Thursday, March 31, 2011

Nesting



Some sparrows made a nest in our Martin Bird box (so much for that) and I thought it was just too precious to not capture on film. Then I began thinking about my nesting a year ago as I prepared to welcome my baby girl. Now whenever I see birds nesting it has a whole new meaning!


So sweet that the daddy is helping!






And here I am about a year ago, along with my husband and mom....nesting...

All this trouble and she didn't even sleep in here until she was 6 months old!






Random pregnancy photo around this time last year :)


This is what I had to say about nesting last year, about 4 days before the baby was born. :)

What do you remember from your nesting experience? 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Why I'm Not Babywise...My Story

Welcome to the  Why I'm Not Babywise Series


Before reading any further please read my introduction and disclaimer here. This is the second post in the series. Gary Ezzo wrote a book called On Becoming Babywise, and also material and curriculum called Growing Kids God's Way. I have only read On Becoming Babywise 1995 edition. 



You would think someone like me would be a perfect candidate for Babywise. I am very Type A (but being married to a type B has helped me calm down a bit), and I love planning. I hate to not know what my calendar holds or what my day is going to look like. I like to be in charge of my schedule and I love to be on time. I hate being late and I hate canceling appointments. I like predictability, and I am not prone to being flexible.  Oh, and I love sleep. I mean, who doesn't? (Being in the south has really challenged my personality in a lot of these areas. These folks are just overall more laid back).

So of course when I heard about the principles in Babywise when I was in college it sounded great. As a college student, I especially loved sleep. Getting a daily nap in was very important, right? You remember those carefree college days. So when I heard about getting your baby to sleep through the night at a very young age and getting them on a predictable schedule it sounded wonderful! I don't think I knew at the time that these principles came from a book called Babywise, but I am pretty sure they did.

Also in college I was learning more about reformed theology and human depravity. The Bible clearly teaches that we are sinful from conception and are born sinners. Babies are sinners. I remember using this illustration as an analogy several times when I was sharing about sin: "If you have ever been around a newborn baby it is clear to see that we are born sinful. They are so selfish and only want their own way. They cry all the time because they are selfish and sinful and want their needs met." (I now see that although we are all born sinful, a newborn baby's cry is not an expression of that sin. A newborn baby's cry is a reflex and a newborn baby cries to communicate, not to manipulate. )

Then as I graduated and many of my friends started having babies, I started hearing about the principles in Babywise a lot more. It still sounded great to me. One of my close friends was telling me about how her babies would start sleeping through the night around 8 weeks or so. This sounded simply heavenly to me. She also told me about "cry it out" and this sounded fine too. If this cry it out method was helping them sleep through the night at 8 weeks then it couldn't be all bad, could it? There was even another girl we went to college with that posted some stuff on facebook about "crying it out" being bad for babies and we talked about how crazy of an idea this was. How ironic that I go to this girl now for advice, and that people now probably talk about how crazy my ideas are. Hah! How the tables have turned, huh?

Then I got married and a year later conceived a baby. I began researching pregnancy and childbirth options and decided on homebirth.  For that story click here. After entering into the world of homebirth I began to be exposed to a more natural approach to parenting and started hearing terms like "attachment parenting". I was leery of attachment parenting because of common myths I had heard about it. I didn't want to raise a spoiled bratty baby after all.  Towards the beginning of my pregnancy I was convinced that I would read and implement Babywise. I bought this book at a local bookstore early in my pregnancy but didn't read it right away. Instead I began reading birth books that leaned in the more natural direction since I was planning a homebirth. I also took a birthing class and a breastfeeding class along with my husband that leaned towards more of a natural style of parenting. We read a couple of articles on "attachment" but the teaching didn't directly advocate attachment parenting. Still,  I started thinking that there might be a different way then just Babywise.

