Baby #1 (Matteo) gave us a run for our money… He cried… A lot! We were given the diagnosis of colic that came with no real solutions.
As we were preparing for baby #2 (Julian), I found myself remembering those sleepless nights, tears, & frustration. I figured that at least I had been through it once & knew that we could make it through again.
I also had a lot more tools in my toolbox & realistic (lowered) expectations. All in all, baby #2 has been much easier! I believe that much of it has to do with each boy’s personality, but I also think that my parenting style has helped.
Before Matteo, I thought that babies slept easily & often. I thought they slept in their carseats & could be toted around. I thought that they ate at regular intervals & fell into routines easily. And while some babies may do all of that, I doubt it is the norm.
I got frustrated when Matteo needed held & paced to sleep. I got frustrated when he needed to eat even though it had been less than 3 hrs since the last feeding. I got frustrated when he would scream in his carseat in the store or at a restaurant. I got frustrated when he lwould wake up throughout the night & only settle in our bed.
So the realization came recently that even though I consider Julian an easier baby, I don’t expect him to do any of those above things. Is he really an “easier” baby or have I just changed my thinking? (It is probably the latter)
I read Julian’s cues carefully & catch him when he is tired but not too tired & then do what he needs to wind down (walking, rocking, nursing, etc) I offer nursing to him anytime he may need it whether it’s been 45 minutes or 4 hrs, & I don’t really think anything of it. I wear him in a Moby wrap anytime we go to the store or on a walk. I co sleep with him whenever he needs to.
The result is that Julian rarely ever cries for long periods of time b/c I am not trying to force him into situations that he is not capable of handling. Since he does not cry often, I am calmer & happier, which continues the cycle of a happy baby.
Matteo was a fabulous teacher – he gave us a crash course in parenting b/c he knew what he needed, & he was going to demand it! The moral of the story is to just do what feels right & listen to your baby.