Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Baby Whisperer

There is nothing better than watching your little baby's eyes roll back in her head at the end of the day and falling in to a deep least until 2:30am! I have been desperately trying to teach Ella how to fall asleep on her own. This past week, I decided to be really consistent with her. And I am happy to say, she seems to be finally getting it. There have been a lot of tears this week, but seeing the outcome makes those few awful days seem worth it. We have not yet perfected it, but she's starting to fall into a pretty good routine. We eat, then play, and when she starts yawning, it's time to go in the crib. We are using the "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer" approach, which works better for us than "Baby Wise"...similar idea, but gentler approach. If you are a mom to a baby or soon-to-be mom, I'd recommend reading both...but, personally, I feel like the "Baby Whisperer" is much better and feels more natural.

It's amazing how much more rested I feel now that Ella only wakes me up once a night: To bed at 8:30, wake at 2:30, then morning time starts at 7:15 almost on the dot...with a big poopy diaper. Although I've never been a big morning person, I feel so motivated to get up because I wake up to this little person with a big, toothless smile looking up from her crib at me. Sometimes I think she's saying "Aren't you proud of me mommy? I only woke you up once!" Yes, Ella, I am VERY proud of you!

At the end of the day, every mommy has to do what works for her and for her baby. Every baby has different needs, but it feels so great when you finally feel like you have found a mothering style that works for you. It is so hard not to compare Ella to other babies, but I am learning that all mommies struggle with this. I'm sure when Ella becomes a toddler and we are faced with disciplining her, we will again have to find something that feels right to us. I pray a lot that God gives us discernment on how to raise our own unique child.

Here is my favorite quote from the "Baby Whisperer", which can be found in the first chapter of the book. It's actually the quote that made me want to keep reading it.

"Parenting should not be judged by how you feed or diaper your child or how you put your baby to sleep. Besides, we don't become good parents in the first weeks of a baby's life. Good parenting develops over years, as our children grow and you get to know them as individuals..."

I am so lucky to know many wonderful, Godly mommies! All of them have their own parenting style. I enjoy picking their brains about parenthood. From them and all the books I've read, I feel like I am able to find my own style. I'm also learning that you have to make some mistakes along the way...but, all bad habits can be broken...and Ella will never remember me putting her in her crib screaming for 20 minutes because I just needed a break...but, I digress...

1 comment:

Mommy Belle said...

That's great Sarah! Andrew had mentioned that she had slept for the longest she had ever slept through the night while he was away in St. Simon's. Maybe you should send him away more! :) Only kidding!

Even though I didn't use The Baby Whisperer to get Annabelle to fall asleep on her own, I actually found that book to be the most useful to me as well. It really provided a lot of insight to me on how to know when your baby is hungry or tired.

Of course, I think with a second child, I probably won't let her/him wait until 18 months to fall asleep on her/his own! But, I've forgotten everything I've already read by now, so hopefully I'll have time to read bits and pieces of that book when the next one comes along.

I am getting better, but after becoming a mom, I have constantly compared myself to other moms, and it will sometimes drive me absolutely bonkers!

As my mom always tells me, God gave Ella to you and Andrew because He wanted you guys to raise them! No one else, but you guys!

Unfortunately, most moms don't share the mishaps of babyhood and toddlerhood, so we often only learn from our own mistakes. What a shame it is that moms are not more open with each other! I guess that is just the typical woman trying to be the "perfect" everything.