Two children, both completely different.

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Two children and I never thought I would raise them so differently.

When I was pregnant for the first time, I had everything planned out, from the labour to how I would raise him. I was super fussy about how I done things and I was very overprotective of him.

Then I became pregnant for the second time and I did things a lot differently. I didn’t bother planning my labour or writing a birth plan like I did with Oscar, and I wasn’t so fussed about what I was doing or how I was doing it. I took a much more relaxed approach to parenting.

It’s strange how two humans can be raised differently and still turn out to be incredible.

With Oscar I planned a water birth, no epidurals and hardly any pain relief during the labour. I failed at the first hurdle. A 36 hour labour, no water birth, pethidine, gas and air which did nothing for me and 11 epidurals followed by a forceps delivery which resulted in stitches. From then on I said if I ever got pregnant again I wouldn’t write a birth plan again. I regret everything in my labour with Oscar, I hate that I can’t remember the labour and looking back I wished I never had epidurals because then I would have been able to feel my contractions and then I wouldn’t have been told when I needed to push. It was a very stressful labour, the one thing I didn’t want.

Luna’s labour was amazing. Mild contractions all day, no birth plan, went from 3cm-10cm dilated in ten minutes, three puffs of gas and air, three pushes, no stitches and she was here. I can honestly say the way that labour went, I would have another baby in a heartbeat. It was so relaxing and it couldn’t of gone more smoothly. I know they say labour with your second child is easier, but I couldn’t believe I had gone from a 36 hour labour previously to a 30 minute one.

With Oscar he was in our Moses basket for four months and I was terrified of putting him in his cot. I had to sleep with both doors open and I wouldn’t sleep because I couldn’t hear him. I wanted to hear the snuffles and his snoring, it relaxed me. I think SIDS is horrifying, especially when a first time parent. It was all I could think about. Sounds awful doesn’t it, but I was paranoid something would happen and because he was my first I literally had no idea what I was doing. I had never been around babies so it was all new to me.

With Luna she was in her cot from three months old, and yes I was anxious, but nowhere near what I was like with Oscar. I forgot how loud little newborns are! The fidgeting, the snuffles, the snoring and of course the waking every two hours for feeding. I wouldn’t say I was happy when she outgrew her basket but I was pleased that I could sleep again, even if it was for two hours.

Both of my children I did things differently, mainly because I learnt that no child is the same whether they are siblings or not so sometimes I had to do it differently.

Oscar would sleep on his back. He hated being swaddled, he liked to sleep with his arms free.

Luna liked to sleep on her side. She loves being swaddled.

Oscar started solids at five and half months old. He never had any problems so we waited until he was ready.

Luna has started. We started her at four months old due to reflux and doctors advice.

Oscar wasn’t in a bedtime routine until very late on, probably about nine months old. Probably because again I didn’t know what I was doing. The health visitors had stopped seeing me after Oscar was eight weeks old. They don’t really encourage to do bedtime routines etc so I didn’t know when to start it. To be honest he was an excellent sleeper, he slept through from 5 weeks old and still sleeps perfectly now, so I guess the delayed bedtime routine never affected him.

Luna is already in a bedtime routine at nearly five months old. She seems to have picked up her routine very quickly. Unlike her brother she doesn’t sleep through the night, she wakes up to three times a night, not for a feed but for cuddles. Oscar used to self soothe so this is completely new to me, a mum of two and there are still things for me to learn.

Oscar was a reasonably quiet baby, he didn’t really coo much.

Luna is so loud! Is it a girl thing?

We always get told not to compare to other babies but at the end of the day its human nature. We are curious and I’d be lying if there were times that Oscar was slightly behind and I felt that something was wrong and he was lazy. I’ve learnt now that basically its a load of shit quite frankly. ALL babies are different, they like different things, they learn at different rates and by the time they start infant school they are all at the same pace anyway. I have bought my two children up completely differently to each other so far, even though they are brother and sister, they already like different things. I have no doubt in my mind that I still have a lot to learn with both of them but I am learning not to compare Luna and I know she will do things at her own pace. Enjoy being a parent, enjoy the differences your bundles bring. The time is passing so quickly and life is too short to do parenting by the book. Always trust your instincts. I wouldn’t have got this far if I hadn’t.

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