Parenting My Last Baby, Thoughts Before Toddlerhood

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When I think about parenting my last baby, I’m overwhelmed with a variety of emotions and some conflicting thoughts.  My son is soon to become a toddler.  It’s right around the corner.  I’ve been through a lot with my two kids.  There’s something special about each of them.  They each have been special and difficult in their own rights.  My first born made me a mom.  I have some special memories only a first baby can incite.  She was my hardest baby.  My son, was and is hard in completely different ways.  But, he’s also been quite a bit easier.  Maybe the difference was experience?

Either way, I’m not disappointed that I’m not having more babies.  I’m relieved, actually.  But, the realization that my last baby is nearing toddlerhood makes me think about a lot of things differently.  Suddenly, I’m hit with the realization that this is the last time I’m going to experience so many “firsts” and fun milestones in the first year.  As much as I won’t miss some of the newborn and infant problems, there are certainly things I will miss.  And, I’m never going to get to experience it again.

With this realization comes questions.

[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@sahmplusblog”]Thoughts about #parenting my #lastbaby: social, emotional, nutritional needs[/tweetthis]

Questions I have about parenting my last baby. Have I been a good mom and have I given my babies everything they've needed? via

As I parent my last baby, I wonder

Have I provided enough socialization?

It was so much easier with the first.  I was on her schedule unless it was time meal time, which I made sure stayed on my schedule.  It was easy to make play dates and library visits part of a regular routine.

My son?  He gets the short end of the stick here, in some ways.  I mean, he has his built-in friend to play with and learn from.  But, he’s also forced to be on his big sister’s schedule.  Our days of play dates are few and far between.  The most experience he gets around other kids is watching them when we pick S up from school.  Or, the occasional play date with our old friends.

Did I provide for their nutritional needs?

Is your #breastfed baby getting enough iron? #GerberCereal can help #ad Click To Tweet

Breastfeeding didn’t work out with S.  I had to put her on a special formula.  It worked, and I was happy for that.

With B, breastfeeding is the only way he’s getting milk.  There was a period of time he was cool with bottles, but he decided they weren’t good enough, and quit them.  While I’m happy he’s exclusively breastfed, I’m also aware that he may not be getting enough iron.

Our pediatrician tried to have us start those vitamin drops ages ago.  Unfortunately, B hated them and began to refuse eating if I tried to mix it in his food.  I couldn’t blame him.  Those things were quite pungent.  And, if I dropped it on anything, it smelled for days!

GERBER CEREAL preparing breakfast

Enter GERBER CEREALS.  This stuff saved me from having to give him those vitamin drops and from having to deal with mom guilt for not providing the vitamins.  B is a great eater, so giving him iron fortified cereal made the most sense.  2 servings of GERBER CEREALS provide about 90% of his iron needs, which helps to support his growing brain and learning abilities.  Be sure to read more information on your baby’s need for iron here.

That sure makes me feel better.

Have they been given enough one-on-one time?

I know that before B arrived, I gave S so much special time.  We took mommy-daughter trips and she had daddy-daughter dates.  I spent a lot of time educating her myself.  We did a lot!

It’s all changed.  B doesn’t know any better, but aside from our nightly breastfeeding session before bed, he doesn’t really get much special time one-on-one.  At least I didn’t think so, until I started reflecting.

Sure, most days are mundane and insignificant.  He’s on everyone else’s schedules.  And all day long seems to be running between school runs, naps, and meals.  Poor guy.

Then I realize that not every experience has to be a big production.  A simple shopping trip to Walmart to pick up his GERBER CEREAL can mean just as much as anything else right?  Of course it can!  Look what an amazing time he had helping me shop.  He cooed … or yelled (he’s kind of loud).  Walmart has a huge selection and it was difficult to not just grab everything.  My little helper had a hard time deciding took, but he was happy with the whole experience.  It was just he and I … and lots of food to choose from.


Did I take enough pictures (aka do they know I love them)?

We’re so busy these days.  I mean, S isn’t even in an extracurricular activity yet, and I’m always out of time!  I feel like I don’t take nearly the amount of pictures of my son as I did my daughter.  And now, I don’t even take that many of her.  I certainly wonder if B will look back and think I didn’t love him as much.

When I was pregnant, I didn’t want maternity photos.  We made sure to have his newborn photos taken at the hospital, just like his big sister had.  But, do I take enough pictures?

As I reflect on this, I go through pictures and I see quite a bit of similar photos.  The toothless grins, some of him sleeping, his firsts.  No, I don’t think there are as many pictures of him, but I don’t love him any less.

Both kids are paying the price, really.  And, the school schedule doesn’t help time.  Plus, my hands are often too full to grab a phone and snap random photos on a whim.

But, I know I take them when they’re important!

I think I’m doing this parenting thing right

At least, I’m doing the best I can.  All the thoughts that revolve around parenting my last baby circle back to remembering what’s important.  I’m going to miss some of the cute baby milestones.  I already miss toothless smiles.  Having sleep-trained my babies, I will miss baby snuggles.  Eventually, he’s going to say “mama” and “dada” for the first time, and it’s going to be the last time it’s a first.  I also think I am a good mom.

But, I can take comfort knowing I’ve provided for both my babies as best I could.  At the very least, I know I try everyday.

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