03 July, 2012

Milestones and Parenting

Omg. So all of my posts lately are baby related. Funny how that happens once a baby comes to town! And, I hate to break it to you, today is going to be no different!! {And I'm actually considering changing the name of my blog because I'm less Army and more baby these days. Thoughts?}

And before I get to today's actual post, I have to share one of Charlotte's firsts! She rolled over for the first time yesterday!! =D

I've decided that my/our parenting style is a little bit of everything. I know a lot of "crunchy" mamas and a few not-so crunchy mamas. I feel like I'm open to a lot of things/advice and so I guess I just take what I like from each parenting style.

When I was pregnant, I read Babywise and loved it. I still do, actually. Putting Charlotte on a flexible schedule has been one of the best things I've ever done. I don't have to worry if she's hungry or not, because I know she'll be hungry when she wakes up from her current nap. She eats, she's awake for a while and then she naps. That's how our day goes.

I usually don't let her fall asleep in the swing (but it does happen every once in a while) and she never just falls asleep while we're holding her or something. She sleeps in her crib for naps and at night. I'll be honest here, the first night we were home I did not want to leave her in that crib. Even with the monitor and just being down the hall (which really isn't that big), I was totally freaked out. Thankfully my husband followed through on his promise to me and made me leave her there. {I made him promise before she was born that he would be strong when I wasn't and tell me she'd be fine in her own room. I'm really glad I had that foresight!} And, of course, she was just fine. I heard every little sound she made - and I still hear every little sound. At first I missed her and it was hard, but after the first few weeks I was oh-so glad she slept in her own room. It gives me a break and a chance to really rest.

Babywise suggests not rocking babies to sleep or creating any kind of sleep prop - something they'd rely on to get sleep. I tried hard not to create a sleeping prop, but I think I did anyway. The child will not go to sleep without her paci. Unless we're in the car or something. If we're home and it's nap/bedtime, she needs the paci. I also have a fan running in her room that I'm pretty certain has become a prop. I use it because her room has no AC {like really? they couldn't put a unit in the 2nd bedroom?!} and it tends to get hot in there in the summer. One day the power went out and she wouldn't nap...at all. Sigh. I also rock her for a little while at night. I only do it before bedtime, so I don't think she really relies on that. But really? I do it just for me. =) She'd probably go to bed without it, but it's a really sweet time and I don't want to miss out on that. I don't think anyone would blame me for that!

And then there's the baby wearing. I love me some baby wearing. I don't do it all the time, but it's pretty stinkin' awesome. I started out with the Moby wrap, since my little bean was too small to be put in anything else until recently. {Technically, she was too small even for the Moby since it suggests using it at 8lbs. My girl didn't hit 8lbs until she was almost 2 months old!} Anyway, when she was less awake, the Moby calmed her down pretty easily. And sometimes it still does, but not always. Half the time she's more irritated that she's being restrained. She's also not a fan of being swaddled, but I think that's partially because she knows that means she's going to bed. ;-) I wear her when we're out and about too. It's nice to be able to go for a walk or go shopping without lugging around a carseat or pulling out the stroller. Just get the baby and carrier and you're good to go! I also like wearing her when I walk because I feel like I'm doing more work with that extra weight. Haha:)

First time at the beach, in the Moby wrap.

Walking around the neighborhood in the Ergo.
PS - I uncovered her head just for the photo. No sunburns for us!

I know "crunchy" mamas do the cloth diapering thing, but... Yeah, that's just not my thing. Personally, when I change that stinky diaper, I never ever want to see (or smell!) it again. =P Plus, I really hate doing laundry and the last thing I need is to be washing diapers!

I've taken a little bit to the alternative medicine side of things, but not much. I usually try to help her feel better by using gripe water if her tummy hurts, but like I said in my last post, she's on Zantac for reflux. Not too much I can do about that. I'd like for her to not be on any medication, but I guess we an't have it all. I did Charlotte an amber teething necklace the other day, though. She's been drooling so much lately and I feel like she's been teething off and on for a few weeks. So when I found one for cheap online, I ordered it! Even if she's not teething, it can't hurt anything. I've wrapped it around her wrist because I don't want it to get all twisted or something when she's sleeping. And she sleeps quite a bit, so it stays on her wrist.

