Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Being Mommy: To schedule ....

Or not to schedule?
That is the question.

and the question I go back and forth on about every 2 hours, or anytime that nap time rolls around and monkey man is STILL awake.

I'm very torn. I've read numerous books and done hours of research on the needs of your baby, scheduling vs. demand feeding, etc.

Basically - the main consensus is - you know your baby.
You do what works for you.

Talk about pressure.

I do know my baby. He's the sweetest, happiest, loving, well-adjusted monkey on the block ... until that dreaded nap time hits. And then I have a fussy, cranky, screaming baby that won't fall asleep, hates the crib, gets overtired and generally is miserable.

and that my friends ... is not good for him.
or me.

So - what's a mom to do?
1. ASK other moms, of course.

My mom, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, my friends with babies, bloggers, people at church, everyone!

And basically what I've learned is that EVERYONE did it differently and their way worked perfectly.
for them.

2. Read/Research.
I read a gazillion different books, papers, blogs, etc and came to the conclusion that there are two main approaches when it comes to 'scheduling'.

The first type is called Attachment Parenting (or AP). AP essentially says that your baby knows what his needs are and communicates them to you. Therefore, they support "on demand" eating and sleeping, as well as co-sleeping, baby wearing and extended breastfeeding. AP states that although it is possible to spoil a child, it is NOT possible to spoil a baby and their cries are not manipulations but rather needs. AP also discourages Cry it out (CIO), but rather rocking/soothing your baby to sleep.

The second method is BabyWise (BW). Babywise basically states that the mother knows what is best for her baby and needs to take control, so as to not be manipulated by the baby. Feed on a schedule, sleep on a schedule, etc. This method focuses on a few bad "Cry It Out" nights and then you have a well-adjusted, scheduled, HAPPY baby.


Here's when being a mom gets hard.

Both methods are backed up by doctors, nurses and parents that SWEAR their way is the only way and adamantly insist the other way doesn't work and/or is harmful to your baby.

So what's a mom to do???

I just want to do what's best for monkey man. 
 and myself.

I like SOME aspects of both,
so I'm creating a hybrid method. :)

I like to go out and about during the day, try new things, hunt for bargains at the local thrift store, meet my husband for lunch - and I don't want to be tied down to a "day time" nap schedule. Plus, Nelson naps much better in the carseat, haha. So - I've decided to stick with on demand feeding and sleeping during the day. He naps well and it's working for us. Why change what works, right?

We are however going to increase the length of time between feedings from 2 hours to 3 hours. The little piglet LOOVVEESS to eat - but every 2 hours is crazy! He's still on his 3 week old schedule!

However - my dilemma comes at bed time! This is where I'm torn. I don't really believe in letting him cry it out. I know, this subject gets touchy. It's a personal choice. It's just like the spanking issue. Some do. Some don't. and people are passionate about their choice.

I mean, I'm not unrealistic, he cries. Holy Moly - does he cry! If I'm in the shower and he's crying - he will just have to wait until I finish, I need a shower! If I'm in the garage painting and don't hear him until I come back insider, well there isn't much I can do about that. BUT. I refuse to let him scream, while I'm just sitting on the couch listening. Why put him through that? Why put ME through that? That breaks my heart! :(

So - I've decided on this. We are going to establish a bedtime routine and it will go like this. Bath. Books. Nurse. Rocking. Lay him in bed with pacifier. If he begins to cry when I leave, I'll go back in - give him his pacifier and rub his back and face! I'm not going to pick him up, because he needs to learn to fall asleep on his own BUT I'm not going to let him scream himself to sleep either. This kid has a TEMMPPEERR - he would scream for 2 hours. haha. When he wakes up in the middle of the night for feeding, I'll quietly feed him, no talking, no playing and straight back in the crib.

Now, I know. Many of you disagree or you think it's stupid or harmful or your way is better... and it may be. BUT I'm doing the best thing for Nelson and myself. at least I hope I am.

oh, and if Mamma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

1 comment:

  1. How old is he? With my first, I tried crying it out at 4 months. BIG mistake. That was entirely too early. So we stopped and picked it up again around 6 months. It was better for her. With my second, we tried it at about 6 months, but he is way more attached to us, so that was still a bit early for him, so we stopped and tried again at about 8-9 months. Much better. Other than that, I did a lot of AP, wearing my babies and feeding them, often while lying next to them. Yeah, you definitely just have to do what's right for you and baby. My FAVORITE book, which is still my sleep bible, even now (with a 4 and 2 year old) is Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. It is Excellent. If you haven't read it yet, you should check it out.Hope that helps!


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