Sunday, April 10, 2011

To Schedule Your Baby or Not?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

This is an article from a recent Above Rubies magazine written by a mom in the same place as a lot of mom's out there. What do you do with your baby as far as getting them to sleep, eat, etc? Should you schedule them or nurse on demand? I hope the following story helps for lots of you out there with new babies or ones on the way!
PS-The books/manuals she mentions are all available through the Above Rubies website (tab on the right) or if you live near me, I have them (and many others) and would love to lend them to you!

Baby Three Changed my Heart!

I was pregnant with my second child when a friend loaned me The Power of Motherhood. “You’re a fast reader, so read this and tell me what you think,” she said. I dutifully skimmed the book but returned it with a mental, “Thanks, but no thanks, I have a mothering system.” You see, I had read a book about scheduling and getting your babies to sleep through the night--man’s wisdom on parenting. I rigidly followed this schedule which involved letting your baby cry it out to teach the child to sleep.
My first child, Kaiser, slept through the night at six weeks. He was also fully weaned by that time, but he cried a lot to achieve that. The chapter in The Power of Motherhood titled “Mothers are Nurturers” especially grated me. I was convinced that this scheduling method was the way I’d mother all my children.
I read in that chapter from Isaiah 66:10-13, “That you may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations: that you may milk out and be delighted with the abundance of her glory. For thus saith the Lord, Behold I will extend peace to her like a river, and the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides and be dandled upon her knees. As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.” Nancy followed by saying “Nursing is…total mothering to meet every need of the child…to satisfy, delight, console and comfort.” I was not moved. This way of mothering was not for me!
God gave us baby number two, my little redhead named Hudson. I scheduled him and he slept through the night at six weeks, self-soothing by sucking his thumb. I did manage to nurse him until he was 15 months old. This scheduling was so easy; baby number three would be no problem.
Baby number three arrived, my first little girl, Adeline. I tried to schedule her for the first three months of her life. But she would not be scheduled! She began to NOT sleep! She slept no longer than 45 minutes at a time 24 hours a day. She wanted to sleep with me! A big no-no according to the book. I was reeling! What had happened? Why wasn’t this working?
I was a mess due to the lack of sleep, but God finally had my attention. To save my sanity, I stopped trying to schedule and began to nurse when she needed me. Wonder of wonders, she began to sleep better, though she didn’t sleep through the night until she was five years old!
I began to study the Bible, seeking God’s wisdom. God brought me back to the Isaiah 66 passage and I got it! It had been three years since I had read this passage, but finally I understood. The beauty of mothering by offering my breast for comfort, nourishment and nurturing brought peace to my soul. I was and am at rest.
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…”
After Addie, I pressured my husband into scheduling a vasectomy. He was reluctant as he wanted more children, but because I was such a mess, he agreed. A couple of days before the consultation, I read Isaiah 66 again. God used that to not only change my mothering but to open me up to the possibility of more children. We cancelled the appointment and eventually began to study the manual, Be Fruitful and Multiply.
We began to understand God’s plan for families as we went through each Scripture. I wept for the children I had missed out on by controlling my womb. I began to realize my lack of submission to God and my husband. My husband began to understand his role in leading the house. He now has a vision to change the world through godly children.
Since then, God has added two more blessings to our home. At one year, Haven is still nursing strong, day and night! She sleeps in a co-sleeper attached to our bed, and snuggles in an Ergo by day. Addie and Isaiah both nursed until they were almost three years old and weaned only after I got pregnant.
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 my self. 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!
Plainville, Illinois, USA
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I started off scheduling my babies too. It wasn’t until baby number four, who refused to schedule and refused to sleep through the night until he was comforted at the breast, that I, too, changed to the Isaiah 66 way of mothering. Nancy Campbell

End note-No mention is made about the benefits of demand nursing and natural baby spacing. It really does work if you know one important thing: You don't want your baby to sleep through the night! It's not that bad though if your baby co-sleeps and just nurses when he needs too. You learn to nurse in your sleep and I actually get more sleep this way then if i have to get out of bed to nurse. Click on the labels to the right for Breastfeeding, Natural Baby Spacing or Birth Control if you want to know more about how this works!~G

1 comment:

  1. when my 10 children were newborns, I always hated that the first question most people asked was, "does she sleep through the night yet?" it was as if if the answer was no then you were not a good parent and she was not a "good" baby. I always loved nursing and loving on my babies. I miss that (my baby's 6) and love to encourage mommies to relax and just love their babies.


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