Monday, September 1, 2008

Already Spoiled?

First off, I just want to say that my thoughts and prayers are with those that are currently in the path of Hurricane Gustav. Here is the northwest, we don't have hurricanes, so I cannot imagine how dreadful it would be to face leaving your home and never knowing when and what you might return to.

Life with a newborn is hard. I knew it would be and I don't think that I had rose colored glasses. I knew that there would be sleepless nights, piles of laundry, diapers galore, etc. I expected all of those things and Will hasn't disappointed. He goes through laundry and diapers like it's his job. Oh, wait. It is!

See, I don't mind those things at all. I don't mind all of the things that I do for him. I promise that I don't even mind getting up with him at night. He is so precious and I know how fleeting this newborn stage is. I don't mind milking every second that I have with him. He still can (and often does) reduce me to tears just by looking my direction with his deep blue eyes. When my parents were here, they kindly offered to take a night shift, and I just never really felt it necessary. I like being with him, even when I am so tired that I fall asleep standing up.

What is getting to me is the fact that every little thing I do will impact him for the rest of his life. I feel a tremendous amout of pressure to "start things off right" as far as his sleeping patterns. During the day, he hates to be put down for a nap. I have tried putting him down half-awake, full asleep, and everything in between. Sometimes, he will settle for a bit (five to fifteen minutes) but then the crying starts. He really likes to be held while he naps. But then I wonder, "Am I spoiling him? Will he ever sleep? How will I ever get anything done? Can I take a shower today?" The pediatrician has said that you can't spoil a newborn, and I am taking her at her word for now. But I still do wonder.

Nighttime doesn't seem to be as bad. He has a brief fussy period between 9 - 11 (ish) and then a last feed before bedtime. He seems to settle down for bed all right and last night, only woke up once last night, at 3AM for a feed, then again at 7:30, ready for breakfast. Not too shabby, I feel like a new woman after that many hours of sleep. But don't ask me to repeat that magic show tonight or tomorrow or the next.

I read in all of my parenting books about "starting as you intend to go on" and getting Baby on a schedule from Day One. We don't really have that right now, and it makes me nervous. Am I setting myself and Will up for a lifetime of bad sleep patterns?

Assvice, advice, and anything else gladly accepted.


Fat Girl said...

I have been reading The Baby Book from the Sears library. I know my baby is still in-utero, so I am really talking out of my ass right now, but I don't think you're spoiling your baby! The philosophy of attachment parenting is not so rigorous about a strict schedule. People who are into baby wearing would say that it is ok to wear/hold your baby all day if that is what it takes for your baby to feel secure and get the sleep and comfort they need.

I know being a parent brings a whole list of things to feel guilty about, but I don't think you should add this to your list! You are a great mom!

HereWeGoAJen said...

Nah! I'm certain that you aren't doing any damage to his long term sleep patterns. As long as he is still hungry at night, then I would say he is telling you that he is too little still to wait for food until morning.

Plus, my mom says she couldn't put me down until I was two and I am perfectly not spoiled now. :)

Christy said...

I don't even have anything as good as assvice for you, but how about comiserating? I am in pretty much the same boat. Andy went through a brief phase where he wouldn't sleep at night unless he was being held. So, I held him. It lasted 2 or 3 weeks. He was well rested, I was exhausted. Then, he started napping less during the day and at night after his last feeding we swaddle him in the miracle blanket then put him to bed in his crib, in his room. Yup, at 4 weeks old he got himself kicked out of our room. It's been 2 weeks now of blissfull sleep for everyone at night. He wakes us up once or twice to eat (depending upon how late/early WE go to bed). And everyone has told me the same thing . . . he can't be spoiled this early by holding.

Tracy said...

Have you read "On Becoming Baby Wise"? I know you probably don't have time for a lot of reading, but it's an easy one and offers lots of good advice for getting baby on an appropriate schedule. We plan to utilize much of the advice offered there.

The book does say that for the first couple weeks, though, you shouldn't worry so much about a sleep schedule as getting baby to eat full meals. I'm sure you aren't spoiling your Little Man.

Melissa said...

