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Comparing baby to the older child

  1. #1
    Tigger is offline Registered User
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    Comparing baby to the older child

    Hi Everyone,

    I have a very active 10.5 month old. She literally cannot sit still, she doesn't like to have her diaper changed, sit in the high chair, read books at night and fights going to sleep etc. She is very vocal and screams a lot (both with joy and in anger). She has been a high need baby from day one, and I am very tired from 10.5 months of disrupted sleep (she currently gets up 1-2 times a night, and only naps 40 minutes twice a day, if I am lucky).

    So I am feeling pretty burned out, my husband travels a lot, and I have a 4 year old as well. Thankfully our helper is very loving and I can leave the baby with her and take breaks. But I still feel like there are a lot of times when I just don't have the energy or interest in being with her. I find myself comparing her to my older child, who was a very easy baby, slept well, was easy to take places, would sit in the stroller without a lot of fuss, would not scream in the car etc. I know it's not fair to compare them and there are lots of lovely things about the baby, but the more demanding she becomes, and it is increasing, the more I compare them and feel sad that I don't enjoy putting her to bed, or cannot just sit and read her a book without her screaming and squirming etc.

    I assume, like all things, this will pass. But until then, how do I get through this without feeling like the baby is not as "good" as the first? Of course I love her, but it's a tough time. Anyone else have this experience?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    my second child was an absolute nightmare as a baby compared to my angel first child. she eventually grew out of it a little. she is still strong willed (like her mummy) and has a temper (trying to give her ways to calm down) but 95% of the time she is an absolute joy. she is smart as a button and was extremely verbal from an early age. her screams and cries quickly turned into sentences and paragraphs (she was speaking full on paragraphs by 20 months)... i found once she became verbal, the screaming etc died down a little... she had a better way to express what she wanted.

    instead of fighting your daughter's personality, why not work with it? if she can't sit still for 5 minutes to read a book, then put the book in front of her and let her look at it... you forget reading it to her. there will be plenty of time for that as she grows up...

  3. #3
    pixelelf is offline Registered User
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    My first born was absolutely difficult to go out with. Any transportation he gets on, within 15mins, everyone wants to eject us out! We planned our outings such that he would nap in a carrier while we commuted and we did not go v far. At 2.5 years old, we found out he has motion sickness. Just like my husband, my bro in law n father in law!!! no wonder he screamed murder! meal times were extremely frustrating because he just refuse to open his mouth. But this eased up ard 2.5 years old and he is a good and adventurous eater now. He loved books though.

    Now with my second child, she is squirmy, active, vocal (just like her bro) and books dun hold her attention unless they are in her mouth. She is 9 months old. She doesnt nap much either. I just carry her in the ergo, when we go out. It keeps her calm. We baby proof the home as much as we can and let her explore. Before she sleeps, i put her back into the ergo, (that's a signal to her she needs to wind down and be quiet) read her a story then put her down to sleep. I try to establish a routine alternating active and passive activities for her throughout the day, same thing thru the week. We get out of the house, to the park or clubhouse at least twice a day. It helps to keep her happy and me, sane.


    Sent from my GT-I9000 using GeoClicks Mobile

  4. #4
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    First, welcome Tigger to GeoBaby as this seems to be your first post.

    I've had the opposite experience with children and I am glad it was that way. When my first child (now 4-years-old) was born he was a handful. He was just very black and white about everything. If he was happy, he was extremely happy and if he was angry, he was really angry. He was generally a very happy child he could go from ZERO to HUNGRY in a matter of seconds (with no warning) and nothing would turn off the siren until he was fed. That type of baby. I too was completely burnt out and exhausted. I didn't have a helper at the time and got some help from my in-laws on the weekends. My son didn't sleep through the night until he was six-months-old and I read "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer" and figured out the tricks to get him to sleep through. I was at the brink of insanity at that point from never sleeping more than 2 hours/time. My son was like a cat--just napping here and there all day and night long with no real long stretches of sleep. He had to be constantly entertained by me--toys wouldn't do. If I wasn't up in his face making him laugh he was fussy and irritable. The child thrived on overstimulation!

