When I was pregnant with my oldest daughter in 2013, I had rarely seen baby wearing (beyond romanticized yet racist pictures of mothers from other cultures). But when I read about all the benefits of baby wearing, I knew I wanted to try it!
I bought a few different types of carriers, and I’ll be honest, baby wearing didn’t really work for me at first. But with a little practice, I got better at it, and three children in, I absolutely love baby wearing for all its cuddling opportunities (and convenience)!
Perhaps you’ve heard of the dreaded sleep regression. Or maybe you’ve heard, “the 4 month sleep regression is a myth!” and you want to punch that person in the face because your experience says otherwise and you are TIRED.
Note: The Evidence-Based Mommy’s official stance is against punching people in the face. Even when you really want to.
Regardless, something like this has happened to you: You and your child had gotten into a predictable sleep routine. Maybe he was sleeping all night, maybe he wasn’t (and that’s okay! No, really.), but you at least knew what to expect.
Then all of the sudden, his sleep drastically changes for the worse.
Like many first-time parents, I was totally clueless when I came home with my first baby. I had at least done enough research expect to not get a lot of sleep, but I had no idea what reality would be like. Little did I know our baby would be co sleeping with us!
My husband and I had made a beautiful nursery for our little girl, but we also had a bassinet in our room. We figured she would stay in that little crib for a few weeks and then we’d get her used to sleeping in her own room. Ha!
Your new baby is a few months old now. You had finally gotten settled into a routine, and then something changed. Suddenly, your little bundle of joy is crying all evening, every single night. What happened? Is this the dreaded colic you’ve heard of?
And let’s be honest, there’s a good chance that your hormones have not shifted back to normal yet, and your emotions are still all over the map. So having a baby cry and scream at you for hours on end can make you frazzled and send you totally over the edge!
I remember this stage with all three of my babies, but I especially remember it with my oldest. My husband and I had no idea what to do. Was this colic? Were we doing something wrong? Were we bad parents?
It turns out, the answer to all three of these questions was a resounding “no.” And by the third child, I had a huge realization that completely changed my outlook on this stage and made it SO much easier! Of course, I’ll share some tips with you on how you might be able to comfort your baby during this stage, but ultimately I want to tell you the perspective shift I had so that it can hopefully help you the way it did me.
Mindfulness can make or break a whole afternoon with your child! How can this concept teach you to use responsive parenting instead of reactive parenting?
Case in point: A week or so ago, I unexpectedly ended up being the one to pick up General Leia from school. When she saw me, the first words out of her mouth were, “Can we go over to Nana’s and Poppa’s to do my art project?”
I won’t lie, I was a little disappointed. I was hoping for a “Hooray! I’m so happy to see you, Mother dearest!”
But I told her cheerfully, “Sorry, we can’t play go to Nanna’s and Poppa’s house tonight. We have to go get your brother and sister and then go home.” This started a whole dramatic ordeal in which Leia’s world was ended and she cried as I walked past the other moms picking up their own cherubs from school. Awesome.
My instincts in that moment were not MOTY material. Ungrateful little kid, you could at least pretend you liked me. Honestly, I wanted to be snarky with her, because my feelings were hurt.
But I thought about where she was coming from, how I wasn’t who she expected that afternoon. Perhaps she had been thinking about doing that art project all day, and then there I was instead, blocking her from painting and creating. So I tried to stay positive, and after a bit we somehow made going to the pharmacy to pick up a neti-pot into a little adventure (you get adventure where you can!).
Of course, I don’t always do that well when my kids are in a bad mood. It’s hard to do!
But what if, instead of reacting according to our instinctive, negative emotions, we stopped and evaluated our thoughts first?