For first time parents, these books have been absolute life savers! We read the newborn book cover to cover before our first little one arrived and then basically used it every night for the first 4 weeks, and very regularly after that for the next 4-5 months!
This is certainly a style of parenting, one that is structured and orderly so I appreciate not everyone goes for this however this has been a great blessing to our family! We are like to be organised, aware and appropriately prepared for things so for something that can seem so out of control, these books have helped us greatly.
If anything, it gave us the confidence to love and nurture our very own little human, and the reminder than we were not alone and others had also been through it too! The Ezzo's have worked for decades with parents of infants and young children and we are so grateful for the incredible wisdom found in these books!
This particular set of books is quite structured, however there are additional resources available by people who have taken the principles of these books and slightly adapted them to a more flexible approach. The best book example of this is 'Calm Baby, Confident Mum' I have also read this and learnt so much from the alternative point of view on this approach. Another book by the authors is 'Baby Wise' which is simply a smaller version of these books.
What I also appreciate about these books is they track with you right through until pre kindy age (and then general age groups apply after this such as children, pre teens and teens) so all of the principles you learnt to apply to your family life continue and build on one another over the years.
Preparation for Parenting is Book 1 of a series of books.
Some of the principles and tips that have set us up and carried right through to toddlerhood for us include:
Parent Led family life
- The parents make the decisions as to what goes on in the house and the baby learns to fit in within this family unit.
- Mum feeds baby on a flexible schedule so as to ensure both baby and mum (plus everyone else in the house) gets adequate rest and has their needs met too.
Feed. Wake. Sleep
- Baby is on a feed, then wake, then sleep cycle from the beginning and not fed on demand unless it is required during a growth spurt or illness.
- The general idea of this is that baby learns to eat once they wake up, have a happy and content awake time that is stimulating and driven by a nice full tummy (hence they are happy while awake) and then sleep, they learn to sleep because they are tired and have used energy rather than being fed to sleep.
- This cycle is very helpful at many times but means the baby can be easily looked after by people other than mum and dad (especially if they are breastfed) as they can be put to sleep without feeding, and the transition into solids and toddlerhood based on this cycle just makes sense.
- There are so many tips in this series to encouraging baby to self settle at sleep times, both for naps and night times and in general this has really helped us in our house hold! Baby is easy to put down at bed time, happy to be in the cot awake either on their way to sleep or when they wake early (and in the night!!), and can re settle themselves (generally) when they do wake in the night.
Examples of flexible feeding schedules
- The book contains examples of flexible feeding schedules based on newborn nutritional studies which helps parents establish healthy feeding patterns for their newborns that evolve as the baby grows and their nutritional needs change (i.e.: require less feedings in a 24 hr period).
- Highlights roughly when to expect growth spurts and how to manage these from a flexible schedule and feeding perspective.
- This book provides very helpful advice as to when it is normal for a baby to cry and how to help them, and when it is not normal or healthy, and provides tips on how to help settle baby in these instances.
- It also includes empty growth charts for the first 4 weeks of babies life so you can (if you are that way inclined, like I was) to fill in when you fed and changed baby so as to track their feeding requirements and ensure they are receiving enough in a 24 hour period for the first few weeks. I showed this to the mid wife who came to visit and she was blown away but what a brilliant resource it is and that she'd never seen anything like it! When she asked how much baby was feeding/needing to be changed I simply showed her the chart and she was happy!
We are so thankful for these resources and believe they really did take a lot of stress out of having a newborn in the house the first time around. We have re-read them in the preparation for our next little bundle and it has been a great reminder and boost to our confidence that we have what it takes to love, nature and include another one into our family!