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Don't let her go Ezzo!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi there,

My sister-in-law is going to be a new mama in about a month, and she's feeling conflicted about parenting syles. She will be going back to nursing school about a month after her baby is born, and she's worried that she will need to gently encourage her baby to be more scheduled than an AP babe might be. Her gut tells her to co-sleep, feed on demand, no CIO etc, but she wonders if that can work with the kind of life situation she'll be in (full school schedule, husband working, etc). She told me she picked up a copy of On Becoming Babywise (YIKES!!!), and wondered if she should go that route. (she has no idea who he is...) Obviously i said DON'T DO EZZO. I told her i would try to find her some alternative resources for parenting in a way that might work for their lifestyle. (i've already given her my copy of The Baby Book).

So, any suggestions or help? Please don't slam me/her for her needs, concerns, etc. Everyone has different life situations, and what she really needs right now is positive encouragement and suggestions. Thank you SO much mamas.

post #2 of 15
is a good place to start as far as why NOT to do Ezzo. I can't imagine ANYONE following Ezzo after reading some of the info on this site.

As far as alternatives, maybe try X-posting on the working mamas forum? I know LOTS of AP mamas work, it's not at all impossible.

Good luck!
post #3 of 15
Have her check out the dr.Sears books. A lot of them have sections on mums who work and how AP still works if you are not home with your baby all the time.
post #4 of 15
It's probably a good thing you are being understanding. It will help keep her from Ezzo (and that guy's NOOOOO good!)
If she's not convinced that ap will work for her, there are other, middle of the road approaches. Just let her keep the Baby Book It could be a constant reminder of another way to do it.

Some books to try:
Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg- not ap, but empasizes respect for babies. Focuses on "routine" not "schedule".

Your Self Confident Baby by Magda Gerber- big time emphasis on respecting babies. That means telling them what you are doing with them- ie tell them that you are going to change their diaper before you do it. She also says parents should sit and observe their babies. Let them do their thing, and watch, and don’t get involved. Let them guide their own play. If they want help, talk to them and see if they can figure the problem out on their own, if they can’t offer as little help as possible to enable them to do it themselves. For example, if your crawling baby has a ball that went under the couch, don’t just get it for them. Let them try. If they can’t, then maybe move it a little closer to them, so THEY can be the one’s to retrieve it. There is a lot more to this book than this. She says parents have a right to free time, and that babies can and should play alone some. A good book, but you need to use common sense and do what feels right. As you do with any book. I liked this book, and I recommend it, but some parts I hated. My biggest complaint is that she doesn't see needing to be held as a *need* Don't discount it though- your sil may get a lot from it, and its definitely better than Ezzo!

Becoming the Parent You Want to Be by Laura Davis & Janis Keyser – good all around book for babies to preschoolers. Talks about everything from eating to sleeping, from play to discipline. Positive discipline oriented.

Natural Child: Parenting From the Heart by Jan Hunt – all ages. This book really changed my whole view of discipline vs. punishment. It made me realize that children are inherently good and want to do the right thing, and that there are gentle loving ways to help a child to behave well.

Keagan 11 mos
post #5 of 15
I'm curious, but why does she feel that AP is not compatible with nursing school? Even Dr. Sears says it's not the amount of time that's important, but rather the quality of the time spent. If she finds a care provider that shares an AP-style philosophy and makes the most of her time at home, I think she'll find that AP will work well for her. Tell her to trust her instincts and that she can be both a great mother and a great student.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
thanks so much for your thoughtful and gentle replies. i will pass along the book recommendations.

I'm curious, but why does she feel that AP is not compatible with nursing school?
She's thinking that perhaps because she and her husband will be on a tight schedule, that it will require the baby being on a schedule too. I think she's worried, too, about the sleep issue....worried that she won't be able to function if she's up all night until the baby is a year old (or more). Granted, she's not being unrealistic about having a newborn - she realizes there will be plenty of sleep deprivation involved. But she's wondering if she does the "schedule" thing with her baby, will that encourage baby to sleep through the night earlier than a non-scheduled baby.
post #7 of 15

I'd like to add

That, perhaps, if she has time to read, you may want to recommend The Continuum Concept to her. This is a very AP book (I've even heard that it was the basis for Dr. Sears' original book). It's not really a "parenting book", per se.
It may be enough to convince her that ap really is the best way. It's basically about how a certain "primitive" tribe raise their children, and how our childhoods affect our adulthoods.
Even though TCC says that babies should be held constantly until they can crawl, it makes a point of saying that while you are holding them, you should go about your business- (clean house, go shopping, meet with other adults, whatever.)
It was really very liberating for me. It says that after they can crawl, the mothers in this tribe really pay little attention to their babies. They respond when the baby wants something, they pick then up when they want held, etc, but they don't spend time entertaining the baby. Pretty much, it's do exactly what your baby wants, no more, no less. Now I feel good going about my business, and responding when ds wants something, but letting him do his own thing if that's what he wants to do.
I guess the reason I'm recommending this book is that it might show her that she CAN be AP and live her life too. AP doesn't necessarily mean "child-centered".
there's the link to the site. There's a lot of info on the site that your sil could look at.

post #8 of 15
Originally Posted by mommajubilee
She's thinking that perhaps because she and her husband will be on a tight schedule, that it will require the baby being on a schedule too. I think she's worried, too, about the sleep issue....worried that she won't be able to function if she's up all night until the baby is a year old (or more). Granted, she's not being unrealistic about having a newborn - she realizes there will be plenty of sleep deprivation involved. But she's wondering if she does the "schedule" thing with her baby, will that encourage baby to sleep through the night earlier than a non-scheduled baby.
Oh okay, I understand now. I think, though, that as far as sleep goes, scheduling won't make things any easier. In fact, I think it has the potential to backfire. For instance, if her baby wakes up in the middle of the night because he's hungry, the AP method would be to feed him right away. If you feed him right when he starts fussing, then it's likely you could get him to go right back to sleep. But if she makes him wait because it's not "time yet", then he'll be full on screaming by the time she feeds him and he'll be less likely to back to sleep.

