Schedules and Newborns

Some where along the way the myth developed that newborns can adhere to a rigid schedule. Many new mommies believed this story and began trying to develop schedules in the lives of their babies.

BABY SHOULD EAT EVERY 2 1/2 TO 3 HOURS is one of these myths. Young mommies did everything they could to make this work for their babies. They stressed themselves out, stated up nights trying to make it happen, and were extremely frustrated when it did not work. They woke their babies up at three hours, no matter how long baby wanted to sleep. In other words, they made their lives miserable because someone somewhere said their babies should be on “A Schedule”.

BABY SHOULD SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT AT TWO MONTHS, is another of these myths. Breast feeding mommies jumped through all kinds of hoops to make this one happen. They stretched out their time between feedings until their babies succumbed to “The Schedule”. Their breasts hurt as their bodies made milk for baby to drink, but “The Schedule” denied them. Mommies learned not to listen to what their babies were telling them, you know how babies communicate, so “The Schedule” could be achieved. Babies going through growth spurts were ignored and forced to fit into “The Schedule” because so much time and effort had been exhorted to achieve it.

Many mommies were so frustrated with the stress and exhaustion of trying to keep the schedule they gave up breastfeeding all together. Others missed their babies during the long nights once “The Schedule” had been achieved but were afraid to go to them and feed them because of what others might say or think. Some mommies started adding formula to their babies feedings in order to keep up with the rigid requirements necessary to achieve “The Schedule”.

Doulas and midwives tried to help mommies see the bigger picture. This time with your little one is a precious gift. For just a few months you can enjoy your baby, just you and her. You can be alone with her in her dark bedroom, rocking her as she eats. You can cuddle her, get to know her, talk with her, just sit with her as you burp her and put her back to bed. What is the rush to achieve “The Goal” and get away from your baby? Enjoy this few months of your babies life and yours. Let things progress slowly, comfortably, patiently. Let the early months of parenthood be a blessing rather than a chore. You have the rest of your life to organize and achieve with your baby. Cut yourself some slack!!!! Let yourself enjoy these lovely moments.

‘Feeding on demand’ means just feeding your baby when he lets you know he wants to eat. It means allowing him to sleep until he wakes and calls you. Babies are very smart little creatures. They figure out quickly that you want to meet their needs and they do everything they can to help you do just that! Mommies come home from the hospital with all kinds of useless information.

  1. Baby needs to eat every time he cries. Not so. Sometime baby has a tummy ache. Sometimes he is uncomfortable and needs to be moved. Sometimes he just wants company. After all, from his perspective you held him for 9 months and he isn’t OK with being alone just yet.
  2. There is only one way to swaddle a baby. Hay, you and your baby work out the best way to help him sleep. Swaddling reminds him of being in your uterus, snug and warm. His arms, over which he has no control, do not flail around and wake him. He feels safe and sleeps well when swaddled.

More to come……………..

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