Things I Love - Newborn Stage Books

Now that we are past the newborn stage, I feel at least somewhat qualified to give advice on what worked for us.  I realize that what worked for us may not work for everyone, but it will hopefully work for some.  I also know that everyone has different parenting ideas and completely different ways of doing things, and the methods David and I chose may not be for everyone.

We decided before Georgia arrived that we wanted her sleeping in her own room as soon as possible. David gets up at 5:30 for work; co-sleeping and having her basinette in our room for longer than necessary wasn't a habit we wanted to form.  Georgia started sleeping in her crib when she was one week old and it worked out fine for us.  I don't think she noticed that we moved her from our room to hers.

I also knew that certain things just weren't for me: feeding on demand any more than what my pediatrician recommended, cry-it-out sleep training, and I wanted her to take regular naps and have a set bedtime.

I met with my pediatrician before Georgia was born and asked for advice on books and resources.  The pediatrician also said that a three hour feeding schedule (except during growth spurts) after the first couple of days was a preferred feeding method and she advocated the eat-activity-sleep routine that we ultimately implemented.

The books below really worked for us.  She started sleeping through the night (9-12 hours) at six weeks and was doing it consistently, every single night, by the time she turned eleven weeks old.  Sleeping the whole night...not waking to eat.  Some people say "Oh, mine sleep through the night except waking up to eat."  If I'm not sleeping all night, I don't consider it sleeping through the night!

Click on the book photos to read Amazon reviews.

Baby's First Year Week by Week: easy to read, and you only have to read a few pages each week.  Tells you which physical, social and other developments baby is experiencing.  Also has developmental activities to do each week, and toys that offer good stimulation for that week.

Babywise: When I was pregnant, I asked the friends of mine with babies/kids who always put themselves to sleep when we were over, how they did it, and they all mentioned this book.  I ignored the chapters on baby care, breastfeeding, etc. and just read the stuff I didn't already know about. This book gave me advice on getting Georgia on an eating and sleeping schedule.  I'm happy to say, that for bedtime and any naps, we've never had to rock her to sleep.  I do lots of times, because she's my baby and I want to rock her.  But when it's naptime or bedtime, I put her to bed and she falls asleep on her own within a matter of minutes...sometimes seconds!


Baby Whisperer:  Exact same concept as Babywise, but just takes longer to say it's worded with more fluff.  Babywise is easier to reference but this book has several pages I have flagged for quick reference.  The page on interpreting the different types of cries was very helpful early on; we were able know quickly if she had gas, was over tired or hungry, and it kept me from feeding her every time she cried, which was my first instinct. 

Baby 411:  An amazing all in-one-reference for the first year.  I especially liked the chapter on breastfeeding.  It was short and sweet, but still contained all the important information in the 200+ page breastfeeding books my OB and pediatrician gave me.  Tons of info on feeding, illness, and development and it's co-authored by a pediatrician.

Moms on Call:  This book comes with a useful DVD.  Same eat/play/sleep concept as Babywise and Baby Whisperer.  Babywise just said that by following their schedule your baby would most likely be sleeping 9-10 hours by ten weeks, but it doesn't address what to do if she isn't.  After Callie recommended this book, I learned how to soothe Georgia back to sleep when she was habitually waking up during the night.  They also have a very detailed awesome evening routine that gets the baby ready for bed and SLEEP!

Disclaimer: I have to add, before any hate mail begins, that none of these books advocate not feeding your child when he or she is hungry.  Yes, I feed Georgia on a schedule, but I'm not strict and I would never, ever not feed her when she's hungry, which is what lots of critics of these methods claim the books say.  I'm not sure how they get that from these books, as they all say that the baby should be fed when hungry...but that every cry or whimper does not mean hunger.

The books also advocate a little cry it out (fifteen minutes max before twelve weeks) but I wasn't able to do it.  I've let her fuss and cry for five minutes at a time.  Twice.  Oh and another time when I was in the restroom.  With any method you use, you really do just have to pick and choose the parts you want to use.