Then, a friend loaned me a book that changed the course of my parenting.  When she loaned it to me she said that a friend of hers that didn't like Babywise gave it to her. At this point I was still kinda thinking, "Why wouldn't someone like Babywise?" I took it and decided I would read it just to get a different perspective. Why not, right?
After finishing up all my birth books, I picked up this book... The Complete Book of Christian Parenting & Child Care by Dr. Sears. I loved it right away.  What?! A Christian that teaches something other than fear based parenting and crying it out methods? This book totally changed my perspective on babies and parenting. Dr. Sears coined the phrase "attachment parenting", although mothers and fathers have been practicing the principles of attachment parenting for centuries. Needless to say, this started me down the path of thinking that maybe Babywise wasn't the wisest way to parent a baby. At least not as a cut and dry method, or a one size fits all program for every baby.

I decided I still wanted to read Babywise so I could see what all the hype was about and understand where my friends were coming from and what they were being taught by this Gary Ezzo guy. I read it from cover to cover. I will admit there are some worthwhile things to learn about in this book, but several other more helpful baby friendly books talk about routine and breastfeeding much more thoroughly and sensitively. Most of this book, and the general attitude of Gary Ezzo, rubbed me the wrong way. There are several things in this book that I disagree with that I will address in later posts.

After reading Babywise I was even more convinced that I did not want to do things this way. I wanted to follow my God-given mothering insticts and I wanted to depend on the Spirit to parent my baby, not rules and methods laid out by a man. I wanted to model the servant-leadership of Christ to my baby. I wanted to seek to put her first as Philippians 2 teaches. If I want my baby to see Christ through me and to see what kind of Father God is I have to model that to her. I found many of the principles in Babywise to be unbiblical. I also found that many issues that are non-biblical Ezzo turned into commands and musts that God never intended or laid out in His word.

I am so glad that I came across this different way of parenting, this natural, instinctive way of parenting, this attached, bonded style of parenting, this family-centered style of parenting, this gentle, baby sensitive style of parenting.

I am so glad that the Lord showed me that He is the only One who can show us how to raise kids God's way. He is the ultimate authority on parenting, and it is on He that I depend on every day to lead me and guide me as I parent my baby girl. He created each baby in his/her mother's womb with different temperaments and unique needs, and He is the expert on parenting each baby. It is on Him that we should lean on.

For more on my views of parenting you can check out this post.

Please stay with me as I go through specific methods and principles that Gary Ezzo teaches that I believe to be medically and biblically inaccurate, and most of all why they didn't/wouldn't have worked for us. The rest of the posts I hope to keep much shorter. I know I 'm long winded. Thanks for reading to the end!

Please remember as you post comments not to attack one another as mothers but to critique the principles of Babywise, not those that implement various principles he teaches. Please give one another grace as we all seek to parent our babies the best way we know how


Well, what about you? What is your story in Why You're Not Babywise, or Why You are Babywise?

Why I'm Not Babywise Series

Why I'm Not Babywise Series


Welcome to the Why I'm Not Babywise Series. The author of On Becoming Babywise, Garry Ezzo, also wrote curriculum geared towards Christians called Growing Kids God's Way. I have only read the 1995 edition of On Becoming Babywise. I have never read GKGW or Toddlerwise or any other Gary Ezzo "wise" books. So it is only to Babywise that I can speak. I have heard of principles he lays out in GKGW so that may come through a bit in my writing, but I never read it myself. Welcome to the my first blogging series!

 An Intro Please read this disclaimer and intro before reading any of the other posts or you won't understand the context of any other posts)
 My Story
The Author's Character Counts  
My Prayer as a New Parent
From mainstream mama to "crazy" mama. One mom's story 
I'm "that mom" in Chapter One, except I'm not PART ONE
I'm "that mom" PART TWO 
Wisdom from a Veteran Mom of 4
Are babies born to BE SERVANTS or to BE SERVED?

