Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What started out as a "SLEEP, Kid!!!!!" post turned into a walk down memory lane...

If having a second child has taught me anything, it's that having ONE child teaches you nothing about raising childREN. Your second baby is guaranteed to be nothing like your first child. Sure, all babies cry, eat, poop, etc but the specifics about how much, when, why they do those things is a complete mystery. Throughout my pregnancy with Bug I felt pretty confident about what to expect once he got here. "I've done this before, and Bean was a difficult newborn, so this HAS to be easier this time around. I know what to expect. I'm prepared."

Stupid, stupid, stupid me.

Everything I thought I knew has turned out to be wrong when it comes to Bug. The only thing I'm better about this time around is how frazzled I get by baby surprises.

Bean was a colicky baby. She cried a LOT. She was a terrible napper, napping only 15-25 mins at a time. Her saving grace was that she was a fantastic nighttime sleeper. Starting around 7 weeks old, she'd go to sleep around 7:30 and sleep until about 7am. I didn't have to "train" her to do this, she just did. At about 6 months old she started waking up around 1am, drank her bottle without fuss, and then went back to sleep until 7:30am. That wasn't bad, I didn't mind. She was a tiny peanut and I felt she needed the extra calories. Her daytime bottles always went down without a struggle, too. She put herself on an every 3-4 hour schedule during the day and gladly drank her 4oz bottles and then was fine until it was time for her next bottle. Eating and sleeping, she had those two things down pat. She hit all her physical milestones early - rolling over at 4 months, crawling at 5.5 months, standing by 7 months, climbing on EVERYTHING by 8 months, walking unsupported by 10 months. She was (and still is) Miss Independent. I've actually read quite a bit on "difficult babies" (you do that, desperate, at 2am when your baby just won't stop crying in those early months) and it seems like she did everything by the book for difficult babies. Even her pediatrician said that her "colicky" babies were much like Bean, very intelligent, type A, over-achiever types. She always benefited from a schedule, things being done JUST SO, she likes things in order, stacking everything in sight, and God forbid her schedule got off track EVERYONE would pay the price. I love her to bits and pieces, but I'm oh-so-glad that she's out of those baby-stages. She is still very much that personality, but now she can verbalize her needs and we can (try to) help her through her freak outs when things don't go her way, or when things don't go in the order she thinks they need to. She was always, and still is, in the 75% for her height and 20% for her weight. She wore all her clothes when she was "supposed" to: 3 month clothes fit her when she was 3 months old, 6 month clothes fit once she hit 6 months, etc. Because of this she was easy to shop the clearance racks for, I knew that those 18 month pants would fit her when she was 18 months old. I knew that the 2T bathing suit would fit her when she turned 2 years old. And because she's skinny she can wear clothes longer than bigger kids... especially shirts. She has little feet, so I always bought her "good" shoes knowing that she'd wear them for a long time and we'd get our money out of them. Cloth diapering was extra super cost efficient because she wore newborn diapers for 4 months! She wore smalls until she was over a year old! She wore mediums until she was potty-trained! I didn't have to buy very many diapers, she wore them a long time, we got our money's worth!

 Still a peanut at 3 years old.

Bean was almost 3 years old when Bug was born. I thought I knew what I was 'in for'.... I was wrong.

