If you follow me on Instagram—then you're probably inundated with Edwin photos, and you also may know that I captioned this photo "It only took 45 minutes. #sarcasm". I am writing this post from my bed which has an excellent view of the napping baby and is only three large steps away from his little back which I can pat and his little ear into which I can shush should he begin to stir. This setup is my way of trying to extend his naps which have been getting shorter and shorter as of late. And yes, I know it's against all the baby rules to put a baby to sleep on their tummy, but it's only for his naps and like I said, I'm watching him like a hawk!
Edwin's progressively shorter naps recently fueled an Amazon parenting book shopping spree. I bought three books (yes, that's the definition of a shopping spree to me), Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth, Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems by Tracy Hogg, and The Baby Book by Dr. William Sears. I waited anxiously for them to arrive, convinced they would solve all my parenting woes. These were to be my first parenting books, I had avoided them for the first 3.5 months of Edwin's life, but was now searching for answers on sleeping, eating and general parenting questions and welcomed the advice of seasoned professionals with open arms. Once they arrived I immediately skipped to the relevant sections in each of the books, ready to whip my parenting style into shape. The only problem was that I began noticing that each of the books contradicted the others, over and over again! "Never wake a sleeping baby" vs. "Wake a sleeping baby to keep them on schedule", "Breast-feeding a baby to sleep is perfectly fine" vs. "Don't breast-feed to sleep unless you want to be breast-feeding your baby to sleep until they're two", "Babies should be placed in their cribs drowsy but not asleep so they learn to fall asleep on they're own" vs. "Wait ten minutes before placing the sleeping baby in the crib to ensure they've entered a deep sleep", "Sometimes letting your baby cry it out is the only way they'll learn to go to sleep" vs. "Never leave your baby alone to cry, respond to their needs immediately". Shall I continue?!
Obviously all of this new and contradictory information sent me into a bit of a tailspin. I was suddenly convinced that everything I was doing for Edwin was wrong; his routine, the way I was feeding him, his relationship with sleep and whether he was getting enough of it. Did you know babies who are chronically overtired have difficulty learning and may become overweight?! I know I sound a little neurotic, but when it's just you, your baby, the baby books and google at home during the day sometimes it's hard to keep calm, cool and collected about all this stuff.
I have been able to incorporate some of the information from the books into our daily life so far with some success. But, in general I remain pretty committed to the parenting style Charles and I adopted from day one: to always be there for Edwin and to give him everything he needs. It can be difficult not to over-analyze the daily minutia and to find problems where there really aren't any, so thank goodness for real-life mom friends and their real-life advice! I've been very fortunate to have some great mom friends who help to keep me sane and give me sideways glances when I talk about elaborate baby schedules ;)
Edwin's nap update: It's been 1.5 hours and he's still sleeping!!
Have a wonderful day :)