If you are a parent you know that there really isn’t anything easy about parenting. How can there be an “easy” approach then? This method is the acronym E.A.S.Y. by The Baby Whisperer herself Tracey Hogg. It is definitely worth reading about, but since you are a busy, tired mom I am going to break it down right here for you and save you all the time and effort of reading the whole book. Let’s find the easy approach to parenting.
“Compared to many other baby-care regimens, E.A.S.Y. is a sensible and practical middle ground, a welcome relief to most parents from the wild pendulum swings in parenting fashion, which seem to alternate between two extremes. On the one side are tough-love experts who believe that “training” babies right involves a struggle: You need to let’em cry it out and be a little frustrated some of the time. You don’t “spoil” babies by picking them up each time they cry. You keep them on a strict schedule and make them fit into your life, live by your needs.
On the opposite side , representing the currently most popular view, are follow-the-baby advocates, who tell moms to feed “on demand,” a term I believe speaks for itself-you end up with a demanding baby. Proponents of this doctrine believe that to have a well-adjusted child, you’ve got to meet its every need….which, if followed slavishly, translates into giving up your own life.”Tracey Hogg
Why do I like the E.A.S.Y. method?
Each day parents are pulled in all different directions. We are being too strict and rigid, or being too soft and not having enough boundaries. People tell us their unwanted opinion pretty much wherever we go, and while we don’t care what they say in some way it is still in the back of our mind, questioning if we are doing the right thing.
The EASY approach to parenting, provides parents with a foundational routine that is smack dab in the middle of all the parenting advice I have read about. It has rigid schedules, but a chill out and gives people that go with the flow a flexible schedule. Most importantly it will give their baby and themselves security, and predictability to their day. The child will develop their biological clock helping with sleep and feeding, and this method also meets everyone’s needs, NOT just the baby.
What is the E.A.S.Y. Method?
The acronym EASY stands for a routine for your baby that follows this pattern;
This routine not only helps by giving your baby security in knowing what will happen everyday, but it also helps you learn your baby’s sleep, and eating cues. After a week of a this regular pattern your child will develop their biological clock around the eating, napping and bedtime routine.
For a Newborn, start with feeding your baby. Your baby should eat every 2 ½ to 3 hours (start identifying their hunger cues and cries). After they eat instead of sleeping, do an activity. A newborn activity could be laying on the floor, a bath, tummy time, looking at mom. Newborns should be awake no more than 45 minutes to an hour. Start recognizing sleep cues; looking away, yawning, blurry eyes, red eyebrows, rubbing their eyes.
That’s your cue that they need to sleep. Put them down in their designated sleep spot drowsy but awake. While they sleep the YOU part comes in. This is your time to take for yourself! Take a nap, a shower, meditate, read a book. I love this part, and truly understand how hard it is to take time for yourself, BUT I also know how important it is to recharge as a mom.
E.A.S.Y. after the newborn stage.
When you learn your baby’s cues as a newborn they start to build a rhythm or a biological clock where they will start to eat and sleep at the same times each day. As your baby gets older they will be awake more, be a more efficient eater, and eventually eat solid foods. The diagram below shows estimated times children should be awake, and how often they should be eating. These are just that “estimated”. Each child is different, and through developmental changes and growth sleep can change. Be open to sticking to the schedule but also being flexible. The child should be taking naps, eating, playing inbetween, and going to bed around the same time each day. And don’t forget YOU time.
Eat, Activity, Sleep, You.
When my daughter was born my life felt so far out of control I had no idea what her cues were. I blamed her crying on hunger, constantly nursing even though she was not hungry, and most likely tired or overstimulated. I blamed her crying and lack of sleep on gas for the first 4-months, and after that I used teething (for everything) as an excuse instead of really identifying her needs. Of course I took care of my baby on demand 24/7, barely slept, and never took time for myself. FYI: It has been scientifically proven that teething does not affect children’s sleep.
But at what cost? I didn’t realize until much later in her infancy that WE ARE THE PARENTS, and we MUST LEAD. It was then when we taught her how to put herself to sleep, she became a more efficient eater, and naps were also on a consistent schedule so we could get out of the house for activities. I also started working out while she ate breakfast in the morning so she could see that there were really important things for mom to do for her health.
To Thrive vs. living.
You could be living everyday, waiting for your baby to outgrow things, waiting for the crying to stop, waiting for things to change. Funny thing is moms are warrior survivors. They can “survive” forever in fight or flight stress mode. Again at what cost though? Your mental health? Your relationships? Your physical health?
Having a routine is where my family and I really started thriving. Everyone felt safe in the flexible predictability of each day. There was a special time for each one of us, and everyone’s needs were met. This is not to say that everyday was easy but the practice of a solid routine brought a foundation to hold us steady.
If you are a parent you are a reborn leader. You must take the reins and teach your child what they need to know. It will NOT be easy but it will be the most rewarding thing you will ever do to raise a healthy, happy, human being.
“Truth be told, it’s usually adults, not babies, who create difficult situations. As a parent, you must always take the lead. After all, you know better than your baby does. “Tracey Hogg
Looking back to when my daughter was a newborn I wish I had this knowledge so I could have started immediately leading my daughter and giving her the security she needed. All of our paths are different, and eventually I learned my way (we all do). But NOTHING will happen without taking action.
I hope this helps you wherever you are in your motherhood journey. I will say that it is never too late. My daughter is 7 years old now and I have to remind myself sometimes daily when making decisions, or understanding my daughter’s emotions that I am the parent, the leader, the boundary setter, the one who makes her feel safe, understood, and loved. How do we do that? Routine, connection, repair, and taking time for ourselves and our needs (all of us).
Start a routine today. Trust your parenting instincts, do what you think is right for your family. There is no one right way to parent. You can take advice, gain knowledge, empower yourself with the ability to take the lead and teach your child the skills they will in turn need to be a sturdy human being.
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