1 child vs. 2

I've noticed recently that a lot of people that I know are either having their 2nd baby or starting to plan on having #2. Its certainly not an easy transition. I remember when Kaitlyn was about 1 week old, going though the whole... you know, postpartum thing, and realizing that my mom was going to leave the next day. I broke down. I had a "What did I get myself into!?!?" moment. Now Kaitlyn is 10 months old and each day is an amazing gift, but it's still far from easy. I look back and see a clear difference between having one child vs two.

Basically before you have you first child you get the notion that there's a "right" way to do it. Goodness forbid that you are one of "those" parents that get it wrong. So when you get the news you are expecting, you go out and read all the books on raising kids, sleep training, nursing, what to buy, and of course, you read up on all the safety tips etc. After that slowly, every aspect of you life changes to prepare for the arrival of the baby. You go and paint/decorate the nursery, you might change the layout of your house. You also spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on all the furnishings and supplies. When your bundle of joy arrives he or she "is the sun and you are the moon". Your schedule, your body, sleep, everything is sacrificed to some degree and life revolves around the baby.

Then baby #2 arrives and its completely different.

Instead of having everything catered to baby #2 its more like, "Hey baby! Welcome to our family, take a seat. This is how we do things, if you don't like it... sorry." Since your set structure is already in place, baby pretty much just joins in on what is already being done. And forget about the whole "right" way of doing things... the new rule is whatever works!

Here are some categories in which my experience raising Joey vs Kaitlyn are completely different and certainly aid in illustrating my point:

1) Safety

With Joey we put out all the stops to make sure our precious son was always safe.  We went out and spent a pretty penny on child safety supplies and child safety gates.  We pretty much caged in our son like a zoo animal for... year and half. As you can see we set the cage so he could not access the TV cords etc.

Joey at 14 months

Joey at 14 months. Having so much fun in captivity haha.

VS. Child # 2 

Kaitlyn 10 months

There's no need for a fence! If she starts crawling out the door or the patio... we just bring her back in.  There's nothing wrong with her playing with TV cords.. just another toy!

2) Sleep

With Joey we set down some pretty solid ground rules regarding sleep training. Even this daechoong mama read 3 books regarding the subject. We had a set bedtime, no co-sleeping, and we let him cry it out! By 8 weeks we had a baby sleeping through the night. During his nap time we made sure he had all the peace and quiet needed.

Joey at 6 months

vs. Kaitlyn's nap times (the other day)

 He climbs up and opens the closet door...

This. Kid. He tries to get in his sisters crib. Kaitlyn is like,"Yay! Please come join me!"

Nap time is more like playtime for Kaitlyn.

 3) Food

I think I'm going to dedicate a post about this in the near future. When Joey started eating solids I wasted so much time and money on making organic pureed baby food. Then fed him each spoonful with love and care.
Joey at 7 months

vs. Kaitlyn... 
feeding herself.
Kaitlyn 10 months

Eating strawberries!

O the carnage...her shirt is messy? No worries!

4) Playtime
Joey had pretty controlled playtime. The toys were in order and he only got to play with one toy at a time.
Joey at 14 months

Joey at 18 months

vs. Joey and Kaitlyn Playtime...
No more control. our living room looks like toys r us exploded

Nap time!

As you can see there are many differences. Kaitlyn entering into our lives she brought a whole new dimension and dynamic to our family. Maybe when she gets older and looks at pictures she'll be like "why am I naked in all my feeding pics!?!?" but shes such a happy baby and in many ways, shes an even happier baby than Joey was because she has an older brother to share every moment.

When Joey was a baby, every time he reached a milestone (ie. turning over, eating solids, crawling, walking, talking), it brought on a wave of anxiety. When he started to turn over, we were worried he would fall off wherever we put him, when he crawled we baby proofed our place in fear he would get hurt, when he ate solids I went crazy pureeing vegetables in fear he wouldn't be healthy. With each step I feared that I would do something wrong to mess it up. Now he's three. Those precious milestone moments, when I should have celebrated... are gone. With Kaitlyn, I let go of my fear of not doing it the right way. I learned from Joey that I need to cherish every stage of this precious fleeting time. I celebrate every milestone. Each day I soak in the joy it is to be her mother. With your first baby you focus so much on yourself and what you are doing right or wrong... with your second you learn just to focus on them and enjoy each moment.