When I was pregnant with my first, I was convinced the baby was a girl and I got my hopes up. So I felt pretty relieved when it was confirmed that we would, indeed, be getting a little mini-me. As soon as I was pregnant with my second, I just KNEW it would be a boy. When it turned out I was correct again, I started bragging to my husband that maybe I could sense our children before they even existed. However, that high horse bragging came to an abrupt stop when I realized just what it would mean to be having a BOY. Of course I was beyond excited to have a son; my favorite thing to tell people when they asked what we were having was, “Yup! Now I have both!” But I couldn’t help the irrational panic that set in as I thought of all the ways he would be different than what I was comfortable and familiar with—raising a girl. I know how to raise a daughter and I know what to expect from a baby girl. What the heck did I know about boys? Nothing. I’d be starting over from scratch. So many differences!
Here’s what I’ve learned so far when it comes to the differences between raising a boy verses a girl:
- Girls are sneaky. Right now, I’m referring to what my mom affectionately coined as the “sneaky pee.” With boys, you are very aware when they have peed during a diaper change because it fountains, sometimes almost hitting you smack dab in the face. Due to their anatomy, girls are in a position to be much more sneaky. You could be quickly changing her diaper and a baby girl will seize her chance to dribble that pee down her butt, effectively soaking everything. Chances are good that you won’t even realize she needs a new outfit until you’re snapping her onsie back together.
- Their junk is totally different. One of the first big things you need to decide after you find out you’re having a boy is whether to circumcise or not. If you’re expecting a girl, you’ve got it easy! No need to worry about cutting off a part of her body! And with how hot of a topic circumcision can be in the motherhood community, the decision can be quite stressful.
- Diaper changes—folds verses wiener. People say wiping and making sure a girl is totally clean after a poopy diaper is much harder than cleaning a boy. I say… well, it’s about even. With a girl, it’s a cardinal rule to make sure you wipe front-to-back so you avoid giving her a UTI. And if she has a really bad blowout kind of diaper, getting all of the poop out of her va-jay-jay can be quite the task. But I’ve found wiping down a boy is no easy feat, either. Poop seems to hide under my son’s balls like tiny, stinky ninjas. We will wipe him two or three times, constantly exclaiming, “Where did this come from? There’s more??” Not to mention how weird it is that baby boys can get full on erections as you wipe them. It’s hard-wired into them from birth, I guess.
- Gender expectations: I’m not one to argue gender neutrality. I’m okay with my daughter dancing ballet and my son wanting to play sports. I don’t care if it ends up being the other way around. The only thing I’ve noticed bothering me with what “should be typical” for each gender is my kids’ hair. It bothered me SO much that my daughter was bald until about two days ago, whereas I could care less that my son is sporting a thin skullet. It just seems more acceptable for my son to be bald than it was for my daughter. So I always forced her to wear headbands, since girls tend to have no shortage of accessories.
- Boys are more chill. My baby girl came out screaming and never really stopped. It’s almost like she chose to have colic so we’d have to listen to her even more. Now that she’s a rambunctious toddler that runs around telling her stuffed animals, “Shh, I speaking,” I can catch a glimpse into our future drama queen teen. My boy, however, hardly cries at all, goes right back to sleep after his night time feedings, and is perfectly content to lay there like a slug all day. And the balance between the two is wonderful!
- Boys are tougher. At least, mine is. I bet we will see how my daughter is tough in her own way as she grows older and more independent. But for now, every little thing that happens to her is an “owie.” She jumps on the bed and lands on our pillows—“Ouch, that hurt.” A butterfly lands on her shoulder—“Ouch, that hurt!” My son, on the other hand: his sister falls on his head—cries for only two seconds. I accidently bonk his head on the doorframe because I’m one handedly trying to pull off his sister’s pants so she can go potty—shoots me his grumpy face. I’m sure, when he gets older and into sports, I’ll be cringing at his hits more than he ever will! While my daughter tip toes around the playground.
My girl is only 2 years old and my boy is only 2 months so I know I’ll probably find a lot more that’s different between raising them, as they grow older. I’m expecting to see a lot more stereotypical incidents, like my daughter needing an hour longer to get ready than my son needs, or my son being smellier than my girl will ever be. But for now, I’m cherishing the fact that my baby boy hasn’t been so crazy different to raise than my girl has been so far.
What are some more differences you have seen between raising boys and girls?