The first months of Caleb’s life were more overwhelming than I could have possibly imagined. I had a lot of experience with babies, but there were so many things that were new, that you don’t encounter until you are the parent. I spent a lot of time sitting on the couch, nursing, or cuddling a sleeping baby, while I recovered from my c-section. As a person who used to be constantly on the go, I was not used to being still, and felt very much like I was on the verge of losing my mind. To fill the time I occupied myself by reading. A lot. I read blogs. I read books. I wanted to learn as much as I possibly could about how to take care of this fragile little life that I somehow was now responsible for protecting. And I got more and more overwhelmed with every word I read.
There is so much out there about parenting, and so much of it is conflicting. But there were several articles that I read that really resonated with me and my personal beliefs and vision for my family. These articles brought me so much peace, clarity, laughter, and a lot of “OHHHHH that’s why he does that!” moments, and I wanted to share them with you!
1. What You Need to Know About Sleeping Through The Night – Part 1 – Troublesome Tots
This article helped me start to understand how baby sleep works, with interesting visual aids and a sense of humor. I laughed and cried while reading it…there is really no way of knowing if that was due to her wonderful article or the sleep deprivation/hormones. Either way, it is worth the read.
2. The Six Week Growth Spurt – Nurshable
This beautiful letter to her daughter saved my life. Ok. Not really my life. But when I was about to give up on breastfeeding completely during week 7 of my baby’s life (because every time I fed him he screamed uncontrollably and I was broken hearted and falling apart), I found this. I cried big fat tears of relief as I read, and when I got to the end I read it again. I am right now in the midst of the 4 month growth spurt, and it is still just as applicable. Excuse me while I go get a tissue…
3. When Breast Isn’t Best – Scary Mommy
In the midst of struggling with breastfeeding in the early days, this article (and others like it) made me feel a zillion times better. I wanted to breastfeed, but it helped me to know that sometimes it just doesn’t work, and that it would all be okay.
4. Infant Sleep Research Series – Science of Mom There is so much out there on infant sleep, but this is the most cohesive, balanced article I have read that actually talks about the science and research at length. It took me the better part of 3 naps to read the entire 7 part series, but I learned a lot!
5. Timeline of a Breastfed Baby – The Alpha Parent
This was very informative…I had no idea how hard breastfeeding was going to be! I referred to this often (and still do!).
I have to be honest…. initially this blog brought me more stress than peace. It contains tons of practical information for the application of the Babywise series. I had intended to keep Caleb on a time specific schedule, but this just did not work out for our family. I quickly discovered that, while I probably could get him on a strict schedule with consistent nap times every day, I really didn’t want to. The thought of being home for all of his naps all the time (he was sleeping between 18 and 20 hours a day, and eating the rest of the time) sounded like pure torture to me. We function much better with a routine rather than a schedule. Once I gave myself permission to not do things just like the author does without feeling like a failure, this blog became a wonderful resource.
7. Letting a Father be a Daddy – Mrs. Blue (Hellobee!)
This article really hit home for me! Our babies are about the same age, and I started seeing the same things happen with Nick at about the same time. I felt so much better knowing that I was not alone, and it helped me remember that it is more important for Daddy to feel like a confident parent than for me to do things my way.