Babywise is NOT the Bible: Parenting by the Law or by the Spirit?
My best friend's Babywise story, and why it worked for her... 
One of my best friend's parenting story and her thoughts on Babywise 
Scheduling, Boobs, and Bottles, part one 


Here is some researching you can do:
Information on the author of Babywise, Gary Ezzo
Babywise Series by Sorta Crunchy
On Becoming Ezzowise
Ezzo Week by Tulip Girl
Confessions of a failed Babywiser
Ezzo Parenting


Favorite Board Books

My baby girl and I LOVE to read. I love children's books and love reading to her. Since she was a newborn books have helped calm her down when she was fussy, at least for a minute. :) When she got bigger she would sit in our lap and let us read to her for long periods of time. Then she started turning the pages on her own, and now she just likes to read a few pages before grabbing the book and "reading" to herself. Here are some of her (and my) favorite board books.

This was her favorite for a long time and it is still my favorite. It features kids from different countries and has a different language on the side of each page that says "for God so loved the world" and in the back it has the phonetics just in case you can't read Japanese or Chinese characters. :)










LOVE Karen Katz books, especially all her lift the flap books. Our favorites are Where Is Baby's Belly Button? and Where is Baby's Mommy?  If I could afford to buy all of her books right now, I would! That is how much I love them.











Also LOVE all of the Peekaboo books by DK. Baby girl loves opening the flaps and there aren't very many words so I can usually read a whole page before she grabs the book so that's a plus too!  Other Peekaboo books we love are Rainbow Colors (Dk Peekaboo) and Peekaboo Dress Up (Touch-And-Feel Action Flap Book)









Love Eric Carle books as well. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? My First Reader is a classic that every baby needs. We also love The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Check out this other board book gift set too. Eric Carle's Very Little Library He is another author I would buy all the books for.










We got this book through the Imagination Station program here in TN started by Dolly Parton. Each month your baby gets a free book until they are five years old. This is one of the books and so far our favorite. Very simply with adorable pictures of baby animals.










We also love Veggie Tales board books. They are several that are very basic with minimal words and bright and colorful pictures that baby girl loves!












I love buying books for baby girl and I would love to hear what your favorite board books are. Please share! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Why I'm Not Babywise... An Intro

Welcome to the  Why I'm Not Babywise Series

So, here goes my story about my why I'm not Babywise.  I want to approach this post with huge amounts of grace and sensitivity for those who may read this, and I hope you will do the same for me. This series is my personal story of why I'm not Babywise.

A bit of a disclaimer: I have put off and put off and put off writing this because I DO NOT want to offend anyone or come across judgmental. Many of my close friends implement several of the principles taught in Babywise. In fact, my very best friend and I disagree about Babywise, but at the end of the day we still LOVE EACH OTHER. Also, I think it is important to say that most all of my friends I know that implement aspects of Babywise are AMAZING MOMS. In fact, some of my favorite kids belong to families that use Babywise principles. I am in no way trying to condemn Babywise moms or tell you that you are doing things wrong. One thing that I have learned over the past few months is that different things work for different families and different babies.

Also, most of my friends do not follow every word that Gary Ezzo lays out in Babywise. They use the wisdom and discernment bestowed on them by God to sift through the various principles Gary Ezzo suggests. However, Gary Ezzo urges his readers not to deviate from anything he teaches or lays out in his book. He teaches that you should implement all of it into your parenting. I do have a problem with that, and in later posts I will go into more details on the actual principles that I am not fond of.

Like I said, this is my story. I am in no way trying to convert Babywise moms to a different way of parenting, or to tell you that if you use Babywise you are doing things wrong or are a bad mom. In fact, I think the reverse is usually true. Moms that don't use Babywise or another form of baby training seem to be in the minority these days, especially among the Christian community. At many times I have felt very isolated and haven't found many "real life" moms that I could talk to about baby issues without getting "babywise advice".  When I would talk about my baby girl being fussy or not sleeping through the night yet, I always wondered if they were thinking, "well, that's because you didn't make her cry it out, or because you held her too much", or "you just need to get her on a schedule".

