Finding new blogs is a really fun treasure hunt. I’ve found a lot of parenting blogs; they range from individual parents posting an online diary to collaborative sites with multiple contributors and sound advice.
The largest group of parenting bloggers are the moms. That’s no surprise- most of the links I follow are from other women’s blogs. One theme I’ve found among new moms is that they are really frustrated with their child’s sleeping and eating patterns. Trust me, I feel your pain. I have two words that may help: Baby Wise.
My sister was a new mom three years ago and she called a friend of hers, frustrated and tired. The friend told her to immediately obtain a copy of the book. From that day forward, my sister’s parenting woes became a lot easier. She had another baby and this one was started with the Baby Wise philosophy. My sister can tell of the enormous difference it made for her second child.
As a result, I bought my own copy of Baby Wise and read it cover to cover about four times before Ainsley was born. In the early days, when I was often emotional and tired, I read sections of it while she slept or nursed. I can attest that it works! My baby has slept well from the very start. Don’t let me fool you…it’s been rocky, but it has worked. After the first couple of weeks, Ainsley moved to a 2 to 2 1/2 hour schedule for feedings. After 5 weeks, it was every 2 1/2 to 3 hours, with one 4 to 5 hour stretch every night. Since the age of 9 weeks, she has a very predictable schedule of 8 hours of nighttime sleep and feedings every 3 hours during the day. (again, I say “predictable,” but of course it isn’t 100% perfect.)
I had read that some parents think BW expects parents to ignore their child’s cries. Not true! The book states over and over that hunger is always a legitimate reason to feed earlier than scheduled. It emphasizes a need for family and for nurturing. It’s not a book about how to love your child, it’s about how to give the gift of peaceful sleep to your baby. For a few days, I slept in a bed in her room, next to her crib. I learned her fussy cry and comforted her to sleep; I learned her hungry cry and fed her. When it was time for me to sleep in another room, she didn’t have to be moved so it didn’t disrupt her.
Because of the Baby Wise routine of feeding-waketime-naptime, Ainsley learned how to go to sleep, not be nursed to sleep. This has liberated me and has also meant that Ainsley is happy in the arms of other caretakers. She’s been put to bed by three different grandparents, her aunt, and especially her dad. She has been able to enjoy the love and comfort of not just Mommy, but also all of those other people who love her.
The best thing that BW did for me was to give me the confidence to assess the situation. Food is not the only thing Ainsley needs when she cries- sometimes she needs a new diaper or just some cuddling. Sometimes, she just wants to fuss for 5 minutes before she drifts to sleep!
Baby Wise worked so well for me that I recommend it to anyone who’s frustrated over their infant’s sleep (or lack thereof).