Archive for December, 2010

Routine

Routine -  to have or not to have seems to be a big question that a lot of pregnant mums to be ask me.  Some health visitors are for it, some against it. In most cases you will be told to demand feed for the first couple of weeks (feed your baby every time it cries) and so will some books. Other books will tell you to have a routine. It can be very confusing!

What is important in the first few weeks is to teach your baby how to feed, particularly if breastfeeding. Both you and your baby need to get used to how it works. I personally believe that some form of routine is good, but during the first few weeks, you aim for a routine more than have one. Having some form of structure does help as it makes you feel like you know what you are doing and helps you to spot if something is wrong. If not, it can be difficult to know why a baby is crying. If you have fed and changed your baby, you know that it can’t be either of those so that leaves you with either wind, a tired baby or potentially a sick child!

There are a few books that will help you establish a routine. On becoming baby wise is one (see previous blog entry) or The Baby whisperer (Tracy Hogg) is very similar. (My midwife was very anti Gina Ford but a friend of mine with twins found it invaluable!) They suggest a 2 1/2 to 3 hour cycle for feeding a newborn with a routine of feeding, wake time, and sleep. So you feed your baby, wind, change the nappy, have some “play time” and then put them down to sleep. If the baby doesn’t wake up around 3 hours after you began your last feed, they suggest you wake him up for a feed and repeat the cycle again. That way your baby doesn’t go too long between feeds but long enough for you both to rest.

The Baby whisperer uses the acronym E.A.S.Y. Eating – Activity – Sleep – You

These books also give you ideas on how to keep the baby awake during feeds and how to calm a fussing baby.

Parenting books that promote a routine have been severely criticized for not allowing for motherly instinct. No where do I see that. As you spend time with your baby you will learn what is “normal” for your baby and what isn’t. Obviously feed earlier if your baby appears hungry. Just try to avoid “snacking”. – 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there. It makes sense that a baby will be more content on a full stomach and therefore sleep longer. And if they sleep longer, so can you!

Now my boys are older I am very grateful for the routines I established early on. Bedtime and mealtimes are never a real issue ( although tIMGA0133he number of ways boys can think of to extend bedtime is amazing!) and I think it helps to bring some sort of order very early on in a child’s life.

Dominion and awe belong to God;
   he establishes order in the heights of heaven.  Job 25

We serve a God of order so we should aim to bring order to our parenting!

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Next steps after LoveLife!

At Every Nation we have just finished a fantastic series called LoveLife where we have looked at relationships, based on the book from the bible called Song of Songs. If you missed it , why not catch the downloads at our Every Nation website.

I am sure most of us  feel we could invest more in the most important relationships in our lives. One way to prioritise your spouse next year might be to enrol on the Marriage course. We have one that starts Wednesday 19th January from 7:30 to 9:15, for 7 week in Twickenham, hosted by James and Megan Lyell. You can find the details at www.everynation.co.uk/grow. If Twickenham is too far then you check out other courses running in your area at Marriage course website.

The next best thing would be to read the book. The Marriage book by Nick and Sila Lee is packed full with fantastic advice on keeping your marriage healthy.

Not sure if marriage is the next step? Check out  Look before you Leap – J. John. Described as "A practical guide to one of the most difficult life decisions with humour". You can then enrol on a Marriage preparation course which  is designed for any engaged couple or couples looking towards marriage,  who want to build a strong and lasting relationship.

Every Man’s/ Every Womens battle are great books for both marrieds and singles, focusing  on how to deal with the battle of sexual purity. One review I read said about Every Man’s battle that “It’s just simple, straight advice about how to live the sort of life the Bible calls us to, in a society which gives us every opportunity not to”.

Hope for the Separated – Gary Chapman. Contains sound and practical advice for those who are separated to know how to give their marriage the best chance of being restored.

Finally, for those who have been through or are going through the pain of divorce or separation Holy Trinity Brompton run The Divorce and Separation Recovery course . The course is run three times a year and is both practical and supportive, giving any separated or divorced person the opportunity to discuss the challenges they are facing and the tools to deal with these effectively.

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Your children will seek out and adopt a value system, the only question is… will it be yours?

Having just listened to the second podcast from Heritager builders, I am struck just by what an awesome responsibilty we have as parents in raising our children. Especially when you realise that most things are caught not taught! My children are more likely to have a radical, intimate relationship with God if I show them one!

In this second podcast you will get practical ideas of what this looks like to help you build a strong spiritual, even if you didn’t get a strong spiritual heritage yourself. Take a break from the Christmas madness and have a listen.

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