Thursday, January 30, 2014

Start As You Mean To Go On

Start as you mean to go on... what???

That's exactly what I thought when I first heard about this concept. It basically means think into the future- near or far- and do NOW what it takes to get to THEN. So if you know that it won't be fun and cute to have a toddler sleeping in your bed with you, don't start now! Or if you don't want to have to rock your baby to bed every single time, don't start! Easier said then done- right?

So, whether you have a newborn coming home from the hospital or you have a 6 month old who's cute habits are just beginning to become tedious and no longer cute, set a plan to get where you wanna go.

Below are our 3 "Start As You Mean To Go On" actions we tried to follow:

1. Let them hang out by themselves- Even though it is the most beautiful thing to sit and hold your baby as you gaze into her eyes, try to limit the time you do it! It will start to create a need to be held all day. Get them used to exploring the world on their own. Put them in a bouncy seat, a swing, laying on a mat on the floor and leave them. The colors and shapes of the room are enough to entertain them. If they cry and whine, let them settle there for a few minutes. This simple act will help you down the road with 3 things: 1. not having to constantly hold your baby- you'll be able to do exciting things like make dinner with two hands, fold laundry, take a shower, etc. 2. as your baby grows, they will be able to entertain themselves. The last thing you would want is to HAVE to sit on the floor with your baby and play with them at 6-7 months old just so they won't cry. 3. If you give your babe sufficient tummy time it can help with learning new skills such as rolling over and crawling and can reduce significantly the chances of plagiocephaly (which of course my twinnies had- more on that later!)

2. Sleeping in your bed- I know this one is so difficult. And it never starts out with a parent (most times) wanting their newborn in their bed with them. But it gradually goes from using a bassinet in your room, to letting the baby fall asleep with you in your bed while your feeding them, to the baby's cries stopping only when laying with you in bed, to every night having your baby sleep in your bed and no one is getting a good night sleep.

3. Using a pacifier past 6 months- I found that it was so much easier to take the pacifier before they could really object. I absolutely love the pacifier- I loved the ease of popping it in my baby's mouth when we were out in public. I loved using it to help get them to take a nap or bed. And in complete honesty, I tried to wean Chatham off of it at 3.5 months and it was a mistake for me at that time. And quiet frankly, she wasn't ready either. So, she got it back and I will revisit it in a few months when we're both ready.

And remember- everything is different for each individual baby and family. So what works for us might not work for you. But the idea is, think about what is acceptable to you and work towards it early on!

Tomorrow starts Part 1 of a 3 Part Series on Our Fertility Story! Be sure to follow me in the top right corner so you don't miss out on any posts!

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