My wife and I had a boy on 31 March. I’ve been living with a newborn baby for two weeks now and thought it’s time I should post a quick review in the style of some of those tech websites.

So, here’s my honest review posted for your information. I can confirm the baby has been grown and delivered by us; no one is paying me to provide this review.

Top line verdict.

While the second baby doesn’t represent a significant upgrade on the first, there are noticeable differences. Its feature of omnidirectional urination is a key departure from the first model and seems to come with unique challenges. At present the software remains limited, with only modes for sleeping, feeding, and defecation, none of which can be programmed. The manufacturer has promised further patches will be released in the coming months.

Unboxing.

The birth was as smooth a process as can be expected. Labour lasted for longer than the previous baby and consequently both mother and father were very tired throughout. All of the credit must go to the mother for pushing out the baby, which required some encouragement from me with soothing words and music. At certain points we did break out the hard house music which must have been an experience for the other patients on the ward.

All credit must go to the hospital and especially the midwives for getting the baby out safely and as calmly as possible. They do a tremendous job and I can’t even imagine the kind of things they see on a daily basis. Midwives witness women and men at their most most primal and vulnerable, and they still manage to handle everything with professionalism and humanity.

 

Specifications.

This baby arrived slightly larger than the first model, at 7 lbs 11 oz. All of its fingers and toes were there and, on initial inspection, everything appeared very healthy. After a short time we observed that the baby had a tongue tie, which impeded feeding. This required a slight modification/snip after visiting a breastfeeding counsellor trained in tongue tie division. Two weeks on and there have been no further issues.

I’m very grateful that the baby arrived safely and had no health problems. Many people are in worse situations. It’s important to be grateful for our health.

I’ll elaborate on the tongue tie issue in future posts. It’s an essential part of ensuring proper breastfeeding between mother and baby and yet it seems to be something that is widely unrecognised and misdiagnosed. A number of hospitals and health trusts are beginning to acknowledge this, but more must be done.

 

Power consumption.

The baby has its own sleep patterns and needs, and consequently we’ve had to adjust our own idea of rest. Charging/feeding is required every 2 to 3 hours, in between which the baby usually sleeps for any period between half an hour and up to 4 hours. There’s no predicting when it will wake up. There’s no effective method to induce sleep mode at this stage. It can safely be assumed that if the baby is crying it needs something. Consequently our lives have come to revolve around it.

Thankfully the baby has established an effective breastfeeding relationship with mother. This is good news as it’s a very healthy and natural option, it is also very inexpensive, and it allows more rest time for me, the father, who cannot feed without a bottle.

 

Day-to-day usage.

At present there is very limited functionality. The baby cannot move and can barely twist its head. Within the first two weeks it is now beginning to open his eyes and look at the world, but I am certain from research online that a baby can only see blurred shapes in black and white at this stage. It cannot recognise its hands or feet and frequently startles itself when it moves its arms.

Interaction is minimal although I am assured that any comfort and connection we try to make at this stage will have a subconscious effect on its development. Therefore I do find myself cooing regardless of its effectiveness.

While relatives have been interested to meet the new baby, we’ve limited visitors to ensure the baby is not overwhelmed and we can settle into a pattern. Its lack of functionality and interest is often forgotten by other members of the family, and consequently they feel a little useless (dare I say bored as well) after meeting it for the first time.

 

Compatibility with other models.

The baby does not understand the difference between its mother, father, or sister. At this stage it means very little to it is to have a sister. On the other hand, our daughter is extremely excited to be involved and is trying to act like a responsible big sister. With a four and a half year age gap she is able to help with small tasks, such as fetching a nappy. Anything further makes me nervous. She’s enthusiastic to help and is obviously trying to act mature about caring for the baby but it’s not wise to leave them both together at present.

Having a boy means we may have to rethink clothing arrangements for the next few years. Of course, there’s no reason why a boy can’t wear a dress these days but we are naturally gravitating to the boys section of the clothes shops. There are numerous accessories stored in bedroom cupboards and our and attic that won’t be compatible with this model.

