Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Routines vs Whatever Goes!

For a few months of my baby's life I was a routine Mum. I followed a book called "Save our Sleep" by Tizzie Hall. It was my bible. Until I read "The Continuum Concept" by Jean Liedloff, and learned to trust my OWN instincts! Now life is much more peaceful...

It isn't as if there is no routine in our lives, but the difference now is that I let Butterfly set her own!

Here are a few examples of how our lives have changed...

Then... set my alarm for 7am, and wake the baby if she wasn't yet awake (also applies to naps)
NOW... get up when we get up! Yeah, most of the time she wakes between 6.30am and 7.30am, but there have been a few after 8am wake ups that I would have MISSED!!


Then... feed the baby, put her in her cot, say goodnight and walk out, closing the door behind me (and then listen to her whinge herself to sleep)
NOW... Lie down together in our communal bed, and breastfeed to sleep, with my beautiful daughter playing with my skin... Sweet, peaceful, easy!

Then... bedtime is 7pm. If the baby is tired at 6pm stress both of you out by trying to keep her up till 7pm. If she isn't tired at 7pm, tough cookies it is bedtime!
NOW... bedtime is when she is tired. Woke up from her midday nap early? Go to bed at 5pm if needed. Had a nap in the car late in the afternoon? Stay up till 10pm playing with Dadda! If we try to put her to bed and she isn't tired, we don't stress about it, just take her out for another play until she IS tired enough!

Then... breastfeed the baby 6 times a day, and whenever she needs at night
NOW... geez, who counts?? Feed to sleep, feed when she wakes, feed while playing if she is thirsty, feed if she is teethy and upset, feed whenever and wherever!

Then... get up a zillion times a night to check that Butterfly is still breathing... then go searching for the cats every time I open the door to make sure neither of them snuck into her room in the dark!
NOW... Mostly I can hear her breathing, but worst case scenario I have to put out a hand, feel the rise and fall of her chest, and go back to sleep

Then... put her down for her naps exactly 1 hour 20 minutes after she woke up (for example), DON'T put her to bed 5 minutes early even if she is crying with tiredness!
NOW... put her down for her nap when she is tired, if we are out and about she may stay up later, if she had a rough night she can go earlier!

Then... wake up in the morning to the sound of a crying child and have to jump out of bed feeling like a zombie!

NOW... wake up to a little hand on my arm, and roll over to see my baby's smiling face! Then we open the blinds, and wake up at our own pace looking into the garden, followed by peekaboo with the sheets... blissssss

Then... if she wakes at night, go into her room, DON'T make eye contact, and try to resettle her if it isn't "time" for a feed

NOW... If she wakes she gets boob. If she is waking ridiculously often, hold her and pat her back until she goes to sleep.

Then... What time is it?
NOW... Who caresssssss! I follow her cues for feeding and bedtimes!

Yes, in some ways life has become a little less predictable, and I have to parent at night time... but I wouldn't go back for all the money in the world. That "book" had me convinced that my baby was born manipulative and I had to "teach" her how to self settle... pfft! Now I breastfeed to sleep, SHOCK HORROR! People may say I am making a rod for my own back. Whatevs, it is MY back... and I believe I will reap the rewards when my daughter grows up happy and confident having all her needs met as an infant.

Routines were easier on me. Continuum parenting is easier on Butterfly. I know which I will choose every time!





8 comments:

  1. I have been never been a routine Mum. I remember when I had my first, people were HORRIFIED that I demand fed. So I just said, do you eat when you are hungry?? Why on earth would I not feed my hungry baby? My babies have always ruled the roost, I never practiced controlled crying and the older two are wonderful at bedtime now, they just go to bed when they are asked. I am a Mum, I chose to be one, therefore I accept everything that goes with that, If that means feeding my baby 50 times during the day, then so be it. Good on you, Butterfly will be all the better for it and so will you.

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  2. Wow, I am so happy to see that other people feel the same way I do. I have a 9 week old and had to figure the whole parenting thing out on my own since none of my family are close by, my only advise came from my mother via phone, which I totally disagreed with (controlled crying etc) I have followed my own instincts so far, and have been met with people who think I should be doing things "this way and that way", its very very frustrating. I then came across Sausage Mumma and yourself and felt like I wasn't an alien for co-sleeping, demand feeding etc. Thanks for making me feel like I am not on my own :)

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  3. Danielle Mc (facebook)April 23, 2010 at 5:20 AM

    Wow, I am so happy to see that other people feel the same way I do. I have a 9 week old and had to figure the whole parenting thing out on my own since none of my family are close by, my only advise came from my mother via phone, which I totally disagreed with (controlled crying etc) I have followed my own instincts so far, and have been met with people who think I should be doing things "this way and that way", its very very frustrating. I then came across Sausage Mumma and yourself and felt like I wasn't an alien for co-sleeping, demand feeding etc. Thanks for making me feel like I am not on my own :)
    OOps went anon by accident :)

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  4. It is so much easier when you meet your babies needs rather than trying to make your baby meet the ridiculous time frames some people and books suggest. I know I have had save our sleep shoved on me numerous times and told it would make my life 'easier'. I have no idea why people feel the need to force these things on babies when their needs are so simple and so easily met, we tried control crying maybe twice it wasn't for us at all. I love my life with my little family and like the comment above I have found myself so much happier since finding SM and yourself online and getting to know that there are others out there doing things and feeling the same way about raising children as I do, your blogs are just so helpful at reminding people to just follow their instincts and know they aren't alone : )

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  5. Danielle, actually it ws Sausage Mama who made me see the light! She never pushes her ideas but everything she blogs etc makes sense to me... before I was always a little on edge, consulting the "book" all the time, life is so much more relaxed now! I was only on routines for maybe four months max? but I regret it so deeply. I will never get that time back, so I can't dwell on it...
    Thankyou everyone for your support! It means a lot to me. I was a little afraid this blog would step on toes...

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  6. PS the books make out that feeding on demand and feeding to sleep is the WORST thing in the world! When I had to start feeding J to sleep (when she hit 6 months and started emotionally crying at bedtimes) I was SO worried! I thought I had failed in some way... pfft I was completely brainwashed!

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  7. Awesome! So glad you found your own path for you and your precious girl!
    What's kinda sad to me though is that in the 11 years since I had my first child, nothing much has changed! Everything just has a label now.
    When he was born a high needs baby, I HAD to practice attachment mothering. We co-slept and demand fed (every hour for the first 4mths!) when it was totally unheard of (except maybe in the 'hippy' circles! lol) and obviously 'spoiling' and being manipulated. If I hadn't opened up a Dr Sears book my mother got on a clearance table, I think I would have gone crazy (have to say too that the lovely ladies at the local ABA, then Nursing Mothers, were awesome as well!).
    I totally agree with Bree. When you choose to be a mother, you choose to be fully responsible for the needs, comfort and happiness of your child.
    Its amazing how women go to great lengths to ensure their unborn is safe but then can totally ignore that same instinct when the baby is born!

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  8. you are awesome but you already know i think that ;p i have never been a routines kinda gal even before my babies so it just carried on after i had them.feed when they want,sleep when they want(co-sleeping still with both of them)play when they want,eat when they want,start using the toilet when they want,see the pattern yet?it has worked beautifully for us+is the most natural thing in the world.i find it so sad that so many mama's are brainwashed by these crap baby 'experts'(definition:an 'ex' is a has been+ a 'spurt' is a drip under pressure)because they don't realise that doing what feels right IS the right way to go.
    your friend sam b.

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