I was going through my Kindle app the other day (long time, no see!) and saw that I still had lots of books on baby sleep and breastfeeding. And then I realized I would never read them. How amazing that we are on the other side – success! So I deleted them with joy.
Several people have asked me for a recommended reading list, yet I always pause without much to say. The books I read were OK but they didn’t really help much. Other than the Happiest Baby On the Block’s soothing techniques, I didn’t find any of the books I read very helpful.
As I’m sure most first time moms do, I spent many hours researching breastfeeding and sleep in those early days. I was desperate to take away just one good bit of advice that would change things for the better. Now that I’m on the other side – meaning we have a baby who sleeps through the night, naps well and nurses like a champ – I can say that none of the books provided any answers that led to our success. The books, as I’m sure they are designed to do to increase sales, make you think there’s a formula to success. Few, if any, of the techniques I read about actually worked. (I didn’t read Ferber’s book, but I did use his sleep training method at the advice of friends). My success came from real advice from friends and TIME.
The lactation consultants told me Mazen’s latch was perfect. Yet I still experienced pretty bad pain for 6 weeks or so. The only thing that I think helped was time – for his mouth to get bigger, for him to learn how to latch himself, and for my body to desensitize.
The sleep experts told me to put him down awake, read cues, etc. yet Mazen never slept well despite doing everything they recommended. What eventually did get him to sleep was teaching him that it was OK to wake up and go back to sleep at an appropriate age for both of us.
But when you’re doing something for the first time, nothing makes you feel more helpless and out of control then when someone else says “Just give it time.” You are desperate for a plan – anything – to make even the slightest improvements. So I’m not here to tell any other first time moms not to read the books or try your darnest to get your baby to fall asleep ‘drowsy but awake.’ Reading will make you feel better.
But I will say – you’d probably have more fun reading novels or watching TV or SLEEPING during your spare time and you’ll probably figure it out yourself with just as much success in time.*
*Please remind me of this when we approach the terrible two tantrums, potty training and more!