Let me set you free—crying, specifically crying after waking up, is not an emergency. You should not respond to this kind of crying as if you just felt the initial tremors of an earthquake. Give The Baby the gift of learning how to calm themselves down, as well as the gift of learning how to be comfortable with their own thoughts, their own consciousness. If you really don’t believe me, buy (if you don’t already have) a baby monitor that has a video feed. Watch what happens when The Baby wakes up from a nap and you don’t rush in at the first intake of air to begin crying. (If you’ve been responding in this manner for a while, it may take a few tries before you see the response I’m talking about. And it should go without saying that expected feedings or dirty diapers are an exception.) And while you’re giving gifts, give yourself the gift of adding an hour back into your life—those fifteen minute chunks of time add up.
Imagine if your family assumed that you were awake and seeking attention the minute you opened your eyes in the morning?
Dispatches From The Baby’s Room are paragraph-long tips on how to maybe make the act of raising a child easier. Or maybe just slightly less insane. Or, in twenty years from now, a guide on how to mess a kid up real good. DFTBR are easily digestible, hand-held, and best of all, free. They are the things Joe Stracci thinks about while putting all of the Mega Bloks back in the bag, making the sound the duck makes, and changing diapers in the dark.