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Newborn vs. Toddler stage -which is harder? REPRISE

Discussion in 'Family, Home & Health' started by Sha, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. Kay
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    by Kay » Mar 2, 2011
    This is so true! Having kids doesn't seem that hard for my male colleagues at all. One told me he sleeps great since he uses ear plugs. :angryfire:
     
  2. dreamer_dachsie
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    by dreamer_dachsie » Mar 2, 2011
    Kay, something tacori said about this type of sitaution really stuck with me a while back. She said you can no longer force a 2 year old to physically do things, you have to make them do it voluntarily. We had a very similar issue on the plane the other day, and after some embarassing wresting we instead basically gave Hunter no choice by telling him he had to get in his carseat, and he whined and cried and the nvoluntarily got into the seat. We are trying more and more now to basically battle wills and not phsycially with him. It usually involves some tantruming and writhing on the ground, but eventually he usually gives in when he realizes there is no other option -- cry and writh around on the ground or get in the darn seat.

    And I am also nervous about a 2 year old and a baby at the same time! :errrr:
     
  3. pennquaker09
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    by pennquaker09 » Mar 3, 2011
    Newborn. Definitely newborn. But I think had we had one baby instead of twins, it would have been a bit better. Savannah was a dream, but Gray was and still is a handful. One of the reasons why I don't come to PS much anymore is that he is literally attached to me once he wakes up.
     
  4. Logan Sapphire
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    by Logan Sapphire » Mar 3, 2011
    Not to scare you too much, but having a 2 year old and a baby at the same time has been unbelievably HARD for me. I had no idea how hard until we were in the thick of it. Just this morning, at 2am, the baby cried for 1 hour, and literally right after he fell back asleep, the toddler started up with a nightmare, screaming for Daddy. The baby is now very mobile and they are both into each other's stuff- if one is playing with something, the other grabs for it. There's lots of hair pulling by the baby and both have shoved each other several times. Honestly, there are a lot of times when both my husband and I wonder if we did the right thing by having another child, though in the end, I'm really happy he's here.

    RE: the car seat thing, I've been there too! Sometimes it's the toddler who stiffens up and won't get into her seat (it's like I'd have to break her at her stomach to crumple her in there) while the baby is screaming in his seat, or other times, the baby is stiffening up and I'm wrestling him while the toddler is walking around in the back seat of the mini-van and refusing to get into her seat. Sometimes we sit there in daycare's parking lot, just sitting, while the toddler is in time-out in the back seat b/c she didn't get into her seat like I asked her to several times.

    My mom, who is an early childhood educator and has spent many, many years working with children from infants to middle school, has watched both kids for a week at a time and told me that watching two at 2 different stages/ages is way harder than watching multiple children all at the same age. That made me feel better, at least, b/c most of the time, I feel like a major wimp. I have a co-worker who has 5, ranging in age from 7 months to 10 years, and his wife stays at home and homeschools them! I can't imagine...

    God bless parents with 3 or more! I don't know how they do it...
     
    


    


  5. hawaiianorangetree
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    by hawaiianorangetree » Mar 3, 2011
    Time really does heal all wounds because 10.5 years on, I honestly can't remember which was worse, newborn or toddler :cheeky:
     
  6. Pandora II
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    by Pandora II » Mar 3, 2011
    In response to some of the other posts, I can say that when you have to do it alone you just do.

    I have a husband but he works very late and quite often on weekends as well. We have no family near-by and our house isn't big enough to have people to stay so I've always been pretty much on my own other than the first 2 weeks. DH has never not had a full-night of sleep since she was born. May be I'm very traditional but I always saw it as my job to look after D and his job to go out to work and so I could sleep in the daytime if necessary, he couldn't. I did hand her over when he came home in the evenings though and dinner was not made, nor was the laundry done or the house tidied...

    I've been lucky that the health services here were worried about me and so sent people round every day and then every week to check I was managing which was a real support emotionally.
     
  7. janinegirly
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    by janinegirly » Mar 3, 2011

    Kay, Congratulations!!! I had no idea so am late :). When does A turn 3? I often fear two little ones as well (we just have C for now), but you will manage and maybe this is just a phase with A that will pass in a few months (ie just in time!). Will you continue working? A sounds like a feisty one -- I've been lucky with C so far. She is opinionated and demanding but not stubborn. She doesn't fight things too long and even sits in her stroller with out belts in the mall. I think she's a little old for her years (she tells DH he is "very silly" all the time, lol) but I'm not complaining yet. Anyway, sorry for the threadjack but just wanted to say hi :wavey:
     
  8. Tacori E-ring
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    by Tacori E-ring » Mar 3, 2011
    I guess I have a big personality too ;)) One of my friends always laughs b/c I describes things in such extremes. I am also a very honest person.

    DD, choice giving is KEY.
     
  9. Kay
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    by Kay » Mar 3, 2011
    I'm afraid DH and I did not instill discipline early enough (because we really did not know how to do it), and now that she is too physically strong to just make her do things, we are at a bit of a loss. I feel like such a pathetic parent some days because I cannot manage my child. The other moms in the day care parking lot seem to get their kids in their seats with minimal fuss. If I am lucky, she will spot something in the car she wants but cannot reach, so I can say "get in your seat first and then I will give you your ball/snack/toy" and then she will usually comply to get what she wants. Most days, I tell her we can't go home and play until she gets in her seat, but she does not give a hoot if we sit in the parking lot for 20 minutes or more because what she wants to do is sit in the front and play with the knobs and lights and visor mirrors, etc. She thinks it is a great game for me to try to chase her from front seat to back, and now that I am huge and pregnant and tired all the time, I just can't take it. That sounds so overly dramatic - I think I need a nap.

    I know most people want their kids at the same day care for convenience, but we are thinking of switching A to a place closer to DH's work so he can take her in because he has an easier time making her do things. The new place only takes kids over 2, so our second child would be at the place near my office and I would be responsible for her. It seems silly to go to 2 difference places, but I can't imagine juggling an infant, a 2 year old that likes to run away in the parking lot if I don't have a tight grip and bags of stuff for both of them. :-o Our concern with changing schools for A is that there will already be a lot of disruption at home with the house remodel starting soon and the baby coming in June, so it may be too many changes in a short period of time. She was really out of sorts for a few months after we moved last June, which is why she did not move to a new school last September.

    We will have to start an infant plus 2 year old support group on PS -- not that we'll have too much time to log in. :rolleyes:
     
  10. Kay
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    by Kay » Mar 3, 2011
    That's exactly what I am worried about. A has always had sleep issues, and I am so worried the new baby's crying will disturb A and then no one will get any sleep at night. A is also very possessive of Dh and I right now. When I take her to school, if another child tries to approach me, A will hold up her hand to ward them off and say "no, that's my Momma, back away." I cannot imagine how she will react to another child in our house and in our arms.

    I think that long term we and they will be glad we had 2 kids, but it is going to make the next few years a lot harder.
     
    


    


  11. Kay
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    by Kay » Mar 3, 2011
    Hi Janine, good to "see" you! :wavey: A turns 3 in October, almost exactly 4 months after #2 is due. We need to try to get her into a better routine before June. A can be so sweet and loving and fun, but she is strong willed and feisty. You are so lucky C will still sit in a stroller. A wants to walk/run everywhere we go. I miss the infant days when she would sleep in her stroller and we could have a nice meal in a restaurant. That's so cute C tells her Daddy he is "very silly." A sometimes will say "silly Daddy"or "silly Mommy."
     
  12. Logan Sapphire
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    by Logan Sapphire » Mar 3, 2011
    Kay, you can totally handle an infant AND a toddler in the parking lot! It just takes some time getting into a routine. I was really overwhelmed at first with that too, and the problem with our daycare is that the toddler's classroom was downstairs and they didn't have an elevator, so I couldn't wheel the baby in the snap and go. Here's what I did:

    I didn't trust that my daughter wouldn't run off in the parking lot while I fiddled with getting the baby out of his seat, but my DH can handle her better (she listens better to him, like your daughter) so he got her out first. Some parents make a game of seeing if their kids can keep their hands on the car at all times while they're standing there. First thing- get a child-sized backpack and fill it with both kids' necessary items. We started out using two backpacks but realized quickly it was one too many. We haul both their lunches and his bottles.