My purpose in doing this series is so that moms who wonder if Babywise is the only way will see that it is not the only way to parent babies. There is in fact, a different way that might appeal to many moms out there who wouldn't know about it otherwise. So many new moms are handed a Babywise book by another mom and they read it and think they have to follow every bit or they are a failure. Many of those moms aren't comfortable with many of the methods suggested in this book, but don't know of any other way, so they end up using Babywise principles against their own better judgement. Or they believe the lie that Ezzo teaches that if they don't use Babywise they will produce a spoiled, bratty, unhappy, sleep deprived baby. Many moms reluctantly use Babywise because they don't know of any other way because most of the Christian culture uses Babywise principles. My purpose is to show that there is in fact another way. A way that isn't about rules and methods, but is about depending on the Lord and the natural mothering instinct that He instills inside of us.

If you have used Babywise and loved it then good for you. Great for you actually! I know that there are many moms out there who do love it and it has worked great to meet the needs of their family and their baby. I am not judging you or telling you that you are wrong. I just want to make that clear. There is so much pressure on moms and we are constantly doubting ourselves enough as it is. I am not here to add to that pressure or tell you that you did it all wrong. My baby is only 10 months old so my perspective is very fresh and new and I am simply sharing from my experiences. I am not a baby/child psychologist, pediatrician, or child behavior expert. I am just a mom to a sweet baby girl sharing my story....

About why I'm not Babywise....

Before I share my story in following posts I encourage you to research for yourself as I did.
Here are some places to get started researching:
Information on the author of Babywise, Gary Ezzo
Babywise Series by Sorta Crunchy
On Becoming Ezzowise
Ezzo Week by Tulip Girl
Confessions of a failed Babywiser
Ezzo Parenting

Also, spend some time thinking about God the Father and how he parents you. Meditate on His character and think about His grace and love for you.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sowing Seeds, Bearing Fruit (and Vegetables?)


We have been sowing seeds and growing seedlings in hopes that they will yield fruit and vegetables in due season. And you have to make sure that you have good, fertile soil or everything else is done in vain.  And when I say "we" I mean my husband. Like I said in a previous post, the garden has been his thing, but I am going to try to help out this summer and learn more about the joys of gardening. I love fresh veggies and fruit from our very own backyard, but it is a lot of work initially. 

It just so happened that last week I was studying about some gardening and agriculture parables in Matthew 13 of the Holy Bible. They mean even more to me now that I have some agricultural knowledge (well, more than I did in the past at least). So I thought I would share some thoughts I had while studying. 

First of all, I encourage you to go read Matthew 13 for yourself and ask the Lord to give you fresh insight into these parables before you read about the insight the Lord gave me. And please share with me your thoughts in the comment section. 

The Parable of the Sower
Thankfully, Jesus explains this one to us in verses 18-23 so we don't have to guess as to what he means when he tells this parable in verses 1-8. 

Some of my thoughts:
  • The good news goes out to many but not all hearts are regenerated, and the lives that are regenerated yield different amounts of fruit. 
  • 2 kinds of listeners: wise and foolish (cross references Matthew 7:15-19, 10:32-33) Those who bear good fruit and those who bear bad fruit. Those who confess Jesus and those who reject Jesus. 
  • only the last soil represents the heart of a believer because only the last soil bears fruit. The other 3 soils do not allow the seed to grow, or if they do, it quickly dies. (If you think of this parable from the perspective of a farmer you will see that only the soil that bears fruit if of any use to you)
  • the farmer would say that soil that does not give growth to the seed is bad and useless. 
  • The sower represents Jesus, but also can represent any of us that go out sowing seed. 
  • The seed represents the word of the kingdom. 
  • The first soil is rock and the seed can't even penetrate it. This is someone who hears the word, but their heart is too hard to even consider it. 
  • The second soil is someone who experiences a brief emotional high after hearing the gospel, but is not truly converted and has no root. This is someone who thought that life with Jesus seemed wonderful, but did not take the time to count the cost. Maybe this is someone who just wanted "their best life now" but didn't realize that there are hardships that come with following Jesus. Since this person didn't have a firm root they fell away when tribulation and trials came. 
  • The third soil is someone who hears the word and seems to be following Jesus for awhile, but does not want to give up the things of this world: love of money, materialism, etc. 
  • The last soil is a true believer. He hears the word, understands it, and bears fruit. Only good soil can bear fruit, as any farmer or gardener can attest to. 
  • Believers bear different yields of fruit. Some believers might be more radically committed to bearing fruit than others, or given different gifts and abilities from the Father. All fruit is pleasing to the Lord and brings God glory. 
Other thoughts:
  • Matthew 3:1-10 teaches that we are to bear fruit in keeping with repentance. Every tree that does not bear fruit is cut down and thrown into the lake of fire. 
  • Luke 6:43-45 teaches that no good tree bears bad fruit, and vice versa. Each tree is known by its fruit, just as true believers are known by their fruit. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and vice versa. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. (a thought: a good way to know what we treasure is by what we talk about)
  • John 15:1-8 To bear fruit we must abide in Jesus. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. "Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." Those that claim to be believers but bear no fruit prove to have false faith. You prove to be a disciple by bearing fruit. No fruit=no proof of discipleship. 
How God convicted me through this parable:
I care a lot about bearing fruit of ministry in my life. I care a lot about people hearing the gospel and believers being discipled. But I need to concentrate also on the fruits of the Spirit in my life as laid out in Galatians 5:22-23. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control. 
I pray that my character would be more Christ-like and that I would bear the fruits of the Spirit more evidently in my life. 
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For further study on this parable check out this sermon by John MacArthur

One final random question:
Why doesn't the Bible talk about bearing vegetables? Anyone know?

I would love to hear your thoughts and applications on this parable as well. Post comments here at Memphis Misfit Mama

Friday, March 25, 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Adventures in Gardening/Pictures of our Garden

 (visit Memphis Misfit Mama to view original post and leave comments)

Well, all this gardening stuff is very new to me. My dear husband has a family history of gardening and decided to try it out for himself last summer.

He saw a man at Home Depot buying tomato plants and thought, "I can do that", and bought some. He then also planted squash, peppers, and beans. Well, the only thing that really grew well was the squash. We had squash coming out of our ears!

He has been inspired to try to eventually have a big enough garden to be able to sustain our family. He was inspired by this book: 

This whole past year my DH has been researching and learning about gardening. He ordered seeds in plenty of time to plant seedlings, and we have added lots of different things to the mix. We have also been composting all year so that we are able to use that in the garden this year.

Here is what we are planting this year:
Yellow squash, tomatoes, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, peppers, lettuce, broccoli, green beans, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, blueberries, and strawberries. We are also planting flowers to attract good bugs to eat the bad bugs. Our goal is to have a completely organic garden.

DH planted the seedlings a few weeks ago and we have already had to transfer the green beans to a big bucket. The strawberries and blueberries came to us as plants and he planted those right away.

Here are some pictures:
Seedlings at about 2 weeks



Beans growing out of control!

Sweet potatoes! My favorite!


Red potatoes


Blueberries top, beans transplanted bottom


Blueberries

Green beans

All ready for planting

Strawberries




compost

Our guest bedroom greenhouse




What about you? What are you planting in your garden this year?

David Platt: “Do We Really Believe What We’re Saying?”

David Platt: “Do We Really Believe What We’re Saying?”

Great video about if we truly believe that people who don't know Jesus will spend eternity without Him, or do we live like we believe in universalism?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Prodigal Dogs and Pharisee Cats

Original post at Memphis Misfit Mama

Disclaimer: I am a dog person and not a huge fan of cats and that might come across in this post. No disrespect to you cat lovers out there. :)

My dogs ran away today...again.

