Today, 09:34 PM
Are you still nursing your 5 year-old to sleep? No? Then you won't always be nursing this LO to sleep, either. Right? ;)
I think the prevailing cultural belief is that parents are completely responsible for their kids' behaviors and personalities. Your kid is easy, feeds predictably, falls asleep without help? Wow, you must be great parents! Your kid is spirited, challenging, feeds all the time, needs a lot of help to fall asleep? Wow, you must have done something really, really wrong to create such a difficult child. Obviously, I think this belief is toxic and needs to change. So much of a child's personality is inborn, a powerful stream that we may be able to direct but which we cannot entirely control. So if you're thinking "My first kid's behavior was somehow my fault, and I have to do something different before I ruin my second kid", I think you should let that go. Your first kid is who she is, and you were a responsive and kind parent when she was at her most challenging. No one could do better than that! And your second child is likely to be an entirely different little person. Meet his needs with the same responsiveness and compassion you showed to your first, and you won't look back and wonder whether or not you were a good mom.
FTR, my first kid was a lot like your first- very spirited, very challenging. My second was and is much, much more mellow. I nursed them both to sleep because that is what worked best for me. But I know I could have...