Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Watchful Eyes

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We had our first child a little later in life and so we watched many of our friends have babies and begin raising them before we were blessed with our own little girl. It was interesting to watch our friends struggle through the first year of life with their babies. It didn't take long for us to notice that our friends that had babies that slept through the night, seemed like parenthood was easy, & had happy babies were those that had done Babywise. I knew nothing of Babywise, but I knew that from watching my friends, that when it was our turn to raise a child, we'd look into this Babywise thing. About 2 years before we had our baby, my sister-in-law had her first baby. She struggled tremendously the first few weeks. She didn't know what to do when her baby cried--should she nurse her, rock her to sleep, change her diaper? Every time that sweet baby cried, her mommy struggled to know what was wrong. One of her close friends told her about Babywise when her daughter was about six weeks old. I watched my sister-in-law go from a frazzled stressed out mommy to a confident knowing mom that knew when and how to meet her child's needs. When her second child came along, she knew what to do, how to do it, and was giving me advice with my newborn! 

While I was pregnant with our daughter, I read the Babywise book 2-3 times and had all the pages of the newborn information marked. I also read some other books and paid attention when the authors of Babywise told me to use my brain, think logically, and meet my baby's needs. There were times when we didn't do things exactly by the book--we used it as a guide (as the book says it should be) to get through the first year of life. My daughter was sleeping through the night at 8 weeks (probably would have been sooner, but I was waking her up to nurse her per instructions from her pediatrician)--and was a happy, content infant. I knew when I could take her out and about and could plan my days around hers b/c I knew when she would need to sleep. The schedule was there to serve me--not for me to be a servant to the schedule. And my favorite thing about Babywise, is that I could be very flexible with the schedule. Depending on what we had going on, I could adjust her meals, naps, etc to meet our needs. I would try to have shopping days with my sister and her baby, and it would end up stressful because we never knew when her baby would decide when it was time to eat or sleep b/c she nursed on demand. And usually nursed her baby to sleep. With my daughter, I usually knew what to expect.

My daughter has thrived as a babywise baby! She's a happy healthy girl (right around 75% for weight & height at her well visits). And she is now a happy vibrant independent toddler. She goes to sleep on her own (unlike her cousin that's just a few months younger and still has to be rocked to sleep) and has learned to function both on and off of her routine. I wouldn't change a thing about the way we have raised her thus far!

by Jacqueline

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