It really is a magnificent thing to have sleep again, and take pride in our child learning a new skill. Looking back, Benjamin has been pretty textbook with most things, but a lot of the time, Bart and I were both doing a lot of guessing.
At the beginning he had some problems with gas. We knew it was gas because he had all of the symptoms of a red face as his body tensed up, arched back, and crying even though he was fed and clean. We tried gripe water, Mylicon, a swing, and even baby fart exercises, but I now think that no matter what we did, we simply had to let his digestive system mature because it peaked at about 6 wks. and was over by 10 wks.
After that, he responded very well to constant carrying in the Moby wrap and would calm down pretty easily by us bouncing him and/or singing. My parents also discovered tricks like distracting him by running the faucet (he likes the sound and motion of water) and blowing the hair dryer (white noise). His new favorite thing is to be held while we walk him around the house and explain what things are as he curiously looks into cupboards and any other interesting hiding places. ;) I know each age will bring new discoveries and challenges, but here's what I've learned so far and call My 5 C's of Child Rearing:
1) Courage- THE most courageous thing I've ever done is give birth. I don't think I've ever felt so in-sync with both my mind and body at the same time. It was truly a life changing experience, and one that I know I'll never forget. I try to draw upon this strength when I take our baby in for his shots because I know his health has to come before my emotions.
2) Confidence- It doesn't matter how much I THINK I know; much of parenting is instinctual (Bart pointed that out to me one day). Even though there are many times that I feel I have no clue about I'm doing, I have to remind myself that many children grow up to be healthy and capable adults, and that a few mess-ups along the way are just part of life and that's okay!
3) Concern- I was a bit of a worrier before I had a child, and now I'm even more so. BUT- I do this simply out of concern, not because I'm crazy. I often times think up disasters in my head that probably will never happen because I want to be prepared in case they do (then this drives Bart crazy). But, as my mother reminded me, even Sleeping Beauty's parents couldn't get rid of ALL of the spinning wheels throughout the land. So, we do what we can, then I pray for the rest to turn out alright. I also want our son to have a fun and adventurous life, which means I have to start accepting some of life's unexpected inconveniences!
4) Consistency- This is the MAIN theme that I keep reading about in all of the parenting articles. They say it starts right around this time (when babies are 3 mon.) by implementing a schedule. Even though he is now sleeping through the night (hallelujah!) I don't know if we'll ever strictly follow the suggestions like playtime after feeding, and feeding as soon as he wakes up because he often falls asleep right after a feeding, or sometimes only takes quick 15 min. naps. I'm guessing this will naturally change as he gets older, but for now, his schedule is ours which works out fine too. So, why is consistency one of my 5 C's? Because I can already tell that he responds very well to the same songs sung over and over, and as he gets older we plan to be very clear as he learns right from wrong so that he has a consistent learning base from us and others.
5) Creativeness- This was already demonstrated above with my parents using the faucet, and the hair dryer. I also read (see past post on Baby Talk) that constantly talking to your child (regardless if it's beyond their comprehension level) is so good for them. So I'm constantly thinking of things to say, (which requires creativity since he's not yet talking back) making up words to songs, and coming up with hand motions on the fly. As he gets older, I hope I can keep up with his curious mind while providing endless encouragement for him to think the unthinkable - after all that is the real beauty in children. :)