Like most subjects, I decided to tackle my first year of parenting through detailed research. I quickly learned that my research would be ongoing. Just as soon as I figured my babies out, they reached another milestone and changed again.
I also learned that The Experts do not agree. It seems there’s more than one way to take care of a baby. Eventually, I put the books down and enjoyed the moment. When something came up, I did find a good index quite helpful.
If I had a question about something, then I looked it up. “What to Expect the First Year” has an excellent index. In this way, I prefer the print version to an e-book.
So many friends whom I greatly respect recommended On Becoming Baby Wise. Before I had a baby, I thought this book made so much sense. Hubs and I gave Baby Wise a wholehearted first-time-parents try, but it just didn’t work. Bless Schäfer’s heart.
I’ll also say that this style of parenting doesn’t really fit my personality. I don’t mind if the baby needs me and wants to nurse again. All three of my kids fell into a beautiful rhythm on their own that worked great with our family priorities.
By the way, the official title for this book is “On Becoming Baby Wise: The Classic Sleep Reference Guide Used by Over 1,000,000 Parents Worldwide.”
Let’s make that 998,000 parents worldwide since Hubs and I had to try something else.
On the bookshelf, I like to place “Baby Wise” next to The Baby Book by Dr. Sears so they can battle it out.
If “Baby Wise” is all about getting your baby on a firm feeding schedule and sleeping through the night, then “The Baby Book” is all about demand feeding, wearing your baby as much as possible, and co-sleeping.
Oh yes, that would be two parenting experts giving completely opposite advice. They sent some very confusing signals to this first time Mom.
It was at this point that I shut all the books (except for when I had a specific question) and started to follow my instincts.
When Schäfer was a few months old, I knew I wanted to start baby sign language so I ordered two books. Everybody say, “First-time-Mommmy overkill!” One would have been more than enough. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend even ordering a book. There are lots of sign websites and youtube videos that you can watch to learn basic signs.
I read about babies who knew 300+ signs. Schäfer probably knew about 15 and then he started speaking super early.
Sianna knew about 10 signs, but only signed when she wanted to. (She’s fun like that.)
Selah might have known 3 signs. (Third child syndrome.)
To my surprise, Secrets of the Baby Whisperer was my favorite baby book. (I was surprised because the title is so lame. Anybody else?) This book was written so concise and has a great index. When I read it, I felt like I was getting advice from a friend. This is the book that I recommend to all first time Mom’s.
I received Super Baby Food as a gift. I gave it my best effort, but I couldn’t even finish reading the book. Most of the extra healthy recipes contained ingredients that I could not get in China. (enter unnecessary Mommy Guilt)
I never made their “Super Porridge” (grains + legumes), but my kids seemed pretty healthy. I did feed each baby fresh fruits, vegetables, beans and meat all prepared by your truly. All three kids were right on target for growth and development. (So, go away Mommy Guilt!)
For all of us non-education majors, Slow and Steady Get Me Ready is a wonderful resource. It gives 260 weekly developmental activities from birth to age five. In the back, it has specific developmental markers that you can watch for. I didn’t use every activity in here, but it was and still is a wonderful resource.
My Mom sent a Carter’s Baby Book for Schäfer. Of course, I would rather scrapbook every memory, but who has the time?
Sometimes, I wrote immediately in the book. Other times, I wrote a blog post such as “Schäfer at 6 months” and later added it to the book.
I also have a memory book like this for Selah, but have not decided what to do for Sianna’s adoption. I have my eye on an adoption memory book, but I want to be able to return it if it doesn’t suit our needs.
Again, this style of book isn’t perfect, but I like the kids having some of their memories recorded in my handwriting.