Which Number Baby Is the Easiest?

Occasionally you will hear a discussion among mothers about which number baby is a bigger adjustment. Typical answers:

  • The first, because you are new to motherhood.
  • The second, because you must balance the needs of two.
  • The third, because you only have two hands, or because the children now outnumber the parents.

When I ask the mothers for more details, I often find that the answer has more to do with the individual personality of the baby than the number of children in the family.

I have been thinking about this in preparation for my upcoming annual trip to the US, to visit my father. I always agonize over which children to bring, because my husband stays here works most days but still has to be responsible, on some level, for the ones left here. Last year I brought numbers 3, 5, and 6. This year 1, 2, 4, and 6 are the lucky ones.

In general, I avoid labelling or comparing my children. But in my family, 1, 3, and 5 are the quiet, even-tempered ones. The other three are also good-natured, but when stressed their anxiety or frustration level can go from zero to ten in a matter of seconds, and they tend to get overexcited when happy, too. (“Odd”-tempered, but even-numbered?) I am hoping that the little one (3) will outgrow this, but judging by her current bounciness I don’t expect it. My husband just commented this morning on the number of her bruises, most recently a cut lip from taking too many stairs at once.

I looked back over the years and asked myself: Which pregnancies were the most difficult? 2, 4, and 6. Which births were difficult? Only 4, thank G-d. Which after-birth adjustments were the most challenging, involving extenuating circumstances? 2, 4, and 6. (Perhaps I will write more about these another time.) Which babies were “harder,” meaning that they cried more frequently, needed more holding, and didn’t settle easily? You guessed it.

I’m sad to leave any of my children behind, but at least I know not to expect a quiet, boring trip!

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Comments

  1. soccer dad says:

    I think the biggest change for us was from 3 to 4. (The first 3 were born within 3 years of each other; we had a pattern for 5 years before #4 was born.)
    That said, #1 was the easiest baby. She settled into a schedule very quickly. #2 was collicky for his first 3 months. (At 90 days he became quite pleasant; but those first 3 months 🙁
    And I think next to #1, the easiest baby has been #6.

  2. soccer dad says:

    I think the biggest change for us was from 3 to 4. (The first 3 were born within 3 years of each other; we had a pattern for 5 years before #4 was born.)
    That said, #1 was the easiest baby. She settled into a schedule very quickly. #2 was collicky for his first 3 months. (At 90 days he became quite pleasant; but those first 3 months 🙁
    And I think next to #1, the easiest baby has been #6.

  3. Ariella. says:

    There are major adjustments for the first, second, and third, as you said. But for my fourth, the problem was that I couldn’t move easily for a while after returning home and so was not up to driving my children to school. Though that one was not born via C-section as the second one was, the recovery was just as difficult with more children to care for.

  4. Ariella. says:

    There are major adjustments for the first, second, and third, as you said. But for my fourth, the problem was that I couldn’t move easily for a while after returning home and so was not up to driving my children to school. Though that one was not born via C-section as the second one was, the recovery was just as difficult with more children to care for.

  5. social worker frustrated mom says:

    Interesting I only have one so I can’t help you there, nice you get to go to the US. Will you be in NY?

  6. social worker frustrated mom says:

    Interesting I only have one so I can’t help you there, nice you get to go to the US. Will you be in NY?

  7. mominisrael says:

    Birth posts always seems to bring out the comments! Thanks SD and Ariella. My spacing was closer after 1, 3, and 5, esp. between one and two.
    SWFM: I will be in NY. I know Ariella was hoping to plan a blog-meet–I am game.

  8. mominisrael says:

    Birth posts always seems to bring out the comments! Thanks SD and Ariella. My spacing was closer after 1, 3, and 5, esp. between one and two.
    SWFM: I will be in NY. I know Ariella was hoping to plan a blog-meet–I am game.

  9. mominisrael says:

    I have a friend with 9, and she said the same thing about #4 and up. Especially about how the baby doesn’t create any challenges for the most part, which I agree with.

  10. mominisrael says:

    I have a friend with 9, and she said the same thing about #4 and up. Especially about how the baby doesn’t create any challenges for the most part, which I agree with.

  11. I found that after 2, having more was like falling off a log: easy. I barely noticed #3 and #4, and #5 just fit it like a puzzle piece. The biggest issue is how the laundry multiplies exponentially with each additional family member.

  12. I found that after 2, having more was like falling off a log: easy. I barely noticed #3 and #4, and #5 just fit it like a puzzle piece. The biggest issue is how the laundry multiplies exponentially with each additional family member.

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