Surviving the Newborn Days

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I entered the “Newborn Days” almost three years ago, when my daughter Ladybug was born.  I really didn’t know what I was doing.  (Do any of us first time moms?)  Even after having two younger siblings, babysitting during my teenage years, working church nursery, and teaching in a public school, I wondered why the hospital had just let my husband and drive off with this new baby.  Maybe they had no clue that we had no clue what we were doing?

At first I was determined that we would use the Babywise method of “sleep training” our daughter.  It seemed like the responsible, mainstream “Christian” thing to do.

Only, my daughter hadn’t read Babywise before she exited the womb.  She wasn’t quite ready for crying it out (OK, I wasn’t ready to

let her), or napping at certain regular times of the day (and usually I wanted to lie down with her to nap), or eating every three hours (apparently she couldn’t tell time yet).

I felt like a failure as a mom.

Newborn Stinkbug (November 2008)

It took months for me to realize that there wasn’t one right method for parenting a newborn.  Each mom is as different as each baby and we have to proceed as such!  I wanted a routine of sorts to Ladybug’s (and my) day, but the Babywise routine was too structured, too demanding for me.

One book I really loved during the Newborn Days was The Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg.  She presents a flexible routine idea that was much more suited to my style of mothering.  She also writes about baby personalities– because there are many different temperaments your baby could have, no one method for handling a newborn will work for everyone!

As Hubby and I look forward to entering the newborn days again this fall (did I really just say I’m looking forward to that?!), I will be arming myself with the tools I’ve found most helpful during my first two newborn stages:

  • Lanolin Cream
  • Large Swaddling Blankets
  • Baby Gowns
  • Bouncer Seat
  • Slings

…And I will be stocking up on sleep for the next six months!

The newborn days aren’t always easy– waking up frequently each night for feedings, not feeling beautiful with a still-lumpy body, being sore from delivery and breastfeeding, not feeling adequate as you learn how to care for your baby… but they can be such a beautiful time of new spiritual depth and insight!  When Ladybug was newborn, our Sunday School class was studying Philippians and I couldn’t get over the fact that Christ had “emptied Himself… being made in the likeness of men” as I held my helpless daughter and realized Mary had held Jesus in just the same way!

So, moms of newborns, take heart!  You’re not doing it wrong!  This is only a season– enjoy it while it lasts!


Author: Sheila Stover

I'm a grace-loving, coffee-guzzling, overseas-living wife, mom, home school teacher and I process it all through writing when I can!

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