Let me start by saying that I have no regrets with stuff I did the first time round. I have learnt and changed so much. And that saying about: kids being the greatest teachers? Well that’s certainly true in our case. My little one has changed me completely for the better and I don’t recognize my pre-child self.
However it was lots of learning and one of the reasons that I am super keen to have a second baby is so that I can put all that I have learnt into good use second time around.
What would I do different if I have a second baby?
1) Birth: Definitely next time around no high-flying OB/ GYN or big hospital. It will be either a home birth with a midwife or doula with a back up or a natural birth with a midwife or doula in a nursing home. Birth is such a natural and instinctive thing and we as women have allowed doctors to tell us how to feel and how to push.
Birth in these big hospitals with OB/GYNs make the woman feel so powerless and patient like, so clinical and cold. Birth on the other hand say people who have had natural births their way is meant to feel the opposite, make you feel empowered and is a defining moment for mothers.
Instead there we are feet in stirrups, with countless devices hooked on, many a time rushed into something without even being asked because we’re not ‘allowed’ to.
I’m not talking about high-risk births. By all means doctors and hospitals are doing a fantastic job saving high-risk mothers and babies and that’s a huge positive. I am talking about regular women and babies who have no reason to have the interventions that are regularly endowed as ‘normal’ protocol. You’re tricked into thinking you’ve had a ‘normal’ birth when it is anything but normal.
And what about the impact birth has on the whole life of the child? Read Chris Kresser’s series on birth here.
Birth India, a fantastic movement by birth professionals practicing natural birth is a great source of resource for everything natural birth related in India.
2) Babywearing: I remember the early months of N’s life where my whole time would be spent in nursing and then putting him down gently in his cot as that’s where I thought he should be. As soon as he’d touch down he’d be up and yell and cry to be carried. Next time I’m going to skip the whole putting down process and nurse and keep the new born in a woven wrap or Anmol wrap so that I can nurse on demand, baby is happy and not crying, and I can interact with my older child. I’d also wear the baby alot but swaddle less this time around, here’s why.
3) Co-sleep: First time around it took me 8 months to realize N was going to sleep in between us and then started nursing on demand at night once I got used to that idea. The next time I am not going to bother with a cot or baby bed. His or her bed is my bed.
Now at nearly two he doesn’t want to be in our bed anymore (boohoo!) and says, ‘please mama open the door’ (meaning let me go to my room), and here I am, dying to cuddle and snuggle and inhale precious toddler smell.
4) Nurse on demand: I used to have this ridiculous app called baby connect which tracked what time the baby nursed, which side, what time he slept, for how long etc. and used to feed it in religiously. Next time no app. New baby, new rules. His or her rules to be precise.
5) Baby led weaning: I started out wanting to do BLW with N but gave up pretty fast being worried about nothing much going in. Even then he was mainly on breast milk for about 11 months. Silly me! Next time around it’s going to be BLW all the way and I’ve got recipes stored for the same. Now there even a BLW India support group on FB with easy to make Indian recipes.
6) Cloth Diapering: I used traditional cloth nappies with N in the house that led to his early Potty training and used disposables when out and about and in the night. The next time I’l just stick to cloth and use the lovely colourful cute diapers used and shared by the lovely moms at the Cloth diapering India group.
All you parents of one child, what would you do different the next time around? Do chime in with your comments.
Thanks for reading!