The Neglected Second Child

Baths
With my first baby, I lovingly bathed him every night, followed by an all over baby massage, story (totally understood it at 0 years old, but figured he might like the sound of my voice) whilst colourful lights danced across his ceiling in various unicorns and other mythical beasts, synchronised with soothing lullaby music. Most nights I even got in the bath with him so we could bond (there’s nothing better for the mother/baby bonding than seeing your mums postpartum body/ flab and other regions that haven’t been seen/accessed for many months). The whole bath and bedtime thing was just a beautiful experience and I would often wish that perhaps my husband could do this with me every night before bed to help me sleep?!
Second baby, it goes about 3/4….maybe even 5/6 days and we are like “oooo whats that smell??” After checking that we hadn’t left a nappy bag somewhere, the washing hadn’t gone mouldy in the machine (been in there 5 days i think?), something in the fridge hasn’t gone funky, we then realise that in actual fact it is our beautiful little baby. “We should probably bath him tonight then?” we agree. A quick 2 min dip in the bath (often in the toddlers old water) and job done. Its only recently that I’ve started upping his bath times to try to create some sort of bedtime routine to help him sleep (it’s what google says to do….def not working yet).

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General Cleaning
Follows on nicely to baby cleaning. First baby, tiny bit of sick/ poo- change of outfit. Fresh outfit for the morning, evening, bedtime. So many outfit changes. Fresh nappies constantly. So fresh, so clean!
Second baby, wet wipes have been key. You can pretty much keep the same outfit on for 24 hours if you do your wet wiping right. This does mean baby number two essentially goes out in his PJs most days, but you can totally get away with this when you can coo and blow bubbles. And nappies, I hate to say it, but I do forget to change him a lot of the time, or remember, but put it off (not always easy negotiating a toddler diving into the sanitary towel bin whilst you’re trying to hold your baby on the changing table with your foot). Obviously if I hear that familiar “parp” noise and it starts leaking out the side code red situation, I whip that bad boy off. Although, unlike my first, I seem to miss that “poop” noise sometimes (toddler too noisy?) and only discover the littler liquid treasure at a later time. Then feel horrendously guilty as wonder how long its been there. Maybe that’s why you’ve been crying?!
Unfortunately, on one dark and windy autumn day, I actually realised I had run out of baby nappies so had to wing it with a size 5 toddler one (see pic). Poor boy, it was up to his nipples and beyond. Well it was either that or a sanitary pad.

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Clothes
Brings me onto clothes. I was so excited to start dressing my first baby in proper clothes. So I pretty much did this from the start. In fact, I loved it so much I would plan his outfits the night before and get so excited to dress him in them. Lots of clothes were bought, lots of money was spent. I obviously had a lot of time on my hands?!
All of baby number 2s clothes are hand-me-downs (perk of having 2 of the same-sex). This time round, I’m pretty certain my baby will be in baby grows i.e. PJs until he’s 18. Special occasions (like when we might see people), I have started to dress him in actual clothes, but the majority of time he will be in a onesie. There’s just not been enough hours in the day now to plan his cat walk outfits. Poor little chicken, half his baby grows are so small now that he can barely straighten his body out. You WILL stay a newborn forever.

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Wardrobe Space
Baby number 1s (now toddler) wardrobe is extensive. I mean the boy has a double-breasted wardrobe just for his Autumn/ Winter collection (see picture)
Poor baby number 2 has a 3 draw (small-scale) chest of draws next to the huge wardrobe. Nothing like rubbing salt in the wounds. The clothes that can’t fit in the chest of draws live in a bag (Tescos?) in the airing cupboard.

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Attention
I do feel like baby number one had my undivided attention ALL the time. I didn’t get much done at all because I was concentrating on him so much and responding to his every beck and call.
This time round I have a 2 year old that takes up A LOT of my attention, so the poor second baby just seems spend his life plonked in places whilst I sort the toddler out. His day looks like this: propped up on sofa, strapped into swinging chair, moved into bouncy chair…..(bouncy chair is moved from kitchen, to living room, to bedroom. back to kitchen), wedged in Bumbo (chubby thighs), Bumbo relocated to various different places/ views, Sleepy Head (for naps haha yeh right), play gym, car seat (sometimes left in house, placed on sofa or outside for “fresh air”), AND REPEAT. Soon the “Circle of Neglect” ie; the Jumperoo, will come back into action. I feel so guilty that he just kinda gets left and I can’t spend my days just staring at him whilst drinking (hot?) tea.

Used As Entertainment
Baby number 2 is also used as a source of entertainment for the toddler and often treated as a play thing. “Lets see if the baby fits in here” or “lets stick these on the baby” are 2 of the many games we can play that keeps the toddler busy for 10 mins. I also feel like you aren’t as delicate with baby number 2, you realise that these babies are actually quite robust (well he has to be when big brother tries to move him to the play gym all by himself eeeeek). This means that he’s often placed in places for amusement/ funny photos.

Baby Classes
First time round I hammered the s*it out of baby sensory, baby massage, baby gymnastics, bounce and rhyme, baby yoga (didn’t get on well with this), baby swimming…It was crazy busy but felt I NEEDED to do it all for my sons development?!
This time round the logistics of it (can’t take toddler to baby massage/ baby yoga…imagine!) means I cant really do anything specifically for my new baby (mum guilt). So baby number 2 just pretty much tags along to all of my toddlers classes/ social life. BUT I feel he’s almost getting a free ride?! Although not specially for him, already at 3 months old, he gets to attend/ watch/ “absorb” toddler gymnastics, toddler swimming (soon), Forrest School, toddler yoga, soft plays, toddler play dates, farm days, craft classes, tractor rides, crabbing……list goes on……and I get to save some ££££$$$$$

Name Confusion
I never forgot the name of my first son.
Second time round, I’m really struggling to call my baby the correct name……Arlo/ Daddy/ Rich (husband)/ Lottie (dog)/ Jamie (brother)/ Keith (who’s Keith??)…….ahhh whats your name again??! It’s not that its hard to remember, or that I have THAT many more names to remember now, so I can’t understand why I’m struggling so much? I think it’s a lot to do with the tiredness (and age?), I’m just so confused. I basically reel off all of the names I know until I hit on the right one. Plus, he’s never just called his name, he’s known as Baby Kitt. I think he should be Baby Kitt on his birth certificate.

Development
With my first son I was so excited for him to meet each developmental stage (ie. holding head up, rolling over, sitting up, crawling etc). We would even have training sessions.
This time round I’ve realised that actually things become harder when they get bigger (they can move), so I am discouraging any type of development! I want to know what when I plonk him down somewhere, that he’s going to be there when I get back. Plus I want to keep him a baby FOREVER.

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Napping
Child number 1, nap times (like bedtimes) were a serene and peaceful experience.
This time, naps for my baby are on-the-go, normally 20 min power naps in the car seat, or in the sling whilst navigating the ball pit in a soft play, or at home with a xylophone/ hammer/ toy drill being played with next to his head. I’m so sorry.

 

*disclaimer. I love my second baby just as much as my first and don’t mean to “neglect” him. He is very much loved, kept warm, happy, fed and clean (mostly). Weirdly, second baby seems way more laid back.

 

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