    I would put the baby in the Ergo and then lift my daughter out of her seat. It takes some time getting used to using your arms like that, especially with a baby strapped on. I then either wear the backpack myself or carry it, or have my daughter wear the pack (which is why I recommend child-sized- LL Bean kid's size is what we use), and I hold her hand going in and down the stairs. For us, hand-holding in the parking lot is non-negotiable, so I had to plan things with having only one hand free.

    So our daycare set up is a little annoying, in that the infant room is upstairs and the toddlers' room is downstairs. For drop off, we drop off the baby first, so I don't have to walk down stairs holding him while holding her hand going down stairs. In the afternoon I pick up the toddler first, again so I don't have to wrestle a wiggling baby up and down stairs. I don't use the Ergo anymore as long as I'm dropping them both off, but if I only drop her off, then I do Ergo him. The Ergo was KEY for me when he was a newborn and had no head control, so that way I didn't have to hold him, plus hold his head, and not have a hand free for the toddler or any other bags.

    For pick-ups, when I was still Ergo'ing him, I'd have her get in the car first and then would put him in last. Now she and I go to his side of the van, and when I strap him in, she gets in on his side and does her wandering around thing (hence the timeouts!).

    Monday mornings and Friday afternoons when we're bringing in/taking home her bulky cot cover/blanket and his blanket, we use one of those large IKEA bags to haul all that stuff around.

    It sounds like a tiring process, but honestly, you get into the swing of things. I was really overwhelmed at first when my son was a newborn and I was freaking out about how to handle daycare, to the point of where I cried about it several times. Now, it's a much easier and smoother routine.

    I could also write a book on the jealousy issues we've had!

    Didn't mean to hijack the thread...
     
  13. TravelingGal
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    by TravelingGal » Mar 3, 2011
    Hey Kay, good to see you as well...gosh, 3 in Oct? Time's-a-flyin.

    I wanted to drop a tip about discipline that might help you, with hopefully a little less exhaustion on your part. With your daughter approaching three, you may be able to try this as I just did this for "eating bootcamp" with Amelia and it worked great. Amelia DOES know that no means no, so it went smoothly, so your daughter may give you quite a few days of stress before this works, but it may help.

    Basically it's reality based parenting. The idea is for you to show her that her decisions have reality based consequences. It's also for you to parent in a way that isn't exhausting for you. Say she refuses to do X. You ask her not to do X, or to please do Y. She doesn't listen. Fine, you've said what you want her to do once, now just let her go ahead and have her way. Soon, she will want to do something else and ask you for it..whether it be a treat, or activity or whatever. Then you just calmly, and matter of factly say, I'm sorry honey, we're not doing that today. "Z" activity is for little girls who do "Y" like mommy asked you to do earlier. Maybe next time you will do "Y" when I ask you to, and we can do "Z".

    You do this for the next few things she asked for, possibly for the rest of the day. They will most likely throw tantrums, etc (which is what makes it hard in the beginning), which would have to be ignored.

    I think kids have to be older for this...much closer to three. But we are using this with Amelia now more and more as time outs don't do the job I want - that is, that I want her to listen when I ask her, instead of having her fun, then just getting a couple of minutes of time out as penance. It makes parenting even easier, as I just tell her once, save my voice and just wait for the next thing she asks for me to say, Nope, sorry kid.

    I just thought I'd share this, because parenting is so tiring as it is, and with another coming (congrats!), you might benefit from not having to fight so many battles. I love using this technique because it keeps me from nagging/harping/begging/scolding as much. It's just much more relaxing for ME. ::)
     
  14. Munchkin
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    by Munchkin » Mar 3, 2011
    THANK YOU!!!

    My son B will be 4 weeks old tomorrow and I can honestly say it wasn't until this week that I felt a motherly, protective, do anything for him kind of love. Intellectually I knew it was normal to not bond immediately (heck, I lecture on the topic to nursing students!) but I never thought it would happen to me. Last night was the first night I openly admitted it to my husband, and it was because of how much better this thread made me feel.

