Yes, parenthood changes everything. But parenthood also changes with each baby. Here are some of the ways having a second and third child differs from having your first:
- Your Clothes
1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.
2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.
3rd baby: Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.
- The Baby’s Name
1st baby: You pore over baby-name books and practice pronouncing and writing combinations of all your favorites.
2nd baby: Someone has to name his or her kid after your great-aunt Mavis, right? It might as well be you.
3rd baby: You open a name book, close your eyes, and see where your finger points.
- Preparing for the Birth
1st baby: You practice your breathing religiously
2nd baby: You don’t bother practicing because you remember that last time, breathing didn’t do a thing.
3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your 8th month.
- The Layette
1st baby: You pre-wash your newborn’s clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby’s little bureau.
2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.
3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can’t they?
1st baby: At the first sign of distress — a whimper, a frown — you pick up the baby.
2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.
3rd baby: You teach your 3-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.
1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour.
2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.
3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner.
- Going Out
1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home 5 times.
2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.
3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.
- At Home
1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.
2nd baby: You spend a bit of every day watching to be sure your older child isn’t squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.
3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.
- The Baby Book
1st baby: Every single page is filled out, and you add tons of pictures, locks of hair, and other mementos.
2nd baby: You log only the highlights and put in a couple of Christmas and birthday pictures.
3rd baby: Yeah, you have one. Blank with nothing in it. Who has time with 2 toddlers and a baby?