You know the saying about parenting a first child versus a second or third child? Well, I’m now really experiencing the difference first hand….
It wasn’t a conscious decision really. In fact, I had set out determined to treat each child equally and offer the same level of serious attentiveness to baby #2 as I did with baby #1.
But I eventually I had to accept reality. Parenting a second child is just totally different from the first time round.
- For one thing, I’ve learnt to let things go a lot more and just go with the flow. No book or article can ever factor in every single situation when you now have more than one child to look after.
- Secondly, I realised that baby #2 has an older sibling she wants to copy and follow. So often she will naturally want to try to do things that are seemingly ‘advanced’ for her age.
- Thirdly, I’ve learnt that babies are not just helpless creatures that need constant protection and hovering over. They are also just children growing and exploring the same as any toddler or older child.
- Fourthly, I discovered that the sibling relationship between Nathan and Grace really thrived as I let Grace join in many of the supposedly ‘older child’ activities with Nathan. So Nathan sees Grace as more than just a baby sister, but also as a real companion and playmate.
Here are some highlights of the ‘liberties’ I’ve allowed for baby #2…
I let her munch and suck on soft whole pieces of fruit at 5 and 1/2 months old
(The downside to this was that she very soon refused pretty much all soft foods and thinks that we are tricking her to eat baby food whenever we try to offer her any kind of porridge, fruit puree like applesauce or even weetbix)
|Chomping on a big juicy papaya|
At 6 months old she was already getting stuck into our water play, sensory play,
construction play, obstacle course play, music, dancing, story book role play…
(basically pretty much any type of play her older brother was doing)
|Splashing around in the water play tub|
She found her first taste of chocolate at 7 months old – totally not intended at all!
(And I surprised myself with the reaction I had to this horrifying incident)
|Baby’s first taste of heaven|
At 8 months, she was roaming free all around our yard, in the grass, dirt and sand
(Yes, she would sometimes get grass, leaves, twigs, pebbles, dirt and sand in her mouth, but
I consider it all part of her learning experience, exploring her world and her senses)
At 9 months old she is now already stepping around steadily on her walker
(And very proud of herself over this big achievement I must add)
|Stepping around with the walker|
My baby is really growing up much too quickly. I can barely keep up with her sometimes. I have very mixed feelings about this… on one hand I am glowing with pride and happiness over her development, but on the other hand I feel such an overwhelming sense of wistfulness over the fact that she is already starting to slip away from babyhood. I find myself actually missing her newborn and younger baby days, even as we speak.
The truth is, since the beginning of her very first day in this world, it was already the beginning of the end. All I can do is simply to cherish every single day and moment, because each first is already the last.
How old is your ‘baby’ now? Do you find yourself sometimes looking back wistfully, missing their baby days?
Linking up to Jess for IBOT