Please, take it easy on yourself. I am a single mom of twins who were born prematurely and their newborn phase was really, really tough. I was alone (by my choice) and I had to figure out what worked for all three of us. Through trial and error, reading a few books, and trusting my gut, I am proud to say that I had two boys who were sleeping through the night by four months old, and who are still both great sleepers today (they are now 2). You can do this. Just relax and feel your way through it. Maternal instinct is real, and powerful, and you will figure out what to do. You already love him to pieces and that is more than half the battle.

AwkwardMoments said...

We threw out ALL the books long ago.. And I really mean Threw them in the trash. In my opinion, All that hubbub about "schedules", "sleeping patterns" and "creating a healthy eater" are all hogwash at the newborn age. I thought I was going to go INSANE early on. I couldn't MT in a schedule, he wanted to eat and sleep blah blah so on so forth, he did not want to play by my schedule at all.

I had to basically get over myself and my plan - THAT is STILL a work in progress daily. I remind myself that He is young, and we are doing the best we can. I have noticed that if I step back and just let him Be - We do have a schedule most days. Pretty Much the same schedule give or take a hour/45 mins.

*i beleive the adjustments and wanted to not screw things up or make long term hinderances is the absolute hardest part. There really is no one book that is catered to your specific child. There are general overviews, not instruction manuals. I have to remind myself of this all the time.

*and just when I think I have found a schedule - he will w/o a doubt change it up on me.

AwkwardMoments said...

So far this rumor about "things just fall into place around 3 months" is becoming true. I think it's because we are learning to adjust better. In the beginning, It's just a hourly/daily survival mechanisms.

Hang in there - use your judgement. It's the absolute best. *even if it's not what you thought you'd do pre-baby

Mrs. Piggy said...

Oh no worries, DH and I just held the babies ALL weekend. We missed them so much this week, since I started we did nothing but hold them :) Probably not a good idea - oh well!
sounds like you are so in love over there....cant wait for more posts and pictures!

Rebel With.A.Cause said...

Turtle is 7 months old, and I can tell you that we held her a lot. Now, about 2 months ago, she throws a fit if we try to hold her when she is ready to sleep... she prefers to be in her crib with her lovey to fall asleep.

Don't sweat a schedual, like Fertilized said, you will know Will, leave the books alone, they only pissed me off!! He will let you know what he wants... just make sure you move fast enough when he finally tells ya!! LOL :o)

Ms. J said...

Just sympathy and empathy here - especially on the personal hygiene thing, LOL. On Friday I took my first shower in 4 days! I got one again an hour ago, and feel so personally proud, hee hee.

Anonymous said...

First of all, read The Happiest Baby on The Block. It's fantastic and I totally credit it with my having the happiest baby on MY block!
As for feedings, we fed our babe every 3 hours, like clockwork. It resulted in a fantastic schedule and she was sleeping through the night (10pm-6am) by 8 weeks.

Joy said...

You definitely cannot spoil a newborn. They instinctively cry for you so that you'll meet their needs. By responding to his cries and needs you are telling him that he can trust you.

My firstborn had to be held 24/7 (I could not pee or shower). But before her 1st birthday she slept in her own room. By 19 months, she was in a twin bed instead of a crib. And she's a perfect little sleeper. She takes naps and goes to bed when she is supposed to.

I used to be nervous because we never really had a "routine" in the beginning. I felt like I was horrible, awful, etc. But routines form much later when baby is more active and awake for most of the time.

Know that you're doing the best you can and that he'll grow up beautifully!

Joy said...

Oh Fertilized said it great!!! They really do change routines once you get one down. Don't waste time worrying!

DeAnne said...

Trust will NOT destroy his are doing just what mothers should be doing right now. I have five children and we held all of them until they fell asleep and then put them in their crib, sometimes in our bed because we missed them so much during the day when we both worked. They all sleep in their own beds and know how to put themselves to sleep. Enjoy this time and do what your heart tells you to do. Believe me the time flys by so fast that you will someday just wish that you could go back into time and hold William just for a while. Love him, kiss him, hug him, smell him and most importantly spoil him...believe me you will be happy knowing that he knows how much you love him. Everything works out in the end, you just came home from the hospital and a new routine does take time. Please stop being so hard on yourself (this will be a lifetime trait that mother's adopt when their children are born), from what I read you are a wonderful mom who is so blessed to be choosen to be Williams mom.

