When my husband and I were pregnant with our second baby and found out we were having a baby girl we were over the moon. It meant we have one of each sex – a ‘pigeon pair’, as people say.
I never really stopped to think about whether having a girl would be different to having a boy. All I knew was that every baby is different, and I was hoping for a cruisy one considering I was already dealing with a very active 17 month old boy.
It wasn’t until our baby girl actually came along that I started to realise that we might approach her differently to our baby boy. I thought my husband would be a bit softer with her. She would become ‘Daddy’s little girl’.
That turned out to be true. However, he’s not the only one that’s different with her.
I’ve noticed that I also have a different and softer way of approaching her. Yes, of course we both have a huge soft spot for our son as well. But with her, there are some key differences. It’s not just in our language and manner – we also actually don’t have the willpower for the tough love that we might dish out to our son.
We’re in the middle of trying to get our daughter to go to sleep better at bedtime. During the day, she self settles very easily, but come 7pm it’s a different story (something I’m sure any mum has experienced - good old ‘witching hour’ hey!). The same happened with our son when he was her age. With him, we started ‘controlled crying’ and were more likely to let him grumble or cry for a little bit (as long as it didn’t escalate) and then settle. And it worked. He got over that hump and was a great sleeper.
Now, we’ve recently tried this with her. Repeatedly. The result? One of us caves A LOT earlier than we did with him. She ends up hanging on the couch or in the rocking chair with us until she falls asleep. It’s almost like with him we were a bit more prepared to approach his crying with a bit of “toughen up”.