Friday, August 2, 2013

Why I Am No Longer "Babywise"


I guess I am officially Babydumb. I was an avid babywise mama (which some of you KNOW) with my first three kiddos. Especially my first one. I felt like I had lost my mind and babywise seemed to bring some sanity. Rhea, my first, seemed to be the perfect "babywise baby". But there were times I would let her cry and cry and cry... I regret that now. FOR ME babywise was really to feed my selfishness. I am not saying this is the case with all babywise moms, but it was undoubtedly the case for me. I didn't want to be inconvenienced by a needy baby all day and night so the idea of letting my baby cry in the room and having a book tell me that I had every right to do so made that selfish side of me very happy and content.

Fast forward to baby number three. Johnny.




He was sickly. I have my suspicions at this point that it was actually vaccines that made him terribly sick. He was in the 1 percentile for weight and 103 percentile for head circumference... his head kept growing and his body kept shrinking. It was terribly frustrating and scary. I was told to stop breast feeding him or they would have to tube feed him... so I stopped. Johnny was sickly and needy and I "babywised" him. Big regret. I wish I would have nurtured him... comforted him... ran to him instead of running away from him... I still cry about it to Scott....

Our fourth was born on February 6th 2013. Charis (greek word for grace) Hope LaPierre. Man oh man, she is so sweeeeeetttttt :)





I felt different this time. Charis is our first "reversal baby". I felt more thankful this time than ever before. I was looking forward to being a mom more than ever before. For the first time I wasn't viewing my newborn as a nuisance... but as a gift. Not as an inconvenience but as a blessing. I was seeing her not as "work" but as a baby to enjoy. Such a difference. I found myself not wanting to let her "cry it out" (which often turns into "screaming it out"). I wanted to hold her longer.... nurse her longer and more often... but I felt guilty for that!

Then I found these four articles from aboverubies.org:

1. Breastfeeding God's Way

2. Baby Three Changed My Heart
3. Why Does My Baby Want To Suck All The Time?
4. Breastfeeding, Bell Bottoms and Birth Control

They encouraged me GREATLY! I felt like they were confirming my mothering instincts and allowing me to ENJOY being a mom of a baby!

Here are a couple quotes from the above article that in particular encouraged me:

"Hindsight is always 20/20. Mothering my first two children, I was selfish and controlling. I didn’t want to lose sleep! The book said to let the baby cry. Slowly, I became numb to his cries and my heart turned to stone. Even my husband would ask to pick up the crying baby to rock and comfort him, but I said, 'No, the book says…' Mothering this way is such a beautiful picture of the love of God! Is it always easy? NO! With every baby I learn more about dying to myself. But, knowing my breasts comfort my little ones brings much peace to me. Now my husband has the opportunity to comfort and rock his little ones too!"

"I was full of great intentions as I set out to nurse my first baby—nearly 50 years ago! My mother was by my side to encourage me in the way she thought best—to feed my baby on a four-hourly schedule. But sadly, this way brought me heartache and frustration. Every time my baby woke before the four hours were up, I paced the floor in agony waiting to feed him. My heart ached while my baby cried...(the fourth baby she transitioned to not scheduling) But, now I was in a dilemma! I was enjoying life, but the old wives’ tales haunted me. I certainly wanted to do it God’s way. I cried out to God for direction. He was faithful and revealed His truth to me through Isaiah 66:10-13. In this passage God likens Jerusalem to a nursing mother. As we read the passage we see God's plan for nursing mothers. We do not even see the word "food" mentioned. Instead. it talks about satisfying, consoling, delighting, and comforting. The revelation hit me. Nursing is not an alternative method to bottle feeding. It is total mothering! It is ministering to the total needs of the baby, whether it is for hunger or emotional security. This “freeing” way of mothering blesses mother and baby. Not only does the mother meet the needs of her baby through sucking, but God provides natural contraception. It takes a lot more sucking than scheduled feeding provides to hold back ovulation."

I could quote so much more but don't want this post to be a bajillion words. The part in particular that resonated with me is how God likens Himself to a nursing mother.... nursing is not just for food but for consoling and comforting. I love to console and comfort Charis now. I only wish I could go back and do that with my other three...Thankful for this opportunity the fourth time around!

This post is not meant to offend people! It is meant to encourage mamas who are maybe on the fence in their nursing "style"/approach. It is for moms like me. Moms who feel guilty for nursing their babies. That is sad. Nursing is such a gift to mama and baby! It is a privilege to be able to comfort our babies!

I still did some "sleep training" with Charis. She has never slept with me (just doesn't work... tried it numerous times... and it doesn't work for my husband either). She sleeps in her crib happily and peacefully. She looks forward to going to bed. She slept through the night as early as my boys did (whom I did babywise with). She is happy and so am I. I no longer dread the newborn stage and I am thankful.

p.s. sorry to all my mom friends that I shoved babywise down your throat... now I will be trying not to shove babydumb down other mom's throats.




UPDATE: This is by far my MOST READ POST EVER. So I decided to give an update on how it is going with my second "non-babywise" baby. I have included six tips to help your baby sleep without "babywising" them. Check it out here!