You have a beautiful son, now go and enjoy him and forgot about the laundry...remember that you will only have this age today and tomorrow he will be older and one day closer to independence.

Sorry the comment is so long, I just had to put my two cents in. One more thing...I agree with the other readers THROW AWAY the books, you will know what to do because you are his Mommy!!!

Mrs. Piggy said...

Katie, I cannot remember where I got the blankets from...some place that let me save $5.00...It was such a long time ago! But you can get them from Amazon.

I am no hero with breastfeeding! I actually just "quit" a couple days ago. My babies were NOT getting enough, we realized after spending all saturday weighing them before and after feedings...I was really starving them in the afternoons/evenings :(
and guess what, now that they have full bellies (we are doing some formula some breastmilk from a bottle) they are sleeping it wasnt necessarily the miracle blanket...BUT it sure does keep them snug, where as the velcro kidopatomus eventually weakens. Although we did use them everyday for almost 3 months and they held up pretty well. But the miracle blanket design is great, their body weight holds their arm flaps down. Owen CAN break out of it, but not til morning after trying a few times over night :)

Dont feel guilty if the breastfeeding doesnt work out. I wish I hadnt let myself be so consumed with making myself do breast or nothing. IT really sort of ruined the first 3 months. I am pretty sure a lot of the time they were fussy was because I couldnt provide.
But now I am pumping, and we are doing half formula half breastmilk until I dry up. And I cant say I am dreading drying up. I will have to write a post soon, because its rather silly how I will sneak and breastfeed again. Its such an addiction.

Your supply doesnt really establish itself for quite a few weeks yet, so the first few weeks are ROUGH. But once your supply is there it becomes much easier.
But bottle feeding formula allows for more freedom, a happier mom, etc.
I hope I get time to write a post, I really gotta get my feelings out on this one!

Ange said...

You are doing a totally wonderful job. But maybe stay away from bizarre parenting books telling you to get a newborn into a schedule. Goodness how ridiculous I think. Feed them when they want, cuddle them when they want. Just do what feels good for you. Trust yourself. Maybe from 3 months after you get to know him so much better some kind of routine will start to form..but for the early weeks just go with the flow.

Waiting Amy said...

Okay, I can't read all the comments today. But here is my quick take. Both camps are right.

You can't spoil a newborn. And if holding him some gets him sleep and you a little rest on the couch, go for it. But I also agree there comes a time that you do need to push for a bit of a schedule and get him to sleep on his own. Probably around 2-3 months.

I did the whole feed on demand, hold him all the time thing. Then when my first child hit the point of needing a schedule, I didn't recognize it. We had some tough sleep problems at one point, but did get through them. (I like the Weissbluth sleep book).

You'll figure out what is right for Little Man. You're already thinking about it! It took me months to realize I needed to change my approach!

Annalien said...

I have raised two babies (my youngest is now almost two) and my personal experience is that there is no way that you can establish a routine this early on, I don't care what the books say. Earliest is probably after two weeks and I would say not before 6 weeks. Trying to establish a fixed routine now will just add extra stress to you and Will. Just enjoy him and gradually establish a routine as you two get to know each other better and as you find out what works for you.

Polka Dot said...

I don't have any real advice, but it always seemed that my sister's newborns didn't fit any schedule she tried lol I don't know that you can force a schedule on a 2 week old. It's not like they have day planners or anything ; )

I wouldn't worry. It sounds to me like you're doing what he needs and that's the most important thing, not what someone in a book says.

Debby said...

My personal opinion is that it is impossible to schedule a newborn. Do what you need to do to stay sane and rested over these next few weeks, and worry about that later. He's too little to get a schedule down now anyway. Try starting when he's a bit will still work at 2 or 3 months. Promise!

I think the main thing I've learned in the past 3 months with Grayson is that I am a different mom than other moms and he is a different baby. No one thing is going to work for everyone so you just need to find the right rhythm for you two and go with that. Don't stress over the minor details right now for sure.

Amy said...

Um, your're doing a hell of a job Katie...stop reading and do what works for you! B/c what works for some may not work for others!!! CIO at 4 months and all will be fine! I promise!! Demand feed that kid, the boob always gets em quiet! HA!! 4 months we can start worrying about sleep mmk? K!!!