Romper

What Breastfeeding Your Second Kid Is Like Vs. Your First

As a first-time mom, I was all about providing my my baby the best life. By the time her little brother was born, two-and-a-half years later, I just wanted to get through the day. The level of preparedness for my first kid was sky-high. When my second kid arrived, I had diapers and hand-me-down onesies and a pair of boobs that had been down the nursing road before. But breastfeeding my second child was totally different than it was with my first.

The positives? I worried less. I could troubleshoot more easily, because I had a basis of comparison. Like, my first kid didn’t start choking during letdown, which clued me in to the overproduction issues I had the second time around. The negatives? I had a jealous toddler who hated when it was her little brother’s time to eat.

So while I was more of a pro at breastfeeding with my second kid, it didn’t mean it was at all easier. Not only did I have my hands full, literally, with a baby and a feisty toddler, but my partner was also otherwise occupied. Gone were the days when he’d fetch me beverages and hand me the TV remote while I settled into a nursing session. He was attempting to wrangle our older child, swooping in to pry her clinging hands off my shoulders while I tried to feed our little one. He was too busy filling her sippy cup to bring me a glass of water. And the remote? The toddler had hidden it in a desperate act of rebellion.

Luckily, my son was a good eater who could chow down under the most chaotic circumstances. But I wish I could have given him more attention during our feeding sessions, soaking him in as I did my first baby. Especially because I don’t plan on having any more children.

Here are some ways I found breastfeeding your first kid to be vastly different from your second:

Necessary Items

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First Kid

I need all the things. Boppy, back pillow, glass of water within reach, remote, phone, footstool, spit-up cloth, tissues.

Second Kid

Baby + Boob = Ready.

Preparedness

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First Kid

I arrange an elaborate set-up. I follow the internet’s instructions to construct a nursing zone: a dedicated, comfy spot for me to put my feet up and tuck my baby close to me, without my arm falling asleep or my neck aching.

Second Kid

Grab-n-go. Pick up baby, latch him on, go about my business.

Mental State

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First Kid

Be in the moment, get into that mind-body vibe. Meditate to induce letdown.

Second Kid

Multi-task. Entertain toddler while nursing baby. Occasionally throw a glance at the feeding infant to wake him up if he is sleeping on the job.

Schedule

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First Kid

Adhere to strict schedule; no more than 20 minutes per side to encourage productivity.

Second Kid

Fall asleep feeding the baby. Wake up two hours later with the kid passed out blissfully in a milky puddle.

Output

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First Kid

Underproduction. Boobs claim to be new at this.

Second Kid

Overproduction.The pump has been primed, so to speak.

Exposure

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First Kid

Cover up. I wouldn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable by exposing any amount of my lady bits-flesh that is not in service of a sexual act to titillate.

Second Kid

Let it all hang out. Seriously, that’s your problem if you can’t handle me feeding a hungry kid.

Organization

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First Kid

Take Notes. Track the time of the feeding session, how long it lasted (on each side), and what the consistency and color was of the resulting fecal output.

Second Kid

Oh I’m leaking? Time to feed him.

Atmosphere

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First Kid

Turn down the volume. Watch TV with closed captioning for the first year of the child’s life for fear of distracting her from the vital task of eating.

Second Kid

There is no keeping things quiet with the first kid running around while you try to feed the second. Think of it as training for those noisy elementary school cafeterias. He'll thank you later.