Mum of Two – Same Same but different!
Two girls, 3 years apart, same genes, same family, but ohhhhhh so different! We approached round two of parenthood in much the same way as round one as that’s what we knew. We had tried and tested many techniques, sleep patterns, nappy brands, shushing skills, bassinet set up…the list goes on. I was considered an ‘experienced mum’ by a care agency based on this experience, but I felt far from it.
This phrase made me really nervous and even anxious about the road ahead – I kept hearing those words, but when our second baby wouldn’t settle or sleep, I continued to feel like I was failing. I felt like I couldn’t remember what to do and I lost all confidence. Employing the same, similar or no techniques just didn’t work! But, what else was I to do in order to cope with the day and the night?
Here’s a brief rundown:
Settled very well as a newborn, was a ‘cafe baby’ – happy in her capsule and slept while being transported anywhere. However, this didn’t last long enough and sleep became a very irregular and difficult time. She needed cuddles, rocking, and persistence. We did LOTS of walking and we found she also slept very well on car trips. As parents who enjoy routine, this meant she always went to bed after a bath every night at 7pm, waking in the night for a feed until she was almost 1.
It took a few years until she slept well, and every now and then we still have to take her back to bed. She was a biter, and never shared well as a toddler, which made social settings with other Mums very distressing. She can be a bit of a fussy eater, has a very strong and determined personality, is too clever for her own good and is very creative. She has a massive heart, is very caring and has always shared her love with everyone (sometimes she shows too much love and hugs too hard – which as a recipient I love, but little people can’t help but feel uneasy). She is our ‘perfect’. A dynamic personality full of flair, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
After the quiet newborn phase, she could not cope when she became tired and overtired looked and felt like torture. Our poor wee thing quickly became irate and lost all control of her wee body – screaming, back arching, arms waving with little ability to calm down. My husband spent long nights in the dark going for walks in order to help her get just 45 mins sleep, so we could start all over again. We ‘buggy trained’ her to sleep longer in the morning – where if she woke after 45 minutes, we would go straight out for a walk and kept going until she woke. This resulted in a full 1.5 hours to 2 hours sleep. Then it all changed! At 6 weeks she started to suck her thumb. My nightmare quickly turned into a ‘dream baby’. She sleeps and sleeps! Hurray! All night for 12 hours or more, and has awesome day sleeps. Gosh, days look so much better with a little (or a lot) of sleep!
Despite this start, she has a very placid personality, entertains herself, isn’t needy needy, and loves all kinds of food. She always gives kisses and cuddles, is very inquisitive, shows empathy already and lives life to the fullest in her own little way. She is also our own ‘little perfect’.
I guess the point of this is that I’m grateful to have experienced two kinds of different. One child was a textbook example of what perfect babies do and the other has become an exception. Perhaps my girls will do a complete flip when they become teenagers where baby 1 will be a dream (exception) teenager and baby 2 will be a nightmare (example) teenager. Who knows, but until then we will enjoy creating out little family hub with two different personalities that compliment each other brilliantly!
Mum of Two
‘Girls Read Book’ image by freeimages.com/Ned Horton – Mum of Two prefers to keep her family photos private, which we all understand!