We’re a cliche.
As thirty-something first time parents-to-be, Paul and I have approached our future role as parents as we would any other project. We research. We read. We will will soon be mocked, if not already.
In our academic endeavors, we’ve come across the following books which we find intriguing. True, none of these books will come over and change a nappy, but at least they’re full of suggestions. And we like that. Here goes:
The Happiest Baby on the Block
Main point: Babies need a “fourth trimester” to fully develop and become comfortable with life outside the womb. In the first three months, do your best to recreate the sensations that she enjoyed there. Here’s how…
“The Cuddle Cure: Combining the 5 S’s into a Perfect Recipe for Your Baby’s Bliss”
- Shh, shh
- Side or stomach position (not for sleeping, just for soothing)
- Add a jiggly motion (Swing)
- Something to suck on
On Becoming Baby Wise
Main point: It’s all about sleep. And feeding is related to sleeping. Get both off to a solid start and your entire family will be happier. Here’s how:
- Follow a predictable pattern with three basic activities: feeding, wake time and nap time, repeated in rhythmic cycles. Routine leads to consistency, consistency builds stabilization of each activity. As a result the whole family is blessed by the order brought to the baby’s day.
- Maintain balance and don’t become totally baby-centric. “To excel in parenting, protect your marriage.”
- Life doesn’t stop when you have a baby…you’ll still be a friend, sister, etc. Maintain those relationships.
- Date your spouse
- Continue those loving gestures you enjoyed before the baby
- Spend 15 minutes with your spouse on the couch discussing each day’s events.
- Invite friends over for food and fellowship
Secrets of the Baby Whisperer
Main point: Learn the language of babies.
- Figure out your baby’s personality and adjust your efforts & expectations
- Schedule: Feed, activity, sleep every 2-3 hours
- Between 2-5pm should be baby’s longest nap of the day; during this time, Mom should do something for herself either rest, watch a show, read a book, whatever. Just enjoy!
- Respect the baby, call her by name and explain everything to her as you’re doing it
The New Contented Little Baby
Main point: Put the baby on a schedule, ASAP.
- Her day should start at 7am. If not, you won’t have time to get in all the feedings in the day, then she’ll be up in the middle of the night.
- There are 10 routines to follow for the first year, one after the other as baby grows. Each is designed to help baby get enough food, sleep and stimulation to be happy and healthy.
The No-Cry Sleep Solution
Main point: Don’t let the kid cry it out.
- Create a 10-day sleep plan
- Test it (nothing works immediately so give it the 10 days)
- Record the results in a journal
- Have realistic expectations: “a full night’s sleep for a newborn is five hours”
And of course for reference: What to Expect When You’re Expecting, The Pregnancy Bible, What to Expect the First Year and The Expectant Father. We’re not kidding around here. Too nerdy for that.