Yes, parenthood changes everything. But parenthood also changes with each baby. Here are some of the ways having a second and third child differs from having your first:
* Your Clothes o 1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy. o 2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible. o 3rd baby: Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes. * The Baby's Name o 1st baby: You pore over baby-name books and practice pronouncing and writing combinations of all your favorites. o 2nd baby: Someone has to name his or her kid after your great-aunt Mavis, right? It might as well be you. o 3rd baby: You open a name book, close your eyes, and see where your finger points.
* Preparing for the Birth o 1st baby: You practice your breathing religiously. o 2nd baby: You don't bother practicing because you remember that last time, breathing didn't do a thing. o 3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your 8th month. * The Layette o 1st baby: You pre-wash your newborn's clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby's little bureau. o 2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains. o 3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can't they?
* Worries o 1st baby: At the first sign of distress -- a whimper, a frown -- you pick up the baby. o 2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn. o 3rd baby: You teach your 3-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.
* Activities o 1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour. o 2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics. o 3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner.
* Going Out o 1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home 5 times. o 2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached. o 3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood. * At Home o 1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby. o 2nd baby: You spend a bit of every day watching to be sure your older child isn't squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby. o 3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.