Sunday, May 11, 2008

The First Week

I am not as utterly, totally exhausted after Cupcake’s quick birth than I was after my long, very difficult labor with D.L.F. Aside from the normal discomforts of the early days of nursing, I physically feel pretty good. Cupcake is proving to be a good nurser, but she is quite the sleepyhead. I sometimes have to tickle her or pat a cool, damp washcloth on her face to get her to wake up enough to nurse. I am working really hard to get her to nurse eight times a day, which is the minimum number of times recommended. She seems to be getting plenty of milk, though, based on her, uh, diaper output. I am starting to get Cupcake on a routine (more about that later), which is helpful for her and the whole family. In general, she is so far a pretty “easy” baby and not very fussy.

D.L.F. is adjusting to being a big brother. I try to spend lots of time with him while Cupcake is sleeping. It is obvious that he is craving attention from T and me. He loves for me to rock him in the rocking chair and sing to him (he often requests particular songs and helps with the words!). Today he went grocery shopping with T in the morning, and this afternoon, he and T went to church, which met tonight at the home of a family who has a trampoline in their backyard. D.L.F. was excited to hear that he would get to bounce on the trampoline.

Now, about the “routine” we are working on for Cupcake: in the first days of D.L.F.’s life, I refused to even read Babywise, by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam. I had heard of the controversy surrounding the book and the Ezzo’s ministry, and I had read so many “attachment parenting” books that I was quite biased against the concept of putting a young baby on a routine. But then I read about how Jess and Gretchen had successfully implemented Babywise with their children, and I decided it couldn’t hurt to read the book and see if I could glean at least a scrap of useful information from it.

I was surprised to find that the advice in Babywise is very practical, and not cruel or extreme as some reviewers on the internet would make it out to be. The most helpful thing I learned from the book was to make sure that baby is really getting a full feeding, and not just "snacking" here and there. Gretchen does a great job of explaining the basic tenets of the Babywise philosophy, so I will not repeat what she has written, but will direct you to her article here. (Also, it seems that at least some of the negative things said about the Ezzos and Babywise have been proven false. See this web site.)

We have started applying the Babywise concepts with Cupcake, and I am hopeful that they will help her become a content, well-rested, happy baby who understands that we love her dearly and will meet her needs.


prayzgod said...

Babywise is a fantastic book. I didn't read it until I was pregnant with my fourth child, but when I read it, parts of it felt like I wrote it, because I used the Babywise method with all of my children, just from naturally being inclined toward it. It was great to find that there is a book about it out there.

Also, I please to say that the Wal-Mart I shop at sells BabyWise in their book section. :-D

PS - I stayed on very loose schedules - more of finding the baby's routine during the first month. By then, I knew the baby's rythm, and could start a more focused schedule.

Emily said...

My husband and I used the concepts of Babywise with our son and he was a breeze! He didn't sleep through the night as early as I hoped, but it was still in the "range" that they tell you. I agree about the filling the tummy part, it just makes so much sense!

Anonymous said...

We did the Ezzo's with both our children. We found the scheduling to be fabulous and had very happy babies that began to sleep through the night quickly.

One thing I changed, was with my 2nd child, I rocked him to sleep whenever he and I wanted. Not every night, but I wasn't as "strict" about it as I was with my 1st. Anyway, that said, I think Babywise helps to make a great start. Best of luck with it. :)

Christy said...

Great post - glad you gave the book a chance. We have found the concept of routine (as opposed to a strict schedule) presented in Babywise to be very helpful in our family!