Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My First Baby Was Easy...

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I often see questions that go something like this:

"I have two children. My first baby was a perfect BW baby and was so easy. My 8 week old is not. She does not sleep well..."

Sometimes, this is true. Sometimes we get a baby with a really easy disposition as our first baby.

But most of the time, I think this is actually a false statement.

When Kaitlyn was a newborn, I remember thinking, "it was never this hard with Brayden!" I have a really good memory, so I was pretty sure I was correct in this belief. 

One day, I decided to read my journal from when Brayden was a baby. In a way I was right--it wasn't that hard with Brayden. It was infinitely harder! 

At the moment with Kaitlyn, I thought she was so much more difficult than Brayden had been, but when I was able to read what I wrote in those newborn months with Brayden, I realized I was very wrong. 

This brings to light the great value keeping journals and logs can be to your future sanity. It can also bring you hope. I knew if Brayden could go from that difficult to where he was that day, my road with Kaitlyn was very doable. 

The fact is that newborns are just hard. I know some people find the newborn months to be super easy, but for whatever reason, it is a hard time period for me. McKenna was about as easy of a newborn as you could hope for (just read her newborn summaries), and I still was on edge during the period. Be it hormones or what--it was hard. Babies are hard even if they are easy. They bring lots of changes to life, and change takes time and adjustment. Add a lack of optimal sleep, crazy emotions, and a sudden loss of free time and it is no wonder we think our newborns are so difficult. 

So hang in there! And keep notes. Someday you might be reading that comment and remembering that life really was difficult back then and not the portrait of perfection you have painted in your mind.



Amanda said...

Yet another reason I'm a total nerd and kept sleeping/eating logs for my firstborn! I think everyone should keep those logs around until they have grandkids at least. Then they'll never say to their daughter/daughter-in-law "Oh, well my babies never did that!" or some such thing ;) It helps keep things in perspective, though I will say I'm one of those freaks who thinks newborns are easy. Maybe I should keep a log of the toddler years instead for after I've blocked out all the tantrums and potty training accidents, haha!

Kelly said...

Thank you! This is exactly what I needed to hear today. DD2 is 11 weeks and was up in the MOTN last night. I found myself saying, DD1 was NOT doing this at this age. But alas, she was. I'm with you on not being the biggest fan of the newborn stage. Mostly it's tough because I tend to be controlling and how much can you really control a newborn? Hmm...guess this is God's way of teaching mom's like me that HE is in control.

Ashley said...

I really like this post and totally agree. I think even those of us with good memories can kind of gloss over or generalize seasons in the past. Baby books, journals, logs, etc. are so great!

Michael and Natalie said...

So true. I'm due in mid-March and I'm wondering if it'll seem harder or easier to me. I think if I can remember that I'm not sleeping enough and that my hormones are completely out of whack, than that in and of itself might make it easier for me. We'll see what this baby brings ;) I'm not ready to do it all over again.

Nathan and Rene' said...

Val, you do not know how much I need this post today! Thank you!

jrjones5876 said...

We have such short memories! I always forget how hard it is in the beginning.

Grant's mommy said...

I'm glad you posted this. I'm trying to stop overreacting with my 6 week old girl. Same story...my now 21 month old boy was truly great at BW, but I still had my moments. However, I always had to WAKE him for EVERY feeding, even at night...whereas my new baby wakes throughout naps, all night, etc. and I'm frustrated because I feel like I'm not on the right track. You're right...they're all just different and we have somewhat selective memories.

Plowmanators said...

lol Manda! Great idea. Both of them :)

Plowmanators said...

So true Ashley. Plus we are postpartum, which totally skews reality! :)

Michelle French said...

Ahhh thank you for this post. We often do forget how hard it was the first time around with nothing babywise to compare the child to really. With that said - its just the little milestones we hope to achieve the second time around that happened so quickly the first time.

1. Never having to really CIO from day one because sleepy newborn just sleeps regardless of going down awake or not -

2. The one lucky night they just decide to sleep thru and skip the motn feeding

3. Sleeping thru the night except for teething or sickness from 11 weeks on (which i thought was late)

4. Dropping the DF early enough because sleeping thru happened so seamlessly.

5.Moving to a 3.5-4 hr schedule so easily by 5/6 months because of sttn so early..

Fast forward to my 19 week old who is doing NONE of the things mentioned above following the same program! hahahah. Granted we have made MAJOR advancements and she is getting better. It just really is a big night and day difference of how much harder i'm working this time around to see those things fall into place. But it is going by so much faster this time. :)


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