About two and a half years ago they ran away after we forgot to put the padlock on the gate. They were gone for 2 hours before we finally found them. I called all the friends I could think of to make up the search team and a good friend of ours came across them in a park near our home. I was hysterical and when I was finally reunited with them I was relieved and overcome with tears of joy that they were safe and they were home.

About two weeks ago my dogs ran away. This time they bolted right in front of our eyes as I was opening the gate to talk to my husband who was in the back yard doing yard work. He ran after them as I hurriedly got baby girl and I into the car. They just ran and ran, looked back at him, and then bolted. They ran across a busy four lane street in rush hour traffic. I put on the hazards when I finally caught up with them and threw them in the car. When we got home I had no tears of joy or relief, only anger, and they were punished for their actions, only in the most gentlest of ways of course.

Today they ran away. We went on a walk this morning and I must not have closed the gate tight enough (and I forgot the padlock) and it is a very windy day here in Memphis. As I was leaving the house to go visit my husband at work I noticed the gate was open. My heart sank. My husband called his father to help me look. I drove through the areas where we always walk and was fortunate enough to come across a neighborhood security guard driving around and gave him my information. About 40 minutes later he called me and said a lady had reported a big black dog swimming in her pool and it looked like she was about to drown. Luckily I made it to the address in a few minutes. (come to find out we had just met these neighbors a few weeks ago when they hosted a party for a ministry we help with) Kyleigh was relieved to see me as she looked exhausted and couldn't figure out how to get out. Louie was by her side on the edge of the pool. (he would never run away if it weren't for her bad influence) After having been out for possibly three hours and swimming in the pool for who knows how long, it is a blessing that I found her still swimming and alive. I thought I was going to see a mass of black and white fur on the side of one of the many busy roads near our home.

Needless to say, today I was relieved and overcome with joy to have found them. I was not angry in the least, except at myself for forgetting the padlock. I was so happy to see them and it was an extra blessing of God that we knew the people whose pool they had jumped into.

My dogs teach me a lot about God. I think about how dumb they are to run away when they are cared for so well within the confines of my home and backyard. The boundaries are there for their protection, so that they don't get out and so strays don't get in. They are walked almost every day, fed plenty of food, and always have water. They are very loved, despite their rebellious ways. Why would they be so dumb and cruel to run away? Why would they cause me so much grief and break my heart like this?

Of course when anyone or anything runs away we often think of the parable of the prodigal son and the older brother. Luke 15  shares this story, as well as the lost sheep and the lost coin. I love the truth of God searching for the one sheep that runs off, and the lady rejoicing when she finds the lost coin, but the parable of the prodigal son is my favorite on "lostness". You see, I can relate so much to this prodigal son and to my dogs. God has set loving boundaries for me within his word. The boundaries are there to protect me and for my good. God takes such good care of me and has blessed me with so much in His Son, so why do I sometimes wander off? I am not so different from my dogs am I? The prodigal son had a life of luxury and goodness and love at his father's home, but wanted his inheritance early so he could enjoy the pleasures of this world. When he had squandered all his money and was going hungry he decided to return home. When his father saw him from a distance he ran to him. (unheard of in that culture at that time) He embraced him and forgave him. He rejoiced that he had returned. Never mind the grief it had caused him. Never mind the broken heart and the worry. He forgave him and loved him. He rejoiced that although he was lost, now he was found. This is what God does with us. 

The older brother is like a pharisee, or like a cat.  The older brother only had disdain for the way his father welcomed back the prodigal son. He, after all, had never left and broken his father's heart. The other day I saw a neighborhood cat roaming around and I asked my husband, "why is it that cats always go home and never run away, but dogs are supposed to be known for being loyal, yet always wander off?" I think I might have some insight into this answer. We all know from popular cartoons that cats think they are better than dogs. They think themselves to be more sophisticated, smarter, and civilized than dogs. They pride themselves in never running away. They look down at dogs for their carefree, uncivilized, beastly ways. They are much like Pharisees. They might not ever run off, but are they truly loyal? Do you ever really have the loyalty and love of a cat? I am sure cat lovers would say yes, but I would beg to differ. They might not ever leave, but are they really loyal to you? Do they just do all the right things without the heart behind it? You see, dogs might run away over and over again, but they really do love their owners. They truly are loyal creatures and they love their owners immensely.

