Here's a little recap of the obvious to date differences in my children:
Baby Girl (Chloe)
- Breastfed for the 1st year of her life
- little to no crying
- easy to soothe
- loves to snuggle & slept in the family bed for most of her first 18 months of her life
- loves to be around people and other children
- adaptable to all surroundings
Baby Boy (Carter)
- Breastfed for the first 3 months of life
- cries all the time
- hard to soothe
- not a cuddle bug and has been in his own crib since about 4 months old
- cautious of people
- does not adapt well to unfamiliar surroundings
My daughter was breastfed for most of her 1st year of life with no issues. My son was in the NICU for almost two weeks, and although I pumped like a mad woman and he was able to get mommy's milk via bottle, when he got home he wasn't having it. He wouldn't latch on, and on the rare occasions that he did, he was very very frustrated. I was able to give him strictly breast milk for the first 3 months of his life due to a large amount in the freezer, but I couldn't keep up with pumping with a hand pump and a 2 yr old. I ate blueberries, almonds, oatmeal to keep my milk supply up and still nothing. It just stopped and it makes me cry thinking about it. He now drinks formula, but the thing that bothers me the most is that he doesn't like me to hold him and give it to him. He would much rather be laying on a pillow with the bottle propped up. He's getting the nutrition he needs, but I still feel like I failed this challenge as a mother. He is now 7 months old and is exactly the same way, but he now holds his own bottle.
My daughter will to this day pretty much will stop crying as soon as I pick her up. My son, well, his screaming intensifies. I can "try" to put him in the cradle position to rock him, but he fights me and I'm not about to force him into that position. I usually just have to hold him outward, walk around, go outside, and wait for him to find his thumb. I just want to hold him close, cuddle with him, and sing to him so bad, but he acts like I'm torturing him when I try. And before someone suggests that something is wrong with him, there's nothing, Nada, zilch wrong with him other than a thick skull with a mind of his own. I wonder where he gets that?? I refuse to admit that he's "Just a crier." I don't believe in that and never will!
Although a lot of people are scared and cautious about co-sleeping all I can say is "to each your own". It has been one of the most rewarding things that we have done with our children. Some of the first comments I hear is that "You should be very careful. You might roll over him." Umm I'm careful with everything I do with my child and I have never rolled over my husband or dog in the last 5 years of sleeping with them. I feel like telling people that "You have to be smart about it, Stupid!" Don't sleep next to your child if you've had a bottle of wine or took an Ambien. Duh???
Baby girl slept with us for most of her first 18 months of life. A little for her benefit. A lot for mine. I was breastfeeding and it was far easier to have her near. I liked her falling asleep in my arms and we both slept better. When we knew transition time was nearing, we just took the natural steps. We got her a big girl bed and started to crowd her out of our bed. She now goes to bed, in her very own big girl bed, every night at mostly the same time, wide awake, with her calming music and lights strung all around. She's happy to lay there with all of her babies, and I mean about 13 right now, surrounding her and reads books until she falls asleep.
Baby boy slept with us for about the first 3 months of his life. We mostly slept in another room from the hubby since he does get up so early. Not that baby boys cries would wake him anyways!! When we got into a routine and transferred to the family bed, he slept right next to me, under my arm, next to the guardrail. I decided one day to put him down in his crib, which is also in our room, and see how he would react. Wouldn't you know, no whimpers or cries, he just rolled over, put his thumb in his month and took a 3 hr nap. The next day I tried it with night time sleeping, and wouldn't you know the same thing happened and he slept pretty much all night. It makes me a little sad. I do love those times of cuddling at night and knowing that he is safe right beside me, but then I look at how well he sleeps and I can't but acknowledge that he sleeps best when he's in his own crib.
Chloe is just like her momma!! A social butterfly. She feels the best when she's with other kids. She will talk to anyone and loves to giggle and laugh. She feeds off other peoples energy and can get enjoyment out of going to the store or going to the park as long as there are people or kids around. She smiled at every random stranger in exception to one older gentleman that made me want to back off too.
Carter is much more reserved. He does like going outside, but not really anywhere else. He doesn't like being in the car, although he is getting much better with age. I don't think he cares either way about being around other kids, but he certainly doesn't show any enjoyment in his face. When the random stranger walks up and tries to "google" him, he just looks at me like "What's their problem?"
So when I thought I had a good grip on motherhood, I got thrown for a loop. I know you can hear it a thousand times that your children can be totally opposite than one another, but you don't really get it until you're there. One thing that I've learned is that everyone is entitled to their own way of raising their children. Some of it you may agree with and some you may not. It's best to leave the criticize behind. Don't state what you think or how parents are doing it all wrong unless you're asked. And if you are asked, word it very carefully. There's a bunch of us hormonal, over-tired, aggravated moms that will not stand for it.
Life is ever changing and being a mother is much harder than I thought.