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Baby boys vs baby girls

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

In the last few weeks, I have met up with many of the moms who were in my pre-natal yoga class and my lamaze classes, and most of them have baby girls. I have noticed that they seem to be much more gentle with their babies than I am... being so careful to set them down just right, holding them more gently, etc.  With River, DH and I plop him down on the floor to play, pick him up quickly, bounce him around with vigor, and play with him a bit more roughly.

 

I asked DH if he thinks we are building gender stereotypes into DS even at this early age by how we treat him, and he just thinks that we act the way we do because of our own personalities and DS's (he really loves to be "man handled" for lack of a better word). But I'm not sure.

This morning I came across this article that suggests that parents do treat their babies differently based on the sex at an early age. I know some of you have 1 of each sex, and some of you have all boys until this baby (EB) , or all girls until this baby (LoveforBob, Jillybeans, right?), others are first timers like me. I'd be curious to see what you all think.

 

 

post #2 of 9

I'm definitely more gentle with Millie than I was with Lew.  Is that aweful?  She's just more sensitive.

post #3 of 9

I don't know...we have 2 girls.  We are kinda rough with both of them lol.  Sara Beth, the oldest, loves it.  The rougher the better.  Ada loves to be bounced around and stuff too.  If my husband is any rougher with a boy I don't think I'd be able to watch lol.  I think it's more babies personality...at least at my house anyway.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakemama579 View Post

I'm definitely more gentle with Millie than I was with Lew.  Is that aweful?  She's just more sensitive.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bethany42309 View Post

I don't know...we have 2 girls.  We are kinda rough with both of them lol.  Sara Beth, the oldest, loves it.  The rougher the better.  Ada loves to be bounced around and stuff too.  If my husband is any rougher with a boy I don't think I'd be able to watch lol.  I think it's more babies personality...at least at my house anyway.

 

That's what DH was trying to convince me of too, so it's good to hear you two say that.  I just want DS to grow up to be a sensitive guy so I guess I'm being a little "sensitive" about it all. lol.
 

 

post #5 of 9

I've thought about this a lot, too.

 

To be soothed, Charlie likes to be bounced - not gently, but big bounces - and patted on the back. I always liked rocking with back rubbing when I was little (and now!), but doesn't care about it at all and it is not calming.

 

I have wondered if it's because of the C-section - Dusty all the walking and the soothing to start and maybe set the tone - of if it's just what he likes. He likes being manhandled. He was born able to hold up his head so outside those few days where he was really weak (my milk was slow to come in, he lost way too much weight), we haven't really had to worry about it.

 

So I think it's okay and you build on the gentleness later. I hope. ;)

post #6 of 9
I wasn't overly gentle with my kids (haha that sounds terrible!) until my preemie (3rd girl) I treat Reed pretty much the same as the others. HE is the one who is different! I've always heard the boy vs. girl debate and thought it was total B.S. until he was born. OMG. He really really is THAT much different!

I think a lot of it has to do more with your experience with babies prior to having your own. I was around babies a lot (nanny for quite a few years, babysat all the time growing up) and was completely comfortable with them when my first was born.

If I ever DID treat my girls' different, it was when they were wearing cute dresses, or their hair was done up. Wouldn't want to mess up my hard work!
post #7 of 9
I have put quite a bit of thought into this very thing. I had read about the double standard, and was determined that DD would be treated with no less thunking and gusto than her older brother (who liked to be bounced hard and high).

And then I ended up with a very sensitive little girl. In most ways she doesn't respond well to certain things like her brother. If you thunk her with too much gusto, she cries. She doesn't like to be surprised or roughed around with as much. I started out doing the things that soothed DS, but ultimately, it seems like DD requires a more gentle touch. She is more snuggly than DS ever was (despite all my best efforts to snuggle him silly).

DD does like to be pretend "dropped" though, which DS hated. A lot of handling comes down to personality, of both parents and kids. You do what works! But I'd agree with Jill that I was honestly a little shocked by how girlie DD is. I know that some babies do fall outside of those gender norms, but man, I am often surprised by how my "boy" approach totally doesn't fly for DD.
post #8 of 9

I only have boys.I think we're a little gentler with DS2 because his personality is more sensitive than his brother's. He's afraid of loud noises (especially the food processor and hair dryer) where DS1 never was. DS1 rocked out to heavy metal with DH and DS2 prefers a more mellow sound. DS2 prefers to be bounced a little more gently. He will just gaze into our eyes and loves long snuggles. DS1 prefers to interact more physically, I think. Neither DH nor I have a problem with this. We just adjust to the particular needs and tolerances of each boy. D2 was over a pound heavier at birth than DS1, and they were both big babies, so I don't think that "weighs in," so to speak. I tend to think our personalities mesh with the babies' personalities. ... I have seen people handle their babies as if they were glass, and I've never done that. Again, I've only had boys and they were both big from the beginning.

 

post #9 of 9

I've never been gentle with any of my kids. shy.gif We are pretty rough and tumble here. I had 2 girls followed by 2 boys. Maybe the tone was set by my oldest who is very active and always was from a very young age. As a baby she loved to be tossed around, swung in our arms hard, bounced hard. And that never stopped, just upgraded to other levels as she got

 older. 

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