleep a bit.
7. Breastfed as soon as they were born. I breastfed both of my kids as long as I could (8 months, 6 months), and one thing that I think helped me a lot was breastfeeding as soon as possible after birth. With my daughter it was a little sooner because my son had to be checked by the NICU real fast, but I did it as soon as I could with both of them and it helped our breastfeeding journey go smoother.
8. I was strict about naps. Naps are God’s gift to mothers. So I have always been pretty strict about making sure my kids get their naps and they aren’t interrupted. I try and schedule appointments around them, go shopping around them, and if I get invited to do something during nap time, I will say no. My babies get grumpy when they don’t get enough sleep, so making sure nap time happened has always been important to me.
9. Made sure people were healthy before holding my babies. Especially during the first few months. We made sure our families who came to visit all had their whooping cough shots, and anyone who came to meet the babies had to use hand sanitizer or wash their hands before holding baby. Newborns are especially vulnerable to diseases since obviously they don’t have their vaccinations yet (I’m very pro-vaccination), so I made sure to be careful with our precious babies.
10. Introduced solids at same time. With both of our babies, we introduced solid foods, namely rice cereal, at four months. Some people wait until six months and that’s fine, but our pediatrician recommended four months for both of my babies, and it was great. They both loved solid food and did great with it at four months.
11. Weaned them off of night feedings around four/five months. Once my babies were big enough to be able to sleep through the night, I definitely encouraged it by weaned them off of night feedings. It’s not super hard to do, but it takes a little time so you do it gradually. Anyway, it was great for us and especially for me because it helped them to sleep through the night!
12. Used swaddles. I used the same swaddle blanket for both of my babies, the SwaddleDesigns Ultimate Receiving Blanket. It was big enough to swaddle them for a few months, and it held up great through two babies. We actually tried to take the swaddle away from Little A for a while, and she basically stopped napping for a full month, so it was back to swaddling to save everyone’s sanity. Anyway, swaddles are a must in my book.
13. Introduced a wide variety of foods. I do not want picky eaters, so I always try to give my kids a wide variety of different foods from an early age. Even if they didn’t like one of the baby foods we tried, we kept trying and trying until they did. Little A did not like carrots, but eventually she learned to like them! It helped both of them not to be picky (at least until the wonderful toddler phase).
14. Used a sound machine for nap time. By sound machine, I really mean an app on the iPad, but still. It made a lot of difference when we used the sound machine and it was easy to wean them both off because I just turned it down gradually until it wasn’t even on anymore.
15. Used Pampers Baby Dry diapers. I’ve tried Huggies, Costco brand, Luvs, and Walmart brand, and there just aren’t any diapers that absorb and fit my kids as well as Pampers Baby Dry diapers. I seriously love Pampers, and I like their rewards program that they have, too. Anyway, they are by far, the diaper I would recommend to any mom. Plus I feel like there are always coupons you can print or get from the paper for them!
16. Took monthly baby photos. I know some people say that they take less pictures with their second kid, and while I feel like that was sort of true for me, one thing I did not fail to document was her growth. I took monthly pictures with some little iron-on stickers every month and loved how I was able to track her growth during her first year. We did stickers with Little J and by the time he was about 8-months-old and could figure out that the sticker came off, it was impossible to get a picture with the sticker on. If you need some cute ideas, you can check out this roundup post for inspiration.
As a first-time parent you’ll quickly figure out the things you want to do the same and the things you want to do differently the second time around. For us, we did a lot the same and a lot differently. Just do what you think is best for you and for your baby, and remember that babies are all differently, even if they come from the same family!