Friday, June 29, 2012

What I've Been Reading

It's pretty crazy to think that just about 2 months ago I was reviewing books about Infertility and now I'm going to share the books I've been reading about parenting and babies! WOW! Adoption can change your life in an instant. =)

When we got the news that we were chosen by a birthmother, I checked out several books from the library about babies, specifically about sleep. ;-) I thought I had THREE weeks to read them. Unfortunately, I only finished one before Nathaniel came along and have been "speed-reading" ever since. The truth is that I have no idea when I've had time to read these books, but somehow I also can't put them down.

I know a lot of people say that you need to "go with your gut" in parenting, and I agree with that. However, I'm the type of person that also needs to find out what the experts say. I also ALWAYS thought I would do "Baby Wise" because everyone I knew that did BabyWise had really well behaved babies that slept 12 hours a night from the time they were about 12 weeks old. So, I already had that book purchased... not read, but purchased awhile back and stored in the attic (part of it was read aloud on our way to Memphis to meet and bring home baby N though). However, after actually reading BabyWise, I realized that although I agreed with most of it, I didn't agree with all it and had to thoroughly do my research!!

So, this "research" spans the gamut from hyper-scheduling to Attachment Parenting. Reading the extremes was good for me for several reasons, including the fact that if all these people are "experts," then it's certainly fine to find the middle ground that works for us (and of course, our baby).

So, here's a short summary of what I've read JUST in case you care or are looking for some baby scheduling books yourself. =)

Dr. Harvey Karp in Action
1. "The Happiest Baby on the Block"  by Harvey Karp
This book is great and helpful! Even though we're blessed by an overall happy baby, the "5 S's" are so good to know! This book isn't about scheduling, so it didn't help with that. But, it's a good one!

2. "On Becoming BabyWise" by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam
So, BabyWise is basically a parenting strategy that involves scheduling. I love the idea of Parent-Directed Feeding (PDF) and I give this strategy credit for baby N having his days and nights confused for less than a week. =) They recommend feeding your baby FULL feedings every 2.5-3 hours, then having them spend time away before a nap, then repeating the schedule all day.
The part I'm not so wild about is their suggestion of letting a baby "cry it out" even as young as 10 days-2 weeks old. Since it's the ONLY book I read that recommended this, and because baby N tended to cry only when there was a problem (hunger, gas pain, needing to burp, etc.) when he was that young I didn't care for that advice. So... that led me to keep reading!

3. "The Baby Book" by Dr. William & Martha Sears
This is the Attachment Parenting book. Although there was lots of good information in here, by reading it I also realized that Attachment Parenting is not for us. In truth, if I had known what attachment parenting entailed, I wouldn't have gotten the book in the first place. But, I'm glad I did and could rule out this "method" for us.

4. "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth
This is a really great AND informative book! I would really recommend it! It was highly recommended to me by many others and it's helped me get a better understanding of child sleep patterns and we use a lot of the principles in it. However, I actually stopped reading at the part for 6 week olds, so I need to get back to reading about the more specific age ranges!


5. "What to Expect the First Year" by Heidi Murkoff
Another book unrelated to sleep or scheduling (for the most part), but VERY, VERY helpful! I know you can "google" just about anything these days, but it's nice to see things in print that are "normal" for your child. I didn't get to read about the first month ahead of time, but I DID get to read about the second, and it made me feel a lot more confident about the second month and less like I was flying by the seat of my pants. =)

6. "The Contented Little Baby: The Simple Secrets of Calm, Confident Parenting"
Ok... I got this book from the library because it had great reviews on Amazon where people raved about how their babies slept through the night very young, etc. etc.
Although this book may work for some, not for us! It was WAY too much scheduling! Even though baby N is a very good baby, I just couldn't imagine him ever following the EXACT times of feeding, and napping provided in the book! If anyone has read and followed this book let me know. I'd love to know how it worked for you! But, way to strict for us!

7. "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantly
Can you tell that sleep is really important to me? Ha! This book had some good ideas. I just read the pertinent chapters. It's more for babies that have sleep PROBLEMS and isn't really a preventative book, so I don't think I took much from it.

