I want to have another baby soon but I have been thinking/remembering lately how difficult my first child was. He didn't sleep well, we had trouble nursing, etc. He was and still is an intense kiddo who needs a lot of attention. That isn't to say he is not an amazing child but he was a lot to handle in the baby/toddler years. When I think about having another baby that is the only experience I have to relate it to so I was curious what your experience was/is!
How alike or different are your children? I am aware they are two different individuals, I am just curious :)
~*Have more than you show, speak less than you know*~
I have 4 children. My first child was very high needs. She barely slept, and screamed most of her first year of life. She is almost 11 now and still a rather intense individual. All of my children have turned out to be variations of her but in their own way except for my youngest who is a carbon copy of DD1. I've never experienced an "easy" baby or child. My experience tends to be rare, most people seem to go on to get more easier children.
To be fair though, DD1 (#1) and DS2 (#4) are the ones that have the exact same personality. My two middle children struggle with their own different medical issues. Their personalities are not as intense as the other two, but their special needs/health problems make up for it.
Well we've only got the one for now but I can say that my sister and I are incredibly different! I was fussy about sleeping as a babe, but other than that, incredibly quiet independent, and easy going. My sister was and still is the wild one, uncontrolled emotionally and behaviorally. I've got my independent spirit now, but she's also very outgoing with others which I was not so will be interesting to see in the future if we shoot for more what we get!
Mine are pretty different and I'm SO glad for that perspective. Really. I really do feel like mine are different because I am a different mother. Mine are 10 years apart (same father) and we (parents) are just so much more relaxed this go-round. Plus, we now live close to family. PLUS, our 10 (now 12) year old has been AMAZINGLY helpful. It's the greatest.
My first was a pretty good baby - not high needs. But, still... I was probably stressed and it wasn't easy even with a pretty typical "AP" child. Flash forward to this new baby and it's been SO FUN. Like all the fun and almost zero stress. AND, I'm 10 years older so I thought it would be way harder. I thought the sleep deprivation would be worse and it wasn't. It was WAY easier even though both had pretty similar sleep patterns. I think I have just permanently adapted to waking up in the night.
Also, the perspective is just so great. I know that challenging behaviors just go away. I cherish the time. I know that when a toddler is being a pain that I would give anything to go back to that time. It's cheezy but true for me.
The one thing that was a tad harder for me was nursing and after pains. But that is all just immediately following birth. I think that I was just not quite as in awe (and after pains are worse with subsequent children). But, we're talking about just a couple of days. Still, that did take me off guard.
Ok, and one other thing that's hard if you have a big gap is meeting the older child's needs and the way younger child. It's kind of a challenge to make space to help my older child with her homework...while the toddler is going through all of her stuff.
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My kids are like polar opposites, personality wise. They were both fairly easy and happy babies though. My second (a girl) got colicky at 6 weeks and it lasted for a month or two. They both slept through the night fairly early on (from 3 mos). I didn't breastfeed much due to complications, etc. so that could be why.
I agree that I was a different mother with my second child. I think I had PPD with my first.