Family Life

The Difference Between a First and Fourth Baby

This post has been sponsored by Gerber, a brand I’ve loved since I had one tiny baby and I still love now that I have four (less tiny) babies

Sometimes, when I’m nursing Tally alone in her nursery, I think about how different life is during her babyhood than it was during Ella’s.

I remember so clearly those long slow days at home with Ella. She was a super slow nurser, and I’d spend 3-4 hours a day sitting on my bed feeding her and reading so. many. books.

We only had one car, so many days Bart would take it to work and I’d spend the entire day at home. I probably woke her up from a nap during that first year a total of three times.

Our little apartment was very quiet and every day seemed long (not in a bad way – I just felt like I had all the time in the world).

The days do not seem long now.

Now I’m balancing the needs of four children instead of one.

I was thinking about this all a few weeks ago at Tally’s four month pediatrician visit when the doctor said we could start her on solids when she began showing signs of interest.

When Ella was that age, I had all the time in the world to try new foods, feed her bite after bite, and I had all my supplies right there in the kitchen. We did a lot of baby-led weaning and I had the time to let her fool around with plenty of new items under close supervision.

Even with the next two girls, our schedules were pretty relaxed and we were home most of the time.

But this year is different with two school schedules (so two drop-offs and one pick-up), plus gymnastics, play dates, library trips, and more.

Which means I have to be more flexible to feed Tally on the go.

When we were at Target picking up school supplies (holy cow, you guys, the school supply lists are ridiculous – ​I’m pretty sure I could have started my own office supply store in my dining room with all the things they were supposed to have for the first day of school), I picked up a container of the Gerber® Oatmeal cereal for those first early experiments with eating.

One thing I love about the Gerber® Cereal is that it’s fortified with iron. My pediatrician mentioned that I’d need to be on the lookout for more iron for Tally since she’s breastfed and breastfed generally need additional sources of iron.

Back when Star was nursing, her iron levels were always really low. In fact, I had to take her in for a blood draw (if you’d like a quick way to make your heart feel like it’s going to break in half, I highly suggest a baby blood draw – it’s the saddest thing on the planet) and then the doctor put her on a supplement to help bring those levels up.

Of course, Star DESPISED the supplement and it was a nightmare trying to get her take it, so I’m highly motivated to be proactive about it this time around to keep Tally’s iron levels up, especially since iron is so important for supporting learning abilities. Just two servings of infant Cereal meet 90% of your baby’s daily iron requirements, so it’s a simple way to make sure they’re getting enough.

It’s been so fun reliving those first days of feeding a baby solids (we have so many videos of us feeding Ella and letting her try new flavors), but since we’re not home as much as we were with our other babies, I’ve started packing a little on-the-go pack so Tally can practice eating wherever we are.

I keep a spoon, tiny bowl, and bib in my purse and the package of Gerber Cereal (which has a handy plastic resealable lid, which is super convenient) so I can feed her at the playground or on the grass in front of the library while the girls climb trees and jump off the walls.

And I love that it’s so easy to pick up at Target which streamlines my errand-running (and a ​10% off Cartwheel coupon​  through 9/3/2017 doesn’t hurt matters either).

One of the things that is most magical to me is that whether I have one baby or four, busy or at home, all these milestones are just as thrilling the fourth time around as they were the first.

Those first tiny bites of food, the hilarious faces they make as they try to figure out what the heck to do with it, the first time they roll over or sit up unassisted – they’re all just as good this time as they were when Ella was a baby.

Except this time, I have a little trio of Tally lovers to share it with.

Photos by ​Christie Knight

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  • Reply Alison S. August 12, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Keep these posts coming! I’m expecting boy #3 in a few months who will be 6 years younger than his older brothers. So much has changed in the baby world since then and I love seeing what has worked for you. My Amazon wish list keeps growing! 😉

    Not related to this post at all, but I would love to hear more about how you keep your wood floors looking clean with so many littles around. We have similar dark, wide plank flooring (bye, bye honey oak and yucky carpet!!) going in the majority of our main floor this weekend and I would love tips/product recommendations.

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw August 19, 2017 at 7:33 am

      To be honest, I don’t have any good tips – I think we’ve only mopped once or twice in there! It’s only in our living room/dining room which gets way less use than other rooms in our house, so it stays pretty clean.

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