Re-Learning How to Keep a Baby Alive

relearning how to be a parent

So Thing 2 was born in the fall of last year and like most parents who already have a child, my wife and I just assumed we knew everything there was to know about parenting and that the 2nd kid would be a breeze. We already went through everything with Thing 1, we sleep trained it so perfectly by like 3 months that you set it down anywhere and it would be asleep in minutes. We had it holding it’s own bottle by like 4¬†months, it could crawl by 8 months and was walking at 9 months…

Or at least, that’s how we remembered it in our heads.

First off, we were totally wrong on all of the dates mentioned previously. While Thing 1 was a very good sleeper right out of the gate, I don’t think we actually got it sleep trained properly (sleeping through the night without waking up at all), until it was probably 5 or 6 months old. It definitely did not hold its own bottle until like 6-7 months, wasn’t crawling until 9 or 10 months, and didn’t start walking properly until just after a year old.

But in our heads, we thought for sure we had just straight fucking killed this parenting thing with the first one, so the second one would be a joke.

We were wrong.

I honestly think we just flat out forgot everything there was to know about babies. We totally forgot not sleeping for the first 3 months (at least), having to warm up bottles before giving them to a baby (seriously, who forgets this?), we definitely forgot the entire daycare process of having to prep and send bottles each day so the kid doesn’t starve…. You get spoiled when your kid starts drinking cows milk and you just have to literally go to daycare, set the kid down on the floor, and leave… there’s no prep anymore, there’s no guilt, nothing… see ya after work kid, peace!

As your first kid gets older, you block out all of that baby shit and move on to the next phase of their lives; walking, talking, eating real food, potty training, that kind of stuff. You totally forget how much work it is to actually make sure a baby stays alive… and you certainly don’t know how much more work it is keeping that baby alive when you have another kid running around the house vying for your attention.

It’s hard, it’s exhausting, and sometimes it just sucks… I definitely don’t like babies.

I’m actually writing this post right now as a way to remind myself, that if for some reason we ever start talking about having a 3rd kid (which is currently not the plan), that I don’t like babies and really don’t want to have to deal with another one, it’s just not for me… and my wife does feel the same way, so don’t think I’d deprive her of another kid if she absolutely wanted one… she doesn’t…. we’re done.

Unless we win the lottery or something and never need to work again and can just spend all our time, energy, and money, on said kids… then maybe I could see dealing with the baby bullshit again. But since that’s unlikely, two is it for us.

You Forget What Babies Require

It’s weird to say, now that we’re almost at the 6 month mark with Thing 2, but you really do forget basic things that you did with your first kid that you have to do again to the 2nd kid in order for them to thrive.

Waking up every 2 hours to feed – I knew that we weren’t going to get much sleep up front, that’s a given with any baby, but in my head I just remembered Thing 1 being so good at sleeping that I thought for sure we could just sleep train this baby instantly and not have to deal with waking up so much overnight…. but that’s not how it works.

Babies need to eat every 2 hours or so in order to grow, and they don’t give a shit that it’s nighttime, hell, they don’t even know it’s nighttime for the first month or so, they just know they’re hungry and need to eat.

And forget about sleep training right away, it’s not good for the baby and its not going to work right out of the gate anyways, so we just had to deal with getting no sleep.

10-20 diaper changes a day – Seriously?? I know that when we had Thing 1, and our other friends started to have kids, we always gave them the gift of diapers because we knew how many you go through with a baby, but I definitely did not remember it being THIS many diapers. I can’t tell you how many times we changed Thing 2, went to grab his clothes, only to see he pissed himself again. Or changed him, picked him up, and felt the warmth of fresh shit running down his leg…

Sometimes it seems like his food (breast milk/formula) just went right through him… and on to us.

We were quickly reminded as to why we felt like giving our new parent friends diapers as a gift was a good idea… we only wished someone would have done the same for us, instead of giving us a bunch of toys we don’t need.

Sleeping in their own room – Now this one I do remember with Thing 1 because we never slept in the same room as it. We tried the first night home from the hospital, but it didn’t want to sleep so we put it in a bassinet on the dining room table, which we had moved to just outside our bedroom door. There’s just no way we could have slept with it in the room.

With Thing 2, we had some construction going on in our house so we were forced to sleep in the same room with it, and it sucked. As soon as the construction was done (about 2 months old), it was moved immediately into its own room and it’s been there ever since.

The only issue we had was that it didn’t want to sleep in its crib, it only slept in a rock n play. But soon after it started daycare, that all changed and it’s been all crib all the time.

Poly vi sol is the most fowl smelling stuff on the planet – This may not apply to everyone, but our doctor recommended that we give our kids poly vi sol as a vitamin supplement while they are young to help with digestion and stuff (iron for anemia). This stuff smells absolutely terrible and stains everything.

This is probably the only thing we didn’t have to think really hard about remembering from Thing 1 as there are huge stains on the feeding chair from when Thing 1 did not want to drink it…

Carrying Car Seats Everywhere – Thing 1 no longer requires a car seat, so it can walk around and get from point A to point B without us having to carry it (most of the time). With the baby, we have to drag the car seat carrier with us everywhere we go. It’s a pain at restaurants… it’s really a pain to bring anywhere.

Thankfully we have a fancy car seat/stroller that everything just clicks right in to (Uppababy Mesa and Uppababy Cruz), so that makes things a bit easier, but it doesn’t change the fact that the kid gets heavy after a while, and there’s no comfortable way to carry a car seat for any distance.

So Much Crap – A baby requires so much stuff whenever you leave the house. Car seat, bottles, diapers, toys, pacifier, changing pad, wipes, burp cloth, space clothes… and I know there’s more. There were times I wouldn’t want to leave the house unless we had at least 10 diapers for Thing 1 in the diaper bag… and we were only going to be gone for a couple hours…

It’s amazing how much crap you need to bring with you when you take a baby out of the house.

Your Memory Will Come Back

While I didn’t feel like it was necessarily like riding a bike, slowly after a couple months of having Thing 2 at home, everything starts to come back and you begin to remember how things were with your first one. But the best part of starting to remember that stuff, is looking at how your first kid is now and realizing that all of the shitty aspects of a having a newborn baby, and all the things you had to deal with when it comes to maintaining any sort of social life, while having said baby, is temporary.

Thing 1 is a constant reminder that the shitty days with Thing 2 will come to an end sooner than we think, and we’ll be back to the fun stuff that we can do with Thing 2, that we can’t do with Thing 1…

ugh, I can’t wait.

I see all these parents on Facebook and Twitter and stuff saying how they can’t believe how fast their baby is growing and how they want time to slow down so they can spend more time in baby phase, but we are the exact opposite.

If I could fast forward time and skip this entire baby phase I absolutely would. I do wish time would slow down a little bit for Thing 1 as it gets closer to turning 3, but if I could just blink and Thing 2 was like almost 2 years old, I’d do it in heart beat.


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