Thursday, August 11, 2011

Preparation for Parenting


Upon my sister's advice, I decided to read Preparation for Parenting before Hardy was born. I cannot tell you how many times I have referred to this book over the past ten weeks. It certainly prepared me for many of the challenges and questions that you face as a new parent. I have named it my "parenting bible" because I refer to it so often and it is that good! I probably have read some paragraphs a hundred times, but just when I think I got the hang of things something changes and I have to get back out THE BOOK!! I'm always saying, "let me see what the book says!" Most of you are probably familiar with Baby Wise. Preparation for Parenting was also written by Gary Ezzo, but this book is based upon biblical principles. It also has an audio series that Kyle and I listened to together and I highly recommend it. I have only been a parent for ten weeks, but I think it is safe for me to say that babies like a schedule. When I first heard about scheduling, I was a bit skeptical because it seemed so rigid. However, I am very scheduled person and seem to operate best in that way. One thing I found out that I love about scheduling is parent-directed feeding. "The PDF plan brings into play the most critical tool of parental assessment. PA takes the variable and the constant and weeds them together. It frees a mother to utilize the variable of the hunger cue when necessary and the constant of the time when appropriate. When the hunger cue is not present, the clock serves as a guide to ensure that too much time does not elapse between feedings. When the hunger cue is present, the clock is submissive to the cue, because the hunger cues, not the clock, determine feedings." To me it just makes sense, and I can testify that parent-directed feeding works! Scheduling has also helped Hardy fall into a predictable feed/wake/sleep routine. Here is what a typical day with Hardy looks like:

8:00 AM: Feed Hardy and "conversations with Mommy"...I would like to start taking a walk at these times, but it is just too hot right now!

9:00 AM: Nap

11:00 AM: Feed Hardy, play on the activity mat, and tummy time

12:00 PM: Nap

2:00 PM: Feed Hardy and play in the infant rocker

3:00 PM: Nap

5:00 PM: Feed Hardy and family time...lately this consist of watching the Cardinals with Daddy :)

6:00 PM: Nap

8:00 PM: Feed Hardy and give him a bath

9:00 PM: Bedtime for Hardy...read and sing to him

11:30 PM: Feed Hardy and put him back to bed

This may seem a bit monotonous, but it has created a healthy, happy baby. Ezzo says, "The routine is to serve you and help you, you do not become a slave to the routine. Routine must first be established. After that, when necessary deviations are made, baby will bounce back to the original routine. Doing so, however, may require your firm guidance. The flexibility you desire will come, but give yourself time to develop your child's routine. And remember, true flexibility is not a lack of routine, but a temporary alterations of what you normally do."

Hardy had his checkup yesterday and his first set of shots. Dr. Sanford was very pleased with Hardy's weight gain and growth. He also was rather impressed with Hardy's attentiveness and alertness. He said for a baby of this age, Hardy was tracking and responding extremely well. I do believe that establishing a healthy routine for Hardy has contributed to all of his success. When I was pregnant, my sister told me that if I did not schedule Hardy that she would drive from Louisville to come put him on a schedule. I laughed at her comment, but now I see why because Hardy is a very happy baby! Believe me, it works! If you are pregnant or just became a parent, I highly suggest reading Preparation for Parenting. If you would like a copy of this book, you can visit www.growingkids.org and you will find it there. The Ezzos also have lots of other helpful resources for parenting on potty training, the toddler years, the middle years, and the teens. Check out this book...you will be so thankful you did!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Amy! You don't know me, but we have a few mutual blogging friends and I've LOVED reading about sweet Baby Hardy :) I wanted to thank you for your awesome post, and offer you a word of encouragement. I'm the mommy of o a 19-month-old, and like you we followed Gary Ezzo's approach. To this day I'm convinced that it's one of the best early parenting decisions that we made. Our daughter sleeps 11-12 hours every single night, takes one 2-hour nap every single afternoon, and is content and happy throughout the day (even as we approach what should be the "terrible two's"). You'll find that as you interact with other babies, you'll often be able to distinguish other "Babywise" babies (they just tend to have such a sweet, content nature). Anyway, I hope it's not weird fir me to comment, I just felt prompted to affirm your decision :) Best, Ashley

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