8 signs you’re not a first time parent.

Recently a few of my friends have birthed babies.
Some for the first time and some for the second. Watching them both has made me realised how much we do it differently the second time around.

Let’s start at the start

The Hospital Bag

Baby 1 – the hospital bag is prepared about 2 months before the due date and it contains, amongst other things:

  • Various copies of your birth plan so everyone knows what will happen and when.
  • Healthy snacks to keep your energy up.
  • Books and playing cards for some light reading and games while you coast through labour.
  • A variety of outfits for baby, you don’t know what they’ll suit yet.
  • A variety of outfits for you including big pants and nursing bras.
  • Toiletries and make up so you’ll look your best when you leave.

Baby 2 – the hospital bag is prepared about 2 days before the due date and it contains, amongst other things:

  • Three creme eggs
  • Phone charger
  • Nightie
  • Shower gel and shampoo.
  • Babygro, vest and cardigan (this was left in the car and we had to buy new as B2 arrived quicker than expected)

The First Night

Baby 1 – With Aoife I just wanted to look at her in awe all night. I wanted to take in every last detail of her tiny little face and hands and watch while she slept peacefully. It didn’t matter that I’d been awake for 48 hours, I was smitten.

Baby 2 – With Seth I wanted to sleep hard. I was away from the toddler and the boyfriend with a room to myself for one whole night. I KNEW this would be the best Seth would sleep for the next year, I was looking forward to a massive sleep. WHY DID THEY WAKE ME EVERY THREE HOURS?? (I know I had to feed him but still, it was harsh!)

Baby ‘Things’

Baby 1 – Obviously being the first Aoife got pretty much everything new. Bedroom furniture, gender neutral clothes. We were given LOTS of lovely clothes by others too. We also invested in lots of ‘must haves’, baby monitors, nappy bin (pointless), wrap around carrier (couldn’t get away with it), anti colic teats (didn’t work), brand new sensory toys and wonderful lighty, noisy things like that.

Baby 2 – The furniture was still OK so he got that. All the gender neutral clothes were OK so he got them. We chose to put the nappies in the actual bin, he had the second hand Mothercare carrier and a massive supply of gripe water and Infacol. Seth was largely a second hand baby, he played with pink toys a lot and dressed as Dorothy from Wizard of OZ and you know what? It didn’t matter to him. He loved it. It proved how much money we’d wasted buying loads of crap for Aoife.

Baby Handling

Baby 1 – Your newborn is held so delicately, like a Ming vase. Every nappy and outfit change takes an age in case an arm or leg should drop off your brand new bundle of precious. When baby naps you talk in hushed voices.  You wouldn’t want to disturb her after all.

Baby 2 – Nappies and outfits are changed at a speed that a Formula 1 pit crew would be jealous of. Baby is oft’ under an arm in a rugby ball fashion in order to get shit done. When baby sleeps there is no whispering and low tones. It’s chaos as usual. Baby 2 would sleep through a stampede of elephants.

Feeding (not including initial breast or bottle as that’s NOT IMPORTANT)

Baby 1 – Baby led weaning FTW. You make sugar and salt free meals for the family. You make scones and ‘healthy’ biscuits as per whomever wrote the latest book. Snack are grapes and blueberries, She sees these as a treat and she only drinks water.

Baby 2– Baby led weaning book is repurchased and never opened. He is weaned on chicken nuggets and fish fingers (100% cod of course). He drinks squash like it’s going out of style and he says “chocolate” clearer than any other word. Any fruit, aside apples, are met with a big, fat “YUK”.


Baby 1 – You take about 100 photos a day AND GET THEM PRINTED. They’re all in a box under your bed.

Baby 2 – You take about 50 photos a day, on a good day. You’ve Instagrammed a few but you should really print some as there’ll be some awkward “where was I?” questions before long.


Baby 1 – You attend a variety, you need to meet ‘like minded people’ and baby needs friends. It’s VITAL for baby’s social development that she sing “The wheels on the bus” three times a week

Baby 2 – You give them a miss. You don’t want to be the oldest mum there having all those young mums judging you and playing ‘my baby can’ besides, you’ve got PLENTY of friends thankyouverymuch and he meets his buddies for coffee and croissant (almond) at least once a week.


Baby 1 – Has limited TV time, you let her have an hour a day of Cbeebies and that’s it. You don’t want to corrupt her tiny mind with silly words and songs. You’ll read a lot instead.

Baby 2 – Watches TV all day long. You’re pretty sure those ‘silly words’ are the ‘alien words’ they talk about in phonics. Besides, his speech is coming along fantastically, he knows all the words to Despicable Me 1 & 2,  The Minions AND Wreck it Ralph. He probably doesn’t need to know all the other words…..


I’m sure I’ve missed LOADS of difference between bringing up baby 1 & 2. What are yours?


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  • Jayne Brown

    Yet again you are right Anna. I think we worry so much about ‘getting it right’ with our first baby and being told by advertising ‘you need this/that’ to be the perfect parent and to do things right. By baby number 2 we have so much more confidence and knowledge and it is not so stressful.
    I was that first time mum who took ages and ages to get baby changed and dressed – I literally thought I would end up holding an arm or leg that had come off!!!! You still have 2 arms and 2 legs so I did ok there then!!???

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