Also, the breastfeeding. {I know it's not necessarily a "crunchy mama" thing.} I love the breastfeeding. Best decision I ever made. At first it really sucked {I mean, who wants super-sore, cracked nipples?!} but after the first 5-6 weeks, Charlotte got the hang of things and I was healing and it just... Well, it stopped sucking. Plus, it's pretty much the sweetest thing ever. I love that I am still the source of her food and that she can only get this goodness from me. =)

And when she puts her sweet little satisfied hands on me... Yeah, it's the sweetest thing.

Seriously, though, I am totally in love with Babywise. And to all the nay-sayers about the schedule, not feeding on-demand, and not co-sleeping, here's what I have to say:

First, Charlotte is healthy. Second, she sleeps through the night. {Bedtime is around 8, she wakes up at 6, I give her a paci and she usually doesn't wake up again until 7. Oh, yes. :)} Third, when she's not teething or going through a growth spurt, and her tummy isn't bothering her, she's really happy. And I am less stressed out because I'm not wondering what's going on with her all the time. She knows the routine. I know the routine. And if she's hungry a little earlier than usual, I feed her. If she's sleepy a little earlier than I'd like, I put her down anyway.

Opinions about either parenting styles aside, I really feel like I've taken the best from both worlds and kinda smooshed them together. You gotta do what works for YOU, right?!


Chantal said...

It sounds like you have it down! I wish Penny was still easy like that... it's like she's gotten more difficult as she's gotten older!

heather said...

Not real sure what a "crunchy mama" is and all. However I did about the same thing as you did with my first and i will be doing it again with my second in 5 weeks. I caught a lot of crap for cutting back on feedings in the middle of the night. when he would wake up i would give him a paci and if that did the trick then i didnt feed him. he started sleeping through the night at 8 weeks and a lot of people found that to be mean. however if he continued to cry after a paci then i would feed him. I also didnt want him rocked to sleep every night and of course my mother in law thought that was wrong. i wanted him to self soothe. i worked at a daycare at that time and he was going to be going there so i was getting him ready for that. just remember your the mom and everyone does things differently. sounds like to me you have an awesome schedule that works great for you and baby :) keep up the good work

Karen said...

My little gal Nora has been wearing an amber necklace around her neck since she was 3 months old - I think it really helped with the drooling for teething. We have it around her neck and she never really noticed it, and she doesn't play with it at all. I agree with you that everyone needs to do what works for them because every baby is different. :)

Charity said...

Your blog could be called "G.I. Joe's Girls" Just a thought since the Army's still going to work it's way in to your posts once in awhile! I'm glad you are back to posting a little more, but it was totally understandable the last few months! =)

Katy said...

I breastfed my first 2 and am breastfeeding our third (who's 1 month old today (:) and I love it! Best bonding experience ever. I also love our Moby wrap. I didn't know anything about it with our first 2 and used other carriers when the stroller just wouldn't fit where we were going. But I love the moby wrap and so does my sweet sweet Charlie. Keep up the good work mama!

Rebecca said...

She's certainly growing! :)

Sounds like you are doing very well at researching different methods, trying stuff out, and creating what works best for YOUR family. So, cuddos. :)

I had no idea what a "crunchy mom" was, so I looked it up... Apparently I am approximately 80% crunchy and 20% baby-wise because, like you, I have continually found that a mixture of different methods/advice from others works best for us and feels right. :)

If you ever want any cloth diapering info, however, that might just possibly make it seem "worth it" to you, I'm here. I wash 5, soon to be 6, people's clothes and I can honestly say that even though laundry is truly not even close to one of my favorite daily household activities, the cloth diapering is not a hassle at all or even gross. But it takes the right tools and system to work it with ease. We save about $750/yr, per child, reduce land-waste, and have been rash-free from the beginning. :)

With love,

Amanda said...

With 4 boys I learned every baby is so different what worked with my oldest would not even begin to work with my youngest.
I loved having baby in his bassinet in my room with me for the first 6 weeks then moved him to his crib- co- sleeping was not my thing until baby #4- then I am pretty sure it was because I was just to tired to get up & check in the middle of the night if he cried-lol
I agree about cloth diapers- YUCK!!
I think doing what makes you happy & less stressed makes baby happy- so Rock on mama- she is beautiful & healthy- so your doing just fine!

Skinnie Piggie said...

I'm always pro doing what your baby needs... I have ideas about what I want to do, but until I get there who knows!