As you may remember, I was hesitant to join a Mommy Group. Or really anything with the word “Mommy” in the title. It’s not that I didn’t want to be a Mommy; far from it, in fact. But I cringe at the idea of being a “lady who lunches” and sits around comparing babies.
You know what? The Mommy Group I joined is nothing like that.
I’m sure many of you are giving the computer screen an “I told you so” look. Almost every Mom I know has joined a group of some sort, and loved it. I’m not really sure where my preconceived notions about Mommy Groups came from, I just know that I don’t like being put in situations where I’m supposed to be friends with people. It never really works out that way for me, and then I feel like I’m being fake. In any case, like I said, my Mommy Group is nothing like that.
In my group (at Isis Maternity) there are about 10 women with babies 3 – 10 weeks old. We all gathered in a small room with little chairs on the floor and Boppys for everyone (so cute!). One by one people arrived, and I was struck by just how different babies are at this early stage. Owen feels so much bigger and more developed than some of the 3 week olds, but lightyears behind the 10 week old. There is one baby who was born on the exact same day as Owen (now about 9 lbs) and he weighs 14 lbs! Looking at them side-by-side, you’d never guess they were the same age. I could have just stared at all the babies all day long, but our teacher got right down to business.
Each of the 6 weekly sessions are set up like classes, with topics to discuss and skills to learn. Then after each class, we have the option to go out together as a group to get coffee or grab a bite to eat. This week we discussed baby fussiness (something I am becoming more familiar with, since my previously perfect baby is hitting the 6 week peak of fussiness himself!) and soothing techniques, as well as carriers/wraps. As we began to share our experiences with our babies, I came away with a few important realizations:
- We are incredibly lucky to have been blessed with a baby who is a good sleeper. It sounds like Owen gets more sleep than a lot of babies his age, and is relatively easy to put down for naps. He knows night from day, and we have a pretty reliable schedule that works well for both of us.
- Similarly, we are so fortunate to have a baby who hasn’t really been fussy much until the past week. If 6 weeks is the peak of fussy behavior (so I’ve read), then we did pretty well, since he didn’t really start fussing until 6 weeks. He’s beginning to fall prey to the universal baby-witching hours, 6pm – 8pm. Well, that’s his fussy time. Apparently some others enjoy this lovely period from 5pm – 10pm!
- Another takeaway: USE THE PACIFIER. Since I read/heard so many horror stories about pacifier addiction and overbites and getting up in the middle of the night to play “find the missing paci in the crib”, I hadn’t given Owen a pacifier. The downside? He is totally a sucker. He needs to suck to soothe, and the fussy evenings of late would have been a lot nicer if I could calm him with the paci. The teacher asked my group how many people were using the pacifier, and nearly everyone raised their hand except for me. I was missing out on a very powerful tool! Since then, I’ve used it a few times, and it really does calm him. I’m thinking I’ll encourage him to use it to soothe fussiness, but not give it to him in the crib, so I don’t have to worry about addiction or starting bad habits. We’ll see if I can stick to that 🙂
- I also learned a great new hold to do with my Moby wrap. The Moby wrap is one, long piece of stretchy fabric that can be wrapped a number of different ways around you to carry your baby. The upside is that it’s so versatile; the downside is that it’s confusing and difficult to figure out which one is best for you. The instructor showed a hold I hadn’t tried before, and I’ve popped Owen in it several times since then. Love it!
After the class was over, I was shocked that I actually wanted to go out and get a coffee and keep chatting. It was a wonderful feeling to have nursed Owen during our class, so we were able to go out and not risk a meltdown in public. I had a great time hanging out with two of the women from class over a latte.
I’m looking forward to next week!