Something truly magical has happened with regards to B's naps in the last few days. Up until now naps had been all over the place - mainly I just made sure we had a good long drive somewhere around naptime every day, or would leave early for places so we could sit in the car for 45 minutes or so while he slept so I could be on time when he woke up. This is not as inconvenient as it sounds, so I was (sort of) ok with it. But a few days ago, what with my new blackout curtains and B's new pack n play for sleep that I feel confident leaving him awake in, I decided to try, just try, to put B in there for a much needed middle of the day nap. In the past these attempts were useless - he'd cry for 45 minutes to then sleep for 20, and I was constantly worried he'd find a way to catapult himself out of the old crib. But I don't know if it's just a fluke or he's developmentally able now or he's had enough practice sleeping in this same spot with me not in the room with him, somehow the last three days he's actually napped. I just walk in and put him down and he just sleeps. The other day he slept so long - about 2 1/2 hours - I had time to weed the whole front yard, read my book, and get some paperwork done, until finally I went in to wake him up because I was sure something had to be wrong with him (it wasn't). He does usually play around for a bit, but who cares? He's happy and just having a little quiet time, and he always falls asleep eventually. It's frigging awesome. If we can keep this up it will be amazing. I'm just going to make a habit of a mid-day nap when we've come home from one of our activities. This is going to be SO useful when my work starts getting more intense in the next two months!
So often these days I think about what I'd do differently with a second child. Not that I feel like I screwed anything up with B - I'm ok with all of the choices I made with him, I really am. But there are some things I could have done differently that would have made things easier on myself. Such as:
I don't think I'd co-sleep with a new baby. I think part of the reason whatever sleep I did get was so shitty was because I was so afraid of smothering him or his falling off the bed (particularly when he started rolling over). So I never slept very deeply. I think having a new baby in the crib pushed up next to my bed would be perfectly fine and cause me a lot less anxiety.
I'd have set, in the crib bedtimes and naptimes a LOT earlier, like six months or so. I'd at least try.
I'd wear the baby more around the house.
I might take a stab at cloth diapering. I like the idea of the money it could save me, and although it was totally overwhelming to even think about it with B, I'm open to the idea of considering it again (if I can get back all the supplies I gave away).
Funnily enough, for how much the whole food thing tormented me, I don't think I'd do anything differently there. I'd still wait as long as I did to introduce solids and keep the whole purée phase short. Waiting a year to introduce milk, adult food, honey, peanut butter, etc, means you don't have to try to remember the complex list of dos and don'ts. Anyway. I don't know that I'd recommend this for everyone, but in the end it worked for us.
I keep seeing these dumb blog posts about how your second pregnancy is different from your first, and always on the same theme - that you're all uptight and such a perfectionist with the first baby and by the time a second comes around you don't give a shit anymore and let everything, especially yourself, go to pot. I find this borderline offensive. It implies all mothers are disorganized, frazzled slobs who don't even have the wherewithal to slap on some deodorant and Chapstick in the morning because they're so completely overwhelmed by basic parenting. Hey, maybe life really is like this with two kids. But somehow I doubt it. I think there will always be moments like that for all mothers - married, single, one kid or multiple children - but overall it's up to your level of willingness to be neat and organized and take care of yourself. That whole "you don't even have time to take a shower when you have a baby" concept is complete bs, if you ask me.