New Parents must read "BabyWise"
Before I had my baby girl (who is now 16 months old), I was completely lost as to how to take care of a baby. I was one of those types of people that really never babysat or had younger siblings and I was sort of impatient when it came to children. So when I say lost, that is putting it mildly. I mean very inexperienced and not really all that excited about learning how to navigate these uncharted waters that lie ahead!
There was so much great advice from every which way, but it was all still hard to sort out the gems from the noise. I tried to focus on the advice from families that seemed to have a handle on things. If they had happy children that slept, were respectful, lived on a schedule, ate well, and were honest, caring, and compassionate, I figured they must be doing something right.
I found that most of the children that had good temperaments were the ones that were well rested. Every child is different and you have to be prepared for the unexpected things that come your way with each child's differences, but the basics stay the same. The child needs direction and structure from the parents, that is how they learn. And boy do they learn EVERYTHING from you!
One of the best things a friend told me, that I listened to, thank GOD, was to read the book On Becoming Babywise. I did not just read it, my husband and I read it three times before she was born. After I read this book and started telling people about it, more and more people told me that they too read the book and followed it's direction, and sure enough they too had the same qualities in their children.
It set in motion, in our minds, what we had to do to help our baby sleep through the night, be on a schedule, and be an all around happy baby. Babies thrive off of schedules. They like to know what to expect. Some think that it is hard to put it into motion, but actually it is harder on you, and them, not to.
Honestly, I did not understand this concept until I read an article one day on a blog. A lady put a question out about why does her baby want to read the same books all the time over and over. The doctor replied that babies love consistency, they love to know what is coming next. That when they have the same book they know what to expect and that makes them feel good. For some reason that reply put everything into perspective for me as to how the little mind of a child works. That if I showed her what was to come next all the time she would be happy and that would make her always feel good just knowing.
I never did the cry it out method. Still to this day, if she wakes I go in her room, let her know I am always there, and lay her down. Sometimes I will rock her but usually only if she is sick or had a bad dream. Usually if I rock her in the middle of the night it will last 5 min and she will reach for her crib to go back to sleep. For the most part she has slept from 7pm-7am since she was 12 weeks old. She started with 3 naps a day, then went to 2, and now is at one nap a day. Right on schedule.
I promise this only takes a little discipline, work, and patience on your part as a parent for a couple weeks at the most. But the reward is SO worth it in the long run for your family.
I would love to hear from you on any books you recommend or any comments or suggestions. I hope if you are about to start your family you enjoy this book and it helps you as it did us.