Thursday, January 8, 2009

Scheduling Babies???

Are you expecting, or have a new baby and wonder whether you should follow a certain parenting book or philosophy? I think it's so important to choose instead of following a preconceived idea or formula from a book, to pay attention to your baby & get to know his needs. Check out this great article:

As for my own story, I had several friends recommend this system of parenting my new baby, and while I was pregnant, I read the book, and thought it sounded like a great idea.

Then Z was born.

And everything changed. I've already posted about my feelings on babies crying it out, I think it is positive and necessary. But I also think on-demand feeding (as opposed to rigidly scheduled feedings) is necessary, especially before a baby is 6 months old. I now wonder if many of the problems we had with nursing those first few weeks wouldn't have been avoided if I had been feeding on demand instead of attempting to schedule Z's every feeding three hours apart.

If I had those first months to do over again (and I never will with Z, but hopefully someday I will have another stab at them), I would do things rather differently. I think it's important for new parents to remember that they need to find what works for their family and their baby, and not what works for another family, or what the new baby's grandparents or other relatives or friends think they should do.

I guess if I had one piece of advice in a nutshell to give to an expectant mom, it would be this: Don't fall hook, line, and sinker for any one parenting system. Spend time paying attention to your baby's cues and getting to know him, then use pieces and bits of the advice that everyone has given you, and pray for God's wisdom to know which pieces to use. And, yes, six months of feeding on demand and not being able to schedule, well, anything... sounds like forever now, but it will pass SO quickly. You'll see. :)

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