So Here's My Life

The things we make,
the food we eat and
the shenanigans in between.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

3 Parenting Books that Have Made My Life Easier

I think that every parent gets to the point where they feel stuck on an issue with their child - Sleeping, Eating, Schedules, etc. So maybe a book will help, right? But there's so many, so how do you know what to choose? These three books have been unbelievably helpful to me over the past several years.

1. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth
I wish I had known about this book when my older son was born. I had SO MUCH trouble getting him to sleep enough. He hated sleeping (still does). I had so many sleep battles with him when he was younger. But what I didn't know was how much I really didn't understand about sleep. Around my son's first birthday a friend recommended this book to me after a comment about his sleep deprivation. This book helped me correct his sleep issues. It explains how sleep works, why certain sleep issues to occur, and how to fix those problems. The knowledge from this book has helped me so much and my baby has much better sleep habits than my older son did at this age. We still encounter sleep issues from time to time, but it's so much easier to fix the problems now.

2. How to Get Your Kid to Eat: But Not Too Much by Ellyn Satter
We've had feeding battles with my older since...uhhh...birth. No lie. When it comes to eating, he can usually think of about 23,546 other things that he would rather do. It's not exactly that he hates food, but he just isn't that interested in eating (except chocolate). I suspect that the fact that he had projectile reflux as an infant has some sort of subconscious influence toward his food apathy. This was a huge issue for us when he was younger. I was constantly stressed about his food consumption. It wasn't something that I expressed too often, but it was always in the back of my mind. How to Get Your Kid to Eat But Not Too Much talks about strategies to teach your child to be a healthy eater. It discusses different problems that occur during different age groups as well and how to deal with them in a conflict free manner. After implementing these strategies, my husband and I were able to help our son to become a better eater. He is still a picky eater, but the food "battles" at the dinner table have diminished significantly. And we can always get him to at least try his food. (That never happened before the book). (This book was recommended by the occupational therapist that worked with my older son on his feeding issues as a baby AND the strategies in this book are also taught in WIC programs)

3. On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam
I've used the Babywise strategies with both of my boys. Between 12 to 15 weeks of age both of them were sleeping 12 hour stretches at night...It may have been a little longer with my older son due to his projectile vomiting (good times). Babywise emphasizes the importance of establishing a consistent schedule with your baby which in turn allows flexibility when you aren't always able to maintain the schedule (aka grocery shopping day). I really love the wake/feed/play/sleep cycle that they teach in this book too. There are a few things that I'm not completely on board with, but overall, this is a great book that has helped us establish good habits.

I realize that these books and strategies aren't for everyone - especially when it comes to Babywise. It seems that even the mention of Babywise stirs up ill feelings in people. It's cool. Don't worry about it. I promise I won't think you are a bad parent if you choose to do things a different way from me. These books and strategies have helped us establish the environment that we are striving for in our specific family. Every family is unique in the way that they operate and the goals that they establish. But if you are looking for information, then these are the books I would recommend to start off with. :) What parenting books have you found helpful?

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