Why is it that when it comes to our own children we need outside professional help to do what we get paid to do professionally for others? My Aunt in law suggests that our children are here to humble us; at any rate, I know I am not alone here! When it came to scheduleing and sleep training my own daughter, I couldn't do it without help from other Newborn Care Specialists.
For the first month of Gigi's life I feed her every 3 hours during the day and whenever she needed it at night. But, she didn't gain weight....so I had to add a supplementary bottle, which I did not like. In an effort to improve my breast milk supply I was told to nurse more often and for as long as the baby wanted to. I was initially opposed to the on-demand style of nursing, but scheduling wasn't working because my daughter wasn't thriving, so I gave it a try.
Well, it certainly worked to improve my milk supply, but my daughter still needs the supplement in order to gain weight. Feeding On Demand made me crazy though! I struggled to know if my baby was fussing because she was hungry, tired, or just needed a change of scenery? My life had NO predictability, I could hardley make plans unless they litterally hours ahead of time. Hoping I wouldn't have to give up breast feeding I knew I couldn't last like this much longer.
Right when I was coming to terms with having to supplement my daughter more formula and more bottled breastmilk she went right back to eating every 3 hours during the day and sleeping 8-10 hours at night- all on her own! Fortunately my daughter is a natural nighttime sleeper, but during the day she is the alert, looking around, smiley, playful baby who fights sleep and wants to be with mom..... Then she is the VERY LOUD screaming overtired baby who you CANNOT ignore.
With night time sleep consolidated I just had to get her to take regular daytime naps. My problem was that my baby would sleep on the breast while nursing and not go down for naps, so I tried putting her down before she ate so she would be rested. She cried the whole time, and only wanted to engage and interact. I tried putting her down after nursing since she had been sleepy. Neither worked and I just could not get it right.
That was until I reached out to my local circle of Newborn Care Specialists for help! Terian Johnston,CNCS guided me through E.A.S.Y. E.A.S.Y., or Eat, Activity, Sleep, You (mommy) time, is a middle of the road, parent directed while following baby's cues, approach. I always liked the EASY model but when it came to my own child I found the "S" to be anything but easy. But after a little guidance from Terian, a Certified Newborn Care Specialist, my daughter in now napping, eating, and playing "on schedule" like clockwork!
Once again I am a happy mom enjoying a happy, sweet, talkative baby that spends her days discovering herself and her world, rather than constantly trying to sooth a frustrated and overtired baby. Not to mention I now have my life back!!! I can confidentally make plans that won't interfere with my baby's needs, and my baby has a predictable routine she can come to feel in control of, and is getting nourished and rested evenly throughout the day.
I especially love the EASY because it's based on the same respect principles and practices as something I've been following for years called RIE. I know I am respecting my baby's needs and loving her better than ever! She is sure to be a confident child as the daily things in her baby life aren't happening to her by force or surprise, rather flowing predicitably and calmly as her body's natural rhythm goes, and she can always count on me to care for her like that!