Xavier is now nearly two years old and I am now one week away from the due date for baby #2 and it has me thinking what I’d like to do differently this time around.
1. I will not agonize for 4 months over my inability to breastfeed my baby.
Let me clarify that I still believe that breast-feeding is incredibly important on many levels (not only physical health, but for attachment, etc) and doing everything in your power to breastfeed your child is still necessary. I believe that a lot of moms give up way too easily or don’t bother trying and that is their choice. Xavier however has had laziness and stubbornness as two of his personality traits since in-utero and he really did not enjoy the struggle of breast feeding. Latch and therefore supply continued to be issues for months which made us both cry several times a day, nearly every day. My poor guy continued to be skinny for months despite supplementing through a tube. Once I FINALLY gave in four months later to introducing a bottle he almost immediately stopped breast feeding, began rapidly catching up with his weight gain and became a much happier boy.
I am still hoping that neither latch nor supply will be an issue with our next little guy Felix. If it is we will immediately be buying a double-hospital-grade pump and I will be using it as well as herbal vitamins to increase my supply so it does not create an issue for him. If however that and the various latch techniques continue to create issues I plan to transition to bottles after 6-8 weeks.
2. I will swaddle him as long as he likes
I was advised that swaddling would create too deep a sleep for Xavier which would interfere with his hunger-signals. Looking back, had I not been so insecure about the breastfeeding and willing to do anything to help it- I would have acknowledged that he LOVED being swaddled and had he slept better and more soundly he would have woke up hungrier and possibly attempted to latch better.
3. I will transition to a sleep sack afterwards.
Having known someone personally who woke from a nap to find her son had died of SIDS on her chest I am VERY scared of SIDS. Like ridiculously paranoid. Someone had given me a sleep sack for Xavier’s baby shower but he had nearly outgrown it by the time I decided to use it. I IMMEDIATELY loved it- perfect solution to ensure your baby stays warm (but not hot) and cozy with no clunky blankets to kick off or accidentally smother them. Bonus: in the warmer times/warmer rooms it makes mid-sleep diaper changes easier as you can put them in the sack bottomless.
4. I will start creating a schedule for my boys ASAP
With Xavier it took forever to create a schedule for him: sleeping, feeding, it was all over the place. Before I was a parent I always said that I wanted my kids to be able to sleep whenever wherever and that I wouldn’t be one of ‘those’ parents who were hopelessly tied to their little one’s schedule. HA. Once I helped develop a schedule for X we were BOTH much happier for it. Yes it sucks (especially on multiple naps a day) needing to carve out your social or errand time to 2 hour chunks but really- having a child who has slept well and is therefore not cranky or whining incessantly- also having my own “me time” even for 30 minutes during the day- TOTALLY worth it.
5. I have a video monitor from DAY ONE.
Once we finally bought a video monitor for Xavier it changed my life. As I mentioned I was terrified of SIDS and would be constantly be checking on him to make sure he was still breathing. I also didn’t sleep as soundly because a large part of my subconscious was on HIGH ALERT for the slightest indication something might be wrong. The relief of being able to roll over turn on the video feed and see his little chest move up and down- PRICELESS. We bought the cheapest model the first time around and it subsequently broke. I bought another model with two cameras the second time and thankfully it works perfectly and so I will be able to watch both my boys whenever a wave of paranoia washes over me.