    The little man and I had a traumatic labor. I went into pretem labor at work, pushed for more than 5 hours, vomited all night, had 2 epidurals fail and then was rushed for a section. It was awful. I had planned for this storybook labor where I vaginally delivered a perfect, full term baby girl who latched immediately and I felt an immeasurable love for. Not what happened! (We didn't know what we were having but I was convinced it was a girl. It was just another layer of things not going as I thought they would.)

    When I met B I had been awake for 36 straight hours. Not the best way to start a relationship. He was a typical, lazy, preemie latcher who needed a shield and my milk took forever to come in. He lost more than 10% of his body weight and was going to be kept in the hospital even longer. When I got home I was greeted with exhaustion like I could never imagine. In addition to the constant nursing, I had never expected to be recovering from a c section and the loss of physical freedom/comfort was awful. Not that I wanted to go anywhere, but being told that I couldn't drive, couldn't take a nice bath, etc killed my psyche.

    After we got home B continued to gain poorly, not regaining birth weight by 2 weeks and one week only gaining 2 ounces. I, of course, felt like a failure and it caused even more physical/emotional exhaustion. B also couldn't handle the flow of a bottle without choking until 2 weeks ago, so no one could help by feeding him EBM. My family has been incredible but they are a few hours away and DH went back to work immediately.

    Last week he developed reflux. He would scream, regurgitate, swallow, scream, regurgitate, swallow, scream, finally spit up and then fall asleep covered in spit up. Cleaning him up woke him, of course, and the cycle would repeat. He also cluster fed for hours in the evening to push the acid down. He couldn't be put down so I was either holding or wearing him the whole time.

    This week I finally bonded with him. Oddly enough, it occurred during our worst night ever. DH was out and B was having an horrible night. He was in agony. Seeing him like that broke my heart. I suddenly knew what it meant to love a child and be willing to do anything for them. I cried out of relief as well as exhaustion that night!

    On the plus side, he'll drink EBM with preemie nipples now so DH does at least one evening feed. He started zantac Tuesday and has seemed more comfortable. There has definitely been less audible regurge and less spitting but he still has to be upright after feeds.

    I'm sorry this is so long. I guess a needed to vent! I just wanted to thank you all for making feel better about having a delayed bonding with my baby. It is so helpful to hear that I'm really not alone!
     
  15. Munchkin
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    by Munchkin » Mar 3, 2011
    Sorry, double post!
     
    


    


  16. Tacori E-ring
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    by Tacori E-ring » Mar 3, 2011
    Oh munchkin, you are NOT alone. I also had a hard labor and I remember the first time I held my daughter I felt like she was a stranger. I felt really guilty about that for a long time. I can now say, over 3 years later, I ADORE my daughter. She is the light of my life (even though she is a tough kid) but I needed time to adjust to the mommy thing. NEVER in a million years did I think I would. I was always a babysitter, etc, loved kids, but when you are tired, in pain, scared, sometimes those hallmark moments are delayed. You are a great mom. You are normal! You will like your child very, very soon. The fog always clears.
     
  17. butterfly 17
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    by butterfly 17 » Mar 3, 2011
    Well, I just had a baby almost two weeks ago, plus I have a 2 year old, a 5 year old and a 10 year old, and I have to say, it depends on the baby, but in general, I would say that the toddler stage was worse for me than the newborn period. It might be also because I work as a NICU nurse and I am already use to taking care of fussy, screaming newborns and breastfeeding moms.

    My 10 and 5 year old were okay as newborns, not terribly horrible, but I do remember calling my job one night at 2 am asking for sucrose water to give to my now 5 year old because she was crying so much. It turned out to be gas and colic. :(sad Mylicon worked wonders.

    My 2 year old was okay as a newborn as well, but she is the worst 2 year old I have had. She's just really terrible, never listens, always runs around, just really a terror. I dread going anywhere with her bc she can't sit still. Always on the go and always making a big mess. My sister came from London last week to see us and she wanted us to go out to eat and I asked her if we could just stay at home because I was really dreading going out to eat with my two year old, esp. after just having the baby.

