I’m enjoying baby-related books much more than I enjoyed pregnancy books. Perhaps the reason is that baby-related books actually give helpful tips and advice while pregnancy-related books just scare the heck out of you?
The baby book I am currently enjoying, sent from a good friend of T’s family since around the time T was born, is “Your Baby & Child: From Birth to Age Five,” by Penelope Leach. She breaks the child’s development up into helpful stages: newborn, settled baby, older baby, toddler, and young child. What really grabbed me first was that she captured my emotions from the beginning of January perfectly in her introduction to “The Settled Baby:”
One day you will find that you have stopped regarding your baby as an unpredictable and therefore rather alarming novelty, and have begun instead to think of him as a person with tastes, preference and characteristics of his own. When that happens you will know that he has moved on from being a “newborn” and has got himself settled into life. Your baby may be two weeks or two months old when that moment comes…
A settled baby is a manageable proposition. If you feel he’s a little devil, at least he’s a little devil you know…. So once your baby is settled, you know what you are up against. Instead of trying to survive from hour to hour, get through another day, avoid thinking about another week, you can begin to work and plan for reasonable compromises between his needs and those of everyone else.
Around the turn of the year, when KLC turned a month old, I told T one night, “I don’t think I’m scared of her anymore.” He thought that was a strange thing to say, but Ms. Leach describes it perfectly here. The big turning point for us then was that she would sleep for 4-5 hours and go down reliably when swaddled, swinging, and listening to white noise on a high volume. I felt as though I could stay up for at least a few minutes to get something done, even if it was only to talk to T for 15 minutes before I got much-needed sleep myself.
Since then, she’s learned to take naps (WOO-HOO!!) and still sleeps for nice long stretches at night (yes, we feel super blessed). We still find that parenting can be a roller coaster of worry that is easy to stay on; we talk a lot about how to turn over our trust in our ability to parent to God, knowing that He loves her more than we do and He is giving us the grace to enjoy our daughter each day.
And now, a cute baby picture: