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clicking my way to be a better mom: the baby whisperer (part 1 of 3)

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the mommyhood memos: clicking my way to be a better mom: the baby whisperer (part 1 of 3)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

clicking my way to be a better mom: the baby whisperer (part 1 of 3)

I love and appreciate the internet. But since becoming a mom, I have grown to love and appreciate the internet so much more! Having the advice of the world at my fingertips makes it hard for me to imagine how our mothers did without it. I’ve looked up everything from how to take my baby’s temperature to the scientific reason for drool, from baby names to baby fashion, baby food recipes, methods to help my baby sleep, how to increase my milk supply… and everything in between.

I wanted to share with you my top three faves – and most well-clicked and loved – internet resources on mommyhood. 

Now, for my top resource site: The Baby Whisperer Message Boards.

I am a huge Baby Whisperer fan. If you haven’t read the books by Tracy Hogg, then I highly recommend you do so. She talks about communication with your baby, understanding their body language, how to establish healthy eating patterns and sleep patterns, teaching them to fall asleep on their own, and a myriad of other topics including how to care for yourself post-partum. Sadly, since authoring her books on babies and toddlers, Tracy has passed away, but her legacy lives on through the BW message boards.

These message boards are free to use and have literally thousands of posts from moms on everything related to caring for your baby: breast and bottle feeding, naptimes, how to deal with night wakings or early morning wakings, helping your baby learn to sleep without props, surviving growth spurts, age-appropriate developmental activities, and so many other things. The site is powered by a few volunteer moderators and thousands of moms – both veterans and rookies alike.

Moms can surf through the posts and see if others have already posted about their particular issues, or you can post any problem you’re trying to work through with your baby or toddler, and other moms will come and help you with their advice and what worked for them, offering suggestions for you to try. (Of course it’s all based off the techniques which Hogg taught in her Baby Whisperer books, which among other things advocates a form of sleep training minus the cry-it-out method.)

I have had some incredible “mommy mentors” that have helped me day-by-day to figure out and tweak my routine in order to help my little guy learn to sleep without any props (ie: paci, being rocked to sleep, etc.) and also to help him take longer naps. This was a huge help to me as Levi used to always take 30-minute naps and wake up cranky and still tired, yet awake enough to not be able to fall back asleep.

Levi’s sporadic sleep patterns were actually causing me a significant amount of stress during my first few months with him and I’d spend most of my brain power during the day (and often lying in bed awake at night) wondering how to problem-solve and “fix” things so he would get some sleep and be his happy little self. (Cause we all know an over-tired baby becomes a grumpy and demanding baby!)

I went ‘round and ‘round trying to figure it all out and found I just needed help. The experienced moms on the BW boards proved to be an invaluable resource and encouragement to me during some very rocky weeks trying to help my babe sleep well.

They helped me to look at every aspect of my patterns with him, suggested corrections where I needed them, affirmed me when things were working, cheered for me when I wanted to give up, and talked sense into me when we would take a few steps back and I’d blame myself.

At the end of the day these ladies have helped me learn to take care of my son better and successfully see him taking good, consistent naps during the day and sleep well during the nights… leaving him happy and full of life and energy, and leaving me much more sane! Let’s just say my whole family has benefited hugely from the Baby Whisperer. Check it out and join the Baby Whisperer community.

To be continued:
In order to keep this post more readable, I’ve broken it into three parts which will continue over the next few days. Parts two and three of the "clicking my way to be a better mom" series will be:
2) The Chronicles of a Babywise Mom
3) The Kelly Mom

In closing…
I’m sure as my son gets older I will find other resources that are age-appropriate on things like discipline, creative play and learning activities, etc., but for now these are my top three visits on the world wide web for practical help in caring for my baby.

Dear mommy-friends, what are your favourite online resources that have helped you care for your little one(s)?




