You probably saw the heading of this post and thought to yourself, “Is she pregnant?” Well, the answer is “no” – and, if I can help it, a sibling for our cub won’t be in the picture for another year or two. However, I felt inclined to elaborate on this topic since one of my readers asked in last month’s Q&A post: what do you think you will do differently with or in preparation for your next child?
I love being a mother; there’s something comfortably challenging and rewarding about sharing the responsibility with my husband to nurture and teach the ways of the world to our tiny human. We’ve been on this parenting journey for nearly half a year – so, since we are well-ahead of the newborn stage and past the first sleep regression – I’ve had plenty of time to mentally gather a few different things we will do once our second child comes along.
1. Ask for medicine for morning sickness right away.
I was one of the “chosen few” preggos who had severe morning sickness that lasted up until I was 22 weeks pregnant. If you’re looking for me to share my coping secret – I won’t suggest ginger, peppermint, bananas, or any other “special” potion to keep from hurling every time you sit, stand, walk, or breathe. My help came from Diclegis – and, if the next little cub gives me nausea from hell, that’s the first thing on my list of requests from my obstetrician.
2. Don’t start sleeping habits that you don’t want to keep in the long run.
If you’re one of my loyal readers, you know how much bouncing and rocking Leo did to my body when he was a newborn. While I was pregnant, I would bounce on a yoga ball to relieve pressure from my back. So, naturally – when Leo was born, bouncing him on the yoga ball was probably the only thing that would consistently put him to sleep. The constant bounce did such a number on my lower back and knees; I’m surprised we haven’t chucked that thing out the window yet. Luckily, we were able to wean Leo from needing movement to sleep – but, I probably won’t even go near the yoga ball with #2.
3. Don’t purchase non-basic items until you get to know your child.
This one might be a tad bit of a regret and probably doesn’t really apply here since we have all of the necessities (and, then some) for the next cub – but, if it can help a future mama: wait until your child is born to learn their preferences vs. purchasing toys or items you may or may not need.
Example: we bought a swing for Leo – but, he preferred bouncing over swinging when he was a tiny one. Thus, we had to purchase a bouncer instead. This can also be said for skin and hair products. Before spending money on full-size bottles of soap or shampoo, utilize the free samples that companies send you during your pregnancy. Thus, you’ll be able to judge what products work best for your child’s sensitive skin.
4. View breastfeeding as an option, not a necessity.
If you’re a new reader, I’ll have you know that I initially started my blog to share my breastfeeding story when I was devastated that it didn’t work out for me. Along with society, I put a lot of pressure and judgement on myself to make breastfeeding work – but, it was doing more harm than good for myself and Leo. I won’t make a conclusive statement and say that I’m not willing to try to breastfeed again – but, if I start to develop the same feelings or experiences as I had the first time around, I will pull the plug on nursing a lot quicker with the future cub.
5. Stop Internet research altogether and consult a pediatrician.
The Internet is an encyclopedia of opinions, he said/she said reports, and unsolicited (well, I guess it would be solicited if you’re Googling after it) advice. As a parent, the Internet can be a helpful or a hurtful tool. I mean – it’s a lot quicker to ask Google what diaper rash looks like or gauge if your baby has enough wet or dirty diapers. I’ll have my own experience to lean on with our next child – but, it’s definitely better to reach out to your pediatrician or nurse line if you have an honest concern.