Some babies are easier than others

by Sky

And some kids are just easier than others, and some teenagers are just easier than others.

So true, and yet so difficult to believe until you live though it yourself.

Some Babies Are Just Easier Than Others

What do you think?

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135 thoughts on “Some babies are easier than others

  1. Agree. Strongly. I think kids come out 95% personality formed. You can mess them up by neglecting them and move the needle a bit by doing certain things. But, for the most part, you get what you get. Had I stopped at 2, I would have thought I was the best parent ever! My daughter has been a humbling experience. The nurses actually wished me luck as we left the hospital. Whether she ends up running the world or in prison is kind of up in the air at this point.

  2. The family dynamics are part of it.  Your easy baby might be a hard one for me.

    We talk about “goodness of fit,” and certainly, it can be helpful to think about how one child’s temperament might be less problematic in another family — the high-energy child who is driving two somewhat sedentary, somewhat older parents crazy might be an easier assignment for two younger, more active parents.

  3. Agree! First – Good sleeper…slept through the night just after 3 months, but had a couple of weeks of colic. Second – Poor sleeper…18 months before slept through, but no colic. Not sure we’d have had 2 if the second one was first.

    Temperment is something you can’t change much, but you can change behavior. My oldest has almost zero teenage drama. My youngest has more, but not nearly as high as her peers. However, the higher drama came with some unacceptable behaviors. We had a long talk about how you can’t control other people and their actions will cause you to have feelings, but you can control the way you react to their behavior and your associated feelings. We weren’t willing to put up with certain behavior and let her know it. It tamed in down by about 50 percent.

  4. I read this article and agreed. Baby books seldom discuss how large the range of normal in infants is. I especially see this in terms of sleep/energy. Baby WCE was up till 11:30 last night working on her walking. All my kids are low sleep need kids compared to what the books say is typical. A friend who is part of a doctor/engineer couple said her three kids were similar and that she hypothesizes that jobs where you have to tolerate lack of sleep for work (physician training; grad school) draw such people, who then have such children.

    I don’t know how much of the similarity of my sons’ development is genetic and how much is because they compete with each other and so work on particular areas of weakness. They all had very similar reading test scores entering first grade, and would have scored similarly at other points. Similarly, my kids walk on the late side.

    Personality traits are different. One twin is good at focusing and getting stuff done but tends to react without thinking. He is affected by loss of privileges. The other twin meanders through life and putting on his pajamas is a 20 minute process. Loss of privileges has less effect on him because he’s just as happy doing something else. Their teachers have all observed the same personality traits I do.

  5. Completely agree with this article. First one was colic and a poor eater for the first two months but then settled into easy peasy sleeper and has been that way since. Our second was a dream sleeper as a newborn, and then turned into a difficult sleeper around 2 and hasn’t let up. Last night she was up three hours past bedtime.

  6. Agree. I don’t remember our kids being particularly different re sleep. I know, and we have pictures to prove it, that I used to hold DS1, feed him a bottle and WE’D BOTH fall asleep in the chair. DW would eventually wake me and I’d put him in the crib. At some point before DS2, DS1 was easy to put to bed without the bottle and me holding him.

    The one big difference among our kids was that DS2 couldn’t stay dry thru the night till he was about 9. We tried everything. The pediatrician reminded us something like up to 25% of boys didn’t gain control until age 8 or 9. DS2 was one of the 25%.

    DS3 is the mellowest of the three.

  7. Fred, twins didn’t stay dry till ~6, with the later twin achieving that milestone a month after Baby WCE arrived. Laundry at my house dropped from a peak of ~20 loads/week to less than 10.

  8. I can definitely see the differences in sleep needs with my kids, but all of them slept through the night pretty quickly. #2 and #3 were better than #1, but I think part of that was I was better at sleep training on the 2nd and 3rd go rounds. My son needs more sleep than my girls, but he is constantly on the go and if he doesn’t get enough sleep he becomes unhinged very easily. I’ve found my easy babies were more difficult toddlers. I agree that they do come out 95% formed and it makes parenting them all interesting because they all need different things.

    I have little tolerance for not sleeping enough so I’m very thankful that sleep was never one of our issues.

  9. My boys potty trained on the later side (right after age 3), but did it all at once (day and night) with little effort. I got some flak from some family members for getting to 3 w/o training, but their personalities are such that I thought it would be best to wait until they were ready. My daughter is pretty much trained in the day but I bet won’t night train for a long time. Girlfriend does everything to extreme. She sleeps hard once she is down!

  10. ITA with this article and only wish I had heard people saying this when DD was born — there’s nothing like have a kid who’s on the skinny end of the behavioral bell-curve to make a first-time mom feel incompetent. Literally every parenting tactic I knew from my own childhood was precisely wrong for her. Thank God for the “Spirited Child” book (not to mention the development of language skills that allowed her to *tell* me what was wrong instead of just screaming and flopping).

    It wasn’t until after I had DS that I realized it wasn’t me. I distinctly remember telling DH “oh, so THIS is why people have more than one child!”

    And good Lord DD’s come a long way. Haven’t thought back that far in a while.

  11. Cat – what is it with people giving flak about potty training? My SIL was constantly remarking about how I potty trained my kids so late (like at 2.5). I think she starts at 18 months. But either way it’s bizarre that other people care.

  12. My kids are so different that if they didn’t have birthmarks I would have wondered if any of them were switched by the fairies :)

    I blamed myself for a great deal until we had an easy third child.

  13. Since my kids are teenagers, my first response to this article was “Duh!” But it would have been very nice as a new mother to have heard this. My oldest was an easy baby. She liked people, she liked to be held, she had a halo of golden curls and people would just fall all over themselves to make her smile. As long as she was being paid attention to, it didn’t matter so much if she was hungry or tired, she was easy to comfort. I was such a good parent.

    Second child was completely different. Everything that we learned with the first one was wrong. If she was hungry, she needed to be fed and nothing else would suffice. If she was tired, and she required significantly more sleep than the first, she cried and cried and then would be too tired to sleep. She did not like people. My oldest and youngest never did the stranger-danger stage. She did enough for all three. The other two gave up naps by three, she gave up naps when first grade started and there was no way to take a nap.

    I suspect that she spent so much energy dealing with the world that she was often completely exhausted and needed sleep to recharge. The world wasn’t such a challenging place for the other two.

  14. I don’t know. I think they thought I was being lazy. I feel like (s)he who changes 95% of the diapers and does 100% of the kid laundry gets to decide.

  15. DD1 potty trained for the day, easy peasy, but nights were not to be for a while. The pediatrician said if the urge to go didn’t wake her, nor did the act of wetting the bed, then she wasn’t ready. When she woke up in the morning to find the bed wet, it was a meltdown! So, we did pull ups at night until we started to hear her get up at night to go. DD2 – daycare said, next week is her week. Every day we need 10 changes of clothes and we’ll be done by Friday. Yep, done – dry day and night ever since. DD1 was close to 3 for nights, DD2 was about 20 months. I’d kinda of forgotten about that.

