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Friday, July 29, 2011

more books in July

I reviewed a few more books out there about parenting. Check these out!

(image from Google)

Touchpoints - Birth to Three - Your Child's Emotional and Behavioral Development by T. Berry Brazelton, M.D. - I just skimmed through this book, as it's pretty similar to others I've already read. It goes through each stage of a baby's first couple of years, in detail about sleeping and eating habits, etc. It's definitely a hands-on book. His sleep routine sounds similar to what we have tried with Owen, having the infant go to sleep awake (not wide-eyed and ready to play, but sleepy and still with open eyes), letting him know you are there if they cry but trying not to pick them up after the routine starts going. I also believe in having a good routine for baby to go to sleep with - music, rocking chair for a minute or so, a blanket or stuffed animal (when they are bigger), same time every day if possible, etc.

Two points in this book I think may be helpful to some of my friends here with newborns or having babies:
-Many new parents wonder if they will know when the baby is hungry and when is appropriate to feed her. Dr. Brazelton says that crying is the last sign of hunger. Other signs include: an alert state, more physical activity than at other times, rooting and mouthing (putting hands to their mouth and moving their head around), nuzzling at mom's chest, bobbing her head looking for food.

-You also will wonder how often to food a newborn. The nurses at the hospital told me to pump every hour to two hours and feed him every two hours, no longer than that. So that's what we did, and honestly Owen was on that schedule from the beginning until at least 4 months old, but it was more him asking for food every two hours like clock-work than it was us sticking to what the nurses told us. He was always alert and hungry every two hours, even in the night waking us at midnight, 2 a.m., 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. religiously.

Dr. Brazelton says to feed a newborn whenever she wants it, even if that's every hour. You will soon realize which cry means hunger, after trying to change a diaper or hold a crying baby. Try food, if she doesn't want it she'll refuse it. You should not let a newborn sleep longer than 4 hours without food in the beginning, so waking a sleeping baby to feed her is good.

(image from Google)
It Gets Easier - And other lies we tell new mothers - A fun, practical guide to becoming a new mom by Claudine Wolk -
This was such a fun read (well, skim... who has time to read every word anyway?!)! It was totally real and honest, one of the best I've found so far on pregnancy, birth and bringing home baby. The chapter, "Uncensored tips on labor and beyond" was great! I did not have a natural child birth, having a C-section, so I can't comment much about labor. This chapter seemed to give really good information, straight up truth (wearing ice packs after birth!), and helpful tips.

One tip was cool that I hadn't thought of, having a small treat or gift certificate to thank the nurses who helped you the most during your hospital stay. The author wrote that these nurses are oftentimes forgotten, but they are the ones who help you the most during and after labor. Thanking them would be appreciated. Even as I write this I can remember the several nurses I would have thanked tremendously. In fact, there was one nurse who I sent a thank you note to a few weeks after my son was born. She came in one morning when the nursing just was not happening. My husband was asleep, in one of those typical new-dad-comas that many of my friends' husbands also experienced (one of my friends even tossed a box of tissues at her husband's head, fearing he was dead he was sleeping so soundly in the hospital one night!). My son was screaming in my arms. I was sobbing, feeling completely overwhelmed, defeated that breastfeeding was not coming naturally to us, and so exhausted, having not slept in 48 hours straight. The nurse walked in, helped me hold the baby and get him comfortable, and then just whispered that it was all right, I'd figure this out. She said something else totally profound that I kept repeating to myself over and over for days, weeks after the baby was home, that now I can't remember. It was something along the lines of we expect it all to come naturally and just happen, that mothering should be easy, but it's huge, all consuming, and it's complicated and it doesn't happen that easily. I wish I could remember her exact words, but they got lost somewhere with the changing of diapers every hour, attempting to pump moments after talking to her, and the sleep deprivation. I am forever grateful to her though. I don't even remember her name now... but at least I sent a thank-you note!

But back to the book... lots of good info in here about everything you are probably wondering about already, written in a format that it's from your best friend or sister, someone you can trust to tell you like it is. It reminded me of the Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy book I read, but this seems easier to read, shorter, something you could easily skim in an hour. The Girlfriend's books are great, too though, I read all of those.

I will review some of the resources this book included in the back in another post, so look for that soon.

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