Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

My baby Ezaias & his god brother Isaiah :) 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Watch Ezaias Grow (3 months Old)!!

I follow many blogs and I love how my mommy bloggers document their babies month-by-month progress.  I would like to jump on the bandwagon now,  and although I'm a little late, I think it's such a cute idea and a great way to remember the milestones in your baby's life.  Lord knows I can barely remember what happened in the first two months! LOL. My latest inspiration came from my blogger friend JeLisa over at ...And They Lived Blogging Ever After. Check her WONDERFUL blog out!

Here are pictures from the first two months:

Papa Lindo,

You are three months old today (5.27.11)! Here is a look at how you have changed and have grown this past month!

You mostly wear 0-3 months.  Some are still big on you.

You started the month off in size 1's. Now you 1-2's seem a little snug.  I hope you finish the box though because we have alot! LOL

You are mostly breastfed.  You only get bottles when mommy has to leave you home with daddy or when we go out and I know it will be very inconvenient to breast feed you.  What started out as a challenge, has now become a pleasure. I love nursing you! :)

You are sleeping very well. Your naptimes and bedtimes are awesome (well, when you're home in your own bed).  Mommy and Daddy are getting lots of rest too!

Other Highlights:

You now laugh, talk and smile with us.

You enjoy bath time.

You started to suck your thumb - mainly at nap and bed times.

We started you on "Your Baby Can Read".

We implemented some things from BabyWise into lives.

You laugh and smile when I read to you.

You enjoy playing by yourself and talking to yourself.

You are trying to sit up.

You have begun to smile at me while nursing.

Your hands are constantly in your mouth.

You started sleeping in your crib and you are doing a great job with that.

You are sleeping through the night!!! 8, sometimes 9 hours. It would probably be longer if I didn't wake you to eat. THIS is amazing!

Your daddy adores you. And so do I.

What do you remember about your child's third month? Do any of the things I mentioned ring a bell? If your baby is younger than 3 months, what do you look forward to?

[I'm not sure why there are so many spaces in my post. Annoying much? I'm going to try to work on it. Sorry :( ]

Monday, May 16, 2011

Benefits of Babywise

As mentioned in previous posts, I read the book "On Becoming Babywise" and have researched other parent direct schedule technique and have really benefited from the knowledge that I  have gained.  There have been many benefits, but I will just share five with you today.

We are able to assess Ezaias' needs much better.

Previously, when Ezaias cried or became fussy, it was always a guessing game. Maybe he's hungry, maybe he's tired, maybe he's hot, maybe he's cold, maybe he has gas and the list goes on.  Now since we're on a flexible schedule, I can look at the clock when he cries or fusses and assess his needs much better and quicker than before.  (For example) Is it time to eat? Is it time to nap?  By no means is everything perfect.  There are still times when we're just not  sure, but interpreting his cries is now MUCH easier.

We know what's coming next.

Previously, I would be on edge and not be able to relax or get things done because I just wasn't sure what Ezaias' next move would be. It was always like - Is he going to wake up soon? Is he going to be hungry soon? Do I have to do the dishes? Do I have time to workout?
Now I have an idea of how long he will be asleep, when he will need to eat and how long he will be awake so I can plan accordingly and go throughout my day more confidently and relaxed.

He goes down (sometimes) without a fuss.

When Ezaias starts to get fussy and we know it's naptime/bedtime.  we put him down so that he can go to sleep.  There are times that we put him down and he doesn't make a sound and drifts off to sleep, but there are also times where he'll do his sleepy cry (as I like to call it). You know the cry that sounds like a whimper? The cry where it sounds like they're just too tired to cry, but they're trying to anyway? LOL He does this sometimes for a minute or two and then drifts off. However, he does have his moments where he really really cries heavily when we put him down and I think this happens when his schedule has been thrown off throughout the day, so by this time he is just totally cranky and irritable.  In these moments we do take him out of his crib and comfort him, but after that he usually takes no time to fall asleep (once back in his crib).

I am not always offering the breast.