    Though my DDs have always been good eaters and eat a lot more than their peers.

  16. I loved the article.

    I remember a friend with only one kid who couldn’t comprehend how breastfeeding could be difficult. I think she thought others were just bad parents. I remember throwing a breastfeeding book across the room with my first. It said that breastfeeding was almost a sensual experience. Meanwhile I was crying in pain. Then I had my second and realized what the book was talking about.

    My first baby was more intense in regards to everything – he wanted what he wanted when he wanted it and let you know it. My second was much more relaxed. Having two close together made me realize that babies come with their own personalities and allowed me to cut myself some slack.

    As far as potty training, I didn’t get why people pushed for it so early, especially if the kid wasn’t ready. But then maybe their kids were more willing to comply.

  17. Re the dry at night…I have two kids three years apart. They managed to stay dry at night the same week.

  18. Thank goodness that #1 was the hardest baby, because she was HARD. Cried incessantly for the first 6 months, and didn’t sleep through until 1, when I did CIO and slept with earplugs for the first couple of days. #2 was easier, and #3 was a dream baby – so happy! #3 is latest on potty training – she is almost 4 and still not always dry at night. I am not super-concerned (probably because it’s #3!)

    Right now my main parenting concerns are getting #1 to read better and more, and to stop them making god-awful ‘dinosaur noises’, and to have them SIT DOWN AT DINNER TIME FOR THE LORD’S SAKE.

  19. I agree, to a point. When my second came home from the hospital sleeping better than my first, it was such a great relief to realize I hadn’t screwed up my first child. She was just born that way.

    On the other hand, I have seen this throughout my Facebook feed to justify why everybody’s child is so much more difficult than you understand and so much more special than you ever thought. There are many behaviors that my three children share and I believe the parenting place a big role in that. If you have three kids that never nap”, I think you’re doing something. My kids very on how willing they are to try new foods. However, all of them will eat a bite of food put in front of them, because that is behavior we expect. All three of my children are complete slobs. I think that is a parenting for failure and not and innate characteristic.

    The Gottman Institute has a series of lectures called “have your second baby first” because parents really do things differently for the second child. They don’t run when the child makes a little whimper, and babies learn to self soothe better, etc etc etc.

  20. Every time I suggest the potty to the two year old, he replies “NO THANK YOU! I like diapers,” with a big grin.

    And I crack up.

    Not winning any mommy awards, but at least I’m entertained.

  21. The biggest issue that DH and I never mentioned was DS, showing up in the middle of the night and plonking himself right in the middle of both of us. Now, he was not a toddler, preschooler but in late elementary school. Yes, he was sleep trained and retrained etc. Then worse he liked to cuddle, so he would stick to either one of us causing a tussle in our bed. No amount of threatening, cajoling, reasoning worked. Then one day all of a sudden, it stopped. Just like that. When I asked him about it, he said his wall clock scared him. I don’t really believe that, but I am glad that phase is over.

  22. My third was potty trained, but preferred to wear pull ups. He put on a new pair after his nightly bath and wore them (unsoiled) until the next bath. Since he was a third child, my response was fine, I can deal with disposable underwear.

  23. What I’ve found interesting is how the same kids will behave differently for one parent vs. the other. That phenomenon doesn’t seem to get nearly as much press.

  24. All three of my children are complete slobs. I think that is a parenting for failure and not and innate characteristic.

    I completely disagree. My brother and I were raised the same way and he was a slob and I was (and still am to an extent) a neat freak.

    The Gottman Institute has a series of lectures called “have your second baby first” because parents really do things differently for the second child. They don’t run when the child makes a little whimper, and babies learn to self soothe better, etc etc etc.

    I agree that parents do things differently with the second, but I still think most of this is innate behavior. DS was a great sleeper from day one, still is. I remember thinking “this is easy” when he was sleeping throughtthe night by six months with two good naps. Then we had DD. We finally had to let her cry it out to get her to sleep on her own. She still isn’t a very good sleeper.

  25. Regarding sleep training, did anyone else’s kids turn nocturnal from sleep training attempts? It’s certainly true that your child will eventually fall asleep if you ignore the crying long enough, but the “plans” never discuss having a child who then sleeps during the day and is awake during the night, on top of your regular daytime obligations.

    Mr WCE has a natural 28 hour day, he thinks, and I wonder if my children’s natural rhythm is not 24 hr. The other aspect of sleep training is that most books ignore day length. Baby WCE’s sleep has been better the past few months, but with the equinox, I’m starting to dread early summer sunrises.

  26. I think not being exposed to a bunch of kids and the wide range of timing differences in achievement of milestones causes lots of parental anxiety. There are only books to refer to, not real life observations. I had the benefit of being the oldest and observed my cousins growing up. So there were thumb suckers, bed wetter and pipe bomb makers.

  27. Louise, I never thought about family reunions having that benefit but you’re right.

    I’ve thought about it from the other side, where experienced people identify an issue. One of my cousin’s sons had hearing difficulties and my parents suggested to his parents that they have his hearing checked (at age 1) because my brother had also had hearing issues and they noticed the same signs. An autism screening was initiated from toddler Sunday School based off the observations of a trained teacher.

    This relies on parents being open to observations from other people.

  28. thanks for mentioning the staying dry at night issue, I feel better already, it has me worried (even though his ped said it is normal at this age)

  29. “and to have them SIT DOWN AT DINNER TIME FOR THE LORD’S SAKE.”

    We’ve started deducting quarters from their allowance for each infraction. Helps a bit.

  30. DS1 did not graduate from night time Pull Ups until he was 6 years old. This is quite normal, especially for boys.

    DS1 was much easier than DS2. DS2 was sick, underweight for years, a picky eater, and did not like to travel. He’s grown into a healthy and generally easy going kid, though he’s more emotionally sensitive than his brother.

  31. I was a neurotic mess with my first. He was (and is) a laid back sweet baby/child. I have always been able to take him everywhere and he has behaved. No real tantrums.

    I was laid back with #3. Fullterm healthy baby and, well, she was #3. She has an intensity about her that is impressive. She has been ready to go since birth. Doesn’t believe in naps and doesn’t need them. I tried to sleep train her and she cried so hard that she vomitted. Pedi told me not to do it again with her. Not productive with her type.

  32. ATM – that is an awesome idea. May have to institute allowance for #2 and #3 children to have it work though! ;)

  33. That was a good article. My two kids were different, but luckily they traded off on easy and hard behaviors. DD was an ok sleeper, but fell totally asleep while nursing, and so was put in the crib asleep, which led to crying when she woke up. DS was still conscious when put in the crib, so he fussed for a minute or two, then conked out. He also gave me the gift of sleeping from about 6:30 pm to 6:30 am for a couple of months starting around 6 months.

    However, I paid for it during the day because DS didn’t sleep well away from home (as in riding in the car or in the stroller – or on an airplane!!). He would get fussier and fussier instead of taking a nap. DD very kindly would take a nap in the stroller or car seat if that’s how the day turned out!

    DD was easy to potty train, DS not so much. He also had accidents at night for quite a while, and used to concentrate so hard on his activity (building legos, playing in the sand) that he would pee in his pants, and not really care. This was when he was 4 or 5. That used to irritate the heck out of me!

    Their personalities are so different as well. Both were pretty easy children, thankfully we made it through with no big issues, and they seem to be pretty happy adults (just have to get DS through college and out into the world!). Looking back now I see their adult personalities in their childhood behaviors, and I wish I had been a little more aware of it when they were young.

  34. Oh yes, this. My oldest DD we tried to potty train close to 2.5. She “un-potty-trained” and it was a nightmare. After 6-8 weeks of having it down, she would just pee in her clothes at preschool. Multiple times a day. We figured we’d wait it out. It would get old. She did it for 2 months, and I did SO much laundry I was going insane. I finally said, “Fine. But if you’re going to pee in your pants, you get diapers.” Just to stop the power struggle. Then at 3 we said, “Ok, you’re 3. No more diapers.” And she was daytime trained instantly. She’d learned the physical control, but I think it was too early for her because she just didn’t want to have to remember all day long, and she was peeved that it wasn’t her idea. So for kids #2 and #3, we waited until 3 to do potty training. They all learned in a 3-day weekend with very few accidents afterwards.

    Some of that was learning from kid #1, and some of that was temperament and luck. (DS actually daytime trained almost entirely the first day. By the 3rd day of the 3 day weekend, he looked offended when my DH tried to keep him on a waterproof pad instead of our couch during a movie. “I no need that, Daddy.”) I don’t know why other people care. My experience is that people who are home with their kids tend to potty train earlier, probably because the diapers get old, and it’s easier to deal with accidents at home. For us, having one intensive weekend and then not dealing with the endless laundry was preferable.

    My two girls daytime trained at 3, but wore pull ups at night until 4. After a while the pull ups were regularly dry, and we were done. My ds is almost 4 and still wet at night in pull ups, but I can’t bring myself to be too worried about it.

  35. My carrot for DD in the potty training issue was getting to wear Disney princess underpants. I bought some packs of Belle, Jasmine and Ariel undies, and she was motivated!

    She was almost trained just after 2 (I remember because we moved across the country and I put a diaper on her for the 6 hour flight – I didn’t want her to have to worry about it). That is why I was so frustrated with DS – I think I tried at about 2 and 1/2, and then backed off until he was over 3, and about to go to preschool. I don’t think I got the message that boys were usually later than girls, or at least not enough to get it through my head for a few months!

  36. A good friend told me her thoughts about kids being 95% formed. I did my best to internalize that, and I think that helped me get through the beginning months. DS just does things his own way in his own time.

    DS was a difficult baby, then an easy baby, and now becoming more challenging. I’m sure part of that is being very mobile combined with increasing intelligence. But man, he’s showing a temper. I’m in for a challenge. On the whole, his base personality is very go with the flow, like my husband, but his “excited/heightened” state is very much me – full on stubborn and “my way”.

    Sleeping – he was great, then sucked, then great. During the period of suckage, we realized it was us – we stopped protecting his second nap, which messed up his sleep from the afternoon through the rest of the night. Once we started limiting his morning/afternoon naps to no more than 1.5 hours, he’s been great again. We found that, if left to his own devices, he would stay up all day. He just likes to move and play.

    I worry that we are eager to have another child because, on the whole, this one has been easy. Are we dooming ourselves? LOL

  37. My sleep training consists of loosely following Babywise – eat/play/sleep. With #1 I was a neurotic mess about how she wasn’t following the program and DH told me he would stop speaking to me if I initiated one more conversation with him about her naps. With #2 and #3, I realized it didn’t matter if they didn’t follow it perfectly, as long as I generally stuck to that they slept through the night pretty quickly (DS was 5 weeks/#3 was about 6/7 weeks).

    I think some kids are naturally better sleepers than others but I also think you can help the less inclined to sleep baby with a schedule. My SIL’s three kids don’t sleep through the night and her response is that she just has bad sleepers. Well I doubt all three of them are “bad sleepers” just like I doubt I got three “good sleepers”. I suspect her kids not sleeping through the night until they’re two may be because she nurses them every time they cry (which sometimes is only five minutes after the last time she fed them). I don’t comment because again, not my kids, and it doesn’t affect me if they sleep or not. .

  38. we had a miscarriage in ’13 and tried without luck for a year. now, the tantrums have been so bad the last couple years I don’t know if I can do it again, even though I would still love another

  39. @Rhode – I think you have come to perhaps the 1.5 yr mark when things are going well with kid #1 and all the tough moments are starting to fade away. This happenned to me. Well, we had kid 2 and then with a toddler and baby – I wanted to say, whose grand idea was this ? Mine, of course !

  40. “with the equinox, I’m starting to dread early summer sunrises”

    Oh, yes, that. DD was always a “30 minutes before sunrise” kid. The good news is that they do all become teenagers at some point, and then it’s your turn to mess with their sleep for a few years. :-)

  41. L – We have rule that if you don’t ask for your allowance you don’t get one. Shocking to me that they often forget. Taking the quarters out of their allowance jar is even more impactful that week. We only give them 1.25 each, with another 0.25 going to college jar and charity jar. They get enough gift money otherwise that it is more than enough at age 8.

  42. “I think you have come to perhaps the 1.5 yr mark when things are going well with kid #1 and all the tough moments are starting to fade away.”

    Or, in our case, the 3.5 yr mark.

  43. Regarding sleep, Rhode, if your mom takes care of Baby #2, you will again have control of his schedule in ways that you wouldn’t if you had older kids in school and a group naptime at childcare. Baby WCE is my best sleeper so far, probably because she was a term baby who was never in the habit of nursing all the time to gain.

    The parent dynamic interactions are definitely a factor- I wake up easily and can’t get back to sleep, and if my adrenaline rises from a crying baby, it’s at least an hour till I can get back to sleep. Thus, I tend not to let my babies cry, not because THEY can’t go back to sleep in 5 min, but because I can’t. And Mr WCE is getting transition-out-of-our-room duty after his trips to Europe, because he CAN get back to sleep.

  44. “deducting quarters from their allowance for each infraction. Helps a bit.”

    Channeling Finn — not two bits?

  45. @Atlanta Mom – exactly what I was trying to say. If you think you got three bad sleepers, it’s probably you, not the kids.