    Now the newborn, well, he is great. Honestly, he wakes up every three to four hours to breastfeed, latches on well, doesn't cry at all. Even when he wakes up to be fed, just makes a little noise to let me know. That isn't to say he will get worse. For all I know, maybe when he hits the 2 week mark he will be a nightmare, but in general he has been the easiest to care for from all of my other kids.

    My husband has been a great help too. I have found that feeding the baby at around 11-12 am and letting DH do the 3 am feeding, lets me rest just a little more, even if I am awake and watching him, and then I resume the feeding at 6-7 am, depending on the last feeding time.

    I also think once you have more than one, the next ones are just alot easier bc you already know what to do. Breastfeeding as a first time mom was horrible for me, but I kept at it until I had nipples of steel, lol. Breastfeeding my fifth baby has been a breeze, I still have the same excruciating nipple pain and afterbirth pains, but I now know what to expect and know that it will get better with time.

    I think that first time moms really need a lot of support and need to know they are not the only ones out there feeling the same emotions.
     
  18. Pandora II
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    by Pandora II » Mar 3, 2011
    Oh Munchkin, poor you! I had a similar time - 54 hour labour ending in emergency forceps, massive PPH and 2 days in ICU. Milk didn't come in for nearly 2 weeks - D lost 20% of her body-weight in the week we were in hospital and didn't get back to her birthweight till she was around 4 weeks either. I lost it completely about 5 days after the birth to the extent that the psych. team moved my husband into the hospital and we stopped all visitors.

    I got home and was in such pain - first the extensive episiotomy and secondly because I'd cramped all my muscles by spending hour after hour trying to hand-express (it once took over 30 minutes to produce 1ml, a nurse came to see how I was getting on and when I told her she just said 'well that's not much good is it' and walked off - how I managed not to throw it at her I still don't know!) Add to that the indignity of having worse bladder control than my baby and I was so over this whole pregnancy/birth/child malarky.

    As I passed out after the birth due to the haemorrhage I didn't see Daisy till she was a couple of hours old and I didn't feel some huge rush of love or anything. I was very protective and mama lion-ish about her but inside I didn't feel a connection or really any feelings about her good or bad. It took a good 3 weeks or so.

    DH on the other hand was in love from the moment he saw her...

    Kay - don't beat yourself up too much. A's personality is as much to do with it as your parenting. When I look at my friends children, the one's who are compliant are just that way inclined - discipling is easy because when they misbehave and the mother disciplines the child actually cooperates. Others are more like Daisy - you can threaten, shout, reason, whatever till you're blue in the face and they do exactly what they want.

    I bribe when I can and I'm starting the rewards and consequences but she's not really old enough yet for this to be effective. Her memory-span isn't really enough for me to say: if you behave at the supermarket I will buy you an ice-cream at the end. By two aisles in she's forgotten and doesn't even look for the ice-cream at the end. If we go somewhere and she misbehaves and I say that we're leaving as a result she just says okay then and doesn't get upset in the least! Sooner or later it should start to work though!
     
  19. fieryred33143
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    by fieryred33143 » Mar 3, 2011
    Best response ever. Glad it all passes. 10 years you say? ;-)
     
  20. hawaiianorangetree
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    by hawaiianorangetree » Mar 3, 2011

    Maybe 9 years if you are lucky! :D
     
  21. Skippy123
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    by Skippy123 » Jun 11, 2011
    I hope the newborn stage is harder because not sleeping is tough right now. This thread has been an interesting read. :read:
     
  22. fieryred33143
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    by fieryred33143 » Jun 11, 2011
    Aww Skippy :( I have always felt that one of the hardest parts of a having a newborn/infant is sleep issues and not knowing when sleep will go back to normal. I would tell you to hang in there but I know you're doing that and more.
     
  23. Mara
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    by Mara » Jun 12, 2011
    Whenever I feel like I'm stuck in a phase where I think 'gee will this ever end' when it comes to J, like when he's sick and regressing in sleep or not wanting to eat dinner and just fussy and clinging to my leg or whatever... I always remind myself that it WILL pass and before I know it he'll be doing something else wonderful and simultaneously difficult as well. I think it's just part of the territory.

