Monday, March 4, 2013

Mama Needs to Lighten Up

I don't know about you but as a first time parent I worry a lot. Having been a nanny to so many babies in years past, I honestly thought parenting one would be easy. Second nature even. How naive I was. While I will say that being a nanny has helped to influence my parenting style and baby knowledge to some degree there are so many things I never would have experienced before. Breastfeeding for one. Being responsible for my child's scheduling is another. There are so many voices out there giving advice and opinions on sleep training- what works and what doesn't. So many families to compare ourselves to. It's so easy to get caught up in the comparing! I find myself worrying about every little thing. Is Benjamin eating enough? Is he eating too often? When should he be sleeping? For how long? Where should we put his new crib? In our bedroom? Not in our bedroom? Worry, worry, worry.
Then there are the routines we have that are borderline OCD. The blankets he uses and how he gets wrapped. Or rocked. The level of sound throughout the day. The type of stimulation. I am with him all day, every day and we've developed these routines. So much so that I find myself having a hard time letting Ben be a parent too. I sometimes forget that this is a completely new experience for him and I find myself getting impatient or frustrated. This isn't what I want for my family and I recognize that something has to be done in me to change. 
 
This weekend we decided to stay home so that, together, we could help assist Benjamin as he gets on more of a schedule. It couldn't have gone any better! Here is what it looks like:

Wake up at 8 AM
Eat when first wakes, Get dressed, Play, Eat 9:30
Nap [2HRS] 9:45 - 11:45 (try to stretch to 10 - 12)
Eat when first wakes, Play, Eat 1:30
Nap [2HRS] 1:45 - 3:45 (try to stretch to 2 - 4)
Eat when first wakes, Play, Eat 5:30
Nap [30 MIN] 5:45 - 6:15
Play, Bath + Bedtime Story 7:15, Eat 7:45
Bedtime at 8 PM

We've decided for the time being that his crib will not be in our bedroom. For the last several days he has had all of his naps in his crib (yay!). He spends the first part of the night in his bassinet and swing [if needed] in our room and is in bed with us from the middle of the night until wake time. He still eats on demand and our new schedule is completely Benjamin directed. I wish I could say that he was sleeping through the night or even mostly through the night but he is still eating a lot. I am hopeful that after this growth spurt ends (anytime now, right?) he'll be able to sleep longer without having to eat.

I am encouraged today by John 14:27 which says, "I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid."