As June gets closer and closer, I’ve started thinking more about what it will be like to have a newborn in the house again (I try to focus more on the cuddles and less on the sleep deprivation). It’s also sparked a few conversations on what we’ll do differently this time around along with the things we are sticking with again. While there are definitely some things I will worry about less and focus on more, here are 8 that we’re set on doing again with baby #2:
- Instituting a bedtime routine ASAP: With Lincoln, we differentiated days and nights from the very beginning. We started a regular bedtime routine when he was a few weeks old, but even from the start there were some key differences. For example, he was always tightly swaddled at night, versus a loose swaddle during the day. In the late hours the lights were always off or very dimmed for feeds and diaper changes while during the day we kept things very bright. During daytime feedings and wake times we would sing and chat while at night I would whisper or keep things quiet. Who knows how much of this contributed to Lincoln being a relatively awesome sleeper, but we’re not taking any chances this time around.
- Setting up a diaper station: Now we have a changing table with a diaper disposal in Lincoln’s nursery, but when we started off we had changing station in the living room, which was where most of the middle-of-the-night feeds took place. I just picked up Playtex Diaper Genie so we can set up another diaper station (there’s no way we’re going into Lincoln’s room every four hours to change the baby’s diaper). I love that it holds up to 270 newborn diapers and saves me a run to the garage every time there’s a messy one. It is Diaper Genie’s newest and easiest system yet, and after so many recommendations from friends, we’re putting the 7-layer bag to the test.
- Baby-wearing: With Lincoln I didn’t start regular baby wearing until he was about 8 weeks old (this also happens to be the time I ditched the nursing thing entirely and started to feel sane again). I’m planning on starting quite a bit earlier with baby #2 but just as with Lincoln, I anticipate baby-wearing to be a big part of our day. Now that I know how to use our wrap and how much easier it has gotten with lots of practice, I’m anticipating the hands-free option of baby snuggles to come in handy with a 1 year old running around.
- Prepping our favorite bottles: We had a bit of a feeding nightmare in those early weeks. On top of the struggle of breastfeeding, Lincoln went through a week of huge issues with bottles. He was up ALL night and seemed to be in so much pain. We concluded it was gas and after hours of research on what would be close to breastfeeding and prevent air from getting into the milk (which was causing the gas), Ben went out and picked up Playtex nursers with the drop-in liners. Fourteen months later and we’re still going strong. We’ve moved to the 8 ounce size but you can bet I’ll have the 4 ounce ones washed and liners waiting in case the baby needs a bottle of pumped milk. I recommend these bottles to all my friends because they saved our sanity back in the day, because Lincoln still loves them, and because the drop-in liners make them infinitely easier to clean than the bottles we used to have. I just wish we’d had them from day one because it would have made for a better beginning at home with Linc.
- Taking videos: I do love the cute styled pictures we took of Lincoln every other second but my favorite memories to look back on are the ones I have captured in low-quality iphone video. We’re working on our video skills right now, but even so, I’m excited for the little snippets, whatever the quality, of our baby girl growing up.
- White Noise: It took us a few weeks to figure out the glory of white noise apps but Lincoln slept so much better with one (the first night we left it on all night was the first night he slept 10 hours straight at 8 weeks). Not only is the sound soothing to newborns, but in the coming months I think it was a great signal to Lincoln that it was time to go to bed. I’ve been reading about how routines and consistency are calming for babies and this was a big part of our nap/bed routine that we’ll do over and over again.
- Reading Early: This time around I have a feeling we’ll be reading daily because Lincoln wants to and not because I’m desperately trying to fill the hours with a little baby, but I hope this little girl loves books as much as her big brother. With Lincoln we started reading stories to him regularly after about a month or two and while I’m not sure it made any difference till he was closer to four months, it created a great habit and books are his favorite. My very favorite book to read in the early days was “Oh Say Can You Say” because the tongue twisters were just as fun for me as they were for Lincoln.
- Sleep-separately: This one is last because I’m a little less certain about it. We kicked baby Lincoln out of our room at 3 days old and all three of us slept SO much better. It is possible that things with this baby will be different, that she will sleep better in the room with us, that nursing will go more smoothly and I’ll want her an arms reach away, or that I won’t wake to every breath she makes. But, it also worked so well for our family to have Lincoln sleeping in his own room early on and I’m so grateful we never had to go through the struggle of the transition of moving him into his own space.
Are you expecting a baby soon? Check out the 8 products that reduce tears with a newborn I shared awhile back. It includes some of my favorites we registered for at Target (that has everything you need for a baby except a few extra hours of sleep) along with a few other things we loved.