Someone once told me, “Your first child is made of glass. Your second child is made of plastic, and your third child is made of rubber.” I only had one child at the time. I didn’t believe her.
I get it now.
First Child: Nursery is carefully planned out. He’s getting an entire room all to himself! Matching bedding is purchased, including a small baby sized quilt and a coordinating pillow for the brand new nursing chair.
Third Child: Baby doesn’t even have half a room; he has a corner. There are two crib sheets, rotated weekly. There is no theme. He has adorable blankets, but they were given as gifts. Thank goodness for adoring family and friends! Nursing chair lives in the play room. The days of middle of the night rocking are long gone.
Toys in a Public Place
First Child: The first baby must NEVER touch ANYTHING that another child has touched, unless it has been completely disinfected. He travels with his own toys.
Third Child: At the library with the older two and baby. Oh, look, a plastic pan! This will do. Give to baby. Spend about two seconds thinking that it’s probably been played with all day by other children. Oh, well.
First Child: Changing table has a posh, ergonomic changing pillow, and a filled supply station including Desitin, wipes, diapers, an extra outfit and a toy for the baby to play with while he is getting his diaper changed. There is an even a disposable mat over the ergonomic pillow in case of an unpredictable diaper change.
Third Child: A travel, fold up changing mat lives downstairs. This is used when the diaper is worthy of it. Otherwise, it’s a quick change wherever we are in the house. The ergonomic changing pillow is in the attic.
First Child: He’s always wearing adorable matching outfits. Often, there is a coordinating hat. There are outfits that have fifteen buttons all the way from ankle across to ankle. No problem! It will be so worth it for the picture! Who cares if a diaper change takes 20 minutes!
Third Child: He has five pairs of gray pants because they match every onesie. Sometimes, he doesn’t match at all. And patterned pants with a patterned onesie? Totally a look, right? Simplicity is key here.
First Child: There are three photo albums, one journal, and one scrapbook all documenting every moment of the first year. First bath, first swim, first tooth, first bite of vegetables, first bite of sugar. First gift he unwrapped, first night he slept through the night, first trip…
Third Child: Shutterfly does those online photo books right? At the end of first year, throw together fifty photos that record the year, which include major milestones such as birth, first smile, crawling, and major holidays.
In the Car
First Child: We’re driving to Target. Child begins to cry. Mission aborted. Must pull over/drive home/change the course of the day. What is wrong with this little angel? Why is he so sad? Target can wait. The baby must be attended to immediately.
Third Child: We’re driving to Target. Third child begins to cry. What the hell? Third child is full, changed, warm, and entertained. Why on earth is he crying? Console him from the front seat. “I’m sorry, sweetie. What’s wrong? We’re almost there!” Do not change plans. You have a day. Throw him in the baby carrier upon arrival. He sucks his thumb and is content.
First Child: Diaper bag is armed with every possible item that could possibly be needed on an excursion. Diapers, wipes, extra outfits, portable changing pads, nursing cover, toys, (so he doesn’t touch anyone else’s!) swaddling blanket, (heaven forbid he gets cold!), and later, baby food and travel spoons.
Third Child: Diaper bag is no longer in existence and has been replaced with large purse. All baby items except nursing cover live in the car. If there’s an emergency, the car is never far away.
First Child: No need for one! I can carry him all day if he’d like. What else do I have to do?
Third Child: I have a structured carrier, woven wrap, and a ring sling. I need my hands free!!
First Child: He has sneezed! Must call pediatrician immediately! Will they get me in today??
Third Child: We’re not scared of a cold! Let’s wait for signs of ear infection or flu before we check in with the on call doctor. Two days of a low grade fever? Nothing to worry about.