Baby Binder

9 Nov
Read all of my Spearmint Baby posts here.
My husband is the king of the library. He has a long commute to and home from work each day, so he likes listening to audio books in the car. Once we saw the heartbeat on the ultrasound, he started checking out audio and regular books on all things baby. It’s pretty adorable to see his latest read about fatherhood in the bathroom with his page marked.
Around the same time my husband went baby book crazy, I read a post on Bee Kim’s blog about how, with her first pregnancy, she wished she had prepared less for the birth and more for dealing with a newborn and breastfeeding. So, on my husband’s next trip to the library, I tagged along and picked up some books I had heard about and some I thought would be worthwhile to check out.
Some of the books had some information I knew I would want to refer to later, when the baby arrives, but since they were library books, I decided to make some copies and put together a binder with all the most important info I think I’ll need later. I put some extra dividers in the binder so I can add to it throughout my pregnancy and I think we’ll also use it for the baby’s important information like doctor’s visits.
Here are the books I liked best:
Baby Wise is a popular book all about scheduling. While I would really like to avoid being one of those parents who freaks out over my baby’s schedule getting disrupted, I do see how important a consistent schedule can be for the baby and the parents. This book claims that 8 week old babies can sleep through the night! I know this idea is controversial and many people think babies that young need to be eating in the middle of the night, but I’d like to try it out as long as my baby is gaining weight appropriately.
The Happiest Baby on the Block focuses on calming baby’s cries and keeping him or her content. It outlines a method using the 5 S’s: Swaddling, Side/Stomach (not for sleeping), Shhhhing, Swinging, and Sucking. This method is supposed to help the baby feel the comfort of the womb and they emphasize matching the baby’s vigor when doing one or more of the 5 S’s. For example, if the baby is crying very loudly, the Shhhhhing should be just as loud. The book doesn’t advise using these methods to put the baby to sleep, just to calm the baby.
The Nursing Mother’s Companion is just what the title suggests. While husbands may giggle at the illustrations of engorged breasts, the visuals really help someone like me who has never breastfed (and is terrified). I’ve heard that reading books about nursing isn’t enough to prepare a new mother for the challenges (a lactation consultant coming to the house seems to be the best thing to do), but I like to be prepared and reading about it now helps me get my mind ready (I had a dream last night about nursing and it came very naturally to me).
The New Natural Pregnancy is a bit granola for me, but it has some really great exercises that my favorite prenatal yoga teacher does and since she’s in South Africa for a few months, I copied some of the pages so I could do them myself. It also has some good illustrations for massage, hint hint hubby.
What are your favorite books on pregnancy and infant care? I’d love to add to my binder!

12 Responses to “Baby Binder”

  1. Angela November 9, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    Those books all sound really good! The only thing I don't like about Babywise is it's more of a regime than a schedule. The difference, in my opinion, is that a regime MUST be stuck to or all hell breaks loose. A schedule can be flexible. I think, from what I've learned, that the moms who aren't flexible are the moms who are constantly stressed. I totally agree with you that a schedule is good, just don't stress. :-)xo,A

  2. Unknown November 9, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    This post has been removed by the author.

  3. Amy November 9, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    @Angela Babywise does say that flexibility is important, but that parents should call the shots, not the baby. It emphasizes a meet halfway approach, where parents listen to baby's cues, but are also making decisions based on other factors. (from what I understand)I hope I can find a balance between being consistent and still flexible!

  4. Erin November 9, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    I love all the Dr. Sears books. His baby book is encyclopedic and is always my goto when something is off. I love his breastfeeding book, it was my bible. I managed with just that and only the hospital lactation consultant. I am a big attachment parenting fan. I can see how responding to my infant and learning what his needs were really shaped how his first year went. He was really needy, and I'm afraid that if I had scheduled him, we might have had an even tougher time than we already did. I know I have a very different outlook than you, but many of the ideas in attachment patenting like learning your baby's cues are super valuable as a parent.