  46. Ada – yes, I was totally agreeing with your post.:) It’s my SIL’s fault in probably two out of the three kids.

  47. My SIL/BIL are also militant about naps/bedtime because their kids are “bad sleepers”. So even though the bedrooms are all upstairs and they have noise machines going at hovercraft decibels you are forbidden from talking above a whisper downstairs. It’s actually pretty funny except when they do it at your house and you can’t talk above a whisper in your own home.

  48. WCE– We had exactly that dynamic too! When my DH wanted to move the kids out of our room I told him I was fully on board, but he was going to have to do the heavy lifting. If I got up and had to walk down the hall to nurse a crying baby, I was up for a good hour. He could get up and get the crying baby, bring the baby to me to nurse, and drop immediately back to sleep. It worked out to be a good division of labor.

    All of mine now sleep really well, and did more or less after the first year, but my oldest could not lay down for the first six-months. I remember being terrified when the nurses commented “that one has lungs!” and then she screamed the entire ride home from the hospital. When we had dd #2 and she slept on the car ride home, dh and I had that same, “Oh, so *this* is what it’s like for most people?” moment. I had never intended to cosleep (not in a million years, I said. Ha!) but I brought home this baby that screamed constantly unless she was nursing, lying touching my body, or being held while someone walked her around. She screamed in the car, when swaddled, and if you dared to simply hold her and sit down. We later figured out some of it was reflux– which our other kids had to a milder degree– but a lot of it was just undeterminable “colic.” I remember pacing around, crying, wondering why no one had told me babies could be that hard. So we adapted, changed all our plans, and white-knuckled it. We had SO many people tell us she’d stop screaming if only we ________. But she started outgrowing it around 6 months, and by 1.5 she was a lovely, happy, persistent baby on a regular schedule.

  49. Tulip, I’m probably laid back about Baby WCE, because she has to fit around a complex family schedule and she is NOT Twin 2.

    For the very few fellow parents of Twin2-like children, I explain my philosophy that just because your toddler/preschooler doesn’t sleep at night doesn’t mean you have to be awake. Just make sure (s)he’s in a safe place.

  50. I think that because my oldest dd was so hard as a baby, once we got her onto some sort of schedule, we were rather militant about getting the other two onto a schedule (once they were capable, not with newborns) and really protecting naps. I know some family members thought we were nuts, but the difference between a stubborn kid who has one ginormous meltdown in a day, and one who has 7 ginormous meltdowns a day was worth all the angst of becoming a bit more scheduled. My kids still have early bedtimes relative to their peers, and I think that’s stuck around because of how dd#1 trained us.

  51. #2 was the only one we had to let “CIO.” #’s 1 and 3 slept all night by about four months.

    It’s amazing how quickly all this stuff starts to feel like ancient history.

  52. Probably how a child responds to lack of sleep affects what importance a parent puts on naps. Baby WCE was cheerful and active till 11:30 last night, even though it was ~9 hours since the end of her nap at daycare. And since I had to be up at 6 for work, I admit that she went to bed with me because *I* needed to go to bed, not because she did.

  53. My oldest was a fussy barfy baby and a not-too-bad toddler. My younger two were easy babies and hellion toddlers. (Although charming enough that people didn’t believe the hellion part until they saw it.)

  54. Our household bedtime is still ridiculously early for teens because *I* need to sleep.

  55. Louise – I anticipate a struggle. It took 2 years to get pregnant with DS. Then 1 birth defect and IUGR. NICU stay, early intervention, more specialists than I can shake a stick at. In some ways, I’ve lived a lifetime with DS. If we ended up with kid #2 following DS’s track, the only change will be a toddler/preschooler added to the mix. But we have my mom, so one more adult to handle day to day life.

    Wine – sorta why I want to get on the fertility train again before I come to my senses.

  56. Definitely the same phenomenon in our house. My daughter started sleeping 7pm to 7am the day she turned a month old. At her daycare the teachers and older kids all called her “happy baby” and the younger assistants would go to the baby room on breaks to play with her because she was so cheerful. My husband would warn me when I brought up having a second that there was no way it would be as easy. Boy, was he right.

    My son was a poor sleeper, and like others have described, very intense. At 10 months I can remember taking something out of his reach on a coffee table he was holding on to, and with a swipe of his arm he wiped everything else off the table. We used to joke that “that red hair is no lie”. Before we had ever heard of Sensory Processing issues, it was clear that certain things made him miserable. He was always so determined – started crawling kind of an army crawl at 6 months. Like Cordelia’s, he is a kid that things have always been hard for, and holding it together just took so much energy. My daughter could be bleeding and have a big gouge, but you’d have no idea how or when she got it because she didn’t cry and never stopped playing. Teachers that had both my kids would remark on never having seen two kids raised in the same house who were so different.

    So now, the basics are still there. My easy going child doesn’t show when things are bothering her. She just throws herself into the situation and adapts. My younger hss to know “the plan” in advance, and does much better when he is warned that the routine will be different. He needs much more time on his own. It’s good that we had her first, so I gained some confidence. And for you with younger kids who may need a reference, The Explosive Child by Dr Ross Green (I think) was very helpful in gaining perspective and a plan of attack.

  57. Rhode- yep you are at that “easy age” ( LOL is there such a thing?) before the terrible twos start (and don’t end) whoever came up with “threenager” was genius

  58. WCE – yes, I am very lucky. I can control the schedule with my mom. However, I think DS would adapt to a daycare schedule if/when needed. When we needed to double down on his schedule currently, he had a couple days of misery but then bounced back. His baseline personality is how I know I can throw him into crazy schedules and know he’ll adapt. He survived going to NJ 2 weeks in a row for multiple days due to a funeral and a planned visit occurring back to back.

    Wine – the terrible 2’s/3’s are starting to show themselves periodically. DS blew top this morning when I wouldn’t let him climb the stairs. Like full on throw himself on the ground. This is how we know we are in for it in about 05-1.5 years. Before it gets too crazy, I figure I better get my act together so I can’t get out of my decisions.

    Related, I think DS is graduating from EI shortly. We have an assessment next week, but his NICU assessment shows he’s doing very well. That will greatly reduce our stress.

  59. Child #1 (DS) and I are quite laid-back. Child #2 (DD) and DH are very intense, and stubborn as can be. The personality differences between the kids were apparent from very early on. I remember that whenever I put my son in time-out when he was little, he would just quietly sit in the corner. DD, on the other hand, would shriek at the top of her lungs. If I had the windows open, I would have to close them, because I was genuinely afraid that someone would hear DD’s screams and call CPS.

  60. “I know some family members thought we were nuts, but the difference between a stubborn kid who has one ginormous meltdown in a day, and one who has 7 ginormous meltdowns a day was worth all the angst of becoming a bit more scheduled.”

    OMG yes. Several times we got that subtle/unspoken criticism, because I was ridiculously anal about naptime and bedtime. But, you know, they weren’t the ones who had to deal with one big meltdown from @ 3PM-bedtime if nap got missed. You want to take over for the rest of the day, you can mess with the nap schedule all you want; otherwise, stfu.

