Thursday, April 29, 2010

Time to debrief

I loved the idea in the Happiest Baby on the Block that later in life there will be time for teaching and scheduling your baby, but the first 3 months (the 4th trimester) are the time for cuddling. He calls his technique for calming crying the "cuddle cure," and gives advice for helping your freaked out baby get through the first part of life with minimal upset. It helps me feel that even when I am "not getting anything done" during the day, I am still accomplishing something huge--loving my baby.

Ella and I are not exactly on a schedule and frankly I am all mixed up about whether and how to get on one. I do like the Babywise idea of scheduling your baby loosely--definitely the part about sleeping through the night. But here's the thing, even the scheduling proponents like the authors of Babywise say if your baby is hungry, feed her, if she needs something, help her out regardless of the schedule. We are doing that, but if I think too much about the schedule, I find myself just frustrated that we are an hour off. But that doesn't really matter!

The best thing I have taken from Babywise is the feed-wake-sleep cycle. I like that, and I especially like having an idea of what we should be trying next during the day. I think the main issue is sleeping vs. crying. If baby is crying when she is scheduled for sleeping, what do you do? Let her cry it out or cuddle her? That question becomes very important and urgent at 3 am. But also during the day cuddling Ella means not doing other things, sometimes as basic as laundry, other times as fulfilling as sewing.

Now, should I treasure a few months to just cuddle with my precious baby, or should I set an early pattern for her of learning to accomodate others and learning to sleep when the world sleeps? I have been sort of trying to balance in between and do both. But even so, I am profoundly less productive in life in terms of what I used to do before Ella was born. Unless you consider I am nurturing a whole new person and I get to take credit for some of what she will accomplish later on. It's very different. I'm still working out how to think about what to "do" with a day. The fact that Ella likes to be outside means I am definitely taking more time to smell the roses.

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