Tuesday, September 28, 2004



Hubby suggested I post this. My SIL has done a 'Preparation for Parenting' course and it was bugging me. I finally decided to write this email after hubby's phonecall to MIL. I just hope they heed the suggestions I give them and if they follow what they have been taught then they do it cautiously. Their baby is due in 3 weeks.

Hi S & P

I hope you are doing well and are ready for the up coming birth of your baby.

Baby's are precious things that require lots of love and enjoyment.

I don't know if you are willing to receive any advice in the upraising of your new little one but I felt I should offer you some. Whether you listen to me or not is up to you.
I have been a little concerned since I heard you were doing a 'Preparation For Parenting' course. If I have heard right, then this is based on the literature written by Gary Ezzo. I have looked and researched in various places the ezzo material, and even have read some of the 'Baby Wise' book. The feeling I got when I read the book was a definite 'this is wrong' type of feeling. I have also seen too much evidence to suggest that this way of raising your kids is just not right.

Baby's cry as it is their only way of communication and as you become more accustomed to your new one you will eventually (took me a while) know how to read them. I, personally, can not stand allowing a baby to cry itself to sleep. I have fed all of my girls to sleep and it took less time, and was more relaxing, then letting them cry to sleep. I have tried to let them cry to sleep but I quickly dismissed that idea as they would sometimes get sick, be even more upset and find it harder to actually get to sleep. Plus I always enjoy the cuddles I have with them as the baby stage only lasts for a short time.

When my babies have had a hard time getting to sleep and feeding just wouldn't settle them I would try a warm bath (with me in the tub or them by themselves). If I didn't feel they were well enough or responding to what I was trying to do then I would walk them or take them for a car drive. If a baby won't stop crying then it is possible to hand it over to someone else, make sure they have less stimuli or take them to a doctor or ring a midwife. You are so lucky to have your parents just up the road, and I am sure they will gladly help you when you need it. Never be afraid to ask for help.

I know, personally, a couple who used the crying method to get their kids to sleep through early on and those kids are happy but they don't want cuddles and they aren't very attached. Tim has noted that their youngest gives him a funny feeling because of the way he acts and isn't very cuddly (as a 1 year old should be). I would hate to see your future relationship with your new baby ruined because it missed out on the extra loving cuddles it gets in the early days.
If your baby cries if it is put down then invest in a sling. Erin was a high touch type of baby (which I have worked out is her love language) so I would carry her around often in a sling. I can see the difference on days when she doesn't get enough cuddles or mummy/daddy time and she is more unruly then if she does.

I have one more point to make and then I shall let you digest what I have written.

My next point is feeding. If you are breastfeeding then you will need to demand feed and not schedule/routine feed. The reason I say this (and they endorse it in the hospitals here) is because your milk supply is purely a demand and supply. As your baby grows it will go through growth spurts and during those times it will need to feed more often so it can build up your supply. If you feed it on a schedule/routine then there isn't any allowances for milk increase and you could starve your child.
These growth spurts may, and most likely will, interrupt the sleeping pattern so that the baby doesn't sleep through the night, but when there is only one child it is easier to catch up on rest during the day then if you have more children. If you try to keep the night and day feeds different (nights - dim lights, quiet time, days -lighter and background noise - but is up to you how you do that) then you will find it easier to settle the baby during the nights. This was the only thing I did the same with each child.

If you do not want to breastfeed, do not be afraid to go to bottle feeding. Ask for help if you need it (we are always willing to help you regardless of the time of day or night) and relax, enjoy motherhood and cuddle the most marvellous of God's creations.

love from,

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