    I think it’s what MBT said: it just took so. much. effort. to hold it together, when everything was so overwhelming — lights, noises, tags, colic, etc. She’d try and try, but when something was just slightly off — she missed her sleep, or we were overdue for a meal, or was starting to come down with something — it didn’t take much to go over the edge, and then we were into death spiral territory until she basically passed out from exhaustion.

  61. @WCE – both my kids walked late and got their teeth later than all other kids. They also lost their teeth late.
    The walking late bit was hard to deal with at the time. My DD didn’t walk till 15 months. Then there was her second cousin who was only a few days older walking around at a family wedding. We didn’t get the question about the walking but it was hanging in the air….

  62. My oldest went to bed at 6 pm starting at 4 months. People thought we were crazy but there were huge meltdowns if he was awake past 6:15. He slept well until about 1:00 in the morning (usually) but then would get up every 2 hours after. We tried putting him to bed layer but it didn’t help – only got more tired. We were exhausted but didn’t really want to go to bed at 6 with him.

    We had to do CIO to break a feeding. First night cried for 40 minutes. Second night cried for 2.5 hours. Brutal. I remind myself that persistence is a great trait to have.

    Same kid also would not stay in bed or his room after moving out of the crib. I think he was afraid of the dark and being alone. We put a gate to his room (extra tall so he couldn’t get over it) to at least contain him. He got much better once he started sharing a room with his brother.

    He’s a great kid. But man is he intense.

  63. “My experience is that people who are home with their kids tend to potty train earlier, probably because the diapers get old, and it’s easier to deal with accidents at home.”

    I never noticed that, but I could see how it would make sense. We trained when daycare said it was time & then followed their lead entirely. It was one of the things that made me happy to have switched him into a group setting instead of with a nanny. I was happy to relinquish control and decision making to them on that point. He was 2.5 at the time, and I don’t remember it being much of an ordeal after the first week or so. He did not nap/night train until a few months later, and during that time, we also had an issue with him sometimes holding his #2 until he got a nighttime pullup on, but that stopped quickly too. Maybe I have just blocked it all out of my mind & it was actually much worse than I remember.

    Having an only, I don’t really have experience with the OT firsthand except that the older he gets, the easier it is to see that he has been the same person at heart since he was an infant. Once we got past the fog of having a baby or early toddle, we realized that we really enjoyed being a family of three, and that was that. We revisited a few times, and then made a final decision not to go for more kids awhile ago.

  64. My determined kid and potty training: “you can’t move to the 3-yr old room until you’re using the potty instead of diapers”. Never wore a diaper or had an accident after that.

  65. And on walking: my daughter walked at 10-11 months, and was in the 3rd percentile for height. I can remember being at the auto show and her toddling around between cars, and grandmotherly types gasping at “such a little baby” walking. We didn’t tell them she was short – just let them think she was a prodigy.

  66. Our kids were all late to train, and it was embarrassing to admit that we were still dealing with pull-ups after age 3. Our parents had us all trained much earlier because of the cloth diaper factor (I still remember that pungent aroma from the home of one of my crunchy granola babysitting clients.) And IME parents at lower income levels will be quicker to train because diapers are expensive.

    It IS like ancient history, but some things one does not forgot, such as the DS who once refused to perform on the toilet but slunk behind the couch when I wasn’t looking and left me a present.

    My current challenge is not to say anything to DS and DIL about the pacifier they are still using with 1-year old DGD. How is the poor child supposed to talk? DS is a huge Simpsons fan so surely he knows how that works.

  67. The comparison thing used to kill me. DS has twin cousins who are 6 months younger than him. Both are babbling earlier than DS, have more teeth than DS, and crawled/rolled/pulled up earlier than DS. It also doesn’t help that they are the same size as DS. One will be bigger than DS and the other the same size any day now. I’m pretty sure one of them will walk before DS decides he can let go of the furniture/wall.

    I’ve learned to take it in stride. Twins are awesome because they are twins. DS is awesome because he’s him. He does things his way. He’s got blue eyes like Frankie – so maybe he’s been channeling him. I did listen to Frankie while pregnant, so maybe that’s got something to do with it. :)

    Either way, DH’s family can make comparisons all they want. DS will have enough personality to outshine the twins when he feels necessary. He already does.

  68. My middle one potty trained herself. When she was ready, we had a new baby, then we moved, then the older one started school, then the car got totaled, then some other chaos intervened. At some point I noticed that I would hear the toilet flush and noticed that she wasn’t wearing diapers. Sometimes stubborn determination is a very good thing.

  69. “My current challenge is not to say anything to DS and DIL about the pacifier they are still using with 1-year old DGD. How is the poor child supposed to talk? DS is a huge Simpsons fan so surely he knows how that works.”

    This was one thing that made me thankful for the cleft lip/palate. After surgery #1, we couldn’t use the pacifier again. We didn’t have to deal with that. DH’s goddaughter is nearly 3 and I think still uses one at bedtime. Or at least she did well past her second birthday.

  70. Potty training is done earlier in the home country. Two things are different from here – cloths diapers (both parents and kids don’t want those) and someone at home to get the kids to potty train at the early ages.

  71. My two have dramatically different temperaments. Night and day. Both were pretty easy babies because they were so happy, and both were impossible toddlers because of how physical they were – into everything, all over the place. I used to watch friends whose kids (ages 2-4) would sit and color, or sit and build with blocks, and despair about what I was doing wrong as I would pluck mine off the tops of the bookshelves, or the tops of the stair landings, or out of the middle of the street. I do not miss the sheer physical exhaustion of those days.

    One of mine is intense, hard-charging, competitive, and 110% all the time. His brother is laid back, easy-going, compliant, 70% present in the world and 30% off in space. They really require different parenting styles, which is a challenge but I do feel like I’ve gotten better at it as they’ve grown.

  72. “We didn’t tell them she was short – just let them think she was a prodigy.”

    I do this all the time. DS is on the smaller side, and hasn’t lost many teeth which leads strangers to believe that he is younger than he is. Might as well enjoy it when people think you’ve done something right, even if you haven’t done much.

  73. I would pluck mine off the tops of the bookshelves, or the tops of the stair landings, or out of the middle of the street.

    I feel you.

  74. Lark and Honolumother – You just reminded me of DS’s habit of wandering. We were in Cape Cod at a big resort hotel having a family dinner, and I had allowed him to “walk around”, of course reminding him to stay close. Well, he was gone for awhile and I was frantically running around this hotel to find him, really starting to get scared.

    It turns out he walked out of the hotel and across the somewhat busy street to get to the beach. DH finally found him playing in the sand. I think he was 4!

