I think there are advantages to having plenty of space between babies. By that I mean more than two years lapse between your children's births.
Let me explain. The first two I approached the same way. I had a particular mind set of what needed to happen and what I was going to do. My daughter Leiah was only three months old when I conceived her sister Alexa. We had plenty of issues with Leiah, but overall she was a very easy scheduled baby. When Alexa came, she was a good baby too, just louder :) She ate a lot more and seemed more needy. But still, no colic or reflux or problems. I was adamant about her sleeping through the night at a young age, because Leiah did it. I just felt very strongly that she needed to be sleeping all night.
Well, after she began sleeping through night I thought we were good. But as she got older, 6-8 months or so, she went to sleep well, but generally around 4am she woke up and cried. I would check on her, give the pacifier etc. and just let her cry. Well, even after many weeks of this, she didn't cry it out, she just cried herself awake! Even at 10 months, I would finally get up, make her a bottle, and either feed her myself or give it to her in the bed. Looking back, all she wanted was mama to be close. I should have either rocked her to sleep, put her in my bed, or given her a small bottle to begin with. Big deal. But, hindsight is 20/20.
So, when I finally had Sarah, Alexa was 2. I had a new perspective and had lots of new information. I realized that babies aren't little for long, and that I wasn't going to be rigid with schedules. I did everything 'wrong' with Sarah- I fed her on schedule, but I rocked her to sleep, put her in bed with me, held her just because, fed her solids early, gave her bottles in her bed etc. Guess what? She was fine! It didn't bother me to get up at night with her. I enjoyed that baby so much. I swaddled her till she was 4 months, then started gradually putting her in her crib unswaddled. She cried some, but after awhile she was fine. She slept through then night totally by three months of age and was the happiest, easiest, most content baby. I loved every minute of it.
So now, I am really excited. I want this baby so bad! I want to hold it and squeeze it! I want to put diapers on him (I say him, but we're not sure yet), change his clothes, feed him etc. If I can get nursing going, baby will likely sleep with me, at least for awhile. Plus, I have learned a lot more since I had the last baby. After Sarah was born, I learned about Nourishing Traditions. There is a whole section about babies in there. I now know, that if breastfeeding doesn't work, I can MAKE my own amazing baby formula. I have access to raw milk, so I can get all the ingredients and make a fabulous baby formula three different ways. (one is cow's milk, one is goat milk, one is broth based) I also know that infant cereal isn't the best first food, and that cooked egg yolks mashed with salt is.
I also know now that babies don't need a lot to be happy. Before I felt like I had to have everything just right- had to have the coordinated nursery, needed all the special 'stuff'... I know now that babies need clothes, food, diapers and a carseat. I have not bought anything except a diaper bag for this child. Nothing. All I have is a crib, a cradle, the changing table, and the crib mattress. I have a bouncy seat somewhere at my sister's, a swing at church and 1 newborn gown. Everything else is gone.
I also know more about natural products and herbal remedies for things, and don't have to rush to the doctor for everything. I also know that well baby check ups aren't necessary except for shots. My Sarah hasn't had a vaccine since she was 8 months old and she is the most disease resistant. I think because we've delayed vaccines she has done well. We are getting her caught up this summer though, since we live close to the border and well, I'm not going to say anything more about that. I am going to pray about the right decision for this baby regarding vaccinations, because God knows what's coming and I don't :)
So, to summarize: Babies do not stay little, enjoy them.
Little babies don't need as much as you think
They do eventually sleep at night
You will be sleep deprived for awhile- big deal
Keep things natural :)
New Stuff I plan to try:
* newborn prefold diapers and covers
* baby products from Farmstead Organics
* Baby sling/wrap- haven't decided which kind yet
* Homemade baby formula, at some point
* glass baby bottles
I am thinking of not buying a crib set and just making a simple quilt for baby. Do I really need a bumper pad? I plan to make up some homemade breast pads, baby wipes and maybe some burp cloths. And, I am planning to fix a cute bedroom for baby, but not to the degree I always did before :)
This is the second time I've tried writing this post, and I can't get it to come out right. Oh well, if anyone wants more info about the baby formula etc. let me know.