Here's a summary of my reading list over the past 6 weeks:
- Happiest Baby on the Block
- Secrets of the Baby Whisperer
- Dr. Sear's Baby Book
- What to Expect the First Year
- Your Baby's First Year, Week by Week
- Plus a healthy handful of magazines and articles
Information overload much?
I'm a reader. It's who I always have been and probably always will be. I want to know everything I can to make sure I'm doing it "right." The problem with parenting? There is no "right." Oh boy, am I struggling with this.
We started out doing pretty straight-forward Attachment Parenting, as endorsed by Sears et. al. Wear your baby, feed on demand, shared sleeping, etc. I love the idea -- who doesn't love cuddling a bundle of joy 24hrs a day? But in practice? I don't know about your household, but some parts of this just don't fly here. I like my pillows and blankets way too much to safely share sleeping arangements with Grace. And, since I'm a first time mommy with very little baby experience, I'm really struggling with her cues: to me, everything sounds like "hungry." The poor girl spent the whole weekend crying while nursing. Turns out she was completely exhausted and I kept trying to keep her awake to feed. I was exhausted, too -- she was eating every 45min to hour. Sigh. Live and learn.
So while my poor sweetheart cried the weekend away, Stressed-Out-Mommy spent nursing time reading Baby Whisperer and Babywise, trying to find "a better way." Both those philosophies recommend a Flexible Routine concept. Baby wakes up, baby eats, baby plays, baby sleeps. This is in contrast to the AP idea of nursing Baby to sleep. They also recommend putting Baby down awake and using Cry it Out. I love the idea of getting Grace less dependant on me to fall asleep, but honestly? I think it might kill me to let her cry at this point.
So here I am, knowing too much information and struggling to successfully apply any of it. We're doing the eat/play/sleep routine from Babywise... wearing Gracie in our Moby wrap a la Attachment Parenting... putting her down awake according to Baby Whisperer... and to confuse everything, using a pacifier...
And of course, praying all along that hopefully someday she'll turn out all right.
What do you do? Do you follow a philosophy? Or do you fling it all together in a happy hodge-podge of ideas? And most importantly, does it SOMEDAY start to make sense?!?!