  75. I remember a preschool birthday party where the girls had moved on to the princess activity and my three sons and one other boy were continuing to bat the dead pinata. The Dad of the birthday girl (Dad of three girls) was amused.

  76. My middle dd used to suck her thumb, and oh, the comments we got on that! She broke the habit herself, pretty close to three. My ds though? Almost four and he still sucks on two fingers. I can’t control the fingers, so it’s going to be up to him when he decides to stop. I hate that I can’t do much about it, but it also just stinks to have people glare as though I’m supposed to magically force his hands away. (Or the dentist that told me with my dd, “You just need to talk to her and tell her this is bad for her teeth.” I’m pretty sure she could hear us laughing for days at that one– rationalizing doesn’t work well with most 2 year olds! I had to refuse to mention it at all with that one, so it was fully and utterly her idea, before she’d even think about stopping. Then when she’d *almost* stopped, I used nailpolish as a bribe, telling her that we’d love to paint her nails, but it wasn’t safe to put the paint in her mouth.)

  77. We have been blessed with a ridiculously easy baby who started sleeping 10-6 by 2 months and 6-6 by 3.5 months. We’ve certainly done some things to help that along but I’d say we deserve about 5% of the credit–95% is just her incredibly easygoing nature.

    We are pretty protective of her naps/bedtime (though have been able to lighten up a bit as she approaches the year mark). I think some of our friends think we are being way too uptight, especially because she is so easygoing (particularly one of our male friends who has a SAH wife who handles 100% of nighttime wakeups), but it makes life easier for all three of us.

  78. June– Ha! As LfB said above, it’s easier to be laid back about the schedule when you don’t pay the consequences.

  79. We took the pacifier away cold turkey at 6 months. Our pediatrician told us it would only get harder from there, so we bit the bullet. But of course, it was super easy for us because she had already been sleeping through the night for months and is super adaptable, so got over it in less then than two days. If she had sleep issues it would not have been so easy because I don’t think we would have had the wherewithal.

  80. Tulip: Yes, he’s a dear friend, but because of their arrangement is not particularly clued in to why such things matter. Totally fine since it works for them, but not someone I would rely on for advice on such things.

  81. Tulip, try Mavala Stop (when you think he is old enough to understand what you want and why).

    Unpleasant but effective. A tiny bit is really enough, you don’t have to paint the whole nail.

  82. My 4yo still sucks her thumb. The dentist isn’t the least bit concerned. She is very stubborn and didn’t potty train until she made the decision. The thumb sucking is a battle I’m not willing to fight at this time, so I’ll do the wait and see approach.

    When my oldest DD was between 2-5 whenever we went somewhere and had to wait I was jealous of the other kids sitting quietly coloring or watching a movie while the parent read a magazine or a book. My DD wanted me to be her entertainment. She’d want detailed conversations about anything and everything. At times it was exhausting. She is still that way (doesn’t like tv or movies), but occasionally will entertain herself with a book that she can read. My youngest loves tv, so with her I can give her a movie and wait for hours. The problem is that she then doesn’t want to stop watching, so it becomes an ordeal when it is time to move along.

    Each kid has there own unique way about them. And it always seems like the other parents have it easier, but I know that isn’t true.

  83. “Once we started limiting his morning/afternoon naps to no more than 1.5 hours”

    One sleep cycle?

  84. “Once we started limiting his morning/afternoon naps to no more than 1.5 hours”

    LOL– thanks, Fred.

  85. “Once we started limiting his morning/afternoon naps to no more than 1.5 hours”

    One of the more rewarding recent experiences in parenting has been seeing DD beginning to appreciate DS a lot more, and the two of them getting closer. I think DD will really miss DS when he goes to college.

  86. I have one kid and looks like second is not happening, so I am glad I got an easy going one. Baby slept through the night around 3 months and is now easy going toddler! We do have a few tantrums here and there but that is to be expected! What is exhausting is the need to be constantly entertained one on one! There is no playing alone unless stuck in front of tv! Thankfully DH is great with the kid and I can easily get out of the house without worrying about he kid being properly fed and entertained! But one thing I have noticed after becoming a parent is how different it is parent a girl versus a boy!

    I am waiting for that stage in development when they start playing with other kids, get interested in having friends etc!

  87. A WCE child sleeping more than 12 out of 24 hours is highly correlated with a fever > 100.

  88. At what age is that the sleep correlation, Anonymous? Until very recently my 3 year old slept 11 hours at night and 2 hours or more reliably at a nap. It was kind of heavenly…. (no longer.)

    Sky– I’ll keep it in mind. I have to admit the idea makes me laugh. I bit my nails as a kid, and my dad tried some version of that. I was so stubborn that the idea of it made me wash my hands repeatedly to get it off and/or continue through until I developed some immunity to the terrible taste. If I quit it was going to be MY decision. (Gee, where do my kids get it from?) So for now I’m just going to ride this out with ds and see if I can avoid making it a power struggle. He certain understands at almost four, but I have to force him to do enough other things that I’m not interested in adding to the list for a bit!

  89. The thumb sucker was sucking his thumb in the ultra sound picture. That was really a deeply ingrained behavior. A long time till that was outgrown. But, lo and behold all the adult teeth of thumb sucking child are fine. My other non thumb sucker is likely to need braces. Need for braces = parental fail in old country.

  90. Whoops, I didn’t mean to be anonymous. That’s from whenever Baby gets over jaundice (2-6 weeks after birth) until age 9, so far.

    I think parenting is kind of like the rule that you find something in the last place you look (because when you find it, you quit looking). You work on the issues that are important (eating enough for kids that are underweight, sleeping enough for kids that are grumpy, talking enough for kids who may not be hearing well) and then you slack off on other issues where your kids seem fine to you. Other parents would not be OK with how dirty my boys get their clothes and the occasional holes from climbing trees, for example.

  91. We are right in the thick of challenging baby sleep. Baby’s longest stretch ever is less than 4 hours, and a really “good” night means only 3 night wakings between 10 and 6. Sleeps awesome in my arms, wakes the moment set in crib. Too paranoid about SIDS to cosleep or let baby sleep in swing or rock and play. I swear the SIDS prevention guidelines must work by preventing babies from dying in their sleep because they never actually do sleep if you place them alone, on back, in crib. Definitely plan to try Weissbluth method (cry it out) at around 6-9 months and keep up the caffeine in the meantime.

    The sleep deprivation/constant baby in arms is behind my light posting as of late.

  92. Sorry Rio! Sleep deprivation is the pits. Maybe a snuza or owlet monitor along with a RNP or swing would help and allow everyone to get some more sleep?

  93. DS2 sucked 2 fingers until he was 8-9 years old. Others were concerned, but DH and I weren’t. He stopped on his own somewhere in late elementary school.

  94. Rio – that is tough. I can’t even imagine how much like a zombie you must feel! I know I did and mine slept for longer stretches after the first month or so. Sending positive thoughts your way!

