closeness vs cuddles

A tired Eddie at 6 months with a tired Mommy

Can we talk about sleep for a minute?

I am happy to say that for the most part, I have birthed good sleepers.

Both boys were “sleeping through the night” by all definitions by about 2 months.  (I know, I am a VERY lucky girl. This fact does not escape me).

That is where their sleeping similarities end.

I thought Eddie was a cuddler. I mean, he was my first and I had nothing to compare him to, but he really REALLY didn’t want to sleep alone. Ever.

The nightly routine

Naps were fairly non-existent for Eddie until he was older. He wouldn’t sleep longer than 20 minutes by himself in bed or the swing or anywhere.  And night time was the biggest battle ever.  It was like his crib had giant teeth and sharp talons that might shred him to bits if he let himself get comfortable and fall asleep.

It was the nightly routine for someone to cuddle him up until he fell asleep.

Then it was always a crap shoot as to whether he would wake up once and need rocking back to sleep or 700 times.  On really bad nights, one of us would take him to the couch and sleep there for the majority of the night with him all balled up on our chests.

But he was really was a good sleeper.  The bad nights were exceptions to the rule.  Most nights were were blessed with a sacked out little guy…once we could get him that way.

And he just wanted to be held. Always.

We had a cuddley baby, right?

Apparently not.

Well, not compared to his baby brother.

even in a winter coat, Eddie did “airplane arms”

It took until Eddie was well over a year old before he reached for anyone. He would shout and scream when he wanted to be picked up, but he would NOT put his arms out toward anyone.  And once held, he did NOT hold on.  In fact, he sort of had an aversion to his hands touching people.  He would do what we called “airplane arms” when held: thrust his arms straight out at his sides or slightly back, like he was avoiding you.

He wanted the comfort of being held (all the dang time), but did not cuddle into the hold.

The Bird and his daddy.

From Day One Charlie was different.  He didn’t need to be held to sleep at all, but he adored the cuddles.

When we were in the hospital, I would take him out of his little plastic baby aquarium cart thing and put him in my bed with me.  He would turn his face into me and sigh. Every time.

This boy had the mommy-wooing thing down pat right from the start.

first person he started reaching for? Eddie, of course.

Charlie has always napped well.  When he is tired? He sleeps. Or he lets you know he wants to sleep so you’ll put him in his bed–yes, the same bed that Eddie was convinced would injure him, Charlie adores and falls right to sleep in.

At night, Charlie just goes to sleep.  We put him in bed, maybe rock him for a bit if he is overtired and needs help, but usually it’s just to bed, end of story.  He rarely wakes up in the night unless he is having a growth spurt that requires a middle of the night feeding.

And he definitely loves the cuddles.

Could have done this in his bed, but we both like the cuddling better.

Charlie has been reaching for Eddie for over a month now.  And recently he started reaching for Cort and me when he wants to be picked up or held.

I just need a quick hug, daddy.

Charlie will lay his head down and hold us when he is tired or needs a buddy.  Eddie never did this.

At night, Eddie would still rather have a friend lie near his bed or in bed with him until he falls asleep.  He won’t cuddle up, but it makes him feel safer while succumbing to his exhausted body and mind to have someone he trusts near.

Charlie will take a cuddle any time he can get them, but doesn’t require them for comfort or safety the way his older brother needs us.

Classic Charlie: roll to side, pass out

They are so similar, yet so different.

One needs closeness for comfort, the other enjoys cuddles for coziness.

Eddie gives us hugs now, but on his own terms.

Charlie will give anyone who smiles at him a good nuzzle.

One thing is for sure: Both of our boys love fiercely.  And that makes me very happy.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. It’s like we have the same children!

    Well, the sleeping part. Monkey does like to get close, sometimes a little too close, heh. But now that he’s almost 3, he doesn’t really cuddle as much. He only comes in for a hug if he needs comfort.

    Scrumplet? Scrumplet just loves to be in someone’s arms. Good thing there are so many around to hold him willingly. 🙂

  2. I love the compare/contrast thing you have going on.

    Second babies are supposed to be easier.

    You have all the infrastructure in place.

    You can put them down more easily.

    And I love these pictures, KT.

    Really, they are stunning.

    He is stunning.

    Your family is gorgeous.

    You are soooooo lucky!

    And I’m so glad you are getting quality rest! 😉

  3. Oh . . . baby cuddles. Dylan is a closeness and cuddly guy, which is so sweet.

  4. I have two very different boys too…they willl “cuddle” or “wrestle” (whatever!!!) with one another but when it comes to be “CUDDLY” that’s Jacob and Gio will come in for the hug, will give you a tight squeeze but then he’s gone, off , not sitting next to you or sinking in. Jacob will sit right next to you and nudge. (He does sleep with me and always has a hand on me somewhere)

    Reading this I thought, Yes, so different, both sets of boys.

    then I saw the pictures and just sighed in the sweetness. 😉

  5. Oh I wish mine was a cuddle bug.
    Shoot he practically slapped me across the mutton chops when I tried giving him a kiss and hug in the school line up.
    Jerk.
    Kidding.

  6. I will atest to the cuddliness of Charlie. I first time I held him… fun on face in the nape of my neck cuddle… something that made me ovaries scream and made me miss my babies something aweful.

    I hope he always cuddles with you… always.

  7. Ryan is EXACTLY like Eddie. I keep hoping future-kiddo #2 will be more like Charlie. Best of both worlds. 🙂

  8. Oh, I hope my second child is a cuddle bug because my first is absolutely NOT!!

    Adorable photos.