The thing about your second baby is that it is so much easier to see all of the things you did the first time around that didn't work. In our case we are still dealing with some of these things (ahem, sleep).
I am so much more
confident as a second time mom and this has made Spencer's babyhood easier and go by more quickly. It
helps that Spencer is easy to parent, but I attribute just a little of his
'angel baby' status to our relaxed attitude. There are also a few things I
have learned to ease up on these past five months which have made all of our lives just a bit easier.
The F Word
is for formula and I don't know why I insisted this was evil with
Eloise. Actually, I do. The word out there is that 'breast is best' and this is basically forced down the throat of every new mom to the point where we are embarrassed to admit we give our babies formula. Or we make excuses as to why we do it. Even though I wholly believe in breastfeeding and plan to nurse Spencer for as long as I can, it is not such a bad thing for moms to give themselves a break. Sometimes you need a little help from your friends, and this friend is formula.
Spencer has at least 13 hours of tummy time every day. When he was just a few weeks old I decided to see what would happen if I put him down to nap on his tummy and boom - he slept his first ever four hour long stretch! Since then I have put Spencer to bed on his tummy for naps and at night. He is able to move his head and there are no loose blankets or toys in the crib, so I don't worry about him. Spencer sleeps and we all sleep.
I wish I had listened when people suggested that I let Eloise learn how to self soothe as an infant. What I confused this with was 'Crying it Out', something I am still not totally comfortable with, when really self soothing isn't about letting children cry themselves to sleep or making themselves sick, but allowing them to fuss and get comfortable in their own way. Another trick is that we put Spencer into his crib awake rather than nursed or rocked to sleep, and though he often fusses, whimper-cries a little, and snarffles a bunch, give him a few minutes and he will be sound asleep. This is his way of self soothing and it means that he can wake in the middle of the night and put himself back to sleep the same way, no boob required.
The Dirty D
I'll admit it, I was a hardcore cloth diaperer with Eloise. It was cloth time all the time, even on vacation. I refused to give up and made myself feel hella guilty when we did use disposable diapers. Spencer is a part-time cloth diapered baby, for a number of reasons. The first is that I have learned that boys wet differently than girls and there are only a select number of diapers in our stash that really work at keeping Spencer dry and we've had no success with cloth at night. The second is that I have a towering pile of around 20 cloth diapers that need to have either the elastic casing or velcro closures - or both - replaced and I have neither the time nor energy to take this project on. I even ordered replacement kits from bumGenius to make the process easier but everything is sitting stashed on a shelf. We have had good success with Earth's Best Tender Care Chlorine Free Diapers, which we can buy at the London Drugs down the street, and at least I feel slightly less guilty that we use a better diaper for both baby and the environment.