I could tell today that my dog was very relieved to see me. I can tell from her demeanor that she knows she did something wrong. Knowing that she almost drowned, there is no way I can be mad at her. I must forgive her for she is just like me. God forgives me over and over again when I rebel against His love and protection and boundaries, so I need to forgive my dogs as well.

No matter what, I would rather be more like a prodigal dog than a pharisee cat.

I am thankful for a God that forgives both prodigal dogs and pharisee cats and gives all of us the grace to walk in obedience and faithfulness to Him daily.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fussy Baby Lifesavers!

Have a fussy, colicky, or high needs baby? These things may help:

1. YOU! Lots of holding, cuddling, nursing, bouncing, and wearing usually helps soothe any fussy baby.
2. Moby Wrap Original 100% Cotton Solid Baby Carrier, Chocolate
Babywearing for at least 3 hours a day reduces the amount of crying in a baby and is a lifesaver for any mom with a fussy baby. It keeps baby calm while allowing you to get a few things done. The Moby Wrap is my favorite for newborns because it has lower back support, is so snugly, and also very fashionable.
3. Miracle Blanket -Baby Swaddling Blanket -Beige
I wish I had this from day one. No other swaddle blanket really did the trick like the Miracle Blanket. When DD was fussy we would swaddle her and bounce her, swaddle her and do the football hold, etc. I also believe the Miracle Blanket added about 2 hours to her sleep at night (plus the other S's from happiest baby)
4. The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer
This book was a lifesaver. I was hesitant to read it because I thought it was a "baby trainer" book but it is not at all. The 5 S's suggested in this book and the particular way Harvey Karp teaches you to do them helped us immensely in soothing our baby girl.
5. The Happiest Baby on the Block - The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Baby Sleep Longer (DVD)
Loved the book so much that we got the DVD. The DVD also had three tracks at the end that mimic the womb sound to help soothe a fussy baby. There were many days where I would turn them on and turn the volume all the way up while bouncing and wearing baby girl. It is also helpful because Harvey Karp shows you how to do everything on the DVD.
6. The Fussy Baby Book: Parenting Your High-Need Child From Birth to Age Five
LOVE this book. It really helped me to keep proper perspective on my fussy baby. It helped me to continue to strive to be sensitive to her needs instead of resenting her. There are tons of pointers about soothing your fussy baby and a lot of encouraging stories from other moms with fussy babies.
7. DEX Products Sound Sleeper SS-01
We used this noise maker for our baby girl at nighttime all night long for months. We set it to "wind" and     also turned on the fan all night. It helped a lot!
8. Cloud b Sleep Sheep - Four Soothing Sounds From Nature
We also used the sleep sheep for soothing her during the day, on car rides, and at night. It has a timer for about 20 minutes so I would set it to "womb" when nursing her for nap-times and bedtimes and also when I laid her down.
9. Graco Pack 'n Play with Newborn Playard Baby Napper-Hamilton
Love this pack n play because of the newborn napper. It keeps them cozy and comfy and also has a vibrator on it. We even took off the vibrator and transferred it to the crib when she started sleeping in there. (we actually just weaned her off of the vibrator a couple of months ago) The vibrator really helped soothe her to sleep and kept her from crying.

I know it seems like we had lots of gadgets but they were so helpful. Most of the time we were wearing her or carrying her, but at nap time and bed time all of these gadgets were so helpful and definite lifesavers!

More tips on soothing your fussy baby:
http://www.askdrsears.com/html/5/T051200.asp
http://www.happiestbaby.com/book-dvd-excerpts/the-happiest-baby-book/
http://www.gentlechristianmothers.com/topics/highneed.php

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