Thursday, July 14, 2011

Guidance for a Newbie

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I knew soon after I was pregnant that I would more than likely end up being a "babywise mom."  My sister had wonderful luck with it and from the little I heard about it, I felt like it would work well with my goals and personality.  During the third trimester of my first pregnancy, I purchased the book and determined to read it all before our first child was born.  Surprisingly, our son was stillborn at 38 weeks, so it would end up being over a year later before I could put into practice all that I had learned from the book.  

When our second child, our daughter, was born I immediately began working towards the goal of her eating well and sleeping at night.  We experienced some breastfeeding hurdles (mostly difficulty latching) and I started out just trying to get in a full feeding.  After about 2 weeks, we started working on the eat/wake/sleep cycles with pretty good success, although the majority of her waketime was eating since she was still so sleepy!  

Our daughter was sleeping 5 hours at a time at night fairly early on, which I was thrilled about and we were down to only 1 night feeding at 1 month.  She was sleeping so well so early that I ended up having to cram in lots of feeding during the day, which was a little tiring but so worth it for the nighttime sleep benefits!  Pretty much on schedule, our daughter was sleeping through the night (from 11pm to 7am) by 7 or 8 weeks of age.  While all my friends would ask me about sleep, I had no complaints whatsoever!  I slowly started pushing back her "dreamfeed" and she was sleeping 10 hours at night at about 3 months of age.  She was sleeping 12 hours at night (once I dropped the dreamfeed) at about 4.5 months of age. 
 
While my daughter's nighttime sleep was going well, we had a lot of work to do as far as daytime sleep.  She was used to sleeping in people's arms (we had family around that would spoil her) or would fall asleep when we were out running errands.  Around 6 weeks or so, we started working on naps.  The first week was terrible!  I remember numerous times taking showers just so I could try and drown out the crying!  I knew she was okay but it just broke my heart to hear her screaming.  After sticking with it, she got better at falling asleep on her own in her crib!  I was also blessed to have found your website, which gave so many pointers regarding napping.  I started to be very aware of her waketimes and tried to tweak them to ensure she wasn't getting overtired before naps.  It was challenging to try and figure out what her needs were, but the rewards were wonderful!   
 
My daughter is 6 months old today!  She is now eating every 4 hours (we switched to this schedule around 5.5 months when her naps were all of a sudden not going well and it did the trick!) and we have introduced solids slowly using the Babywise II recommendations.  She continues to sleep 11-12 hours at night and is now taking 2 good naps (around 1.5-2 hours) and 1 catnap (around 45 mins). 
 
I can't speak more hightly of Babywise and this blog!  This parent-directed feeding philosophy provided the structure that we needed to get through those early weeks of being overwhelmed and sleep-deprived.  I have gained more confidence as a mother knowing that my daughter's needs are being met and that she is thriving!  I love that Babywise offers mothers guidance but yet encourages mothers to be flexible.  There are so many misconceptions about Babywise and I hope to encourage other mothers to understand it completely before passing judgement! 
 
Thanks again for all your wonderful posts!  I have learned to much and have been so encouraged! 

Sarah E  

1 comment:

aaron&yuka said...

Great post Sarah. I was so sorry to hear about your son. My heart goes out to you. You sound like a great mom!

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