With A Grain of Salt

January 8, 2015


One thing I’ve learned in these first three months of motherhood: sleep becomes your obsession. Mostly how to get more of it—for you and for baby.

So of course few weeks ago I suddenly became obsessed with the idea that Jack wasn’t napping enough. I googled articles and downloaded books and tried all kinds of new strategies only to come to a very simple conclusion: don’t fix what isn’t broken.

My plan coming into motherhood was a simple one. I’d read all of the parenting books that appealed to me and then sort of forget most of it once Jack arrived, applying what made sense once I met him and could observe the kind of kid he was. Clearly I broke my own rule, and I definitely regretted it.

My usually happy baby became a really unhappy one for about 48 hours, leaving me exhausted and frustrated. And it got me thinking—with all of the conflicting advice out there, the best thing we can do as parents is learn what we can, listen to our pediatricians, and be as intuitive as possible.

My friends who have multiple kids will be the first to say that every baby is different. No one strategy works on everyone, and as mamas we know our babies best. With safety as a top priority, everything beyond that is trial and error. Lesson learned: take all advice with a grain of salt.

P.S. After all of my reading, my favorite motherhood/parenting book is still Bringing Up Bebé—mostly because it’s anecdotal and not written by an “expert.” Super easy to read and lighthearted. A good read for pregnant or new mamas, and a great gift too!

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  • Reply Charlotte Getz January 8, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Bringing Up Bebe is absolutely one of my favs!!! So great!!

  • Reply Georgine January 8, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Hi! Was probably the 3 month growth spurt. Our babies are almost the same age (FTM here). My baby bible has been Michel Cohen’s The New Basics (the NYC sleep guru referenced in Bringing up Bebe) . His advice on napping- “meh, maps are all over the place in the first 6 months- give it a try and if it doesn’t stick pick them up and roll on.”

    • Reply Natalie Borton January 8, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      I hear you—I feel like this kid is in a constant growth spurt! Already over 16lbs at 3 months, haha.

  • Reply AshleyL January 8, 2015 at 10:27 am

    I agree bringing up bebe is wonderful! This is totally my article. I constantly feel like she isn’t sleeping enough or long enough or “right”. But she sleeps over 14 hours a day at 6 months!! She’s doing fine! I hate being a perfectionist b
    I’ve taken to reading parenting books like they’re written for someone else’s baby. It might have some good advice but it’s not directly for me so if I don’t take it no guilt.

    • Reply Natalie Borton January 8, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      I’m totally with you. On the days when I’m second guessing myself based on all those books, he ends up super fussy and hard to handle. But when I follow my intuition and notice his cues, I end up with a happy baby. Like I said, grain of salt! Glad you’re on the same page ;)

  • Reply Courtney January 8, 2015 at 11:05 am

    Oh my! Where is that onezie from?

  • Reply nicole neesby January 8, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    first of all, LOVE bringing up bebe!! so so good.

    also, have you read ‘cherish the first 6 weeks’? it was one of the only books that we read before our first son was born and i still reference it today. it’s a really well balanced guide on sleeping, schedules, etc.

    lastly YES! that conflicting article is HILARIOUS!!!


    • Reply Angela January 9, 2015 at 12:48 pm

      I read that article too on conflicting advice…so funny. Made me feel less alone!

  • Reply Jessica January 9, 2015 at 10:10 am

    Motherhood takes every intuitive bone in your body riiiight?! I recently tried to ruin our happy bedtime routine with our good sleeping 3 month old because I convinced myself she needed an earlier bedtime. In the end I decided I was coming from a controlling place obsessed with online comparisons. The quick google guide to raising a baby is the best and worst thing about this time period. Loooooved Bringing up Bebe! Great post Natalie – I bet you’re an amazing Mom!

  • Reply Angela January 9, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    SO true about the obsession with sleep – our own and baby’s! I could have written that myself. Isn’t it amazing/scary how consuming it can be? I love your approach with it. We tried to be intuitive from the start (which surprisingly worked well) and then I tried to mess everything up by reading books and what others were doing. My hubby was like…why change it if it’s working? I’m always worried about creating “bad sleep” habits, but I have to constantly remind myself that my baby is still very young and sometimes (most of the time) I have to just roll with it!
    Just ordered that book on Kindle…very pumped to read it!

    • Reply Natalie Borton January 10, 2015 at 12:38 pm

      I’m right there with you, girl! (Also, let me know what you think of the book!)

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