Calm Baby     Confident Mum
 

Introduction

What an unforgettable sight our newborns are.

I always get a sense of shock after giving birth – wow, there really was a baby in there!

We spend so much time and energy focusing on prenatal classes to get us through labour, buying baby clothes and equipment, preparing our house and nursery, and reading magazines filled with happy smiling mothers and babies, that we can forget that there is a lot more to having a baby than all that.

The vast majority of mothers don't give much thought to what they will actually do with their baby when it comes home. All the best labour advice, fancy clothes, flashy stroller, and colour co-ordinated nurseries in the world will not give you a settled, thriving baby. There is more to it.

When my husband and I were expecting our first baby, we spent time looking around at the people we knew who had babies. What did they do? What were their babies like? How did they cope? What advice did they have?

The vast majority of parents were tired and frazzled. Their babies cried a lot. They stopped coming to church, or going out much. They fussed over their babies excessively. They were full of 'just you wait' stories. While they were happy with their babies, it all seemed like a major disaster was looming!

On the other hand, we observed that some parents were calm and relaxed with their babies. Their babies were calm, relaxed and thriving, and all round it seemed like they were enjoying the experience.

We decided to ask those parents what they were doing that made them different from so many other families we had observed.

The common factor amongst so many of those calm and confident parents was the way they were managing their babies. We learned so much from them!

After many years of learning, and reading as widely as possible, I have become convinced that managing a baby on a flexible routine has been the most important factor in our babies being calm and settled.

The information I share on managing newborns, and older babies is based on all that I have learned from other parents, grandparents and books, and that which I put into practice in my own home.

I am not a medical practitioner, nurse, trained lactation consultant, or ‘parenting expert’.

I am just a mum. Talking to other mums.

Therefore, this book should not replace medical advice in the case of illness or medical issues. Nor is it meant to explain every situation. This book is a complementary guide for frustrated and confused new mums, not a comprehensive guide on every situation that a new mum might encounter.

It is based on my experience of mothering six babies, talking with many hundreds of mothers about their babies, and reading widely. I have counselled many, many mums (and dads) via telephone and email, when speaking to community groups, and in person, for over ten years.

Every mother is free to decide how she is going to feed and manage her own baby.

All babies are different, and I can’t possibly cover all variables, but I do think that most babies can be managed in a similar way, and remain calm and settled. And I do think that a calm and settled baby gives confidence to mums, that what they are doing is contributing to that calm.

I believe that all babies are blessings from God, and that we should view them as a blessing to be enjoyed.

My passion is helping mums with their new babies – to encourage them, to support them and to inspire them. To help them to see how adding a baby to the family brings an enrichment that is hard to imagine before it happens. Our lives are just never the same again! My hope in putting my thoughts down on paper is that other mothers can learn how to enjoy their babies, as I have, and in turn encourage and inspire other mums.

We live in a world saturated with choice, and most new parents are overwhelmed with all the available information on caring for babies – much of which is conflicting. Fads come and go, but my experience has been affected by the wisdom of older mothers and grandmothers, and has stood up against the baby management fashions that come and go.

In this book, I have set things out in stages.

Very often mothers want to know what to do with their baby at a particular age. In dividing my information into age groups, I have allowed for new mums to turn quickly to each section that applies to them.

After those stages, I have included a few chapters on breastfeeding, crying, sleeping, and playtime. These sections will apply to all ages.

I have followed up with a brief chapter for mums having their second babies, for mums with twins, premmies or special needs babies, and for new Dads.

And lastly, a Final Word to mums, as they contemplate the coming years with a toddler.

I have included a summary of the suggested routines in chart form, which can be copied and personalised, in the Appendix.

My overall message in this book is one of helping mums and dads find a way to help them have a calm and settled baby, through giving them a flexible routine, and in turn give them a confidence in their role as parents.

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts, and for sharing your own experiences with me. May God bless you on your parenting journey.

Simone.

 

“Taste and see that the Lord is good. 
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
 
Fear the Lord, you his godly people,
 for those who fear him will have all they need.

 Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,

but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.”
Psalm 34:8-10 (NLT)