  95. Houston– That’s kind of a relief to hear! I figure at some point peer pressure kicks in, right?

    Rio– I’m sorry. The sleep deprivation passes, but in the meantime it’s rough.

    WCE– Your theory rings true from here. Even now, I got into a conversation with some parents that were all discussing what a hard time their kids had with spelling and their various tactics. We haven’t had a problem, so we just review quickly and move on. (We deal with other issues, so it’s not exactly perfection over here, but y’know….) You work where the struggle points are.

  96. Rio, by your fourth kid, you’ll be better at nursing with one hand and typing-to-post with the other. Maybe you’ll make fewer errors than I do. :)

  97. Rio — The Weissbluth book saved me when my kids were infants. A friend of mine gave it to me when Child #1 was four months old. Up to then, I had been a walking zombie, just really at the end of my rope from lack of sleep. I started four-month-old DS on the program, and I soon got my life back. If your pediatrician agrees, would you think about starting to sleep train your baby sooner than 6-9 months?

    On finger sucking, as soon as my DD got control over her hands (at a few months old), she began two self-soothing habits: She would put the middle and ring fingers of her left hand in her mouth and suck, and she would simultaneously use her right hand to twirl her hair (when she was a baby and didn’t have much hair, she would just rub a certain spot on her head). From her babyhood until recently, I could always tell when she was tired or upset, because she would be sucking and twirling. I often told her that big girls don’t suck their fingers or twirl their hair, but that would just make her cling to the behaviors more strongly. So eventually I stopped bringing it up. Around her eighth birthday, she suddenly quit both behaviors on her own, pretty much cold-turkey. She’s just one of those kids who is going to do things when she decides to do them, and not a moment sooner.

  98. Good idea about considering early sleep training. Will definitely ask the pediatrician. Biggest hesitation is nutrition needs, RioBaby was born under 6 pounds and is still underweight for length- hard to catch a baby up when they start life below the bottom of the chart for weight and shoot up to the 99th percentile in length right away. But baby is finally starting to fill out and get some chub, so hopefully the days of legitimate need for many night feeds are numbered.

  99. Rio – short of putting lots of bedding in the crib, we tried to make it as warm and comfortable as possible. In short we had to get over our strict adherence to SIDS guidelines. Also, check to see whether the crib is near air vents. Kid # 1 liked a comfortable, snug bed and didn’t like the draft from the vents. We found this out after trial and error.

  100. “My DD wanted me to be her entertainment. She’d want detailed conversations about anything and everything. At times it was exhausting. She is still that way (doesn’t like tv or movies), but occasionally will entertain herself with a book that she can read. My youngest loves tv, so with her I can give her a movie and wait for hours. The problem is that she then doesn’t want to stop watching, so it becomes an ordeal when it is time to move along.”

    @Lemon, you just described my two kids to a T (except DD now loves TV/movies). People would ask me what DD’s favorite toy was, and I could only say “whichever one I will play with with her.” DS was entranced by Baby Mozart — it was like he went to another dimension.

    We had big problems with pacy/thumb with DS, but it sort of goes to “pick your battles.” He just loved to suck on something — he was huge by 3 months, because he kept waking up screaming, and we’d give him a bottle, and he’d be *thrilled.* Turns out he just liked to suck. So he took to the pacy big-time. We finally got rid of that maybe around 2-3, but then he started in on his thumb. I remember being vaguely concerned about his teeth but not really caring enough to do anything about it (given his genetics, he is doomed to braces anyway); in the grand scheme of things, I figured he’d probably quit before he went to college (and if he were still sucking then and that’s the worst thing I had to deal with, it’s a total win).

    In K, he stopped with the thumb — I think the peer pressure and K teacher got to him. So instead he started sucking on his shirt — every day the collar would come home completely stretched out and soaked, along with the entire front of his shirt. Drove the K teacher nuts. I think she gave him some beads or something on a necklace that he could suck on when he needed to, and by the end of the year the habit was finally gone.

    That was probably nature and nurture — he clearly really, really needed to suck on stuff as a baby, and then we didn’t care enough to make a big deal about it going away as he got older.

  101. The pediatrician told my mom, “By the day of her wedding, I guarantee she won’t be doing X anymore,” where X included using a pacifier, sucking a thumb, hanging onto a blanky, or whatever behavior we kids were engaging in. Sometimes she was still muttering it as a mantra when we were teenagers. Of course it needs updating — like maybe “By the day she graduates college”.

  102. Rio, BTDT, 3x.

    Child 1: Tried CIO per Weissbluth, ended in epic vomiting. Gave up and co-slept for a few months, and when I weaned baby learned to sleep alone using the No Cry (Pantley) method. Stubborn, high need baby.

    Child 2: Tried CIO per Weissbluth, ended in epic vomiting again. Gave up, co-slept, weaned, moved baby to his own room, nothing worked. He got up 4-5 times per night, screaming for up to 45 minutes but not fully awake, through age 3. Thought it was night terrors. Paid big bucks to a sleep coach to no effect. At 3.5 we discovered he had really bad reflux. After a few months of treatment, he was down to one waking per night and no screaming. If nothing you do changes the behavior, please consider medical causes sooner than I did!

    Child 3: Weissbluth worked.

    Try Weissbluth or the No Cry method, and if it is not working at all talk to the pediatrician.

  103. Rio – my #1 was like that, 2% for weight for a really long time. It got slightly better at 6 months – we had a *hard* 7 pm bedtime and then she would get up once between 12 and 1. I also started using the white noise machine at that point so I didn’t hear the small noises until 6 am. Also, if you are doing meds for the reflux, are they the fancy compounding kind? We had Zantac and Prilosec – the Prilosec was *much* more effective IME.

  104. I registered DS for HS last night – he decided on our neighborhood school rather than the charter school. They have to take math, English, science and socail studies, then they get 3 electives. I was disappointed with the elective choices (as was DS). Foreign languages aren’t required, and neither is gym, which I find very odd. So he’s taking Spanish for one elective, and picked two PE classes for the other two – regular gym, and strength and conditioning. You have to pick a fourth in case you don’t get into one of your top three choices, and there wasn’t anything else he wanted. There were a bunch of music classes, drama, art, JROTC, business law, and AVID. I’m proven to not be a totebagger because I didn’t force him to take AVID. He finally picked “drawing and painting” because you have to take one fine arts class to graduate and that was the least offensive of the choices. Apparently I’m out of touch because I was expecting things like woodshop, computer programming, home ec type stuff, etc.

    The school has a magnet program for robotics, software engineering, web development, and broadcasting/communication. Originally DS said he wasn’t interested but they said there are still openings so now he does want to apply. If he does get in, there would be one general technology class he’d take as a freshman. So we’ll see if he is actually motivated to apply.

