Parenting Rules: All Bets Are Off With Baby #2

(Image courtesy of Getty Images via PJ Media)

My husband and I have learned that child-rearing rules change when you have your second child. In fact, they change so much that you can hardly recognize the parent you’ve become when your new baby arrives. With your first, you consult parenting books, blogs, and Dr. Google ad nauseum. You focus on doing everything right for your little cherub. But when that second kid arrives on the scene, anything goes. Because ultimately you just need to make it to the end of each day with everyone still in one piece. I’ve learned that it’s harder than you think it should be. Here are just a few things that fly right out the window when you become a family of four:

Proper nursery

  • With our first son, I had the whole room ready weeks before he arrived. We put decal monkeys on the wall to match the monkey theme throughout the room. He had a beautiful crib and matching changing table. He had a monkey lamp. A glider sat in the corner of the room, ready for nursing at any hour of the day or night.
  • Our second baby’s room doubles as my office — he has a crib next to my desk. No theme, no glider. When I nurse him in the middle of the night, I do so in my desk chair, and often prop my legs up next to my computer. I change him in his crib at 3 a.m., and during the day we use the changing table in his brother’s room. And you know what? He has no idea that he doesn’t have his own nursery, that his room doesn’t have a theme, and that we aren’t peacefully rocking back and forth in a $500 glider when he nurses. He has a comfortable, safe place to sleep, and a boob on demand. And that’s all he needs.

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