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The following appeared in the February 1998 issue of Parenting. Yes, parenthood changes everything. But parenthood also changes with each baby. Here, some of the ways having a second and third child differs from having your first:

Your Clothes

1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your
clear gifOB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.
2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.
3rd baby: Your maternity clothes are your regular clothes.

The Baby's Name

1st baby: You pore over baby-name books and practice
clear gifpronouncing and writing combinations of all your
clear giffavorites.
2nd baby: Someone has to name their kid after your great-aunt
clear gifMavis, right? It might as well be you.
3rd baby: You open a name book, close your eyes, and see where
clear gifyour finger falls. Bimaldo? Perfect!

Preparing for the Birth

1st baby: You practice your breathing religiously.
2nd baby: You don't bother practicing because you remember
clear gifthat last time, breathing didn't do a thing.
3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your 8th month.

The Layette

1st baby: You pre-wash your newborn's clothes, color-coordinate
clear gifthem, and fold them neatly in the baby's little bureau.
2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and
clear gifdiscard only the ones with the darkest stains.
3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can't they?


1st baby: At the first sign of distress - a whimper, a frown - you
clear gifpick up the baby.
2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake
clear gifyour firstborn.
3rd baby: You teach your 3-year-old how to rewind the
clear gifmechanical swing.


1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing,
clear gifand Baby Story Hour.
2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.
3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry
clear gifcleaner.

Going Out

1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you
clear gifcall home 5 times.
2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to
clear gifleave a number where you can be reached.
3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she
clear gifsees blood.

At Home

1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the
clear gifbaby.
2nd baby: You spend a bit of every day watching to be sure your
clear gifolder child isn't squeezing, poking or hitting the baby.
3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the
clear gifchildren.

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