Monday 8 August 2011

A tale of two babies

When Harry was a newborn, we were desperate for him to grow up and become more interesting. We played music to him and danced him around the room, we read him books, we waved rattles at him, we bought him noisy, flashy toys. At two weeks of age we bought him an activity mat with bright colours, dangly toys and music. He loved it! (although it did give him a wonky head, but that's another story).

Baby on a play mat
Harry at 7 weeks

When Mia came along, Harry was still so demanding that it was impossible to give her the same level of attention. At nearly ten weeks old, the baby toys remain packed away in their box, and we have got out the baby books only to hang them on the bar of the bouncy chair. Mia spends a lot of time sitting quietly in her chair watching what Harry is up to and dodging his rapturous attentions.

Only yesterday did we manage to get out the same playmat to see what Mia would make of it.

Baby on a play mat
Mia at 9 weeks

She loved it too! She was smiling at all the dangly toys and when the music played. But if we hadn't put her on it, I don't think that she would have missed it.

Harry as a baby was very grumpy. He had a very short attention span and never seemed happy or content. He needed constant entertainment, he would never just sit and look around. The minute you sat or lay him down somewhere he would be screaming. Mia however will sit in her chair or lie on her mat, sometimes for what seems like quite a long time, just looking around. The interesting question is, did too much attention overstimulate him early on, or is Mia just a naturally more chilled out baby?

What I do find though is that I am enjoying Mia a lot more as baby. Maybe she is easier, or maybe now I appreciate that as difficult as the baby stage is, it won't last forever, and the problems we face at the moment will quickly be replaced by different ones! At some point she will sleep through the night (although she might be two and a half like Harry), she won't be breastfeeding throughout the day (and night!) and we won't be constantly changing nappies. And then we'll look back and remember the cuddles and the smiles, and forget the screaming and the sleep deprivation.

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