LOVE her! =)
8. "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect, and Communicate with your Baby" by Tracy Hogg and Melinda Blau
This book was BY FAR my favorite! After feeling like I didn't want to do BabyWise 100%, but that attachment parenting wasn't for me, I absolutely LOVED the balance of this book!! She encourages the same kind of schedule as BabyWise, but also gives really helpful tips on getting to know your baby and your baby's personality and really encourages parents to get to know them as individuals and not as "blobs." =) Even though I overall liked BabyWise, the book doesn't give many tips if things don't go according to plan. And when do things with babies ever go according to plan!? (I'm learning... RARELY!) =)
Anyway, this book was so good, I bought her other book, which I love even more because it has so many more tips and strategies and trouble-shooting methods when things aren't going well, information on reflux, gas and colic, tips on eating, sleeping, soothing, etc. etc. The one I'm reading now is called "The Baby Whisperer Solves all Your Problems: Sleeping, Feeding, and Behavior-Beyond the Basics from Infancy through Toddlerhood" and I'm really enjoying it.

I give this book credit for how well baby N has been sleeping at night! She encourages a "Dream Feed" which is feeding your baby while he is still asleep between 10 and 11pm. This means that baby N has been eating around 7pm, and after bath and some books and calm play time going to bed between 8 and 9pm. We then give him a dream feed at about 10:30pm and he has been sleeping until somewhere between 2:30-4am! After that feed he goes until about 6:30 or 7am. So, we're feeling pretty good about that! =)

Of course, please don't think this means we have it all figured out. I DID want a chance to brag on his nighttime sleeping, but boy do things go wrong sometimes! Just the other day he woke up MUCH earlier than usual in the morning with a painful cry. We tried burping, walking, feeding him, just about everything, but he continued to cry. :( But, after about 45 minutes he sneezed a bunch of times, then immediately fell right back to sleep. I mean, HOW in the world were we supposed to figure that one out?!

And right now our little guy is sleeping in the swing. :/ For some unknown reason he has had the fussiest day and has cried a whole lot during eating. And it's a painful cry. :/ I'm hoping today is just a bad day, because he hasn't had such a difficult day like this before. Poor little guy... I just hate to hear the "pain" cry. The overtired and hungry cry are obnoxious, but can be fixed pretty easily! But, the painful cry is so hard to hear, especially when you're trying everything to fix it. :(

All that to say, I like to read baby books! Especially since it means we have a baby! Looking at this list I truly have no idea when I read these books... I guess when we first brought him home and he slept most of the day. But, that's changing! I think it's interesting that I simultaneously don't want him to EVER get bigger, but I can't can't wait to see how his personality turns out and what he ends up being interested in! I feel so lucky and blessed to get to see this teeny little baby turn into an adult one day... wow! =)

If your read all of this, you are a truly nice person. =)

5 comments:

  1. Wow, mama. I'm impressed at al you've read! I, too, like to get the info, but then I follow my gut. My gut just likes to be informed ;) And lol at your last line!

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  2. WOW!! OK, I am totally bookmarking this just for a possible reading list for the future. LOL This is part of what overwhelms me about starting on the journey towards becoming parents--- there is SO MUCH out there. Will I be able to just put the book down and just do it? lol May I ask what about attachment parenting made you say "not for us"? I know for myself some things I've thought about doing that would be classified as "AP" but other things I definitely would not. Anyway, if you get a minute, would you mind emailing me those thoughts? I'm just curious if there's more that I don't yet know.

    Thanks for the reviews!! You crack me up. Glad to hear N is mostly a happy lil guy!

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  3. I love reading your blog--sorry I've been remiss in responding. Anyway, I plan to pass along your book list to a friend at work who is due in September.

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  4. After reading your blog, I saw a copy of the Baby Whisperer Solves all Your Problems at Barnes and Nobles, and decided to look through it. I agree that her plan seems like a much more reasonable approach than Baby Wise, and similar to what we've tried to do with Katie. The scheduling is very similar to Baby Wise. We just couldn't let Katie cry it out that young, and I'm pretty sure she never would have slept. I only had a little while to look through this book, but I found some helpful tips. Thanks for the review!

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  5. Glad I could help! It's definitely on my list of favorites. It may be nerdy, but I LOVE reading and researching as much as I can! :)

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