Saturday, September 12, 2009

Reading like a Fiend

In what little time I do have to do whatever, aside from getting dressed and washing bottles, I have been reading up a storm. No surprise here, they're all parenting books. Perhaps you've heard of them, swear by them, or think they're a load of bologna.

On Becoming Babywise by Gary Ezzo: Details an "infant management plan to help babies synchronize their feeding, waketime, and nighttime sleep cycles."

The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, MD: "The new way to calm crying and help your newborn baby sleep longer." Explores the 5 S's: Swaddling, Side/Stomach, Shushing, Swinging, and Sucking.

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, MD: Helping to shape sleep habits from infant to teen. Explores a scientific approach behind the need for sleep.

The Baby Whisperer solves all your problems by Tracy Hogg: Teaching parents the right questions to ask concerning feeding, sleeping, and behavior to diagnose your child's issues.

Having read these four books, I've learned a few things. Mainly, there is no one, right way to raise your child. Seemingly, most of the information contradicts each other. Two of the books use the "cry it out" or "extinction" method, while the other two advocate soothing your baby upon first cry. I guess I'm kinda using the middle of the road approach. Do I think I will somehow damage or destroy Caleb's trust in me by letting him cry it out every now and then? No. Do I think I'm being manipulated by Caleb if I cuddle him when he cries? No. All I know is that I'm doing my best with what I know.

Pretty much all the books deplore the idea of rocking your child to sleep, as it will inevitably cause a dependence upon it to fall asleep. While I do think this could be a problem with an older baby, for a six week old, I don't think that's an issue quite yet. I find it strange that almost every nursery has a glider or rocker in it, and yet "experts" tell you not to use it that much.

Swaddling works like a charm however, and doesn't have the same "ill effects" of rocking. When Caleb is a little fussbucket, swaddling helps him calm down almost immediately. That, and he loves his Binky :) Not to worry, he won't be one of those poor three year olds that is still sucking away on it.

Thank the Lord he does really well at night. We're still not yet sleeping through the night, but after he feeds, he goes right back to bed. I only wish the poor kid could nap decently during the day. As it is, the world must be way too exciting for him, because he'll stay awake and observe everything. I am amazed to watch his eyes soak everything in, studying things meticulously. By the way he looks at me, I think he could mold my face out of clay pretty easily.

This afternoon, we shared one of those moments that you will forever cherish, and wish that you could freeze it and it would last indefinitely. As I held him, our cheeks were touching together, and I could feel his baby breath upon my face. It was so intimate, and my heart simply overflowed with love.

I cannot believe that my little boy is already six weeks old. It is going by so incredibly fast. I have to be intentional in savoring the little moments between all of the mundane tasks like changing diapers, burping, bathing, washing bottles, and folding his baby clothes. How is it that someone so small and so dependent can steal your heart away?

I've been thinking of a passage lately that has even more meaning now, since I am a mother.

Isaiah 49:14-16 "But Zion said, 'The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.' 'Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.'"

How could it be that a mother could ever forget her child? It seems impossible, doesn't it? A love so strong...yet weak in comparison to God's love for us. May we remember how special we truly are to God every day.

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