My baby will be 10 months old on the 19th of November. Sometimes I sit back and think, do I really have 3 boys? How crazy! It's also amazing to me how much my parenting style has changed throughout the tears from child #1 to child #3.
With Camron I had no experience with babies or children... At all. I could count on one hand how many times I baby-sat small children. I'm the oldest of 5 siblings, but the youngest was only 6 years younger than me.
I read lots of books. I heard lots of advice from my friends who already had kids.. And by the time Camron came I felt ready. I had all the latest gadgets, a closet full of cute clothes and all the time in the world to devote to him.
For the first 3 months of his life it was just he and I since my ex-husband was still on deployment to Iraq.
Fast forward to today...
I have a 4 (almost 5) year old, a 2 ( almost 3) year old and a 9.5 month old.
Life is busy and it's loud.
All the time.
I have my time divided between 3 boys, a husband, cooking, cleaning and my Etsy shops.
As I look back on my first 5 years as a mom there's some major differences that stand out to me...
Child #1 - Co-slept with me (in my bed) until he was almost 3 years old. He never slept in a crib. Ever. He went straight from my bed into a toddler bed. The only reason he did was because I gave birth to his little brother.
Child #2 - When he was first born he started out the night in a bassinet in my bedroom. After his first time waking up at night he ended up in my bed until morning. When he was an older baby he slept in his crib in his room. If he woke up any time before 6am he slept the rest of the time in my bed.
Child #3 - As a newborn he slept in a bassinet in the living room. I slept on a couch right next to him. Once he started sleeping through the night (6 weeks old) he slept in his crib in the boys room. He's never once slept in bed with me. He's also been the only baby to actually sleep all night long. ;)
Child #1 - I LOVED wearing my baby in a carrier. Wraps and mei tais mostly. I wore him EVERY WHERE!
I wore him while grocery shopping. Trips to the zoo and Sea World. At the park. Shopping at Target. Walking around the mall. I very rarely took a stroller any where. I only stopped wearing him when it got too uncomfortable when I got pregnant with Brady.
Child #2: I wore him a handful of times as an itty bitty baby. A few more times as he got older. The last time I wore him was at about a year and a half old. I mostly used a stroller because I had twice as much stuff to lug around.
Child #3 - As a newborn I wore him every time we went to Costco. I've worn him a few times around town if he had fallen asleep in the car. I really thought I would wear him much more so I could have my hands free... Nope. We take a stroller every where. If Josiah doesn't use it then Brady will. We have too much stuff to carry to NOT use a stroller when we go places. I'm still hanging onto my carriers though! Hoping to dig them out one day and use them again before Josiah gets too old.
Baby clothes, gizmos and gadgets:
Child #1 - We bought mostly everything new. A few clothes were handed down, but we didn't necessarily need them. We had a baby monitor, a wipes warmer and a cute nursery set up. I cloth diapered almost exclusively for 6 months straight. I had a designer diaper bag. We bought nearly every baby toy on the market in 2006.
Child #2 - Maybe it was because my husband had just left and I didn't have much money... But Brady had nothing but hand-me-downs from Camron. Even when I had the money to buy him clothes it was from a baby re-sale store.
Child #3 - Hand-me-downs, hand-me-downs, hand-me-downs. Poor kid. He has all the boys old clothes. I actually tried to cloth diaper with him since I had the money to buy them, but I just don't have the time! The baby monitor I had stopped working... Luckily he's loud enough that we haven't needed it. My diaper bag I use is from a re-sale shop that I bought for $6! Wipes warmer? Seriously, who uses those? Hold it in your hand for a few seconds and they warm up just fine. ;) As for toys... I've learned that babies would rather play with the packaging than the actual toy. Save your money and give your baby some measuring cups and plastic bowls instead! Lol.
I still have 17+ years of parenting ahead of me and I'm sure that as they get older my parenting of them will even out. Hopefully Josiah isn't doomed to have a lifetime of hand-me-downs and Camron won't always be the "practice" child. They were all born within 4 years of each other and I know once they get older they'll be into lots of the same types of things.
I'm looking forward to the future with them! I'm sure I still have a lot to learn... Maybe someday I'll be able to pass on my parenting wisdom to my boys when they start having babies of their own. :)