Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Second Time Around.

This post is mostly a friendly little reminder to myself, in case, upon the birth of our second-born, I suddenly forget everything we ever did with Cub and find myself standing in the middle of the living room wondering where and who I am and how we suddenly have three children and why one of them looks an awful lot like a Boston Terrier.

I'm just saying. Post-baby brain can be just a tad ... untrustworthy.

So, in an effort to help out Future Katie, I am making notes of some of the tactics we used for Cub so I can remember them with Numero Dos. Of course, I understand completely, yes, you can remind me if you'd like but I really do understand COMPLETELY that every child is different and that what worked with Cub might not work at all with Baby Bean. But, just in case it does, I might as well jot it down for reference. Heregoes:

1) Eat, Activity, Sleep
I got this tidbit of advice from Secrets of a Baby Whisperer (and countless moms) to encourage babies to fall asleep on their own, without depending on a bottle before they sleep (except at bedtime--then it's Eat Sleep!). Eat first, then play, then go nigh-night.

2) Stack Evening/Bedtime Feedings
This helped Cub sleep through the night at 9 weeks, I believe. Also from Baby Whisperer. His feedings were typically three hours apart, but we always made his last two feedings only two hours apart. He was a little guy who required a lot of feedings, so feedings on a typical day when he was a wee one would look like this: 7:00am, 10:00am, 1:00pm, 4:00pm, 6:00pm, 8:00pm. Yes, I realize his last THREE feedings were two hours apart and that's how we rolled for a while to fit all six feedings in. Eventually the feedings would shift, but we always kept those last feedings two hours apart. And it did the trick. I loved his one middle-of-the night feeding before he slept through the night, but I realized how much I loved my sleep once he slept through the night, too!

3) Routine! Routine!
Okay, okay. I know I'm immediately going to get daggers from some who immediately equate "routine" with "SCHEDULE". EVIL INHUMAN SCHEDULE THAT DICTATES LIFE. Let me put it this way: Humans are creatures of routine. We just are. God created us that way. The sun rises, the sun sets. Earth has a rhythm. And no, I don't mean that in a New Age moon goddess sort of way. It just does! God created things to repeat. Babies are no different. The difference, I believe, between a routine and a SCHEDULE is that a routine has a bit more flexibility to it and exists out of a compromise between the parents and the baby. Babies will generally want to eat around the same time every day. Very simple. Then it's up to the parents to keep that consistency. The time will vary day to day, because that's just life. And, just as it is important to teach babies consistency, it is just as important to teach them adaptability. We just have to be respectful of their needs.

4) Wake-up Time!
When Cub was a wee one, we established a "wake up time" every morning, at 7:00. Because he ate so frequently, that was the only way we could fit all of his feedings into the day without going into the middle of the night. Like I said, I didn't mind the middle of the night feeding, but we were both a lot happier once he was able to sleep through the night. So, every morning I would wake him up at 7:00. I know this sounds crazy to some people and trust me, I like my sleep as much as the next person. But, I'd rather have my sleep all night than to have it during the day. Also, breastfeeding helped with this. At about 6:45 my engorged pectoral region would gently shake me awake and encourage me to WAKE UP AND FEED THE BABY. So, I would. This also helped to establish a bedtime, which has grown progressively earlier and earlier as Cub gets older. And, he's extended his night sleep, too. He now sleeps from around 7:00-7:45. But, some nights it is later when we are out with family or friends. Again, compromise. We don't keep him out ridiculously late and he still gets a full night's rest.

5) Crying it out
Yes, it works, no, it's not inhumane. Cub fussed himself to sleep for a while and is now a sleeping champ. Bedtime is something that kids will always try to avoid, so training them at a very early age that bedtime is GOOD and SAFE and CAN BE DONE ON YOUR OWN is amazing. By over-soothing or rocking our babies to sleep (ALL the time--there are always exceptions!!) we indirectly teach them that they are not capable of falling asleep on their own and that bedtime is SCARY. That's my opinion, anyway. :) And bedtime is NOT SCARY. Trust me, I'm all about rocking and I still rock and sing to Cub before bed. He just falls asleep in his crib. :)

Okay. Notes are now noted. Now I have a reference point when the crazies set in and I'm trying to force a bottle down the throat of that one child who resembles our Boston Terrier. :)


  1. Um...can I steal this??? Like you said, I know all babies pop out different from one another, but this sounds like a nice basis from which to start that early training. Thanks for writing it all down! So, yeah....I'm stealing. ;) Love ya!

  2. I'm with Erin! Might just have to print this out and shove in into my copies of Baby Wise and such! Real moms are right there with the "experts" in my book!

  3. Oh, you will LOVE looking back on this, I am sure. I try to write in Levi's baby book about his sleeping/eating habits and his routine. I know it won't be the exact same for numero two, but it will help me remember things and help gauge whatonearthisgoingon with a newborn and a toddler in tow. :)

    My Mom, however, couldn't look back on Luke's info at all because we were polar opposite babies! (He didn't require much sleep, I required a TON, he screamed at bedtime, I loved it, he needed lots of attention, I was content to play by myself...etc.).
    But it's so fun to look at our individual baby books and see that how we were then is still how we are to this day (For instance, I still require much sleep, and he takes meds for insomnia! Crazy!) I just find that incredible!

    I have a feeling you will fall in with baby #2 like a pro. But you may want to invest in a dog tag for your doggie, ya when he jingles, you will remember that you didn't shoot him out of your womb. It can be your own Pavlov experiment. Baskin's Dog?