P.S. Until becoming a mom for myself I had no idea how controversial "sleep training" is! I know amazing parents who have polar opposite philosophies when it comes to things like scheduling, feeding on demand, cry-it-out, and so on. My intention is not to debate which is better than the other - I've seen these parents with hugely differing philosophies raise well-adjusted, happy, healthy kids and I'm of the firm belief that each family needs to decide what's best for them. I personally believe you should research a bunch of different philosophies and then piece together what fits with your values, personality, circumstances, etc. etc! As you will see through my next two parts in this series, I think you can find incredible truth and practical help from an array of angles.

[Above photo: momma and one-day-old Levi still in the hospital... love. x]

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8 Comments:

At July 3, 2010 at 2:52 AM , Blogger Hannah said...

I agree with you on the fact that you have to do what works for your family. What works for one may not work for others. I haven't really used any online resources yet, I have just talked with other mom's I know and read a few books like the "no cry sleep solution" and some others. I will have to check out these links though they sound really cool.

 
At July 3, 2010 at 4:18 AM , Blogger Cameron said...

Wow I could not agree more!! I have done Babywise stuff since the very beginning. I knew 4 moms who did it before I even got pregnant with Isis & their babies were so calm & slept so well & ate really well & I just knew that it was the plan I wanted to use. But then I had a baby & I've read a lot more stuff & I've ended up doing what you said - getting lots of information & piecing it together into what worked best for Isis & for me. But The Baby Whisperer was one thing that I didn't end up reading until about a month ago & I really wish I had read it before she was born! I think it would've helped me get through those first few weeks a little easier. I have never gone to the message boards, but I'm going to now! I'm excited to read about your other resources!!

 
At July 3, 2010 at 7:58 PM , Blogger Aspiring Napper said...

I def agree that we have all to do what works for us. As far as sleeping, what worked for me was sleeping with my baby for her first eight months. I lived in Japan for a couple of years and what we Americans term 'attachment parenting' (co-sleeping, breastfeeding, baby-wearing, etc.) is just normal there and in so many places in the world.

I LOVED co-sleeping. It was very comforting and natural for BOTH of us. Everyone told me that I was spoiling her and that she would never sleep alone in a crib. PLEASE! She had NO adjustment/transition issues whatsoever. Now at 10 months, she is still sleeping great. If she wakes up, she usually soothes herself right back to sleep (I don't let her cry it out). We've been lucky to have no sleeping problems so far.

Well, at least not with her. I'VE become a friggin' insomniac!!!!! Arghhh!

 
At July 3, 2010 at 11:15 PM , Blogger Rachel said...

When I was working in a daycare, one mum said to me, "you never know what kind of mother you'll be till you become one yourself!" I can already see this is true and ours isn't even here yet! I probaby lean more toward the attachment parenting style and considering that's mostly the norm here in China, and our present nomadic status, I think we're going to give co-sleeping a shot. But I'm all about not tying myself to one 'philosophy'. Just trying a bit of everything to see what works. And I totally agree about the internet! Since living here, Google is my best friend (well, that and a VPN)!

 
At July 3, 2010 at 11:37 PM , Blogger Stacie said...

I read several of her books and found them extremely helpful. My first was so colicky! I wish I would've known about all the help on the internet then! I might not have felt quite so alone!

I'm going to follow you along on your journey! Enjoy it!

 
At July 4, 2010 at 12:19 AM , Anonymous The Barn Mama said...

Looks like I came to see your blog on a post dear to my heart! Both of my girls were Babywise AND co-sleeping babies. Despite a rough 8 week mark with the second, we made it through and have two kids that still sleep a good amount. Finding the approach that works for you and listening to your gut when there seems to work are the best ideas. Enjoy your new mommy-hood!

 
At July 4, 2010 at 3:26 AM , Blogger AnnaNova said...

talk about gorgeous pictures! nice to meet you and your baby!!

 
At July 4, 2010 at 3:43 AM , Blogger Maddieb221 said...

totally love your blog. Congrats on the new addition, being a mother is one of the greatest gifts in life and I enjoy it everyday. keep up the good work. You take great pics! Great to meet a new friend. oh I am following you now.

 

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