Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
I am writing masters' competencies today, and I just thought I would share a little piece of what I'm writing.
This concept of knowing your child’s cues backwards and forwards makes a HUGE difference in the parent-child relationship. It made an incredible difference in my relationship with my son. We spent the first several months of his life in a constant struggle. At first we struggled just to stay awake for feedings, and he ended up in the NICU. Then once we got eating under control and came back home, I felt like he spent his second and especially his third months crying A LOT. I was checking books out of the library about colic and trying to figure out what I could possibly to do help us all get some sleep and some stress relief. Sometimes if I just couldn’t figure out why he was crying, I got into the crib and cried right along with him. Looking back on it, I think it was probably mostly a combination of reflux pain and having a mom who spent so much time figuring out feeding that I still didn’t know his cues. One of my son’s babysitters recommended to me that I “get my pH.D. in him” - that I do everything I could to get to know his cues. I followed part of the recommendations by the “Baby Whisperer” and put him on an eat-play-sleep rotation. That way, I stopped feeding him every time he cried, and it ended up teaching me what his hunger cry really sounded like. I read Elizabeth Pantley’s “No-Cry Sleep Solution”, and I learned what his tired signals looked like. I started the sleep routine at the first signs of being tired, and he fell asleep easier. When he woke up, I started to be able to tell if he was hungry. Instead of feeding him every time he was unhappy, I fed him when he was hungry. As I got a better picture of how much and how often infants generally sleep, I started realizing that babies weren’t supposed to wake up every half an hour - so I sat there in my sleep-deprived state and watched him sleep to see if I could figure out why he woke up. As I did that, I realized that because he was on his back to avoid SIDS, his startle reflex was kicking in and he was startling himself awake! So I started to swaddle him for sleep, and it was AMAZING how much better things went. By that time, I started to actually know his hunger cues and his tired cues, and the swaddling was getting us both some real sleep. I started to realize that he might have some reflux, and I started to make more of an effort to keep him upright after meals. Sometimes I gave him a little bit of gripe water to soothe his tummy. And we both started to get along SO much better. We liked each other better and understood each other better. I felt empowered as a parent, and he was getting his needs met. It was a powerful preparation for later on when he was sick, because I knew him so well by then that I really could tell what he needed.
So I just want to express my thanks:
- to my friend who taught me about attachment parenting and gave me permission to not let him cry it out
- to Timmy's babysitter who told me to get to know him so well I might as well have a Ph.D. in him
- for the Baby Whisperer and to the No-Cry Sleep Solution for giving me the tools that I needed to do those things well and for making me feel like I really could be a good parent, and so that Timmy could have a few really good months before he got sick.
- to the other friend who introduced us to Happiest Baby on the Block, which taught me the basics of how to calm a stressed out baby, although clearly Timmy taught me how to alter it to fit his own personal style.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
In the meantime I have applied for a program to get my masters degree in early childhood special education. That way, as I get more training I will be able to have my own classroom and I will be able to go into kids' homes as an early intervention specialist. My goal is to be able to support young children with special needs and their families. So far I have been accepted for non-degree status, and I am working on taking some pre-requisite tests and a community college class to apply for degree status in December.
Please keep us in your prayers as I apply for financial aid and as I take tests and start my classes in mid-September. Please praise God with us for this opportunity to use our experiences with Timmy to help other families.