By Kathryn Peck
As any parent with more than one child will tell you, each child is different, despite having been raised exactly the same way. Behaviors, likes and dislikes, manners, and personalities are solely unique. And while you may not worry so much about certain things with subsequent babies as you did with your first, there are some things that just never change, regardless of how many children you have.
Panic over your baby eating something he shouldn’t. In my case, paper. I immediately called the pediatrician in a horror when my first baby had chewed off a tiny piece of a book. A few babies later, I did the same thing – called the pediatrician in a panic – when littlest ate a piece of newspaper.
The struggle with sleep. Each child may have different challenges when it comes to sleeping, but the end result is the same: no sleep for me. Baby #1? We’d walk him around the neighborhood in the baby carrier at 11 pm just to get him to sleep. Baby #2? I spent weeks sleeping on the floor next to her crib because she wouldn’t sleep without another person in the room. (I know, they write books about this!) Baby #3? I still wake to a tapping on my shoulder and a little person asking for more songs to be sung. And baby #4? Where do I begin.
Nighttime anxiety. An all-too-familiar feeling for parents of newborns when the sun begins to set. The rest of the world is going into a gentle slumber and your night is just getting started. That never changes.
Breastfeeding efforts. It takes practice, and even if you thrive with one baby, when the next comes along, you have to practice and relearn everything. I remember saying, no how do I do this again?
The moment that erases all the challenges, all the headaches, and all the battles from the day. For me it’s that last peek into their rooms before you (finally!) go to bed. It never changes. Even though my first baby slept with a stark empty crib and a breathable bumper, while my fourth baby sleeps with a pillow, books, blankets, Matchbox cars, and everything else he can fit into his crib, I still tiptoe into each child’s room for a peak before bed. I listen to them breathe for a moment, and then go to bed myself.
About the author: Kathryn is the owner of Bicycle Pie and mom of 4 little ones. Also a writer, editor, and former owner of one of Boston's premiere baby boutiques, she continues to write about motherhood, children's products, family life, and all other things that test our skills and patience as parents.
Photo credit: Marissa Adams/Bicycle Pie