Monday, May 21, 2007

this book has saved my life

Okay, that's a little dramatic. If not having actually saved my life, Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg has certainly made living with an infant much more delightful.

Thom and I stumbled upon this book about two weeks ago and I can't tell you what a difference it's made. River is happier than he's ever been--sleeping, eating, and playing with little or no drama--and Thom and I are more rested, less stressed, and truly able to delight in our little munchkin.

The key has been the routine suggested by Ms. Hogg. During the daytime hours River follows a ritual of eating, playing, and sleeping (with nap time lending mom and dad a few hours for themselves). Each cycle lasts about three hours then repeats. The idea is to give both River and us adults a familiar routine so that he gets comfortable always knowing what comes next and we learn how to interpret his various cues much more effectively.

And it's really working. River has so many fewer meltdowns, we're getting some solid sleep at night, and we're really getting to enjoy our time with him. We can tell the "hungry" cry from the "wet" cry from the "tired" cry. We know how much activity he can stand before he gets overstimulated, and because I'm not always rushing in with food to pacify him, my boobs get a break.

Also, because we know what to expect over any given three hour period I can effectively plan a day--taking a shower or running an errand when River's napping--rather than frantically waiting for a quiet moment to do these things, worrying that I will have to drop what I'm doing to feed or rock him.

After two weeks I'm starting to feel like a human being again--someone with my own thoughts and desires--rather than just a walking boob or mommy machine. We still have our moments, and life is not totally cake, but I'm so happy right now and so thankful for my wonderful little boy.

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