Raising Your First Versus Third Child
This post is sponsored by Evivo but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
Having three kiddos basically makes me a professional mom. Don’t laugh, I’m serious! The first kiddo was my trial child, my second got to experience the tweaking of parenting, and now my third is raised by someone who has it all together. 😉 Daniel is a lucky kid.
Ok, obviously I don’t really feel that way but, if we think about it, there’s a tiny bit of truth there. There were only four and a half years between giving birth to my first little guy and my third but the changes in parenting in that four and a half years was huge! There’s a big difference between how I raised my first versus how I am raising my third child.
The Difference Between Raising Your First Versus Third Child
Not Worrying So Much
Hi. I’m Susannah and I’m a worry wart. There’s something about my oldest child that made (ok, makes) me constantly worry. As a baby I made sure I was following ALL THE RULES about how to make sure his life was lived safely. All the doors and cabinets had safety locks, I was constantly vacuuming and sweeping, he didn’t have a lick of sugar until he was a year… You know, all the things.
Even now I worry about my oldest. When we go on bike rides I’m constantly concerned that he’ll crash or get hit by a car. I’m pretty sure both he and my husband think I’m psycho by the number of times I tell Caleb to be careful.
Now that I have experienced all the things with Caleb I don’t worry as much about the other boys. Yes, I still make sure they’re safe but the cabinets with pots and pans are no longer safety locked, sometimes fishy cracker crumbs from the floor make their way into Daniel’s mouth, and (don’t tell anyone) Daniel had a little taste of ice cream last time we had some as a family.
Parenting Caleb has taught me that I can trust myself and my boys more. I can make decisions that are best for my family without worrying about what others might think. I know how to make sure things are safe while not overdoing it. By the time Daniel’s ready to ride a bike, I’m sure I won’t have a heart attack whenever a car is within 50 feet of him.
Accepting that Babies Cry
Caleb cried ALL THE TIME (more on the why of that in a bit) and I just couldn’t handle it. I did everything in my power to keep him from crying – to the point where I was spending hours bouncing him on a yoga ball to keep him happy and quiet. It was a miserable few months and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Between sleep training and figuring out his medical issues we found a new way of life for our family.
Since I have two older boys, I can’t always drop everything to stop every little peep coming out of my little man’s mouth. Now that I’m a third time mom, I have realized that it is normal and healthy for babies to cry a little bit. I don’t mean wailing, miserable, tear-soaked-face crying. Just the normal baby whining and fussing. I don’t need to panic every time my little one cries out. Between self soothing, breastfeeding, and cuddles with mama most tears go away quickly but a little crying isn’t going to destroy him.
Handing Him Over More
I LOVE holding my babies. There’s something about having my babies close to me that makes my heart so happy. With my first baby I struggled SO MUCH with handing him over to allow others to hold and love on him. I hated putting him in the church nursery or letting anyone babysit him. He needed to be with me at all times, even though it was harmful to my mental health. I love holding my babies but I also need some me time. I lost myself a bit while I was mommying baby Caleb.
Once I was past the newborn/postpartum hormonal give-me-my-baby season of life I am now all about handing my baby over. Don’t get me wrong, I still adore holding him and snuggling him but I have also learned the importance of personal space and needing my own body/grown up time. I love letting others hold Daniel and I am all about putting him in the nursery at church. He was left with a babysitter long before either of his brothers had been and, guess what, he survived. 😉 Not only did he survive, it was so good for our bond. Once I was back with my baby in my arms I was able to love on him even better since I had some time away.
Taking More Pictures
I hear over and over that third or fourth children feel jipped because they don’t have as many (or any!) pictures of themselves as kids. Well, that won’t be my boys. When Caleb was a baby I struggled with getting pictures of him. I honestly didn’t think about the things that were happening in his life and how I’d want to have a picture record of who he was and what he was doing as a little one. I figured I would just remember things.
Now I know better. I know how fast time goes and how important it is to capture every memory I can of my little people. I take picture after picture of Daniel – far more than he’s possibly going to want to look through when he’s older. I will not apologize for the number of pictures I have of my third baby.
Giving Quality Probiotics
Remember how I said that Caleb cried all the time as a baby? Well, come to find out, the first six months of a baby’s life are critical for autoimmune and metabolic development. It is imperative that good bacteria thrives in a baby’s gut, creating a strong and protective wall to crowd out the bad bacteria. Potentially lifelong metabolic issues such as colic, eczema, allergies, diabetes, and obesity are on the rise since 9 out of 10 babies are experiencing a disruption in their gut causing more bad bacteria to thrive.
With Caleb, we had no idea babies could take probiotics, let alone that they would be so incredibly beneficial. Caleb was an incredibly fussy baby and there were times when I felt as though I had to be the worst mom ever since he wouldn’t stop crying. Fast forward to 18 months when he got incredibly sick and we found out that he had a horrible dairy intolerance. We were told that a quality probiotic would help his gut and, hopefully, help reverse the dairy intolerance. I’m so happy to say that he’s now five and guzzles down milk, gorges himself with cheese, and devours ice cream with no traces of anemia, bloating, or issues with his white blood cell count.
You better believe that I started every baby after Caleb on a probiotic from day one! I’m thankful I learned about Evivo probiotics – the first and only clinically proven baby probiotic – and how the combination of breastmilk and Evivo work to strengthen baby’s gut. B. infantis EVC001 (a proprietary strain that is clinically proven to create a protective environment in baby’s gut) is only found in Evivo. Since this strain is wonderful in safeguarding baby’s short and long-term health, Evivo is recommended by top pediatricians, lactation consultants, and parents!
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