8 reasons why raising a boy is a whole new experience for me

In January this year, I gave birth to a baby boy. He became the third born and the only boy in a family of 2 older sisters now 5 and 3. Having been brought up as an only child and by a single mother, I have never been around boys that much leave alone understanding them. Having brought up two girls, I knew raising a boy would be different, however I was not exactly prepared for the ‘different’ part. I have since learnt that raising a boy is a whole new experience which makes having girls & raising them seem like finishing 30Mb of data on a Youtube video.  Here are 10 reasons why

1. Tiny beginnings

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Most boys are born small, some even underweight. Unlike the sisters who were born over 3.4Kgs, our son was 2.9Kgs. I could not believe it because I was so big when pregnant( I will forgive you if you thought I was carrying twins)

As I learnt from the nurses during the immunization clinics, most boys are born smaller than girls.

2. Make up for the low birth weight
Due to the tiny beginnings, boys, unlike girls who are born with a head start, suckle the life out of you to make up for the low weight. I lost count on how many times I wake up at night to feed him then put him back in his crib. Sometimes especially in the wee hours, I just give up and sleep with him.

3. Feeding is no joke
There is a saying in our culture Mwana aronga na makai meeri (baby is breastfeeding with both cheeks) which loosely translates to a child who is breastfeeding very well. That is the perfect description of boys. Boys don’t joke around with breast milk. They will suckle you dry, leave you dizzy especially if you are not feeding well. Unlike girls who will not spend more than 30 minutes  on your breasts, boys can last even an hour especially during their growth spurts.

My advice, don’t feed on light meals like spaghetti and rice especially at night. I found a liking to Ugali, mashed potatoes, bananas and other heavy meals which are more filling.

It is also advisable to take more fluids like fermented porridge, bone marrow soup over to compliment that cocoa drinks.

4. Warm showers
Haha, the first time this happened, it caught me completely off guard. Girls don’t splatter pee all over. Woi, boys will pee like a fountain and even make you taste some if you are not too careful.

I have since learnt to have a good absorbent cloth near me for every diaper change to place it on his wee wee to prevent him from washing everything in sight

5. Midnight snacks

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If you read and believed the sleep training advice online, and if you, like me tried it with your girls with great success then you will quickly learn that boys have their own script.
Boys don’t just tow the line, they will slip in and out of that that sleep training as they wish especially if you have to resume work after having sleep trained them.

Since I resumed work which was at the beginning of April, our son has been waking up at least 5 times in the night to feed.

Our girls had issues waking up to feed at night (I will not say girls are lazy) most girls prefer sleeping and some have to be woken up to feed. I had to set 3 alarms at night when our two girls were still suckling as they could go the whole night without waking up

6. They are all mine

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A boy will own your boobs like they were made only for him. From as young as 3 months, they learn how to grab a hold of your bra and boobs like they are fighting to retain possession! I found this very fascinating. I think it has something to do with the aggressive nature that manifests itself as they grow older.

7. Where were you

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For working mothers, when you resume work, a boy will make you pay for your long absence. They will still want the breast even when full from bottle milk. Our son would rather just play with the breast if too full to suckle than do nothing when I get home. On weekends, he ensures that he demands the breast every hour.

8.What Gym!
Having a boy and sticking to exclusive breastfeeding is a natural gym. You will find yourself loosing all that baby fat and excess weight in no time. Your friends might even ask you which gym you are going to. When I had our 2 daughters, loosing weight was such a challenge! I actually had to enroll in a gym and start doing evening walks just to shed the excess weight. With our son, I am not seeing this being a problem.

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