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I was 19 years old when I had my first son and very inexperienced as most 19 old’s would be when it comes to parenting. I am proud that I breastfed for 9 months however. One thing that I did with my first child was “feed on demand”. This often times meant my son would start screaming in the car, in public, or at other inconvenient times when I was unable to feed him. As well as this, I never knew when he would nap and all along I just thought all along I was “going with the flow”. However much many people told me that it was best to “feed my baby when he was hungry” a part of me wished I had more structure and could be more organized. I partially blame my immaturity at the time for not knowing how to develop a schedule and also the fact that I didn’t have one myself at that point and many days was flying by the seat of my pants. The problem with this system also rolled over into my son’s toddler years where I found he used whining as a means of communication. In retrospect I am sure this was because I let him get to the point of hunger, tiredness, etc without helping him have a predictable schedule. He is 10 now and even still I struggle with him whining at times.
I always told myself if I had another baby I was going to have them on a routine. I had my youngest son on October 27, 2010 and right away noticed the change in myself as a parent. Maybe this was because of the 9 1/2 year difference in my own age which automatically put me at an advantage with my maturity but I also had a more stable home life. From the second week of his birth I started to write down his eating times and be organized. It wasn’t until he was 7 weeks old someone handed me a copy of Babywise and I devoured it in one and a half sittings. It made so much sense to me. He is now 7.5 months and we so appreciate our “eat, play, sleep” schedule. He goes down most days without crying as he knows what to expect and I also feel more confident and secure in knowing what is coming next. He has slept through the night since he was 3 months old. He is a smiley, calm, and observant baby. I also have read Pre-teen wise for my 10 year old which has been immensely helpful. Ezzo has a wonderful strategy that is both caring and practical as well as helps the parents secure their leadership role. I also really love his views on making time for your spouse! That is so important!