Now don't get me wrong, I love breastfeeding, especially now that we've gotten the hang of it.  But I also know that many mother's become overwhelmed with breastfeeding especially in the beginning because they feel that that's all they are doing - breastfeeding!  When Ezaias was just born and in the first two months of his life, I found myself nursing very often.  Every time he cried, I was nursing him in an effort to sooth him and comfort him. Now that I interpret his cries much better, I am not just popping the boob in his mouth to shut him up.  Instead, I am tending to his ACTUAL needs. (I believe having him sleep in his own bed has helped with this too, but that's for another post.)

He is sleeping through the night!!! Hallelujah!!!

Now this may or may not be attributable to Babywise or any of the other research I've done on parent directed schedules because I have also read that some babies are just great sleepers and some babies start sleeping through the night eventually no matter what you do. However, Ezaias has been sleeping 8-9 hours at night.  Sometimes, I have had to wake him up and I wonder how much longer he would have slept had I not woken him up! (I believe having him sleep in his own bed has helped with this too.)

**By no means do I judge or knock others for the things they do with their children and what may work for their families.  However, I am just sharing with you what has been working for us!**

If following a parent direct schedule, what benefits have you noticed? Do you know anyone who follows such a schedule?

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Belated Happy Mother's Day To You All

A Belated Happy Mother's Day to all mothers, soon to be mothers, hopeful mothers and mothers at heart! I hope you all had a blessed day.

My first Mother's Day was awesome! I attended a Mother's day brunch in my apartment complex, spent some time at my mom's house and then hubby cooked a very nice dinner that my friend, my god son and I enjoyed! Then, I ended my evening at the gym.

As a gift, from hubby, I received a camera (which is so necessary to capture Ezaias' precious moments) and a case for my Samsung Galaxy Tab!

I didn't take too many pictures on Mother's day, but I did want to share with you a few pictures from the weekend.

How was your mother's day?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

So What Is The Babywise Theory Exactly? (Part 2)

Let's face it - we ALL need help.  We can always use some advice and guidance from others.  Especially when we're doing something for the first time.  In my case, I am a first time mom.  

One thing you will learn (or may have already noticed if you're a mom) is that EVERYONE wants to put their two cents in on how you should raise your child.  Some people really mean well and they want to give you pointers on what may have worked for them.  Others are just plain annoying and pushy. [I hope I wont be that way with others].  So, it is important that you figure out how you want to raise your child, stick with it and not let others sway you or make you feel bad for your decisions.

What I have begun using as a guide for my husband and I is the book "On Becoming Babywise".  I decided to do this because I wanted to bring some order to our lives.  As I mentioned in my first Babywise post , with a newborn things can seem chaotic and you may not know whats coming next. I believe that schedules and routines help to keep things in order.  The Babywise Theory has gotten alot of negative feedback and I think this may be because people dont completely understand what it is.

I dont follow it exactly, but I have taken from it (and other websites) what I can and put it into use.

So What Is This Babywise Theory All About?

To begin Babywise, there is a certain  (2 1/2 - 3 hour) cycle that you follow throughout the day: 

Feeding Time - Wake Time - Nap Time

Essentially, you feed your baby, keep him/her awake, then put him/her down for a nap

Feeding Time

If you are breastfeeding, you were probably taught to feed on demand - whenever the baby is hungry.  No matter if it was five minutes ago, an hour ago or five hours ago. This is where some of the negative feedback comes in because  Babywise encourages parent directed feeding (PDF) and people assume that you starve  your baby.

This is not true.  Although you are adhering to a schedule, you feed your baby whenever he/she is hungry.

The idea is to make sure your baby gets a full feeding.  Babywise shys away from snacking.  You are encouraged to offer full feedings throughout the day so that your baby has had enough to eat and can sleep through the night.

Also, you should wake the baby if he/she is asleep during the time that a feeding is scheduled.  The book suggests that feeding on demand sometimes has its downfalls because newborns are so tired that they may sleep for hours on end and sleep right through the time they should be eating.  So you control this, not the baby.  Although, once again, if your baby gets hungry before 3 hours (if you are following a 3 hour cycle), you need to and should feed your baby.

Wake Time

You may notice that after (or while) your newborn eats, he/she drifts off to sleep - especially if breastfed.  I mean come on who wouldn't fall asleep. Food + Cushion = Sleep LOL! :)

Babywise discourages this because they don't want babies to become dependent on the breast (or bottle) to fall asleep. (*One of the main ideas behind Babywise is to get the baby to fall asleep on their own and not need "props" to fall asleep).

