Tag Archives: second child

16th June 2015

10 Reasons Why Being The Second Child Is Brilliant

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 19.26.231. Baby food is rubbish. And when I spotted my older brother was getting to eat proper food that you actually have to chew, the big people let me eat it too. Same goes for snacks – who wants a baby rusk when you’ve tasted a chocolate digestive?

2. Baby toys are boring. The big people dangled toys in front of my face when I was small – but as soon as I could sit up and drag myself to the toy box, I played with my brother’s toys. And honestly, I know my way around an iPad and iPhone better than anyone.

3. Second hand clothes aren’t that bad. Everyone feels sorry for the second child wearing hand-me-downs, but I like it. It means the big people don’t care when cover myself in red pasta sauce (bibs are for babies) or when I wear holes through the knees of my trousers pushing a car around (sitting still is for babies, too).

4. Baby classes are boring. The big people took me to a baby class once. We sang baby songs and waved baby toys around. It was OK, but I’d much rather hang out with my brother’s friends. One of them pretends to be a monster while we run around screaming and then we carefully slot our rice crackers between the sofa cushions when the adults aren’t looking.

5. Baby TV is rubbish. My brother watched things like ‘In the Night Garden’ and ‘Telletubbies’ when he was little (I know, because there are stuffed toys lying around the place) – but I never had to watch that rubbish. As soon as I was old enough to focus, I was watching grown up stuff like Ben & Holly, Charlie & Lola, and Paw Patrol.

6. They know I’m gifted. My brother wasn’t trusted with a crayon or lump of playdoh until he much older than me. But after a tantrum on the living room floor, I was given the chance to show off my skills. I’m so talented that the big people have displayed a few of my masterpieces on the fridge. I don’t know for sure, but I doubt my brother got that kind of glory.

7. Danger is fun. My brother told me that our big people have relaxed a lot since I came along. I believe them – after all, it takes them a whole 10 seconds to get to me when I am balancing on the windowsill.  Life is good.

8. I  always get my own way. I only have to do my ‘cute smile’ at the big people and they give me what I want. I don’t want to brag, but I am definitely sure that I must be cuter than my big brother. I smashed a mug of cold coffee all over the floor yesterday – and then I did my smile. I don’t even think they cared.

9. Weekends are better. My brother told me that the big people dragged him around boring places at the weekend when he was a baby. It was all about coffee, food, and shopping. They realised the error of their ways when I came along – and now we go to play areas, build sandcastles on the beach, or visit aquariums. I think they all know that I have improved things for the better.

10. I have a friend. The best thing about being a second child is that I have a friend – right from the moment I wake up and shout ‘Snack! Snack! Snack!’ from my cot for no other reason than to annoy him, to the moment I fall asleep to the sound of him singing Christmas carols in June. Why would I need any of the other stuff when I have him?

27th April 2015

10 Things I Did Differently The Second Time Round

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 21.36.081) I worried about different things

Lots of people say that they worry less with the second baby – and this was true for me in some respects. I definitely felt more relaxed as a mother from the first day of his life. I didn’t stress about small things like prolonged tummy time as a newborn, knocks when he started walking, or him getting dirty when we went to the play park. But I found new things to worry about. I only started reading up on the wonderful world of motherhood when I had my first baby – and with this new knowledge of all the things that could go wrong, I found myself worrying more about the bigger issues of sleep safety, choking hazards, and signs of something being seriously wrong. So whilst I did worry less on a day-to-day basis, I worried more about the bigger issues.

2) I forced myself out the door

Right from the day after we arrived home from hospital, I forced myself out the house with a newborn and toddler As even when I could hardly walk after giving birth, the alternative of staying in the house with a toddler running up the walls wasn’t worth the convenience of staying on the sofa. This has been my mantra ever since – it might be hard to get out the door with two children, but I almost always appreciate our efforts in the end.

3) I moved onto real food quicker

When my first baby was about 8 months old, I had lunch with my cousin and her two children. She was giving them fish fingers and asked whether Stanley would like some too. I was horrified! My homemade-puree-eating baby did not eat fish fingers! How ridiculous! And then I had my second baby, he saw his brother eating fish fingers around 8 months old, and gesticulated wildly until I gave him a taster. That was the moment I gave up on purees (mainly shop-bought this time, despite my best intentions) and I have cooked the same thing for both of them ever since.

4) I dressed him like a baby for longer

Whilst I excitedly bought proper little outfits for my first and wanted him to look like a boy from the early days, I left my second in cute babygros for months. And when I moved him out of them, I kept him in leggings because he looked like a baby still – and 15 months later, he still wears them.

5) I didn’t wish away the milestones

With a new understanding of the mischief a crawling baby could cause, I did not count down the days until my second was on the move. Instead, I enjoyed the early days when I could plonk him down and find him in the same place when I returned. And when he started crawling, I looked forward to him walking, but fully expected the bumps, bruises, and knocks that he would get when he took to his feet.

6) I was never complacent

Having gone through it all once before, I never felt smug when things were going right. My baby gobbled up vegetables, but I was aware he may start rejecting them a few months down the line (and he did). My baby slept through the night, but I knew he may catch a cold in the days that followed and wake up 20 times a night coughing (and he did). My baby loved the bath, but he may suddenly decide a few weeks later that the bath was now the devil (and he did). And so it continues. I was better equipped to deal with the setbacks and they never came as a shock.

7) I established a bedtime earlier

I was quite happy for my first baby to hang out with us in the evening when he arrived in our life – but when we finally established a bedtime months down the line, life transformed and I felt myself again in the evenings. So when our second arrived a few years later, we established a bedtime routine much earlier. Because despite enjoying the sleepy evening cuddles (and we did, we really did), I needed that time more than ever.

8) I didn’t bother with baby toys

As soon as my newborn baby could focus, he wanted the toys his brother played with. Here Wilfred, have a rattle! No thanks Mum, I’ll sit here trying to climb onto the scooter if that’s alright. Here Wilfred, have a teething ring! No thanks Mum, I’ll examine this racing car if that’s OK. Here Wilfred, how about a baby book? No thanks Mum, can’t you see I’m reading up on the alphabet? Buying baby toys would have been an utter waste of money.

9) I fell behind with the baby book

Despite my best intentions, I found it incredibly hard to keep up with the baby book that I had bought to match his brother’s. I bought milestone baby cards and took pictures right up to 11 months when I forgot, so we never completed it. I have so many photographs I want to stick into his book or put in frames around the apartment (if you took the time to study the pictures we have framed at home, you’d think we only had one child), but somehow it always get put back to the bottom of the ‘to do’ pile.

10) I learnt to appreciate every second

The first few years of motherhood passed in a flash – so when my second arrived, I was fully aware of how fast time would move. This made me appreciate how lucky I was. At times, I just sit and stare at him, trying to commit his baby self to memory, as I know it will be gone so soon; his chubby wrists, his baby babble, the way his fluffy hair stuck up in the morning. Motherhood comes with its fair share of stressful days, worries, and uncertainties – but my second baby has taught me that these little moments make every second worthwhile. Every single second.

26th February 2015

10 Things No-one Tells You About Having Your Second Child

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 19.33.111 – That you will excitedly retrieve toys, gyms, walkers and ride-ons from their storage place for your new addition – but when you reveal them, the older child will look delighted with themselves and barely let their younger sibling touch them.

2 – That when you take your new baby home from hospital, your first one will have morphed into a giant.

3 – That the tiredness doesn’t just come from lack of sleep, but from the physical exhaustion of lifting two little people, heaving car seats and children into the car, trying to steer double buggies with a mind of their own, and then working out how to collapse them and lift it into the boot. It feels like you always have a person to lift, carry or push. And it’s true. You do.

4 – That if you own an iPad, there will be war.

5  – That there is absolutely no point trying to give your children different foodstuffs. And that you should practice cutting sandwiches into identical shapes, counting out blueberries, and carefully dividing snacks into half portions while you still have the time.

6 – That despite looking and acting nothing like your own siblings, you will be constantly amazed that your second is not a carbon copy of your first.

7 – That you will feel fiercely protective of your new cub from the moment they are born. And that this may include rugby tackling your own (precious first born) child when they launch themselves at the baby with a large toy tipper truck.

8 – That your youngest child will grow up so much quicker, mastering the art of a crayon months before their older sibling, wanting to eat the same food when he spots his siblings plate (baby food? pah that’s for babies) and getting the most enjoyment out of toys designed for children twice his age. And that baby toys will therefore gather dust and be completely pointless.

9 – That heading outside with both children on your own for the first time is as big a milestone as the first tooth or first steps – and that you will never forget the day you did it. And that the fear of doing it is almost always worse than the reality.

10 – That despite the constant chatter, laughing, whining and screams, you won’t realise quite how noisy the house has got until the children aren’t there – and then that silence sounds and feels very odd indeed.

21st October 2014

Some Advice For Pregnant Mums With Toddlers

IMG_3855So it’s been announced that K-Middy is due in April, giving her roughly a 21-month gap between babies. Been there, done that, got the puree-covered T-shirt. So here’s some advice for you Princess Kate – and anyone else that is currently pregnant with a toddler running around the house…

1. Introduce yourself to Peppa Pig, Ben & Holly, and Fireman Sam. They will be your babysitters for the first trimester while you swig Ginger Tea and take up residency in the bathroom.

2. On the rare occasions you do get out (and this will happen with more regularity as the nausea passes and your bump gets bigger), you will need some kind of child restraint system. Buggy / inescapable reins / those toddler backpacks with leads; you get the picture.

3. When you reach the third trimester, make sure there are four walls around you at all times. It pays to always remember this: your toddler can move a lot faster than you can.

4. If your child still naps, consider sleeping during these times. That guaranteed stretch of silence will soon be the stuff of dreams. “Silence?!” I hear you chortle, “I have a toddler!” But believe me, you will only notice the value of that silence when there is suddenly a newborn screaming through it.

5. Prepare your toddler for their sibling by pretending you are glued to the sofa when they ask you to play, grabbing their toys every time they pick one up, and dividing every snack into two and only handing them half.

6. Consider investing in some kind of child haulage system to lower the toddler into his cot when your bump is too big. Otherwise, get him used to the sudden adrenaline rush of falling from a height onto the mattress early on in your pregnancy (this will also be useful when you have a newborn in one arm and a toddler in the other).

7. Train your toddler to fetch things for you. Useful items include baby wipes, nappies, toys, and remote controls. This is also a very useful tool when you are too pregnant to get off the sofa (in this instance, add chocolate to aforementioned list).

8. As you near the end of your pregnancy, bring birthing ball down from the loft. Immediately regret your decision as toddler rolls it around house, knocking down everything in its path. Put birthing ball back in the loft.

9. If anyone happens to offer babysitting in the latter few months, immediately thank them, pull out your diary, and book them in. Early mornings will be especially useful; give them a spare key and give them directions to the nursery.

10. By all means allow your toddler to bond with their sibling by stroking your bump, saying their name, and holding up the teeny tiny clothing. But do not be alarmed when they continue stroking your bump after the baby has arrived, missing the point entirely.