How to deal with different baby personalities - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 06-19-2010, 12:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi!!! So, our twins are 5 1/2 months old now (4 months adjusted) and already their personalities are sooo incredibly different! Cash is very smiley, very vocal and tends to demand more attention (for instance, if you're not paying attention to him, he will shriek until you look at him, then he'll just smile at you). People also seem to think he's the "cuter" one. Our Gus, on the other hand, is very subdued and laid back, it takes some effort to get him to smile and it takes him a bit longer to warm up to new people and situations. Cash also seems to be the leader as far as developmental milestones, and has been since they were born (he was the first to bottle feed in the NICU, first off supplemental O2, etc.) although Gus usually accomplishes the same feats within a few days.

I worry that Cash, being more outgoing, is going to be getting more attention. Although I try to spend equal amounts of time interacting with them, Cash is just so much more demanding that I'm afraid he ends up getting more attention and interaction. He also tends to not nap as well, so while Gus is sleeping, I'm often repeatedly soothing Cash back to sleep. Or, while we're out and about, Gus will happily sit in his stroller or car seat, while Cash needs to be held or worn. I really can't wear both together anymore because it kills my back!

Any advice? I'm afraid my mellow Gus is being somewhat shortchanged here!

Leah mom to Delilah 9/00, angel Stephen lost 5/25/09 at 40 weeks, and twins Gus and Cash 1/10

Expecting a miracle January 2012


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#2 of 8 Old 06-19-2010, 12:58 AM
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So, I wasn't going to respond because I haven't btdt and I'm not a mom of multiples but then the voice of my Mother came through loud and clear as I was exiting out of the post...

"It is perfectly fair to treat different kids differently because different kids are *different*."

She would then go on about how it would be unfair to make both kids wear glasses because one needed them and equally unfair to allow neither to have them when one needed them. Easy going babes are easy going. Higher needs babes are higher needs. As long as both are getting all their needs and some of their wants met I think you are doing a great job. It would probably be bothersome to Gus to have you pat and fuss over him while he is trying to sleep! I'm sure you are doing just fine! Keep up the wonderful, loving, work you are doing.


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#3 of 8 Old 06-19-2010, 08:57 AM
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I understand what you're feeling. I even think I've written a post in here talking about the same thing. But you know what? It is constantly switching here. My two are 2 years old now and I can think back on so many different phases where one seemed to need me more. I spent hours upon hours holding my dd when she was a newborn, while ds was content wherever I put him. Then it switched, and then switched again . Right now I would say my ds is more demanding while dd is laid back. So, don't chalk it all up to their personality just yet. They're still young and have time to switch it up on you Even if that's the way it is I agree with Jenne, you just do what you can do. If you're aware of it then that's a start.

Karen - spouse to dh for 11 years, mama to ds (Nov '02), dd (May '05) and ds and dd (Jun '08)

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#4 of 8 Old 06-19-2010, 12:16 PM
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I totally agree with Karen and my Duo are only 9.5mths. Already we've found that altho Z was the fussier as a baby up to about 5mths, L is the 'Sensitive Soul' now. When we go places that are new and loud its L that needs to be held and reassured whereas Z will just head right into the chaos with a grin. Yet HE was the one who squawked and fussed and needed to be worn 24/7 a few months ago.

Treat them according to their personalities and give them what they need at the moment. Do what you already do - make sure you have that one on one time and go from there.

Mum to 5 wonderful gifts!!
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#5 of 8 Old 06-20-2010, 12:51 AM
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Mine are 8 months and just like your Leah. The thing is, just when I have it all figured out, they change it up a little. One is always more outgoing than the other but it's not always the same one. S is definitely a tougher nut to crack but when she cracks, she is amazing. Some days the only one she will smile for is me. R will smile for anyone at anytime....even the appliances, but she is sometimes very clingy and is becoming a mamas girl just when I thought she might just want to be an orphan. She used to be very independant while S was very clingy but now it has changed 180 degrees. S is usually happy to explore her surroundings while R now wants to be held and cries when I put her down. I never really know what to expect and I thought I knew them so well....LOL, they showed me. I wouldn't worry to much about Gus, he will let you know what his needs are.

My policy here is, no one gets a scenery change or something new until they request it (unless it's flop on the floor with the kids time). My singleton was held by me all. the. time. and was very dependant on me for everything but it was just me and him all day long and we could just sit and have our little love affair forever. Now there are three of them and I am outnumbered so the squeaky wheel get the grease. I nurse them, cosleep and spend a ton of cuddle time with each but sadly it's nothing like my oldest got but they are both way more independant than he ever was at their age. Twins can be a logistical nightmare sometimes huh? If they are both happy and loved what more can you ask for? Perhaps Gus is just more of an introvert. It sounds like you are doing exactly what they need, keep up the good work.

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#6 of 8 Old 06-20-2010, 12:56 AM
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I totally could have written your post. My twins wrote the definition of different. My dd is the outgoing one, who demands your attention constantly. My ds2 is the one who smiles a bit, but is shy with strangers, never fusses and is generally happy to just play by himself most of the time.

My two have sort of had changing needs. My dd has medical issues, so did have periods of time where she WAS the total focus of our household for a while, but mostly the two have had their "place". I try to just parent them the way they need to be parented, and try not to worry too much about who gets more attention. I *think* they get equal attention, my dd is the first one up every morning, so she gets morning snuggles with me before ds2 wakes. Ds2 is a night owl, so he gets me all to himself at bedtime, the other two kiddos fall asleep right away at night. There are other times in between where I can focus on one or the other. I make sure that I kiss them all, tell them all I love them, and try to meet their individual needs as best I can. Hopefully that's going to be all right in the end.

Denise, mama to ds1 (03/26/05) and boy/girl twins born 08/12/08
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#7 of 8 Old 06-20-2010, 03:50 AM
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I wouldn't worry about it. I had exactly the same thing. R was very laid back and indipendant, could put himself to sleep with a pacy and a blanket and would just sit quietly and play. D demanded every. ounce. of. energy. and basically sucked the air out of the room. Had to be the center of all attention (and his brother let him). I felt terrible because by the time I had finally got D to sleep, R was already sleeping etc. It does even out in the end. Now D plays quietly for hours by himself unless he is disturbed by his brother (which is a lot) and at three and very verbal it is a challenge. And D has descovered that he likes to be in front of the microphone and performing for others, so they do find themselves in the end. It does even out and when the quiet one wants the attention, he will find a way to get it.

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#8 of 8 Old 06-20-2010, 01:23 PM
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I have one that's more laid back and one that's a lot needier. Claire has been able to self soothe a lot easier than Ben since birth. She's also more docile and will stay with me rather than running at break neck speed toward on-coming traffic. She plays better with the other children and is rarely reprimanded for beating on other children, unlike Ben who unleashes his fury at least once very 15 minutes. So is she easier? Yep. And do I like her more? Maybe a tiny little bit. So what she lacks for in attention is made up for in my eternal graitude that she doesn't put me through the wringer like Ben does.

And honestly, while her temper is much slower to show itself, she's a DEMON when she gets mad. She gets what she wants when she wants it most of the time because she rarely demands anything (picks her battles, so to speak). So, she may be more laid back and easygoing than her brother and that garners her less attention but she seems to be doing fine with that. It will shift and change as your boys get older and more verbal. I have a feeling Gus will let you know when he needs you truly and when he doesn't need you-he's fine.
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