When my daughter was born, we were a stickler for the rules. We followed a sleep training book and never let her sleep in our bed. We only fed her in a highchair, we waited one week before introducing any new food, and we were so proud of ourselves when it all worked. She slept through the night at 3 months, she never fussed in her highchair, she ate vegetables and fruits and we felt like parents of the year. Then, baby #2 came. And since then, everything has gone to the crapper.
Life with my second child, who is now almost 10 months old, is vastly different from my first time around. There is no sleep training; he truly does whatever the heck he wants. If he wants to wake up at 5 am, he does. Ferber, sleep training, later or earlier bedtimes, they don’t matter, he sets his own rules and we either suffer or sleep because of it. We recently found out that if we take him into our bed in the morning, there is a potential for another hour of sleep. We’ll take it. As for eating, that takes place in a variety of locations. My new personal favorite is in between jumps in the jumperoo. Yes, that’s right. He jumps, I put a spoonful of applesauce in his mouth, then he jumps again. I’ve fed him in the exersaucer, on the floor, on the couch, in his car seat, in his stroller and I’ve even fed him while going to the bathroom. It might not be pretty, but those baby Mum Mums can truly be eaten anywhere.
So what is it about the second child that makes us so lax on the rules? Is it because we are so tired chasing after our first child that we bend our original beliefs for the second? Or maybe it is just that each child has their own unique personality and that if we had the difficult child first, we probably would be filled with a world of single children.
Martinis and Minivans is a blog about a New Yorker now living the Midwest life as a writer, mother, and woman on the never-ending quest to be hip. Danielle Herzog is a native Long Islander from a ridiculously large Italian family where she doesn’t know the names of all of her cousins. She loves being in the Midwest but still doesn’t understand what May Day is and why everybody is so nice. You can find her at nights after the kids are in bed writing on her computer with an episode of The Real Housewives of Any City in the background.