Saturday, January 26, 2013

E.A.S.Y. does it

When I was pregnant with Cassia, I went into full on research mode. I read all the  literature I could find online and I spent a small fortune on books about pregnancy and parenting. I knew when the baby was as tiny as an olive (trivia: the name that Drew Barrymore chose for her baby is because of Week 14 or whatever) and the must buy items needed for a new born. The parenting books however, intrigued me the most.  I read a wide variety, running the gamut of  many different parenting philosophies. The one that rang true to me was "The Contented Baby Book." I would be that parent who believed in a routine, crying it out and sleeping through the night at eight weeks.

Enter the newborn. Enter baby blues, sleepless nights and exhaustion so extreme that my body actually hurt. I reread my bible 'The Contented Baby" and all but threw it across the room. I also reread The Baby Whisperer, a book that I thought had some good nuggets but was generally too soft. This time was different. First of all,  the tone it was written in  is kind, gentle (the author calls you 'mum' and 'luv) and  non judgemental. A bit hokey, but you try even reading on 4+ hours of interrupted sleep per day. The basic tenets were:

  •  Getting to know and determine what type of baby you had when deciding how to react to their cues
  •  "EASY",  Eat, Activity, Sleep and You (the caregiver's time), the gentle guided routine that I follow to this day. You do this several times for the day until bedtime. 
  • A solid night-time routine more than anything else to lead to a good night's rest for baby and for mom. 
  • The 'dream feed', feeding the baby while they are still asleep so that they last through the night in the first few months. HUGE in this household and something I'm still doing for Anjali
Both Darin and I read this book and once we began to follow these steps with Cassia, things took a definite turn for the better. She was a Textbook Baby according to the book and she would follow a routine well but at the same time be affected by the same things that most babies are: disrupted schedules, loud noises etc. The only problem was that we travelled a lot with Cass (by the time she was 1, she had flown on a plane 14 times), and I had many different activities so she was affected by too many breaks in the scheduling, strange places etc. When she was about 9 months old, I decided we had enough and I really worked on getting those solid routines down and she continued from then. 

The only book we re-read this time around was "The Baby Whisperer". By all accounts, little Anjali is an Angel Baby  a very even natured child who adheres well to a routine. I put her on the same guided routine very early on and she took very well to it. I also reduced our outings and activities and firmly decided on very limited travel this time around. With two kids anyways, we simply don't have the time or energy to do it anyways. Anjali is thriving. Now,  even when we break the routine and have the occasional late night, she is affected of course, sleeps more the next day, but it's not the end of the world! We're not a slave to EASY, but I truly believe that it has helped her to be even better tempered and a great sleeper. Now if we could just get Cassia to stop coming into our bed at night!

Goodnight everyone!

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