So after your baby eats, you are encouraged to do something to keep them awake. Change them, play with them, sing to them, read to them, take them for a walk, give them a bath or anything of this nature.  You can also allow them to play alone in their crib, swing or bouncer for example.  Keeping them awake during the day should help them to sleep through the night.

Nap Time

After they have eaten and been awake for a little while, it is then time for a nap.  This is another part of Babywise that people may not agree with because it is suggested that you "put the baby down for a nap".  Like literally, put them down for a nap (while they are awake) - not rock them to sleep - because once again we're trying to get the baby to fall asleep on their own and not depend on something/someone to put them to sleep.

If the baby is not used to this, they will probably cry when they are "put down".  It is suggested that you dont pick the baby up.  Instead you let them cry in an effort to teach them to self soothe.

The book states: 
"There may be a period of fussing or crying when you put the baby down for a nap.  Don't be deterred from doing what is best for the child.  Some crying is normal part of a baby's day and some babies will cry a few minutes in the process of settling themselves to sleep.  The future trade-off will be a baby who goes down for a nap without fussing and wakes up cooing."

**I must mention that before having a child of my own, I was so against letting a baby cry without running to them right away.  I could never imagine leaving my baby to cry without going to console him.  It is amazing how you say you will or wont do this or that, but when faced with the situation, you do something totally different**

The Hardest Part So Far:

Nap times and bedtime -_- Sigh

Babywise encourages you to put your baby down while he/she is still awake.  Sometimes we follow this, sometimes we dont.  Most times, we wait until he is falling asleep (still half awake) and then put him down.  What has been happening is, we put him down and he cries.  Luckily he cries for about 3-5 minutes and then drifts off to sleep and leaving him to cry hasnt been as hard as I imagine.  However, I dont like it. At all.

There are those occasions where he cries longer than this and we go in and rub his back to see if he will go back to sleep.  Most times he will. If not, we figure something must be wrong and feed him, comfort him, change him or do whatever we need to do to get him to go back to sleep comfortably.

Let me just say that I dont agree with every single word written in "On Becoming Babywise", but I have been able to take information from it and implement it into our lives.

In my next Babywise post, I will tell you how this theory has benefited us thus far.

What do you think of this theory? Have you ever tried anything like it?

Monday, May 2, 2011

On Becoming Babywise? (Part 1)

My Dilemma:

I consider myself to be a very organized person.  As many of you moms may know (and those of you who are not moms yet will soon find out) that having a baby can throw all of your organization out of the window.  The first few weeks after bringing Ezaias home was just pure chaos - I was like a zombie, I didn't know what was coming next, I had breastfeeding challenges and I had to deal with all the new mommy emotions and frustrations. 

Also in recent weeks, Ezaias has been sleeping in our bed and would be fussy almost every night around 2 am.  His fussiness would sometimes last an hour and NOTHING would calm him down. He would just stop crying and fall asleep when he was good and ready.

We needed to do something!

My Solution:

When he was nearing 2 months, I decided that I needed to get him on some sort of schedule, so that I could plan my day better and so that he would have some sort of routine to follow. Coincidentally, a friend of mine had told me that she had read "On Becoming Babywise" and has had success with her 4 month old. I was so curious about this book, so I researched it online.

What I Found:

I must admit that I came across so many negative reviews and comments on the Babywise theory, but I also came across positive ones. However, I dont make any judgement on anything unless I have tried it myself. I also came across Chronicles of a Baby Wise Mom which offers lots of support for people who want to become "Baby Wise".  

What intrigued me the most about the Baby Wise theory is that:
  • It is based on a schedule/routine.
  • Many people who used this method had babies sleeping through the night very early on (i.e. from 2 - 4 months old).
So, I decided to read the book and implemented it into our lives last week.  So we are on day 6 of becoming Baby Wise.  Let me also add that with all of the research I've done, I've used some pointers from "On Becoming Baby Wise" and from other sources.  The key to reading books of this nature is to take from it what you can and use your common sense and judgement.

So What Is The Babywise Theory Exactly?

Have you tried Babywise or anything similar? What was your experience? Would you recommend it to others?