  5. Angela November 9, 2011 at 11:15 pm #

    Hm…I haven't read it myself. It's just the impression I've gotten from other women. Maybe those women misunderstood it? Or maybe they hadn't read it all? Regardless, there will always be a debate between the parent-led and baby-led schedule. I just figure a little bit of both evens it out a bit! xo,AP.S. I know you will do great!!!

  6. Amy November 9, 2011 at 11:42 pm #

    @Erin I will definitely add Sears to my list! However, I don't think what Baby Wise teaches is anything different than what I've read about attachment parenting. It does emphasize responding to the baby's needs, but it also focuses on getting the baby to be able to soothe him or herself to sleep, which I think is very important. Again, my opinion, not necessarily the right thing for everyone.

  7. Amy November 9, 2011 at 11:47 pm #

    @Angela I definitely agree that balance is key! Also, what's important to some isn't to others. I have had sleep problems my whole life due to my mom cosleeping with me and the same thing has happened to my little brother (we both can't self-soothe). It is very important to me that I not fall into the habit of cosleeping, which I know can be very easy at first, because I want to be able to put my baby to bed and have an hour or two to spend with my husband. Also, I want someone else to be able to put the baby down, if necessary, and not have to climb into bed with him or her (as we had to do with every nap and bedtime with my little brother). This definitely calls for another post; as you can tell I have a lot to say about it!

  8. Jess November 10, 2011 at 2:14 am #

    Hi Amy!Funny, I was just talking about this with my physician coworker and we were discussing all of the books out there on sleep etc. Just as an FYI, as I know everyone has their own need/wants/opinions, the American Academy of Pediatrics really shuns the Babywise camp. I know there are people who believe this works for them, but the AAP has some solid info on great sources for you of you are interested. Good luck!

  9. Amy November 10, 2011 at 2:32 am #

    @Jess do you have a link? I can't find any info about it on the aap website.

  10. Amy November 10, 2011 at 2:45 am #

    @Jess I found some stuff on wikipedia (not the most reliable source, but a source nonetheless) and I wonder if people maybe took the advice in the book too far? To me, it didn't seem as severe as everyone is claiming it is. I found the sample schedule helpful. I won't follow it to a T, but it's nice to have a sample to start from. I don't mean to defend the book, I just sometimes worry that I'll want to let my baby sleep with me/in the swing/with a pacifier/etc because I don't want to deal with working on healthy sleep habits. I've seen babies who point to their cribs at bedtime and ask to go to bed because they're tired. I want that and a consistent, but flexible schedule seems to work.

  11. Jess November 11, 2011 at 3:19 am #

    Hey, here's just the abstract from the article that I was referring to. I'm pretty sure you could find the equal and opposite defenses out there, but the AAP is such a great and reliable resource, I figured I'd just give you the heads up. http://aapnews.aappublications.org/content/14/4/21.abstract?cited-by=yes&legid=aapnews;14/4/21I think the jist of it, at least in my experience as a mom and a health care provider is that every baby is different! Some CAN do the every three hour feeding schedule, but some every 2 or even every hour (not forever, I promise :)). Also, these books can be a big source of STRESS in new mamas! Many have told me (and myself included!) that once we put the books down and just went with the baby's groove, life got simpler, happier, and less stressful. You will see what works for you and what an adventure that is! šŸ™‚

  12. Amy November 11, 2011 at 6:13 am #

    @Jess That's funny, it was almost the exact info as wikipedia. I definitely know that all babies are different and it's important to pay attention to their needs, but I also think some parents rely too heavily on props (pacifier, swing, boob, etc), and as a result, babies (and future adults) develop poor sleep habits. I like the idea of the sleep, eat, play cycle to ensure that a baby isn't using feeding as a sleep prop. They even say that number of hours thing should be flexible.It will definitely be an adventure!

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