Wednesday, March 23, 2016

First Year Differences

I saw this article floating around Facebook last week and it made me start thinking (again) about how different the first year of life with Shae was from how it's been with Belén. I've pondered a lot about whether things have been easier this time around because we've already had a kid and maybe know a teeny tiny bit more than we did with Shae, or if Belén was just an easier baby. While there are some definite aspects of life that made having a second baby easier (like the fact that I was already waking up at 6 or 7 in the morning every single day), I really do think that some babies are just easier than others. This makes it really hard in the mommy world of baby talk to not think you are doing something wrong if your kid isn't sleeping through the night when someone else's kid who is the same age is. Or why your kid doesn't have a good nap schedule when someone else's kid does. (The heart of all mommy talk-- SLEEEEEP). The way we parent definitely affects our kids schedules and behaviors, but only to a certain extent because the kids really do come with some pre-wiring that we just can't change.

While Belén has always been quite the sleeper and Shae was never a sleeper, there are so many other little differences that I find so interesting about these two that I wanted to record.

*Pacifiers: Shae took awhile to grasp on to the pacy, but at 5 months he finally figured it out (and I thought, "YES, he will finally sleep." Wrong). He took a pacifier until he was 18 months old when we realized he was starting to get really attached and should take it sooner rather than later. Belén has never ever once taken a pacifier. She played with it, sucked and chewed on different parts of it, but never used it how it should be used. Just recently her bottom lip has become her comfort sucking item. When she is sad or tired, she sucks away. We won't be able to take that away at 18 months so here's to hoping she doesn't suck a hole right through her face.

*Crib: Shae was ALWAYS getting his limbs stuck in the crib. A leg or an arm was always hanging out while he slept, and if he was crying instead of sleeping, it usually meant we had to run in and help him get out of a sticky situation. Belén has gotten stuck in the crib ONCE. Just last week actually, I was so surprised to walk in and see her crying because her chubby little arm was stuck and she couldn't pull it back out.

*Nursing/Milk: Shae has a love in life that no one will ever be able to compete with--his milk. As a baby, he was never content in the morning/after naps until he nursed. To this day one of the first things he asks for in the morning is his cup of milk. Belén was way more laid back with nursing and could wake up and play for a bit and then nurse. She got distracted so easily the last few months of nursing, whereas Shae was always 100% focused on every last drop of milk he could get. We just started Belén on Whole Milk and it's been really hard to get her to drink it. I just expected her to guzzle it down like Shae does. She will take a sip here or there but is so disinterested in it. I'm still not sure how to handle the shock of this one. SO DIFFERENT. 

*Spit up: Belén spit up multiple times a day for at least the first 5 months of life. Gross. Shae spit up, maybe 5 times his entire first year of life. (Like I said, the kid loved milk, he wasn't about to give any of it up).

Sensitive Skin: Belén has got some sensitive, fair skin on her. She has some kind of rash somewhere on her body every single day. Just last month she had the worst diaper rash mixed with a bit of eczema that I have ever seen in my life. We've had many talks with the doctors and are stocked up on Hydrocordizone, Aquafor, Nystatin, sensitive bath soap, sensitive lotion, sensitive wipes, etc. If it says sensitive skin on it, I'm sold. Shae had his fair share of mild diaper rashes, but nothing that even came close to this girl. 

Pretty sure he's telling me something really deep here. Love those postal stickers on his legs.

*Belén has been such a chill baby. Content with whatever. Shae was very different in that he hated being put down for the first few months of life and was only content when being carried. He also hated the car seat. He was much more demanding.

*Belén can be a bit bashful when other people look at her and will nuzzle her head into me. Shae was never bashful. He was a spirited, friendly, busy-body, smiley little baby. Grocery shopping with him as a babe was the best because of the big smiles and squeals he would give to every single person we passed. Belén is much more reserved.

*Belén is a total cuddler. Shae NEVER cuddled. Just this morning I brought her in to bed with me when she woke up (because I did not want to wake up yet and Shae was still asleep) and she just laid with me and rubbed my arm and patted my cheek for a good 15 minutes. I only tried to bring Shae in to bed to cuddle a few times because it was pointless, it turned into an instant play time.

*Sleep. Belén slept for hours on end for the first 3 months of life. She didn't actually sleep through the night for good without feedings until 10 months but she had some really bad teething/sicknesses going on for awhile which I'm sure was what was waking her up. 

We had to hold Shae for him to fall asleep for the first 5 months of his life. It was the only way that he would sleep. Belén fell asleep on her own from the start (although we had periods here and there where she struggled and needed some back rubbing while she lay in the crib to really help her stay asleep).

Shae went through all kinds of periods of 45 minute naps and that was that. Belén has been the napping queen. Three hour naps are not rare for her. Last week she took a five (!) hour nap. (Of course she is woken up by her brother every day earlier than she would like so nap time is her heaven). I have to wake her up from her naps so often because we have to be somewhere, or she's just been sleeping for soooo long. I NEVER woke up Shae from his naps. It just wouldn't have been necessary, he never slept that long.

Obsessed with his flip flops
 One thing I am REALLY hoping they have in common are the curls. It's really looked like Belén's hair is coming in super straight but just over the past few weeks there are have been some waves and curls appearing. Keeping my fingers crossed.
 Something they do have in common, they both love to be goofy and they both looooove food.

I love their differences, I love their similarities. I have learned so much from both of them. I just love love love these little kiddos to death. 

(These pictures were taken at a little pond we just recently discovered that is not too far from our house. Love discovering new places we can walk too!)

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