Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Word to the Weary--Be Patient with Yourself

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With my first child, I honestly found all of the facets of Babywise to be overwhelming. It took me time to implement things, and there were many things I never got to, or I got to them really late. I remember the first time I read Toddlerwise, I thought, "Oh no, more things to do--or not do and feel guilt about it!"

First, you want to make Babywise work for you and your family. The things suggested in the books can be of great help, but don't stress yourself out in trying to get them all going. As time passes, you will get better at it all as it becomes part of life, and therefore part of your thinking. With my second, I don't have to think about it. I just do it.

For example, with my son, I didn't do sign language until he was a little over a year old. A good friend of mine also does Babywise, and her son is younger than Brayden. One day she told me she was teaching her son sign language, and I thought, "I had better do that too!" By that point, Brayden said over 100 words, but the sign language did help. Words he couldn't (or wouldn't) say, he could sign. It also caused him to think more before communicating when he was frustrated.

With my daughter, I started showing her signs from a young age. She started verbally talking before using sign language, but now (10.5 months old) picks up new signs faster than she can verbally form words. The signs help us differentiate her words (a lot of them sound the same at this point). I can show her a sign and she starts using it right away. Brayden (3 in May) still remembers his signs, so he will communicate with Kaitlyn that way, also.

Second, you can do what you want and don't need to do what you don't want to. Of course you will miss out on benefits from that item, but it is better to remain calm and on top of things than stress and feel like a failure because you aren't doing it all. Give yourself time to do things. Add things as you feel ready for them.

There are some things that I seem to have glossed over in my reading. One example is blanket time. I do remember thinking that would be more trouble than it was worth with Brayden. At his current age, it is no problem for me to tell him to remain in an exact place and him stay there. Also, in retrospect, he could have handled blanket time as a baby. At church, I never allowed him to wander. He was confined to a small amount of space and not allowed to leave. He did great with it. My determination was there for church, but not home. We were working so hard on independent play; I couldn't bring myself to add another point of stress to our day. Church probably would have been less stressful for me if I had worked on it at home, but it is done and over, and he can now stay in a small area based on voice commands, so it all worked out.

I completely forgot about blanket time until I read an article on the Growing Kids website. Here is the link to it: http://www.growingkids.org/2008/03/02/blanket-time/. This article reminded me of that aspect, and I believe I will start implementing it into Kaitlyn's day. Although, right now she doesn't move to crawling from sitting. She crawls all over the place, but if I put her in sitting position, she stays there (which I am honestly not too sad about right now).

So, please try to not stress over things in the Babywise system. That is not the intention of the program. Decide which items you find most important and work on those. Move to others when you feel up to it. Again, you want your schedule to serve you, not you serve your schedule. Take the time to enjoy your baby--he/she is only a baby once!

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  • Salina said...
    I saw the blanket time post and wondered about it too. Except I don't remember ever reading about it. Is it in the 1st book? I may also try it with James, since he's not crawling, but can go from sitting to lying and rolling EVERYWHERE, this may be a good time to start it. But I'm not sure when or how to start with him.
    March 5, 2008 12:46 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    I just did a quick look through all of books and didn't see it listed anywhere. I do remember reading about it though...I will have to do a more thorough reading to find it. My guess is it would be in BW II or Toddlerwise. It might be kind of in passing and not labeled with heading?
    March 5, 2008 2:15 PM
  • Courtney said...
    I just thank you so much for your encouragement. I have a real struggle with perfectionism and having Ethan has really challenged me in that regard. Especially when things are not "by the book". So thanks for the support on this blog from you and all the people commenting. I'm definitely benefiting from it.
    March 6, 2008 5:18 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Courtney, You are welcome! I struggle with perfectionism too. It does help to know that others struggle. We aren't alone! :) You have to always remind yourself to keep things in perspective.
    March 6, 2008 9:59 AM

2 comments:

Laura said...

I've thought about using a timer for blanket time, but will it be a problem when we aren't at home? If he's used to waiting on me to tell him when he can get up, will that be easier?

Plowmanators said...

Laura, it is possible. But I think over time, he will be able to transition to doing it anywhere. You could even phase out the timer.

Here is what I would do. If he will stay on the blanket happily, then don't worry about the timer so long as you won't get side-tracked and forget to get him off at the right time.

If, however, he doesn't play happily, I would use a timer. Otherwise he will believe his crying, whining, or repeated efforts to leave the blanket are what get him off rather than the timer.

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