The First Year, Times Three: Lessons Learned

A Look at 3- 1
via Jeanna Strassburg

The first year of babyhood is sure to throw us moms for a loop or two. After 3 kids and 3 first years complete, I feel like I’ve been on a very long roller coaster ride. If there was one thing I learned, it’s that there’s no such thing as being “an old pro” when it comes to the teeny tiny ones. They like to pull the rug out from under you right when you start to get comfortable! Here’s a little retrospective on some of the ways my 3 little ones kept me on my toes during their first years.

A Look at 3-2
Image courtesy Anna Cerasani Photography

Sleep:

#1- For the first 6 months, I spent countless hours either rocking or nursing my daughter to sleep. It was exhausting. So when I visited a girlfriend whose daughter lay down and went to sleep on her own, I was JEALOUS! I had her coach me on sleep training right then and there, and my daughter took to it right away! She was a great sleeper after that, and has been ever since. (She’s now six, and will still lay down for naps on the weekends!)

#2- Since I was a “pro” with sleep training (or so I thought), I was convinced my son was going to be just as good a sleeper as my daughter. WRONG! He had terrible acid reflux, and I was constantly second guessing whether or not he was OK. He woke up several times a night for nearly ALL of his first year. (He’s now 3 and still wakes up at night at least once a week)

#3- Whether out of necessity or complete exhaustion, I often just nursed #3 to sleep for the first 6-7 months. I think it was more than likely that I enjoyed escaping to a private, quiet place for 15-20 minutes. It meant that hubby got to be in charge of #1 and 2, and I could relax a bit. Unfortunately, there did come a point where I needed to get her to learn to sleep on her own, and while she was a bit more resistant to the idea than her older sister, she eventually began to understand that when we laid her in her crib, it was bedtime. There are still days (at 14 months, now) where she will still protest when we lay her down.

Lesson Learned: Even when you think you have a plan, your baby might have other plans,or challenges that will make even the plans with the best intentions bend to their will. Routine played a HUGE role in getting good sleep out of all of my kids.

A Look at 3-3
via Jeanna Strassburg

Starting Solids:

#1- Started around 6 months. Loved rice cereal and green beans. Ate baby food happily for quite a while before she had interest in table food. I would often make her separate “baby friendly” meals when mom and dad were having something she didn’t like.

#2- Started solids around 5 months. Quickly realized he had many food allergies (milk, eggs, bananas, and pears). Spent a large part of my day and energy coming up with foods that he could eat. Learned all about rice milk and replacement food. Went a little crazy planning meals and shopping for specialty “allergen free” foods. Spent time at the gastroenterologist trying to determine reasons for lack of weight gain.

#3- Allergic to eggs like her older brother. This feels like a breeze comparatively. She began baby foods at 5 months and has quickly progressed to table foods like brother and sister. Loves to eat, and eats whatever we’re eating, with the exception of eggs. Has no problem with weight gain. Chubby little lady.

Lesson Learned: The food allergy ride is bumpy and NOT fun. There is no bigger worry than worrying about your child thriving. When eating happens without a fight and struggle, REJOICE!

Diapers
image via flickr user simplyla

Diapers:

#1- Was a huge Pampers fan. She was always gassy and fussy and had a tendency toward “blow outs.” Pampers worked out best for “containment,” and she was a tough nut to crack when it came to potty training. There was no bribe that worked for her until she was ready. Eventually we got out of diapers, but it was kicking and screaming!

#2- LUVS all the way. They worked great for him. He had so many other issues, so he decided to spare us on the nasty diapers. When it came time to potty train, we went all in and never looked back. After two days of accidents in his underpants, he got the hang of it and never even needed pull-ups at night.

#3- Target brand UP and UP diapers. Still hanging out in them at 14 months. She will be ready to potty train probably in the spring. She loves following brother and sister into the bathroom; wants to be a part of it all. I think I’m the one who’s not ready!

Lesson Learned: Every child truly is different—even the way diapers fit!

I don’t think I could ever write a parenting “how-to” book; it would be so very confusing. I think I would only really need to write one sentence:

Every child needs your love, patience, and willingness to alter your plan based on their individual needs and personalities.

And, maybe, just maybe, the suggestion for you to throw away your “plans” altogether. 

{ MORE: 3 Creative Ways to Remember Your Baby's First Year}

What about you? Did you find that your children had more similarities or differences in these areas? 

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The First Year, Times Three: Lessons Learned

Jeanna Strassburg is a wife, and mother of three, who enjoys kitchen dance parties and summer time! Jeanna received her bachelor’s degree in Education from Brigham Young University-Idaho in April of 2007. She enjoys spending her time cooking, cleaning and tending to the proper duties of a stay at home mother… NOPE! Truthfully, she enjoys eating the food, but not making it or cleaning up after it. She likes to have a clean home, but loathes laundry and dishes. Loves her children, but coul ... More

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2 comments

  1. Profile photo of EbyMom EbyMom says:

    Love this blog cos u do things in the best interest of ur baby not for ur own convenience that is why parenting is a real hard work. U keep trying til u find what finally works for ur family.

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