When it comes to newborns I was basically given the same newborn twice.
In a word they are...difficult.
I do not make "easy" babies that don't scream and sleep well. I make screamy babies that sleep like shit.
But that being said...we're doing things "better" this time. And thus I can say that Noah is "better" and "easier" here now at 2 months. But a number of factors contribute to this, absolutely none of them have to do with the baby himself but are all about us as 2nd time parents.
For starters, Noah definitely has something he is allergic to, but I'll be damned if I can figure out what it is. Lots of mucus poop but since he's generally over his screaminess I've given up on giving up delicious foods and it seems to make no difference whatsoever. For all I know if I hadn't figured out why Jett was screamy maybe he would have stopped too? Who knows but for now, the screaminess is over.
Sleeping. Jett and Noah were both the "rock me to sleep" kind of babies. They did not ever just fall asleep they had to be PUT to sleep. With Jett we made the HUGE mistake of continuing to bounce him to sleep long after the screaminess ended (if they scream at you for hours you do ANYTHING to get them to sleep) and always holding him until he was fast asleep, never letting him learn how to settle himself. Here with Noah...I just can't hold this baby all damn day. I wear him if we're out and about but after about 3 hours of wearing him my body starts to ache and I get cranky! So...he gets put down to sleep if we're at home. I've discovered the wonderfulness of the vibrating feature of my pack 'n play (why did I not use this with Jett???) and Noah will pretty happily and consistently put himself to sleep if he's vibrating. There's some fussing involved but within about 5 minutes he'll put himself to sleep (ok it's the vibrating putting him to sleep but it's better than me bouncing him!!!) For 3 nights running he has gone to bed at 7pm, vibrating away and CONTINUED to sleep until 11:30pm, long after the vibrating had ended!!! That means I CAN GO TO SLEEP BY MYSELF without a baby next to me and sleep for a delicious 2 hours baby free. This didn't happen with Jett until we sleep trained him and moved him to his crib at 6 months!!! I feel so very very accomplished as a 2nd time parent that I don't have to go to sleep with my baby every night at only 2 months old.
Also regarding sleep, I'm just not as stressed about it! With Jett I really really overanalzyed his sleep and really really stressed myself out about it. I realize we're not quite at the sleeping schedule point yet with Noah and I have plenty of time to start stressing about baby sleep, but so far I'm pretty chill about it. I still hate putting baby down for a nap a gazillion times a day and am looking forward to the set 3 naps a day which should be coming up at what...3 months? But feeling pretty good about naps and sleep in general even when naps are only half hour long.
Crying. Oh these poor 2nd children. They cry more. It's a fact. But I only have 2 hands and big brother is the one who can understand that he's being pushed aside and just generally cause more damage so if both need me, he usually gets me first. SORRY KIDDO! New baby also gets left to cry and fuss a bit whenever he wakes JUST IN CASE he can settle himself back to sleep. Oh the lessons I've learned.
Other things I've learned? LET OTHERS HELP IN ANY WAY THEY CAN. Meaning, if my husband wants to take the baby downstairs at 5am because he's grunting and may just end up with the baby sleeping on his chest. YOU LET HIM. Because then you get an hour or two more sleep...all by yourself...in the big bed. With Jett I remember fighting with Dom more times than I can count because I didn't want him to take the baby downstairs in the wee hours of the morning...why did I fight that??? If anyone wants to take my baby off my hands...they're pretty much free to do with him whatever they like. As long as he gets brought back to me once whoever has him figures out he needs to be fed...I'm good and won't dictate what should and should not be done with the baby.
I also let me husband let him cry. With Jett this tugged at my heartstrings so much that I would interject, even when it was not in anybody's best interest, because I couldn't stand to hear him cry. With Noah, I still can't stand to hear him cry but if I'm putting Jett to bed and Noah is in my husband's arms screaming his head off...what can I do??? He's not being left alone, my husband is trying to console him but if it's milk he wants then poor kid has to wait. So...he gets to cry while I finish with Jett and then I can tend to him. Such a balancing act with 2!!!
Ultimately I'm hoping all these small things will allow us to NOT have to sleep train this kid and he will just learn to sleep better long before we get to the sleep training stage of babyhood. So there you have it, 2nd time everyone says every baby is different and you never get to use any of the skills you learned with #1 on #2 but here I feel like I'm getting to use them all! Part of me wishes I would have ended up with an easier baby, but hey...at least I know how to deal with a difficult one already!