Bug is a generally happy baby, perhaps not smiley and laughing all the time, but generally content. He typically only cries if he's hungry or has a dirty diaper. We took a roadtrip to Kansas when he was 3 months old and he didn't make a peep on the way there or back unless he was hungry. Bean wouldn't let us drive to the grocery store, let alone 45 mins across town, without a full blown meltdown the ENTIRE time in the car - I hated going anywhere in the car when she was little. He's not colicky, thankfully!! He's not a great napper, but he's better than Bean ever was. Granted, his naps are still only 25-90 mins long, which aren't as good as these 2-4 hour naps I hear about other people's babies taking, but Bean didn't take a nap that was 45-90 min naps till after she was over a year old. But his nighttime sleeping? Fuggetaboutit. He wakes up anywhere from 2-10x a night. He is 5 months, 3 weeks old as I sit here typing this and he's been on a 2-3x a night kick for about a week now. But up until about a week ago a good night was a 4-5x wake up night. And those were few and far between. Part of his wakefulness was due to teething I'm sure, part to growing, but mainly I think it's just his personality. Yes he would drink his milk at night, but not a lot. Where Bean would drink 6oz at night in 1-2 wake ups, Bug would drink 4-6oz spread out over his 2-10 wakeups. Even during the daytime he is a snacker. Looking at him you might think that he overeats; that he drinks huge bottles, chugs them, and then wants more. Nope. Wrong. He drinks 1-3oz at a time, every 1-2 hours. Just enough to not feel hungry anymore, then he's done. He's too interested in what is going on around him to sit still and drink his whole bottle. Because of his eating preferences getting him on a schedule has proven difficult. Leaving bottles with Jeff or my mom when I'm gone is tricky because I'm not sure how much he'll drink - or when. Like I mentioned previously, Bean was easy. She drank x-ounces every x-hours. Planning ahead was easy peasy. Also, just now at almost 6 months old he's kiiiiiiiiinda, sooooooorta, letting me set his nap schedule.

 Bug, during his morning nap 11/26... this one lasted a whopping 37 mins!

But he is SO not that Type-A personality that his sister is. He is NOT a schedule kind of guy. His bedtime is 7:30, his day doesn't start till 7:30-8, but the number of times he wakes up during those 12 hours is anyone's guess. I try to put him down for a nap at 10am, 2pm, and 5pm... but IF he naps, how long he'll sleep for is a mystery as well. As far as physical milestones go, he is in NO hurry. He hasn't rolled over yet, he doesn't sit up unassisted, he's not up on his knees rocking yet, he won't even support his weight on his legs if you're holding him under his arms. It is just SO opposite of his sister that I have a hard time not comparing the two of them and I have to stop myself from putting the pressure on him to hurry up and do the things that she did when she did. He will do them at his own pace. It's ok that he's not in a hurry. He will be our last baby, so the way I see it is: this way, I get to enjoy his babyhood for longer. He will need me for longer. And I'm ok with that. ♥ At almost 6 months old he's in 9 month clothes, but onesies are starting to get too short. 12 month clothes fit, but are slightly too long still. He outgrew his newborn cloth diapers in 3 weeks, the smalls by 3 months, and there is only one larger snap adjustment on his mediums to accomadate his thunder thighs before he'll need to be moved into large cloth diapers. I don't even own any larges!!! Bean never needed them! There is no doubt he is a chunky monkey, but I don't mind - I love to snuggle and nuzzle his cheeks. I like to grab and tickle his fat thunder thighs. And society, it seems, loves a fat baby. Everywhere we go people are cooing at him and telling me how cute my "big boy" is. Bug is much more easy going, easier to make smile and laugh (he laughed much sooner than Bean did), pretty chill baby. He goes with the flow, he sits back and observes what is going on around him. And even when he's sick or teething he is pretty cool, calm, and collected. The times you really notice that he's not feeling good is at nighttime. When his teeth were coming in he slept the worst, but during the day he was still pretty content. That's another thing, he got his first tooth at 5 months, 8 days old. His second tooth came through the next day. Bean didn't get her first tooth until almost 7 months old, her second tooth took almost another month to come in. So, I guess, when I see this stuff written out he doesn't do EVERYTHING later than his sister, I guess it just seems that way.
 happy go-lucky boy!

With Bean I was in such a hurry for her to hit her milestones, so proud to be able to "brag" about them happening so soon. But with Bug I'm happy to let him take his time. Like I said, I do have to remind myself sometimes that they're different people and it's okay for him to do things later than she did. And when I do remind myself of that I can actually feel myself relax and allow myself to enjoy him more. I like that. I wouldn't change either of them or their personalities. I'm excited to see how their similarities and differences change as they grow older. Ok, maybe I would change JD's sleeping pattern if I could. If I had a magic wand I'd make him a better sleeper. But since I don't have a magic wand I guess I'll deal with his sleep challenges and just thank my lucky stars that he's a happy snuggle bug instead of another colicky baby -- his easy, toothy, grins make me forget how utterly exhausted I am, even if just for a few minutes.

No comments: