Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Making Comparisons

I hate it.

I've always hated it. When a baby is constantly compared to another baby, over the silliest of things. Yet, I find myself currently doing it Comparing the way Carter looks to Grayson at this time (creepily similar, I might add), how their sleep patterns are different/alike, their disposition. The list goes on and on. The one thing that I have been comparing most are their feeding habits.

I have been guilty of going back and reading all of Grayson's posts to help remember what it as like at this stage, making sure Carter is "up to par" with how things went with G. He's a healthy, happy toddler now, I must have done something right... right?!

I stumbled back on this post, and it is one of my favorite posts. It's real. No BS. The memories flooded back to me from those early days/weeks with Grayson, and honestly, how freaking hard they were. And I realized how different Grayson and Carter are when it comes to eating.

With Grayson, I went into feeding very open minded. I wanted to breastfeed, but knew several people that were unable to for several different reasons and had seen them beat themselves up about it. I promised myself that wouldn't be me. If I wasn't able to do it, I would accept it and move on. A happy, healthy, fed baby is the best type of baby. But what I didn't realize was how my competitive spirit would play such a large role in my breastfeeding journey. Not competition with others, but with myself. Feeding Grayson was hard. So hard, until we got into a groove and things got much easier.

After meetings with lactation consultants, more tears than I can count and attempting pillow forts, the boppy, and my breast friend pillows, we finally settled on a feeding schedule that consisted of just me and him, 2 ounces from a bottle, 15 minutes of breast and then 15 minutes for me to pump, 8 times a day. That was about 8 hours of my day solely dedicated to feedings. Add in diapers changes, snuggles, tummy time.. you see where I am going with this right? This is the "so hard" part.

As time went on I dropped the bottle and we did just fine. But at that point, I was over producing and needing to pump several times a day still. It was great for my inventory in the deep freezer, but still so time consuming, but it was our way of life. I am so thankful for this dedication that I had and my competitive drive to fill that deep freezer. After Gray weaned himself at 9-10 months old, there was enough milk left to get him almost to one year, supplementing with formula for just a few weeks.

Brittany Barclay Photography

Fast forward a year and a half later while pregnant with Carter and going through everything I had saved with Gray, the thought of not being able to breastfeed never once crossed my mind. I had a fantastic supply that lasted a long time, why would I have any issues?!

Seems naïve when I think about it. My milk supply came in full force on day two, Carter was nursing like a champ, and the lactation consultant didn't even come see me until night three, maybe four?! And I even had to pump while in the hospital (I didn't do that with Gray). So supply wasn't and still isn't a problem. Carter wasn't snoozy like Grayson and gained his birth weight back (and then some) just a day or two after leaving the hospital. I felt lucky and things were on the up and up. Easiest baby ever! Sign me up for Baby #3!

I was able to stop waking Carter at night just 7 days into everything (Grayson was well over 3 weeks) I only have been pumping when necessary. Feedings are now anywhere from 15 - 20 minutes. It feels like so much freedom in comparison to G.

With that freedom though, also comes a different shackle. Carter is so attached to me. I love it. Don't get me wrong. But a girl would like to get her nails done without an SOS text, or run to target alone.. amiright?! Grayson was more "independent" from me since he was used to bottles from the very beginning. At 7 weeks Carter has had maybe 3 bottles and never a full feeding from one. So now this is what I am working on. Once a day I give him 2 ounces from the bottle and finish the feeding by breast and then have to pump (sound familiar?!) After starting this, I cannot imagine going back to having to do this every, single feeding. High five to my former self for sticking to it for as long as I did.

Just in the last five days Carter's belly has really been bothering him. I have been using all of the same things I used with G (burping, bicycle kicks, mylicon drops) and have now added probiotic drops. I reached out to fellow mommas on Instagram (@a_dway) for advice and got a ton of responses (THANK YOU!!) I am currently trying the gripe water and it is getting much better results than the mylicon drops that worked so well with G. If you have any other tips/tricks you can share - I am all ears!

Stephanie Rose Photography

I guess at the end of the day what I have learned in this second round is that although comparing and reading back is helpful to remember, just because things are not exactly the same doesn't mean they are going wrong, or that its going to be any easier. This parenting gig isn't going to be as easy as following the steps in a textbook, but as long as we do the best that we can and our babies are happy and healthy we are all going to make it.

Feel free to follow along as The Honest Company shares more real stories of parenthood. You can see more on the Honest Pinterest and Honest Instagram.


  1. Hi Ashley! The belly issues for Carter bring back lots of memories for me. I have a 3 1/2 year old son and when he was a baby he had those same issues along with Colic. Several months in I eliminated ALL dairy from my diet to see if that helped his eczema (I was exclusively breastfeeding as well). It did and it turns out he was allergic to dairy. Looking back now I feel like those belly issues and colic were the dairy. It takes about a week or so for you to see a difference when you fully eliminate it, but it might be worth a try!!! Good luck - I know how hard it is when their tummies are upset!

    1. Thank you Melanie!! I've had a few others suggest the elimination of dairy as well. At his 2 month appt I am going to discuss with the pediatrician! 😊

  2. this post! love it. why is it so easy to fall into the comparison game!? i did it more than i liked and felt so guilty about that. sometimes it's harmless & other times it can be so darn dangerous! but a heck of a lot better about it now!

  3. This is a great post - as is the one you mentioned from when G was a newborn. I hate falling into the comparison game as well. It just seems so inevitable though. We have an almost 6 year old girl who was EASY with everything we did. Now, we have 2.5 year old twins - boy/girl. Not only do I compare them with how easy my oldest was - but I also compare them, which is ridiculous. It's so hard to remember that each child is their own, especially when they "should" be advancing relatively the same. Thank you for the reminder to keep this in check. Beautiful family <3


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