  105. Indeed. Almost all parents of more than two children have direct experience of the article’s “news.” I am of the 90% fully baked on arrival school. Some babies/children/teens are easier with respect to all the milestones and physical stuff. Some are smarter or at least more fitted to/less challenged by formal learning. Some have measurable natural talent of some sort, most don’t. And all fall somewhere on the scale of foolhardy – defiant – adventurous – compliant – fearful.

    Every parent has his/her priorities, so the 10% seasoning applies in specific (sometimes successful/sometimes not) behavior modification, but not in overall type. My grandkids were rigidly sleep trained, none the worse for wear. They still don’t ordinarily eat with the adults or from the adult menu, although they no longer graze all day and have set kid mealtimes, also none the worse for wear.

  106. DD – it could be that the school expects Totebaggy types to gravitate towards the tech magnet program. I am surprised that there are still open spots there. DS next year has some nice choices for electives but if kidscontinue with band, that means one less elective to choose from.

  107. Louise, the school doesn’t attract the totebag crowd. They don’t go to the “regular” Denver high schools. they go to the charter schools, suburban schools, or private.

  108. And isn’t band an elective? I’m not getting that they have one less elective because they are choosing another elective. Or do you mean they have one less academic elective they can take?

  109. If anyone is looking for Easter-y stuff for older girls, Lush has cute egg-shaped bath stuff, and some very cute little bath sticks decorated to look like carrots and sold in little clusters of 3.

    DD, I felt that every year at our charter. They’d give out s list of cool electives to choose from, but when they got to school in the fall, none of those classes existed and the entire grade would be put into things like Technical Writing as an elective. It never bothered him enough to change schools, but I thought it was strange.

  110. DD – yes band is an elective. So, that means band kids have one less elective that they have to choose. Foreign language has to be taken. I’ll have to check into PE. The school is traditional but does offer enough tech and business electives. I am sure next year’s selection forms are in the mail.

  111. NOB – I did the same thing as a baby/toddler as your daughter (two fingers and the twirling of the hair). I’ve never heard of anyone else doing that! My mom said I had way less hair on the side that I twirled because I was constantly knotting it up. I did give it up before kindergarten I think.

  112. MBT – I would hate that bait and switch. The elective descriptions that DS has sound so good, I never got to take anything remotely interesting at school, I would like to audit those classes.

  113. MBT, that sucks. We never got a list or anything until we got there. I was just going off of what I remembered we had in HS. Have you ever asked anyone at the school what happened to the classes they signed up for?

    Louise, I think I’m just confused on the semantics. You are saying “band kids get one less elective”, and I’m thinking “they get the same number of electives and they are picking band as one of them”.

  114. DD – you are stating it correctly. The electives list was not published anywhere, I had to request it. I did this, because when the form comes, though a description is provided, there is limited time to look at all the choices, get DS to ask around etc.

  115. They way they did it last night was a presentation, about 75 kids were there plus parents. They handed out the registration forms and then just went over what the classes are, since it wasn’t real apparent on some of them based on the titles. The drama teacher is really gung-ho – he had a full page info sheet he passed out and then talked about the whole program.

    For the required classes, they said they get recommendations from their current teachers to make sure they are placed right, but asked us to pick the placements we thought they should be in. So I did honors geometry for DS instead of algebra I (so he’s on the calculus track!), world history for social studies (instead of honors geography), earth science instead of honors biology (they made a big point of saying honors bio is the hardest class freshman can take and it’s really only if you want to take AP bio later). Then for English, they only had one choice listed and it was honors english, so I didn’t get that at all because I can’t imagine every kid takes honors English.

  116. “earth science instead of honors biology (they made a big point of saying honors bio is the hardest class freshman can take and it’s really only if you want to take AP bio later).”

    How is an eighth grader supposed to discern whether he might want to take AP Bio 3 or 4 years from now?

  117. My kids’ registration is in late November/ beginning of December of the previous year. That always seems too early to me, but they’re used to it.

  118. How is an eighth grader supposed to discern whether he might want to take AP Bio 3 or 4 years from now?

    Beats me. The issue with DS is that he’s getting a C in science right now so I don’t see the point in pushing him into an honors science class.

  119. “How is an eighth grader supposed to discern whether he might want to take AP Bio 3 or 4 years from now?”

    He’ll need to figure that out when he plans out his entire HS curriculum. My kids did that in 8th grade, and I remember doing it when I was in 8th grade, although we were allowed to make changes as we progressed.

    What you don’t want is the situation a co-worker was describing, in which her son, as a sophomore, decided he wanted to go to college, and found out that the courses he’d taken, and was taking, didn’t put him on track, so he’ll probably need to spend a year or so in CC getting caught up.

  120. “hard to catch a baby up when they start life below the bottom of the chart for weight and shoot up to the 99th percentile in length right away”

    This was DS thru the first few years: 99 %ile height, 1 %ile weight. But his size increased monotonically, so we didn’t worry about that.

  121. He’ll need to figure that out when he plans out his entire HS curriculum. My kids did that in 8th grade, and I remember doing it when I was in 8th grade, although we were allowed to make changes as we progressed.

    They obviously aren’t doing that at DS’ school, and we didn’t do that when I was in HS.

  122. I think some high schools do lock you into a path that might be hard to break out of later if you don’t know the “system” For example, if you don’t get into Earth Science in 8th grade in my district, it becomes very difficult to get into honors bio. If you miss honors bio, then you are probably going to miss other AP and honors science classes. The same is true for math and it impacts science classes because my district uses past grades in math, and on the standardized state test for 8th grade math to determine as one of the criteria for the honors science classes in the HS.

  123. “They obviously aren’t doing that at DS’ school, and we didn’t do that when I was in HS.”

    My suggestion is to do it anyway even if your kids’ school doesn’t have them do it. As Lauren mentioned, and has been discussed here before, if your kids don’t take the right classes early, they may be locked out of certain classes later, which will likely affect their choices for college. And of course, worst of all, you kids may not be able to take calculus.

  124. Finn, this is where I’m in a different world than most of the folks here. I’m just not that concerned about it. I’m quite confident that my kids will graduate HS, go to college, and go on to have fine careers in whatever field they choose without me and DW obsessing if they only take regular chemistry instead of AP chemistry.

  125. DD – wow, that is so different than DD’s very public middle to lower middle class high school. They have a detailed course catalog that has in the front the requirements for admission to state university and college systems. The UC system in particular can be complex and easy to get off course if you are not careful.

  126. The UC system in particular can be complex and easy to get off course if you are not careful.

    The A – G requirements! Gaaaah!

  127. In my HS, we all had to take a guidance class in our first semester of freshman year, and then reviewed our plan of courses for the rest of HS in light of our career and college interests. Flagship U entrance requirements were quite prominently featured.

  128. Finn, we didn’t do any of that when I was in HS, and this was a very totebaggy UMC school. We’d just meet our counselor every spring to pick classes for the next year.

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