Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thoughts after the First Baby vs. the Fourth Baby (and Beyond)

Having a big family, I've noticed that Baby #4 is the tipping point.

At this point society revokes your "normal large family" card and you have to register for a special "freakishly huge" license, but that's not what I'm talking about.

Around Baby #4, it seems like a switch flips inside you, too. You are now an expert at parenting babies, and you act accordingly. 

Thoughts after the First Baby vs. the Fourth Baby (and Beyond) -- Around Baby #4, a switch flips: you are now an expert at parenting babies, and everything changes.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Here are just a few ways things are different with your first baby than they are with your fourth (and fifth and sixth):

First baby: "Are they really just letting us walk out of the hospital with this tiny person??"

Fourth baby: "Who watches the discharge video before they go home, anyway? It's like 20 minutes long!"

* * *

First baby: "We had the baby's name chosen and the crib bedding monogrammed by the second trimester."

Fourth baby: "That nurse has come to our room asking for the birth certificate form four times now! We have to think of something!"

* * *

First baby: "I've spent the last couple of weeks researching the most educational toys for newborns and here's a list of the top ten I definitely want on our baby registry."

Fourth baby: "You know what's stimulating to newborns? Being awake."

* * *

First baby: "I just love getting personalized stuff for the baby!"

Fourth baby: "It's okay if his bibs say 'Little Miss Sunshine' on them, isn't it? What about these towels with his brother's name on them?"

* * *

First baby: "Why didn't anyone tell me breastfeeding was this HARD?!"

Fourth baby: *nursing while bathing two older siblings and making a phone call*

* * *

First baby: "We had the baby last Friday! Did you get our photo birth announcements in the mail yet?"

Fourth baby: "Honey, it's been two months. Can you just put something on Facebook?"

* * *

First baby: "The baby's going to start crawling soon so we need to anchor the furniture to the walls, put up a baby gate, cover all the outlets, and install locks on the low cabinets and the toilet seats."

Fourth baby: "Well, it's not like the stairs aren't carpeted."

* * *

First baby: "Sorry sweetie, your pacifier fell on the floor. It's yucky now."

Fourth baby: *look left and right, wait 5 minutes before you pop it back in baby's mouth*

* * *

First baby: "We look forward to bathtime every night as part of the bedtime routine!"

Fourth baby: "If I clean the spit-up out of the baby's chins with a wipe at the next diaper change, she should be good to go for another 2 or 3 days."

When you have multiple children, you notice something funny. Around Baby #4, things change. Your experience of having and taking care of babies is totally different now. You’re an experienced parent. And expert parents are very different from rookies. #babies #kids #bigfamily #largefamilies #lotsofkids #multiplechildren #parenting #humor #laugh #firstbaby #unremarkable files

First baby: "Ooh, that's right in the middle of naptime. We'll have to reschedule."

Fourth baby: "Whenever is fine, she'll just sleep in the car."

* * *

First baby: "Is everything in the diaper bag? Diapers, wipes, rash cream, changing pad, receiving blankets, burp cloths, two extra outfits, a hat, nasal aspirator, gas drops, pacifiers, snacks, teething rings, toys, hand sanitizer, nursing cover..."

Fourth baby: "Boobs? Check. Diaper? Let me throw one in my purse real quick and we'll go."

* * *

First baby: "After months of coaxing, she's finally mobile! Luckily for you there's a video of it on YouTube and 600 pictures on my blog."

Fourth baby: "Do you know anyone who needs a bunch of pants in size 6 months? We're switching to dresses because they discourage early crawling."

* * *

First baby: "'...and they all lived happily ever after. The End.' Want to read it again?"

Fourth baby: "Once upon a ti you kids stop yelling up there!!  Once up I said don't jump on that, you're going to break it!  Once upon a  that's it, I'm coming up there and everyone is getting a time out!!"

See what I mean? Maybe you're more relaxed after you get to number four, or maybe you don't have as much free time or free brain cells as you used to. But it's probably a little bit of both.

For more big family funnies and semi-serious advice, check out these articles:

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AnneMarie said...

Hahaha these are awesome! I especially like the one about the diaper bag. I so look forward to the day that I'll be like that and won't be carrying a diaper bag that's heavier than my child :P

Alicia @ Sweeping Up Joy said...

Yes to everything. :)

But-- to anyone who looks at this and thinks that moms of many stop caring-- that's not it at all. Well, it is that we care less, but not less about the baby. We care less about societal expectations and what other people think. We've figured out what really matters and forget everything else. My 4th baby actually gets more of my time and attention because I spend less time worrying and fussing.

This was a fun read!

Sharing Life's Moments said...

Here I thought 3 was the magical number, but I guess you're right it must be 4 because I didn't pass this test one bit with my third child.

Thank you for great post yet again.

PurpleSlob InRecovery said...

Yes, Alicia, yes!! Less worrying about how others think about us!!
That was me after #2!!

PurpleSlob InRecovery said...

Haha! With #2, I gave the passy a quick lick, and back in the mouth it went!
"Freakishly huge" license! I love the way you think!!

Julie @ Just the Joy's said...

This is hilarious. I cannot even pinpoint one favorite. I laughed at them all. Which was much needed as I'm about to lose my mind with the newborn and 16 month old over here! Your definitely a pro at parenting!

Jenny Evans said...

It didn't even occur to me that I didn't have to do that until my 4th, honestly! Diaper bags work well for some people but they don't really work for me, and it took me that long to realize it.

Jenny Evans said...

There is something about that #4. I guess that's when you really go off the deep end.

Jenny Evans said...

I was crying my eyes out when I had a toddler and a newborn, and mine were further apart than yours! Godspeed, sister.

Jenny Evans said...

I am so glad you put it that way. That is so true.

When I was a new-ish parent I started out by doing what I was "supposed" to do or copying what my parents did or what other people around me were doing. It wasn't until a few kids in (four, to be exact) that I really started tweaking things after I realized what worked for me and what didn't. And felt confident in those choices, too.