Yesterday, when I needed to put my feet up, I spent some time skimming through an old favorite book of mine, “Secrets of the Baby Whisperer” by Tracey Hogg. I’ve had this book and relied upon it since before our first baby, our daughter, was born. I’ve hardly implemented it perfectly, but it’s always refreshing to start off with resolve and see how the baby responds!
Tracey’s major point is to start your baby off with a structured routine from day one. Obviously, the look of it changes as your baby develops, but to establish as E.A.S.Y routine which can adapt with your baby. “E” stands for Eat, “A” for activity, “S” for sleep, and “Y” for you time. The whole routine goes from about 3-4 hours (the longer range when baby is older). The idea is to avoid feeding baby to sleep, and that’s why you feed baby after he wakes up and put activity between the two components. The goal is for baby not to be reliant upon props to sleep (such as being nursed or rocked to sleep)…
Tracey also believes strongly in a mother’s need for recuperation, especially in the first 6 weeks postpartum. She advocates for mom to do what it takes to be off-duty from 2-5 p.m. so that a few hours of daytime sleep will compensate for the shorter nights and extra healing work the body is doing. I don’t think that I can’t achieve this goal, but I will do my best to take it easy in the afternoon. Maybe I can periodically call on friends whose kids are older (and therefore in school) to come help me out in the afternoon, but already I have my 4-year old at preschool Tues-Thurs., which means it’ll just be baby and me. In the past, Little One has been really cooperative about my needing to take afternoons easy on Mondays and Fridays (by playing quietly near me while I rest or snuggling up and watching a TV show on low volume).
If you can’t rest from 2-5, Tracey suggests finding 3 1-hour periods each day to rest. That might be even harder to do, yet I can see how some days I might just have to take some time in the morning and evening to get through the day. I can probably request help from my husband for the evening rest period, anyway.
One thing we had discussed between us was that since he’s more of a night owl, he can have baby duty (if Baby is being alert) while I go to sleep earlier, and then when he comes to bed (and puts down Baby), I’ll be on call for the rest of the night.
I’m also a big fan of swaddling, and I like to use those blankets that velcro shut. I have a few from the older kids, and hope that the velcro is still strong enough to do the job for Baby!
One thing that I was hoping to do (that I haven’t gotten around to yet) was to freeze meals. As my energy levels permit me to, I will continue to keept this goal on my list while we await Baby’s arrival.
One milestone being marked today is the kids’ last swimming lessons! They’ve had 1 each week for the past 8 weeks, and the boys especially will be glad to have a break. We won’t sign them up for the next session.
I plan to do as much walking as my body feels up to, postpartum–which will partly depend upon the weather. There’s always the track inside at the YMCA, but I can’t bring a stroller on it (and I can’t put Baby into the kid zone until he’s 6 weeks old). I could probably wear him in the Snugli, but will have to be vigilant about using my splint so that I don’t further damage my old abdominal muscle split. The goal isn’t really to regain my shape, but I just don’t feel well and don’t function too great when I’m not exercising. It’ll be moderate, but I think it’ll be a crucial part of adapting to life with our fourth child, and recovering from the big work of it all. I’m so looking forward to being on that journey!