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 OB/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 pronouncing and writing combinations of all your favorites. 2nd baby: Someone has to name their kid after your great-aunt Mavis, right? It might as well be you. 3rd baby: You open a name book, close your eyes, and see where your finger falls. Bimaldo? Perfect!
Preparing for the Birth - 1st baby: You practice your breathing religiously. 2nd baby: You don't bother practising because you remember that last time, breathing didn't do a thing. 3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your 8th month.
The Layette - 1st baby: You prewash your new-born's clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby's little bureau. 2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains. 3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can't they?
Worries - 1st baby: At the first sign of distress - a whimper, a frown - you pick up the baby. 2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn. 3rd baby: You teach your 3-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.
Activities - 1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour. 2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics. 3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner.
Going Out - 1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home 5 times. 2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached. 3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.
At Home - 1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby. 2nd baby: You spend a bit of every day watching to be sure your older child isn't squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby. 3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.