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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am really struggling... We have a ds who just turned two and an almost 4 week old baby girl. With ds we coslept, nursed on demand, carried him everywhere... He is a wonderful little boy who is very well adjusted, happy and social.<br>
At the same time, he first slept moreorless thru the night, at 23 months of age.<br>
Aislinne, our new dd, is a differnet baby than ds was - she sleeps more, and is just generally, a calmer baby. I feel in turmoil because I am conciously putting her down when she falls asleep (ds always napped in my arms). We have also set up the crib as a cosleeper (ds never slept in it - not even once). Twice I have laid her in it to nap. At night-time she sleeps cuddled into me though.<br>
I don't know. I think I just feel overwhelmed with two - I am trying to get her to nap independently because it gives me more freedom to play with my ds.<br><br>
I just don't know - am I 'shortchanging' her?<br><br><br>
Emma
 

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I wouldn't say so, I would say you are finding a healthy balance. Life with two I am sure is more challenging, I am about to find out soon. Although the time you can spend with your first is wonderful, since they have you all to themselves, I don't feel subsequent children are shortchanged. In some ways the amount of undivided attention first borns get is a little unnatural. Not to say it is wrong but in life most of the time we have to wait for things or share with others. So your daughter is just having to share you with her brother, which is something she will always have to do. If anything it is your ds who will need more help adjusting because he knew what life was like having you all to himself, she never did. She also gets to have a older sibling to look after her and play with her as she grows though which is a gift your son didn't have as a baby. To me it sounds like you are still meeting all her needs and she is getting alot of your attention so I would just cut yourself a little slack, and enjoy your two precious ones.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> It sounds to me like you are doing a great job of meeting the needs of both your children. You aren't shortchanging your newborn by setting her down when she's asleep. Please don't be so hard on yourself. You sound like a great mom.
 

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You are beginning to acknowledge different children need different things. Just because your first needed that extra physicalness from you and your second doesn't need it, means you're giving her what she needs, you're not short changing her for not giving her what her brother needed at that age.
 

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I have been struggling with this exact question for five weeks myself. Emma, you sound just like me. DS was in arms as much as possible. DD is in her crib more than I would like. I often get sad worring that DD is not bonding with me as much as DS did. Thanks for letting me know that I am not the only one out here feeling this way.<br><br>
Oh, and by the way, DD is waaaay different than DS. A much more mellow baby. I wonder if this is because I am not a "new" mom and therefore, a little more mellow myself...<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for the positive words momatheart23 and lilirose... Poetmama, like your two little ones, my two have very different temperaments. Ds, my two year old, was, for lack of a better word, 'high-needs'. Dd is sooooooo mellow - just a much more content baby. I worry about the bonding too - Ds 'forced' me (smile) to bond with him right away. With Dd it is a more gentle process - I still feel we are bonding,... but I .. I don't know how to explain it. I know that it is likely easier for my son having a baby sister who is fairly content. It means I have more time to spend with him.<br><br>
Having two little ones is wonderful. It is definately a transition though.<br><br><br>
Emma<br><br>
(If I knew how to use the 'smiles', I would add a 'hug' to this message)
 

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of course not!<br><br>
You can not parent teh same as you did the first time cause you have one more person that still needs to be taken care of, you have to adjust don't beat yourself up about it. I see nothing wrong with what your doing or how your doing. Having more than one child is all about adapting.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Hang in there. It does get easier.<br><br>
My dds are only 20 months apart. I am passionately committed to attachment/instinctive parenting and, yes, there were times when it felt darn near impossible to meet both of their needs, most especially during the first six months or so. But we stuck it out and did everything we could to meet thier needs (family bed, tandem nursing, lots of patience...).<br><br>
But I tell you ... they are now 4 yrs and 2 1/2 yrs and watching the two of them share life is such an amazing blessing. I'm so glad they have each other and that my dh and I did/do everything we can to meet their true needs.<br><br>
Mind you....we don't have any more children yet. I want more, but we're planning to wait a while yet so that we can continue to nurture our dds the way we do. Our love is infinite, but our time and resources are not.
 

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I think your feelings are right about wanting to spend time alone with each of them. I think and tell my children that each member of the family needs to spend time alone with each other member of the family. IMO it has been critical to establishing confident non-competitive relationships. I know it is hard but it is worth it to try to nap them at different times, not for time for yourself (which you also need), but so you can spend time with each of them--feeding, holding, talking, singing. My children are 3 and 1, 25 mos apart, and extremely close and I attribute it to their development of individual relationships with me, each other and their wonderful dad.
 

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It would be one thing if you were putting your baby down, screaming and crying, so you could be with your other one, but that doesn't seem to be the case.<br><br>
So I actually don't think you are being any less "AP", you are truly meeting the needs of your baby, and that baby just happens to need you less than your DS did at that age. That doesn't make you any less "AP", it just makes your baby different than your DS, and you are responding appropriately.<br><br>
I can't imagine how hard it must be with two, and I ponder the same things myself for when we have another. Frankly, I think your situation sounds ideal: if your baby were high-needs you'd *really* be in trouble! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I went through exactly the same when I had my second baby. In fact, one evening I fed her but halfway thruogh dd#1 wanted to nurse, so I put her in the crib, which dd#1 had never, ever used, and went through to our bedroom. Next thing I knew, it was morning, and the baby had slept through the night alone in her crib.<br><br>
I felt awful, and still do when I think about it. But then I thank my lucky stars that she isn't the high needs babe that dd#1 was!<br><br>
Whenever I worry, I remind myself that they both have the gift of a sibling. My two now play together so well, most of the time, anyway. They don't always need me to be there AP-ing them! Dd#2 doesnt want to be held 24/7, she wants to be following her sister around instead!!<br><br>
Be easy on yourself, and remind yourself of what a wonderful gift you have given both your children. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hippie.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hippie">
 

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Also wanted to say thank you for posting this! Even though my boys are 3 1/2 years apart, I often feel guilty about some things. I feel bad that I can't hold ds #2 the whole time while he naps, like I did our first. And I feel bad that ds #1 isn't getting the attention he is used to! I do what Britishmum said though, just tell myself that they've been given the gift of eachother, and they'll be okay (ie. if I have to lay the baby down while he sleeps, and if older ds has to wait a few minutes longer for me to play with him). {{{hugs}}} I think you are doing great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I so appreciate reading everyone's replies... It is hard though - it is like constantly being pulled in very different ways. I keep telling myself that it will all be okay in the end, but I still feel guilty. Like this morning, for example... Aislinn, my almost 5 week old often naps in her carseat. I usually have it right beside me - the problem is that then Mac, my 2 year old, continually kisses her, talks to her, etc ---- basically wakes her up, but in a 'nice' way... THis morning we were stuck inside (torrential rain...) - I ended up putting Aislinn in our bedroom with the door left slightly ajar... She was only about 20 feet from me, but still... I did it because then Mac couldn't see her and would actually let her sleep. I know it is crazy and I just need to relax about all this.<br><br><br>
Emma<br><br>
ps It helps to know that others feel the same way
 
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