Sunday, June 9, 2013

Breaking the Six Week Seal (spoiler: he didn't break)

Now that D is well into month #3 of existence (11 weeks old tomorrow!) I'm fairly certain I won't break him. But there were some milestones along the way that freaked me. Like that six week one. Did it scare anyone else?

Hitting the "six weeks old!" mark was exciting (the "don't go indoors with crowds" ban - Lifted! Grocery stores, here we come! Free! We are free from confinement! We can go anywhere!) but also a bit intimidating.

I have a stack of parenting/baby books. One or two I appreciate, some I glance at, others I ignore, but occasionally peek at to give M and I some "listen to this shit..." conversational material while we make dinner. (I'm looking at you, you sleep training tomes.) All of them seem to have a lot of sentences that start out like:
  • By six weeks, your baby should (love his bath! Almost sleep though the night! Start to recognize you and this and this and that....)
  • Don't worry about this until your baby is six weeks old...
  • This is all fine until about the six week mark....
If the books were to be believed, there are very few ways to fuck up parenting within the first six weeks, but look out, once those cognitive lights start switching on, you better bring your A game. Are you stimulating enough? Are you paying attention to sleep patterns and starting to mold them? Are you giving in a little too easily to cries and whimpers? Ack. It was enough to get a sleep-deprived mom a little panicked.

Luckily, I have some well-read friends, who must have been sensing my (I'm looking for a better, less misogynist word than hysteria here. If you can think of it, insert it.) And links to more soothing literature started to find their way on to my phone and iPad.

I found a lot of comfort in these essays and articles. So I thought I would share the calm:

This one makes me feel better about folding the laundry and doing the dishes with D, particularly this line:
what children need to grow and develop adequately is typically provided for during everyday experiences in the context of a relationship with sensitive caregivers in the child's natural environment.
This one gives me free license to drool everywhere. Nice.

This makes me feel a little better about the little bit of breast milk I've been able to give D, even if I do decide to dump the pump (more on this later). Like so many of you have already noted, it doesn't have to be an all or nothing proposition.

And this just makes me feel better. All the time.

Thanks ladies. We made it.


Heather said...

Eleven weeks! I should stop being amazed at how quickly these kids grow, but it always blows me away.

From what I remember from six weeks, I was more excited than scared. By then my babies were smiling which was such a great reward after the first weeks of no sleep. I was also a little sad that the newborn was gone.

I love that Huffington Post essay.

~Hollie said...


Sarah said...

I love that picture on that last link. Awesome.

jjiraffe said...

Thank you for that HuffPo post!!! I love it so much :)

Alicia said...

This post made me feel so much better about myself as a mom. Wow. I never know if what I'm doing is enough, so to read these articles was a good reminder that just being me is enough.

I hope your June is passing nice and slowly!

Em said...

So glad that you're paying the most attention to the articles that give you peace rather than anxiety. Not sure what you're reading, but I read parts of the What to Expect series and HATED it. All of those "what if" questions are completely anxiety based. Ugh.

luna said...

seriously, most of those books can go suck it. so much of what others say inevitably forces some form of comparison that's just inappropriate in most cases.

does it FEEL like you're doing it right? then you ARE. there is NO one right way. there is only what works for YOU. trust your gut, your intuition. you can look to others as a guide that you can feel free to ignore as you wish. as you go on, you'll trust yourself even more. you are doing GREAT by just enjoying your little guy and keeping him safe and happy. that's ALL he needs right now.

ad screw ALL those people who said babies "should" be sleeping through the night by then. seriously screw them. my first didn't sleep through the night until nearly 13 months and her little sister is only now just beginning to, at 20 months.

in both cases, mine started sleeping once they began walking. but every kid is different. and every family is different. like co-sleeping and babywearing, everone will have an opinion about sleep and sleep "training" including whether to do it and how. again. every one is different. do only what works for YOU. //end rant

Alicia said...

Hi! I nominated you for a blogging award ... feel free to participate! :)

nicoleciomek said...

Hooray!! Congrats. I knew you'd do it but meeting milestones feels oh-so-good!