    I know as a new mom it's hard to remind yourself of those things because you are just starting out and you don't have benchmarks to kind of fall back on and think 'well gee remember when I thought X but in a few weeks he was back to normal'...but it will all even out and at some point you will just click and look back and really come into your own. I think for me it was around 4mo that I started to feel like I kinda knew what I was doing. And it wasn't until almost 1 year that I really kind of felt like I could truly go with instinct rather than tons of research on things.

    Now J is 16mo, I think this thread was started when he was just around 1 year old, I will have to go back and read what I said. But I tend to think that the newborn/early stages were harder for me mentally, simply because there was no reciprocation from him. I am not a super cuddly newborn lover in general. I thrive more mentally from a relationship built where there is back and forth. I was always waiting for him to look at me and know it was ME. So even though the first few months weren't grueling necessarily, and even though he can be so crazy challenging now sometimes, I still find the early stages 'harder'. For me now, I get him a lot more and I understand and can relate to when he is acting out because he's frustrated or testing the limits or whatever. When they are baby blobs and just crying and you don't know why and you may not ever really know why, that was way more challenging for me. I used to sometimes just think, gotta just get through it...power on through!! Esp the long nights peppered through the first few months when he would be crying and nothing would help him and we didn't know why. A week later somehow it'd all be different.

    And now he also is doing so so many amazing things on a daily basis that I am constantly in wonderment at his growth and learning patterns so I really can cut him a ton of slack most of the time, LOL.

    Skippy, hugs because I am sure it's so hard esp with two...hang in there because truly before you know it, your boys will be turning one and you will be wondering where the time went and these early days will start to be graying in your memory.
     
  24. FrekeChild
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    by FrekeChild » Jun 12, 2011
    T minus 23ish weeks until hell on earth...
     
  25. icekid
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    by icekid » Jun 12, 2011
    ah... a newborn can be challenging, but that is way too melodramatic. and the pluses outweigh the negatives, by a large margin. I loved having my tiny newborn. More like heaven than hell, IMO ;))
     
  26. dreamer_dachsie
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    by dreamer_dachsie » Jun 12, 2011
    Hunter is now 27 months old.

    I still firmly think that the age of 14 - 20 months was the hardest for us.

    Now that Hunter understands reason (a little) it is much easier to basically use Vulcan mind control to get him to do things. Of course, the hard work in the 14-20 months range being super consistent and always following through on what we said (e.g., "If you throw that toy, mommy will take it!") is probably why it is relatively easy to control him now with a warning and then, if need be, going over to him and sort of getting down to his level in his face and offering him a choice: "Either Hunter can walk with Mommy or Mommy will carry you." or "You can have this cup of milk or no milk at all." or repeating ad nauseum "The red shirt or the green one. This is the choice, the red shirt of the green one. The red shirt of the green one." It does sometimes take a minute or two, but eventually, he always walks with us, takes the milk as offered, and picks one of the shirts in my hand.

    I'll let you know in... oh... 6 weeks whether a newborn with a 2.5 year old is the hardest of all :cheeky:
     
  27. fieryred33143
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    by fieryred33143 » Jun 12, 2011
    And if all else fails, you at least feel pity for them. That's why they make 'em so small and cute ;))
     
  28. Tacori E-ring
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    by Tacori E-ring » Jun 12, 2011
    In a lot of ways it keeps getting harder. :nono:
     
  29. Lauren8211
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    by Lauren8211 » Jun 13, 2011
    Seriously, Freke! I'm scared! Hold me!! :cheeky:
     
  30. dreamer_dachsie
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    24,141
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2007
    by dreamer_dachsie » Jun 13, 2011
    It is over so fast, don't worry. Six months is a blip on the radar.

    And there are fun things about being home with a newborn. For example, you are not working and as long as you give yourself permission to not do any housework or anything, and have no expectations of yourself (like personal hygein and stuff) then it is nice to just go with the flow day to day without any real demands. Newborns are an all day job, but its a simple job -- feed, change, repeat. Leaves lots of mental room for People magazine, Pricescope, bad TV shows. Rent videos and watch lots of TV series you like. Sleep when you can. Try to get out of the house every day -- walks with the baby in a carrier or stroller. I really did not mind the slow pace of life in those first six months.

    And keep in mind it gets better and you will survive :))
     

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