9 things we'll do different with baby #2
There are things I look back on from Rooney's first months of life and think, "Wow, that was a defining moment in our parenting journey." Not regrets, but times when we adjusted our course and went a slightly different way based on unexpected circumstances. We were learning what it was really like to be parents and feeling all the feelings that come with it. I think we are planning to do a lot of the same things with baby #2 as we did with Rooney, but here are a few changes (realizing this baby boy will be a completely different baby/person and we'll have to adjust to his specific needs as they arise):
- No mailed birth announcement. Via smartphones, social media, texting, etc., most of our family and friends will be able to see a photo of our baby within an hour of his birth. I will probably print a couple photos for my grandparents to have, but I don't see the point of spending $200 on mailed birth announcements to all our family and friends. It would be old news by the time it arrived. Plus, who has time to lick all those envelopes?
- Eric will take two weeks off. Last time he had one week off, and we wished it was a little longer. Problem is, homeboy has trouble sitting around. During my nine-week maternity leave with Rooney he bought and installed a storm door, landscaped our yard, and bought a minivan. So...we need to discuss what his time off will look like. (I totally get it...I think I went to Target every day of my maternity leave, starting when Rooney was three weeks old.) Or, maybe it will be completely fine with me this time for him to be doing basement projects while I figure out breastfeeding, but just having him around will be nice.
- Not freak out about baby's weight/breastfeeding. Who knows if I can actually follow through on this one, but I'm hoping I'll feel more confident with my motherly instincts this time and not freak out if he loses weight in the hospital, even if it's 10% of his birth weight. I am planning to breastfeed again, and hopefully I won't carry as much guilt this time if it doesn't work out. Rooney only got breast milk for the first month of her life and she turned out awesome.
- Hold him more. I remember when Rooney was two days old, the day we were discharged from the hospital, I barely held her all day because of visitors and going through the discharge process. By 5:00 pm when we got home, I was a complete mess. My body ached for her. I know there are so many benefits for the baby, too, to be held by his or her parents. Hormonally it is very important for the mother, for bonding and milk production. I want to watch out for this better this time.
- Placenta encapsulation. I've mentioned it before, but I'm planning to encapsulate my placenta. Basically, your placenta is turned into pills that you take for a couple months following delivery. I've heard amazing things about it and I'm hoping it helps me with my physical recovery, hormone balance and milk production. You can learn more here.
- Ask our moms to come help ahead of time. Last time, Eric and I both called our moms from the hospital the night Rooney was born, begging them to come stay with us and help us adjust to our new life. We were so tired and knew we couldn't do it on our own. This time, we've already talked to them about when they are available to come stay. Perhaps we won't feel like we need as much help this time, but with a toddler around, you never know!
- Delay baby's first bath - possibly even until after we get home. Rooney's first bath was about four hours after she was born. No big deal, but I would like to delay baby boy's first bath for at least 12 hours, possibly even a few days. The vernix on babies' skin helps them regulate their body temperature and has proven to increase breastfeeding success.
- Check his tongue more closely. Rooney was tongue-tied at birth, which was noticed by our lactation consultant the day we left the hospital, and we had her tongue clipped by an ENT when she was 6 days old. I believe this affected our breastfeeding experience and wish we would have looked for it sooner and perhaps even had it cut in the hospital (which also would have saved us money). Anyway, because of our personal experience with it and because it's hereditary (Eric has it too), it's something I want to look for sooner.
- Have baby adjusted by our chiropractor before we leave the hospital. When Rooney was born, we weren't seeing a chiropractor on a regular basis. At her 2-month check-up, her pediatrician diagnosed her with torticollis and I later realized while watching our birth video that her neck got pretty twisted when she came out. Anyway, we are believers in chiropractic and each go at least twice a month. I think birth can be traumatic for both the mom's and baby's bodies and can cause stress and pressure and things can get out of place, so it's beneficial to make sure everything's aligned and working properly as soon as possible. We respect and use both medical and chiropractic care for each member of our family, so it makes sense to begin that as soon as possible after birth.
A couple more changes I considered were opting out of the optional Hepatitis B vaccine at the hospital (so baby will be more alert for breastfeeding) and opting out of the eye ointment (since I don't have an STD), but I don't think I feel strongly enough against them to cause a big stink. So we'll just see what happens there! Rooney had both of them.
What would you do differently with your next baby?
P.P.S. Our parenting style.