2015 was a great year for us. We welcomed the happiest, most relaxed and patient little girl anyone could ever ask for. We became parents of two and quickly realized there was so much we had forgotten about babies. Yes it has only been two years since our first was born but as most parents will be able to tell you parenthood is constant adaptation, every week poses different growth, different leaps, and when dealing with a two year old, different moods.
So with many of my friends about to welcome babies in 2016 and join the family of four club I thought I would come up with a reminder list, just giving you an insight in to all the little things you soon forget and very quickly remember as you become a new parent all over again.
- How tiny they are.
So many people have said to me looking at Maisie ‘Oh (insert your babies name here) was never that small.’ When really, chances are, they were, they were probably smaller, Maisie to many people’s surprise is a big baby, you just never remember how tiny they really were.
- How floppy they are.
Support the head. Support the head. Support the head. Enough said.
- How funny it is to watch people hold/transfer your baby to each other.
With most people adapting the typical baby hold position before you hand her to them and then ending with ‘Can you just come get her and give her to …’ It is amazing how quickly you become comfortable with holding and transferring a new baby again when it is your own.
- How you can function on next to no sleep.
You just keep going.
‘Sleep when the baby sleeps’ is all well and good when you only have one baby, when you have a toddler as well it is a slightly different story. Thankfully my toddler likes playing on the floor and the floor is also a great place to lie down, so it may not be sleep when the baby sleeps but rest when the baby sleeps.
- How easily explosions happen.
Make sure that nappy is on properly.
- How much rocking is involved.
Rocking techniques are a hot topic in our household. My husband prefers the bounce in the hands away from the body technique while I am a big fan of the close to the body swinging and slight bounce method. Either way, there is a lot of rocking going on.
- How much they feed.
Speaking as a breastfeeding mother in the midst of a heat wave I am getting the call up every hour. It is hot and frustrating and not surprisingly I am a little bit over it, but I remember how sad I was when Leo stopped feeding so I am trying to savour the closeness and the cuddles I get while feeding my girl.
- How noisily they sleep.
We are ‘put the baby in their own room from day one’ type people. This time the baby’s room is right across from ours, not down the corridor, and oh my goodness we have a snorter, the noises she makes would rival those coming from a geriatric ward at night time.
- How adorable toothless smiles are.
Those first smiles are the best. When your baby first recognizes you and smiles there is no better feeling.
- How quickly you work out their cues.
I don’t think I appreciated this one the first time, but you really do get to know your baby. The differences in their cries or the squirms in their movements, you quickly learn what each of them mean. Maybe it is because with a toddler to deal with as well you have to learn to work out what your baby wants quickly or all hell is bound to break loose.
- How the startle reflex is the worst.
And it happens a lot. Two year old’s do not exactly understand the concept ‘the baby is resting we have to play quietly.’ Although this reflex has helped the discovery of many new rocking techniques I will be glad when it is gone.
- How fun they are to dress up.
Baby clothes are the cutest. Plus there is none of ‘I don’t want to wear that one I want to wear the green shirt’ when you dress a baby.
- How you really don’t need privacy.
With a toddler on the loose and a baby on the play mat privacy is pretty much a thing of the past. If you can’t grab a shower before your hubby leaves for work and you decide you really need a shower that day they are usually done in the company of at least one child, and toileting with the door closed is a luxury that only happens outside the hours of 9-5.30.
I am sure there are many more things I am bound to remember I have forgotten and there are many things you are quick to learn that you never knew before, like how quickly a sibling bond develops or how it is possible to love someone as much as you love your first baby, but it has been an hour and I am getting that “feed me” look so that will have to be a topic for another day.