Some babies are just programmed to sleep through the night sooner than others. I don't think there's any coaxing she can do to change that. My baby started sleeping through the night at 3 weeks and I didn't do anything to make her do that. Similarly, there are babies that wake up 3 times a night and it's nothing their parents did or didn't do to make them do that.

Basically, a baby's gonna do what a baby's gonna do. Once she realizes that she has no control over his nightime sleeping pattern (at least for the first 6 months or so), she should find that things just go smoother when she gives her baby what he needs when he needs it.

But I'm sure you already knew all that.
post #9 of 15
I think AP would actually benefit her if she's running under a tight schedule.

1. Babywearing can really help her get things done (homework, cleaning, etc)

2. I personally think you get much more sleep from day 1 when you cosleep then when you don't. I hand Aly a boob and go right back to sleep, I find it alot harder to get up with her and tend to her needs outside of our bed. I'd imagine that you also won't get much sleep if you're listening to a baby CIO.

3. I also hear from my working friends that cosleeping is great when you WOH or go to school because when you're away from baby all day you need that extra time to connect at night.

I think it would help to try and show her how AP can help her, because I totally think it can. People always think I'm making life harder on myself by APing, I think the opposite is true.

Good Luck to you both!
post #10 of 15
I was in back in school a month after my son was born- I don't know how I would have survived had we decided NOT to co-sleep! I mean he was one of those babies who wanted to nurse at least 6 times a night or more and needed lots of holding and reassurance from birth- I would have been a zombie had I had to wake up, get him out of a crib, etc... really AP is more compatible with being in school and needing your sleep! I got plenty of sleep (my professors couldn't believe how alert I was, I even made the Dean's List) so tell her to co-sleep and breastfeed and everything will be ok! I used to study while I was nursing him to sleep at night and write papers at the computer while he nursed!

Trying to let him CIO or "train" him will only frustrate her and use more energy.
post #11 of 15
I would NOT recommend the Baby Whisperer. I waas shocked at how horrible some of the advice was. If you want to know why I didn't like it, go to www.kellymom.com, it is on their list of NOT recommended books.

What about Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution? and possobly Nursing Mother, Working Mother?
post #12 of 15
Just adding my testimony that AP can work for a WOHM! I second all the advantages of co-sleeping and The Continuum Concept posted already. A few other thoughts:

Baby's schedule does not have to be as strict as yours to be compatible. For example, it doesn't matter whether my baby is awake or asleep while we're walking to the bus stop.

It's important to start talking NOW w/her husband about what tasks each of them will do to get baby ready to leave the house in the morning and to "reset" each night for the next day. She'll feel much less stressed if she knows she can count on him for certain responsibilities, and they'll get along a lot better if they do plenty of talking about which tasks they like most and least.

In general, try to think of the day in terms of large blocks of time in which certain things need to get done, rather than small blocks when specific tasks will be done. For example, between arriving home (5:00) and going to bed (11:00) I need to wash bottles, divide milk into clean bottles, unpack my lunchbag, wash dishes, unpack and refill diaperbag, prepare and eat dinner, prepare and eat my evening snack, nurse 4-6 times, do one regular diaper change and later change him into a nighttime diaper, provide an unpredictable amount of cuddles, and do one or more chores such as laundry or checking e-mail. I get all this done by considering baby's needs and mine AT THE MOMENT and choosing a suitable activity to do next. If he's very fussy and I'm very hungry, I might stick the milk in the fridge for now, cuddle and dance until he calms a bit, then put him in his swing and have my snack, waiting until after my partner gets home to take the time to fix and eat my real dinner. If baby's asleep when we get home, I keep him in the sling and do as much washing and cooking as I can before he wakes. There are still nights when I have to stay up late to finish everything, but most of the time being flexible about the ORDER of events makes it possible to get through all of them.

Good luck to SIL, and good for you for helping her AP!
post #13 of 15
I take back my recommendation of Baby Whisperer. I guess I forgot how non-ap it was.
My apologies.

post #14 of 15
Dr. Sears talks about this queston in the Attachment Parenting Book. He says that even if you can only do the AP stuff for a short time, it's better than never. And, like someone above said, he stresses that "AP is about relationships, not rules." That made me feel satisfied, to know that I was already an AP parent, though I am not dogmatic about things like stroller, swing, play yard, etc.
post #15 of 15
do you know what her child care plan will be?i take care of kids and we"ve never had a "schedule".i think that was helpful to the kind of parenting their parents wanted to do,especially when the kids were babies.if she can find chilcare that is more willing to be relaxed and go with the flow of her baby it will be tremendously helpful.i don't know if she can afford a nanny or maybe she can find a home day care or co-op with her same beliefs?daycare centers tend to be very scheduled which may make it harder.

i hope your sister in law finds the support and recources she needs to be the kind of parent she wants to be.
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