Additionally, this one has arrived in the springtime whereas the first one arrived in the autumn, meaning the types of clothes required at different stages of growth are different. On the plus side this means we may be able to get rid of a lot of “junk” and clear some space.

 

Conclusion.

Having had some experience with a baby in the past, I was under the misinformation that I might find it easier with a second baby. It is clear that, while the overall design is similar, no two specifications are the same. Even at this early stage I’ve recognised differences in personalities between the two children. I also recognise differences between our first-time parent selves from nearly 5 years ago to our settled and more self assured second time parents. The initial two week period is still a novelty and be it would be interesting to revisit this review in several months.

Overall, I very much enjoying this new product/baby and am looking forward to getting to know it over the coming months and years.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

It seems like an eternity since 2012 when we welcomed a baby daughter into the world.

It was two weeks after I turned 30, and what a way to begin the next decade of my life. We knew absolutely nothing about babies and so signed up to NCT classes, bought books, prepared the nursery, stocked up on nappies and anything else people told us to get.

Somehow the birth all worked out.

Waters broke, we got to hospital on time, it was a textbook birth in the middle of the night. It was quite an experience for my girlfriend and (shh, don’t tell anyone) but I actually found it quite tiring, too. After all, it’s not natural to be stood up all night whispering words of encouragement! Such is there plight of the modern millennial dad. Our fathers and grandfathers were way out of sight and didn’t have to go through any of this. It may have been easier for them in one way but they missed out on taking part in such a miraculous event.

Fast forward four years and many of our fellow NCT friends have gone on to have second children.

We didn’t go in for it to begin with, didn’t want to rush into a second baby straight away. Then we thought we should try, and then it took a bit longer than we expected with a couple of bumps along the road. Now we’re looking forward to welcoming a new addition to the family in late March.

As our impending baby arrival approaches I’m even more terrified than before!

The first time around I knew nothing and prepared for everything. This time I kind of know what to do having been through it before but the closer it gets the more I realise I’ve forgotten. The advice has changed, too. Like how can it be that only four years later it’s now wrong to swaddle a baby?!

Right now, my top three concerns are:

  1. Getting the baby out.

I kind of remember the birthing process from last time but just like women seem to have a selective memory when it comes to the pain of childbirth, I think men also blank out a lot of the experience. The end result is great but the planning of the hospital bag, the preparations in those key early hours when anything can happen, how useful I’ll actually be in supporting my wife, it’s all a bit daunting. I should know this, right? Maybe the pressure of having done it once before means it’s harder the second time because I’ve got a track record now.

  1. Getting the right support.

Our daughter was born with a tongue tie, which made breast feeding difficult and painful for my wife. We struggled to get it diagnosed and it took many weeks before it was resolved. We did get support from midwives, health visitors and other experts, but it was sometimes difficult to access and confusing what to ask for. Being the first time we had a child meant we didn’t feel like the experts but we knew something wasn’t right. We got help in the end and I praise the health services for their support, but there’s no denying that the NHS is stretched and it’s sometimes hard to get the right support we need. I hope we manage to navigate it ok this time.

  1. Juggling two children.

When the contractions started back in 2012 we only had to worry about getting ourselves to the hospital. Now we’ve got a four-year-old and need to make provisions for grandparents to come around. We’ve got to coordinate getting the new baby back home, getting our eldest to nursery, getting me to work and making sure my wife has everything she needs in those first few days and weeks to be with the baby. We’ve left it four years between children so it can’t be as bad as a one or two-year age gap, surely? It’ll be interesting to see how it all fits together.

I’m really excited about our new arrival.

It’s going to be great to have another member of the family. I think our daughter’s turned out ok so far and I’m sure we can do it all again. One big change since last time is I’ve discovered this wonderful world of parent bloggers. There’s so much wisdom and humour amongst this group, I think it will be a pretty good source of support. So if you find a random question on your blog about something you’ve posted, please look kindly on it and help me out!