Monday, March 4, 2013

What I've Learned So Far

I started this post when Elijah turned 3 months he's 4 months old and I suppose I can continue to add to the list "What I've Learned", but I will end the list at 5 far.  
How much a baby changes - since he was born 4 months ago, Elijah has grown 5 inches in length and gained 8 pounds (over doubling his birth weight!).  We are able to leave him alone in a room for several minutes without him crying (ie I can go pee without needing to take him in the bathroom with me).  He has found his feet and hands.  He can lay on his tummy and making crawling motions.  He grasps and holds objects.  He puts everything in his mouth.  His personality is starting to shine through.  So neat to see all of the changes since he was a squishy, wrinkly newborn.

Never ever judge a fellow parent for his or her parenting skills, techniques, or crazy quirky tricks - Parenting is hard work (says the mom of a four month old - and I'm sure it just keeps getting more challenging the older the kids are.  A 4 year old with a pacifier.  A teenager playing with an iPhone in church. Using a jogging stroller in the grocery store.  Watching TV.  Eating habits.  Disciplining.  I'm hoping that all of these scenarios and parenting techniques which annoy me have explanations behind them, and the parents are truly doing the best with what they have. 

Babies need to be put to sleep because they don't know how to do that themselves - This is definitely my biggest challenge.  I expected that when Elijah is tired, I would be able to put him in his crib and he would go to sleep.  Just like on TV right?!  Not really.  We now have figured out the perfect combination of soothing remedies to sway him into "la la land" - tight swaddle, white noise (there's an App for that!), dark room (blackout curtains), and a little bit of jiggling.  I have been tempted to use "sleep training methods" to get Elijah to sleep on his own, but for now I will happily hold my baby until he is in a deep sleep knowing that someday soon I will miss these moments. 

That I would sleep so much less - It comes with the territory of being a parent, right? Sleep deprivation makes us physically, mentally, and emotionally fatigued, right? Loss of sleep for me is a sacrifice for my baby who needs me during the night, and have become OK with that.  I think that my body is adapting to functioning on less sleep.  I have a daily morning cup of coffee, and sometimes a chocolate treat in the afternoons to keep me going.  I hear that the sleep deprivation does not end until the kids are 18?!

 My life would change SO much - So true on many levels.  I don't work as a physical therapist everyday.  I'm not as social as I once was.  I don't exercise or eat as healthily as I once did.  I don't have time to do the things that I want to during the day and night.  And just like sleeping less, I've become OK with the above.  Though I was not prepared for this major life change of having a child, I would change or trade any of it for the world.  By parenting and raising Elijah, I feel as though I am making myself and the world a better place.

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