Well here we are…in some ways it feels like it’s been forever since that fateful afternoon when I finally got to meet my little man, and in some ways it feels I’ve only blinked and 6 months have gone by. I can remember coming home with him exhausted, sore and with absolutely no idea what to do. I was so lucky to have my mom there to help out but it was 3 long months of exhaustion more than most people can imagine. Getting usually only 20 minutes of sleep at a time, only sometimes lucking out with three straight hours, my eyes never seemed to fully open. By four months we FINALLY started to understand each other a bit better, I would occasionally get these magical 5 straight hours of sleep and I was only the extreme tired most people feel when they don’t get enough sleep and have hard long work hours. Now, we’re getting even closer to sleeping through the night and I have had a few magical 6-7hours of sleep which has been PHENOMENAL, and he’s been eating some solids, he’s cuter every day and he’s developing his own little personality which is amazing to watch.
So my advice? TRUST YOUR BABY, and TRUST yourself. Your baby will tell you what s/he is ready for, and what they’re not.
We struggled with breast feeding from the very first moment…we both cried daily, often more than once and sometimes for hours. After the help of three midwives, two lactation consultants, supplementing with formula through a tube, cup feeding, herbal supplements/prescribed medications (up to eight pills a time four times a day) Xavier was still underweight and we were both unhappy. At three months I decided to introduce a bottle to supplement rather than continuing with the tube, and slowly over a month Xavier decided he’d stop breastfeeding. Now he’s gone from the 12th percentile of body weight to 90th percentile, he rarely cries and has a really happy easy going temperament.
My mom insisted that in order to get baby X to sleep through the night I needed to give him pablum. All the babies in my family had started by 3 months, he should as well. He HATED it at 3 months screamed bloody murder, I had to force it in. It in no way made him sleep better. I waited a month and at 4 months I couldn’t get the pablum into his mouth fast enough. He screamed and laughed and kicked his feet he was so excited to eat like a big boy. Just over a month later we started him with pureed fruits and veggies and he couldn’t be happier.
The same thing happened with crying it out, started it at four months when we thought we should, but it wouldn’t work- he’d cry for almost an hour sometimes. Now? in under twenty minutes (often less than ten) he’s out for the count. Similarly with water- I tried it out with him, he loves it but he knows when he’s had enough.
I’m not advocating to let your kids run wild and do anything they want. But I see so many new moms nervous about trying new things with their little ones, reading all the articles, concerned to not do things too early, or doing things before their little one is ready. I can see now, if you let that go, just try things out with your baby…if they’re ready it will be successful if not, it will be painful. Let it go and try it again in a couple weeks.