APing the second one as much as the first?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 07-22-2005, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
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I have some guilt about this so I thought I'd ask about other people's experiences.
I have two little ones. Our first would not sleep if she weren't being held. She wanted to be with me all of the time so... I held her all the time. I carried her in a sling for walks and around the house while I did chores and I laid on the couch or bed with her on my chest when she needed to nap.

My second little one is content on his own. From the beginning he was okay to nap alone and doesn't mind sitting in a bouncy seat or playing on a mat on the floor. Because #1 is almost 3 now I can't just lay around and hold #2 while he naps, like I used to with her. He also weighs much more than she did so I don't sling him as often. When we go for walks I push the double stroller instead of slinging him. I always bring a sling in case he fusses but I've found it really hard to push a stroller with #1 in it and have #2 in a sling.

With both we've co-slept and breastfed and cloth diapered, etc. I never ignore him if he's getting upset.
It's just that #2 is getting held less than #1 did. Sometimes I can't stand it and I need to hold my little guy for a nap so I'll tell dd#1 that she has to play by herself for a little while and she's okay with that but it doesn't appease my guilt.

My mom says if he's content then its okay. I only held #1 as much as I did because she NEEDED it. #2 doesn't need it the way my first did.

I try and bring #2 into whatever room we are all in but sometimes, I have to admit, he'll be lying in a room for awhile by himself enjoying the ceiling fan or something. He never cries.

Sorry... am I a bad AP mom to my ds#2? Or is it okay that he's being held less because he's content with it? And it is kinda a necessity since I have to play with dd#1 too??
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#2 of 10 Old 07-22-2005, 01:06 PM
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Do you feel guilty because you don't think you're giving your ds what he needs? Or do you feel guilty because you don't think you're measuring up to some AP ideal of holding your baby every second of every day?

I think I was very AP with my daughter when she was an infant, and I'll readily admit that she loved the bouncy seat, so I put her in it sometimes. We lived life according to her needs and desires, not by some list of rules or ideas made by someone who had never met me or my baby.

I say, if your son is enjoying the ceiling fan, don't rush in to impose your idea of what he should be enjoying on him.

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#3 of 10 Old 07-22-2005, 02:33 PM
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Sounds like you are doing an excellent job meeting both your childrens needs

Mommy guilt is hard.

Mom to ds 9 dd 7 : and dd 3/08 : if I can I go to
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#4 of 10 Old 07-22-2005, 02:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Hmmm? I guess I feel guilty because I don't think I'm giving ds what I THINK he SHOULD need.
He's a happy, content little guy.
I guess he feels like so much less work than my dd did... I think I must be shortchanging him somehow.

I guess I want to make sure not to take advantage of his easy-goingness if that makes sense.

(Edited for typos)
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#5 of 10 Old 07-22-2005, 04:18 PM
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Hi there, I can completely relate, but not with #1 and #2 (5.5 years apart) but with #2 and #3 (13 months apart). I remember saying to my best AP friend how bad I felt that #3 was so content to sit in the bouncy seat or in the swing or play on the floor talking to the celing fan and #2 need me soooo very much. I mean not that #2 needing me made me feel bad, just that #3 was so happy with less. Of course my #2 is special needs so he will always require just abit more than his brothers. I tell my DH that I feel like sometimes if #3 wasn't nursed he'd never get held, and I plan on nursing him as long as possible just so I know he will at least snuggle with me several times a day! Really it isn't that bad! I just feel like I was able to give to my older two a bit more than my littlest guy. I do wear him as much as posslible in the sling, but he is now crawling everwhere and wants to be down most of the time. I did find for the stroller problem what works even better than the double for me is to put #2 in an umbrella stroller (it's really light and travels well in the car) and to wear #3 in the sling. If #2 is out of the stroller I can put #3 in it and chase #2 around a bit. The umbrella stroller is alot easier to steer while having the baby in the sling and with one hand if I need. It's also light enough I can just pick it up if I need to. Just and idea, but it works really well for me. You sound like a really great mama to me! All any of us can do is our best, and it sounds like you are doing a great job.
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#6 of 10 Old 07-22-2005, 09:02 PM
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If it makes you feel any better, I have actually had the opposite experience. My first son was/is pretty independent. He is secure and attached, but since a very young age has liked his space (some of his first words were "down" & "outside") He walked at 10 months and has just always been on the go - doing his thing - confident that I am trailing somewhere behind him incase he needs me.

My second son is very needy - likes to be held all the time but only by me (Whereas my first was pretty much happy to be held by anyone, seriously!!) We are still co-sleeping and he still hasn't been left without myself or dh for more than a few hours - it is what he needs.

IMHO, being responsive to your child's needs is the best way to form attachment. Holding them when they want to run around and explore or chill on a blanket or FORCING some other attachment experience on them is much like having them CIO or sleep training or something else that tries to FORCE them to do/be something, ykwim?

You sound like you are doing great to me - being responsive to both of your kids different needs and taking the time to consider if you are doing your best for each of them.

Peace & Much Love,
Barney & Ben
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#7 of 10 Old 07-23-2005, 12:42 AM
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Yea, I had similar feelings about DD2. Although when I look at it now, I realize I should have just been happy that DD2 was happy with less holding, etc that DD1 got. But I am breastfeeding DD2 longer, so maybe that makes up for it?

Once they are no longer infants, it gets a bit easier, both to balance the 2 and not feel guilty about the differences. At least that is what I am finding. DD2 is apparently not going to cosleep as long as DD1 did, but she is sleeping in the same bed as her sister, so I guess it is all good.
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#8 of 10 Old 07-23-2005, 12:48 AM
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AP is about meeting the needs of your child. A specific set of rules does not apply to each child. There are generalities but they don't apply to all kids.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#9 of 10 Old 07-24-2005, 07:11 AM
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My Father (I'm the oldest of four children) told me one time that it's unfair to treat all your children the same way because they aren't the same. So what may seem "fair" as in equal is really the most unfair thing you can do. Everyone is different and I agree with the pps that you are doing a great job meeting both your childrens' needs! I'm sure my dad would agree

love and peace.

mama to two girls and due in November!
: Circumcision can never be undone :
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#10 of 10 Old 07-25-2005, 03:24 AM
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I think you are doing an awesome job!! Meeting the needs of two children is very hard and like someone else said, momma guilt will always be there no matter what you do!!

My lil dd is much more needier than my older ds ( with the exception of bfing....I had a much more difficult time nursing him). He would let me lay him down for naps and stuff and would let others hold him when he was fussy. Dd on the other hand wants me and only me ALL.THE.TIME. I AP'd ds, but not to this "extreme" that I have done with dd. She literally is in the sling or in my arms all day long. It's been quite the juggle with a 3 year old to take care of, but its been going okay because I am slinging, bfing, co-sleeping, etc. You do what ya gotta do.

I have a friend that is experiencing the same thing as you. SHe attributes some of it to more experience but also attributed it to just that her younger just has a plain more laid back attitude BUT also.....since she AP'd her higher needs eldest, she did it automatically with the second and he is happy and never had to protest!!!! Just a theory anyhow...lol!

Either way, it is great that you are mindful of #2 needs, and know that he needs to be held too. I know Dr. Sears talks about mother-Child matches in his book - THe BABY BOOK and which relationship matches are the best and he writes about how an easy baby plus a responsive mother is a good match whereas an easy baby plus a restrained mother is not a good match obviously. He also feels that the high need baby with a responsive mother is the best match because it promotes bonding and AP!

Heather , momma to ' Parker- 10, Carlee- 7 and our baby Genevieve Faith - 8-27-10

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