Overall, bringing home a second baby has been a lot less life changing than the first. I guess we have learned a few things about being parents. That's not to say we haven't had a few crazy days, but my meltdowns have been fewer and farther between so far. I've discovered new ways to do a few things, and new products that make life a little more enjoyable. It turns out a lot has happened in the baby world in three and a half years!
1. No bumper pads in the crib: I read a lot about not using bumper pads, and ultimately came to my own conclusion that either way could probably be fine. I decided to try it without any, since that is recommended now, and see how it goes. So far I like it. It is SO easy to change the sheet and easier to see Rowe from any angle (like laying in the bed beside her crib). Of course, she isn't rolling into the sides yet either. I can always add them later if needed.
2. Muslin swaddle blankets: With a winter baby it was all about keeping him warm, but with little miss August it is more about that secure feeling of being swaddled. I have loved these large blankets for that! They are thin and soft. I use one to swaddle her legs (she wants her arms free and above her head) when she sleeps in her crib. It is large enough that it wraps around my big newborn, and I don't have to worry about her getting it loose and close to her face. I also use these when we are out and about and the AC may be a little chilly. I have a few of the Aden and Anais brand (used by Prince George and Princess Rowe) and I made a solid white one from fabric I found at Hancock. By the way this fabric is called gauze in the U. S., but muslin in other countries.
3. Old Navy gowns: We got several sleeper gowns, and I have loved them all for a summer baby. They seem to be just the right weight for night sleeping, and are so much easier than all those snaps on regular sleepers when it's time for a diaper change. I have really liked a couple that came from Old Navy. They fit so well and are super soft.
4. Abdominal wraps (for Momma): I didn't know about abdominal wrapping when I had Brennan. I heard about the Belly Bandit when he was several months old. I knew that if I had another baby I wanted to try it. The idea is to cinch your belly to help support it after giving birth, and some people feel that it helps it go back to it's pre-pregnancy shape. Other cultures have done this for years. I researched different brands during the last months I was pregnant. The Belly Bandit is well known now, but sort of pricey. Some people need a couple of different sizes as their body changes. They look like they would be terribly uncomfortable. I finally decided to spend the bucks and get one, then I couldn't find one in my size. Then I came across interesting news....you can actually request one in the hospital at no "additional" charge. I'm well aware I paid for it somehow. I started using mine the day after I had Rowe. The one they provided was not as soft as the bamboo Belly bandit, but it turned out to be pretty comfortable. I loved the support it provided. I only needed one size. It started out barely fastening and within three days there was a lot of extra fabric hanging over. I stopped using it after about five days because I still had so much swelling in my legs and feet, and read that wearing tight clothes could cause that. I don't think it's typical for it to cause issues with swelling though. My stomach did shrink more quickly, but it is not flat by any means. I still have some work to do, but overall I am glad I tried it and would use it again.
5. Iced Coffee: My go-go juice! I'm a person that really needs my sleep. I can go on 6 hours for a day or two and then it catches up with me. Some days we can enjoy a napping house, but Brennan doesn't nap everyday. I tried this little treat the second week with a newborn and it has become my happy indulgence. I just have a small glass each morning with breakfast, but after not having any caffeine for several months just a little does a lot. Luckily, I can't tell that it affects Rowe at all and that is all the caffeine I have for the day.