    My second child is such a sweetheart. She's cuddly, whereas my eldest never would sit still long enough to be cuddled. She has such patience when it comes to feeding time. She very rarely cries and when she does it's only a matter of seconds before she can be easily comforted--either by being held by the right person (usually me) or being fed. She has slept through the night pretty much since she was a few weeks old and is a great breastfeeder. She like things to be quiet and calm and can keep herself busy without too much interference. We call her our "Angel Baby." I just told my husband yesterday, "She's sure addictive! Makes me want to have another baby!"

    But, I remember the days when I would peer out of the corner of my eye jealously at all my friends with babies who weren't drama kings/queens demanding every ounce of energy and attention their mothers could muster--like mine was. I couldn't have a proper chat or conversation with an adult while my son was present for almost two years! If I didn't keep a careful eye on him at the playground, for example, he was over in the flower bed with a mouth full of mud! (True story!)

    My son is still high-energy and I still need a lot of help with him from grandparents, the helper and my husband but since he's going to kindergarten and participating in other activities I've found that he's mellowed out a bit. My husband seems to have the unlimited stores of energy required to keep up with him so I leave a lot of high-energy activities to him--such as sports. But, I've cut out my own niche of interaction with my son which centers around making crafts with him, watching educational television and reading books together.

    But, man, having him as the first was the way to go because now I really do have an appreciation of how blessed I am to have such an easy second!

    Some children do outgrow that high-energy phase but the truth is that for some children--that's just the way they are. My younger brother was super high-energy until he as an adult!

    I think you just have to focus on what you can do. What do you really enjoy doing with your daughter? Then maximize those experiences together. It's okay to admit that you need help with managing her and as long as she has good adult input into her life at other times she'll do well. Give yourself a break, you deserve it! :)
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  5. #5
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    i find myself in a similar situation too - #1 was angel baby, #2 lovely but doesn't stop moving, #3 has a mild form of reflux which the other 2 didn't have so sometimes i just find myself being so distraught when dealing with #3. what i have been trying to do - is to enjoy the times that he's not vomiting - (1hour after his feed) and to take joy in giving my #3 baths (currently I bathe him 2X a day). it is hard especially since the milk that's spit up stinks - after a bath he smells wonderful and i can enjoy playing with him...that's why he bathes 2X a day! try to focus on the happy things and do those more if you can like me...it does give you more moments of happiness! :)

    on a side note, i feel #2 is neglected and though I have a lovely helper, #2 spends more time with her than i'd like. all i can say to myself is that once #3 is "trained" and not vomitting, than I don't have to be the sole feeder for him and I can have more time to allocate to #2...still feel guilty about #2 though since #3 is only 7weeks at this point in time...is this a "normal" feeling?

  6. #6
    charade is offline Registered User
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    lesliefu, I think it's natural to feel guilty about #2 if you feel you're not spending as much time with that child. I got pregnant when my son was 5 months old and the first trimester, I could barely spend time with him because I just felt so sick. He didn't notice greatly and yeah, spent the most time with my helper followed by husband, but I felt bad and guilty. I can't carry him as much as I want to now also. I think guilt is just part of being a mom, though I try to shove it aside and just do my best.

  7. #7
    carang's Avatar
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    thing to be glad about? at 5 months old, your child will not remember that there were a few months that mummy wasn't "available" as much.

  8. #8
    charade is offline Registered User
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    Cara, yeah, he was blissfully unaware and happy as a clam since he got enough attention elsewhere. It's me that felt sad about it and I also wondered whether the bond with me would lessen for all time (already I go out to work in the day). But that turned out to be unfounded because now he's suddenly my no 1 fan, beaming at me all the time with my husband going "huh traitor!" in the background.

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