The differences between my first child and my third are astounding. Totally different worlds. A few examples:
-Katy screamed her head off inconsolably for the first 3 months of her life. Luke slept soundly for 22 hours a day for the first month, and then once he woke up, he sat there and cooed at us.
-I remember that I couldn't sit her down (in a bouncy seat, etc) for more than 2 or 3 minutes before she started fussing. With Luke, sometimes I would realize that the poor child has been in the exersaucer for waaaay too long, time to get him out.
-Katy would only sleep in her crib - never EVER EVER in the car seat past the newborn stage. Just last week, at 10 months old, Luke passed out in the car seat on the way home from preschool pick-up and I carried the car seat in so he could continue to snooze in the living room while I got lunch together. He snoozes in the car seat several times a week.
-I literally scheduled my life around Katy's nap schedule, because if I didn't, she was so miserable if she didn't get her sleep. Now, I am always home to give Luke an afternoon nap in his crib, but I don't ever schedule around the morning one. If he's tired, he catches it while we are out and about. But there are some days that he just doesn't get one, and he's fine.
So I really debate in my head - was Katy that much more difficult by nature of her personality? Or is it me that has changed? I don't go running at the first whimper and he has learned to sleep on the go out of necessity?
Many people will say that their 3rd (4th, etc) kids were more laid back because they as parents were more relaxed. I think that HAS to play into it. But I've had friends whose third babies turned their world upside down, and were definitely their most challenging kids yet. So I suppose it is a little bit of both. I know for sure that there is a difference between Luke and Katy's personalities at the core.
So Luke chugs along with his easy going temperament. In the past couple of weeks, he has given up nursing entirely, started sleeping through the night (he did 3/4 nights on his own, just need a leeetle encouragement for the 4th night), and has decreased his dependence on the morning nap. He's sweet as can be and I'm loving this almost-toddler stuff.