our precious girl...eleven weeks already. can't believe it.
adjusting to being a mama has been hard but so incredibly worthwhile. i am so thankful to have a husband who supports me working or staying at home, and who encourages me to pursue motherhood and my career. we are both grateful that i can stay home full time right now with Em, since we both believe these are formative months, and it's important that i be the one teaching and bonding with her. she is precious, and i love being her mama.
the very best part of having her is having the peaceful sleep schedule that she has. before she was born, everyone joked that we would never get sleep and it became very discouraging as we approached her birth. this has absolutely not been the case at all, and i am SO thankful for the mamas who assured me that a schedule was both doable and would create peace for our whole family. people often ask me, "how i did it", and i have to say, the Lord has been especially gracious giving us a little one who LOVES sleep, and who is happy and compliant. i am NOT an expert by any stretch of the imagination. i read A LOT before she was born, and sought the advice from mamas who had babies who slept well.
i am so thankful for my friend Cathi, who recommended the baby wise method of sleep training to me. this method has gotten some controversy attached to it recently, and i will say if your child is not gaining weight, is a preemie, or has trouble nursing, this should be discussed with your care provider. the controversy stems from many parents doing baby wise incorrectly; and watching the clock instead of actually reading the book and learning your child's cues. you have to always put your child's immediate needs ahead of the "schedule', no matter what. i believe that there are families who do attachment parenting who have wonderful children and are good parents, but for us, baby wise works. for our lives, we need a schedule. every child is different and every parent needs to make that decision on their own, for their child.
Emmy wakes up at 9:30am for her first feed, then stays awake and plays for an hour, then lays down for a 1.5 hour nap. this cycle is repeated through the day until her bedtime at 10pm, when she sleeps through the night. She wakes from her nap early sometimes, and if she is hungry, i feed her. but normally, she just sleeps right up til her next feed. this cycle has made her into a happy, content baby who is cheerful in the awake time, and puts herself to bed without any crying for naps. she never slept in our bed, and moved from her bassinet to her own crib at 2 weeks old, and has slept there very happily ever since. contrary to public belief, baby wise is NOT about abandoning or neglecting your child (in fact, it's the opposite) when the child is seeing a regular pediatrician, is growing healthily, and parents pay attention to the cues. the articles that have misleading information (and that were forwarded to me about 18 times before we had the baby) are not research based, nor even medically factual. emmersyn is gaining weight appropriately, and is developmentally ahead of her age.
what i am most thankful for is the absolute PEACE that this has brought our family. i know when she will be awake, when she will be asleep, and can therefore enjoy her awake time without being tired or stressed out. it makes me a much happier healthier mama. it also allows me to have about four naps worth of time to get the house cleaned, make meals, do laundry, see friends, and work from home. MOST IMPORTANTLY, she is well rested. her good rest enables her to be alert and happy during awake time, and more able to learn and develop during our activities during the day. she has 15 minutes of independent play per hour of awake time, and we do tummy time and reading and a walk every day. TO OTHER NEW MOMS: you can do this! it's not impossible. it's hard but completely manageable.
Here's the books that helped me: