笔记:Secrets of the Baby Whisperer

Tracy Hogg 的程序育儿系列第一部。从图书馆拿到这本书的时候,发现前半本已经被翻得有点烂,最开始的几页有一些水渍和其他黄色褐色的渍,很惨的样子。不知道有多少人深陷育儿大坑,翻这书救命呢。


Chapter 1: Loving the Baby You Gave Birth To

  • 5 days to a couple of months after birth is the best time to know the baby (or what kind of personality the baby have).
    • The angel: feeds, plays, sleeps easily, and take simulants well.
    • The textbook: makes predictable cues, and makes the right development at the right time – few surprises.
    • The touchy: ultrasensitive o sounds, cries for no reason sometimes, needs peace and quiet; good to swaddle, “sh”, and rhythmic pats on the back.
    • The spirited: vocal/agressive, makes jerky movements; needs swaddling to fall asleep, and likes grab his/her own bottle/toys.
    • The grumpy: whimpy, irritable, doesn’t smile; requires patience, loud “sh"s, and swaying front to back.
  • Home coming routine: slow things down.
    • introduce the baby to each room via a dialogue
    • make some tea
    • give the baby a bath/feed
    • take a nap
  • Tip: get everything ready a month before the due date – put sheets on the crib, get wipes and diapers on the changing table, wash baby’s new clothes, stock the fridge.

总结:回家了以后 baby 的性格很快就显现出来了,不过需要仔细观察。章节里提供了调查表,建议两个人各完成一份,以确定 baby 的性格。另外 baby 虽然不会说话但也是个人类,所以要在言语、举止间展现对 baby 的尊重。不是单方面对 baby 说话,而是两人对话。

Chapter 2: E.A.S.Y. Does It

  • Establishing a structured routine strikes the balance between needs of the baby, and the needs of the parents.
    • Eating: (25-40 min) 2.5 - 3 hours intervals in between.
    • Activity: (45 min) things like diaper changes, bathing, cooing in the crib, out for a stroll.
    • sleeping: (15 min to fall asleep + 0.5 ~ 1 hr) babies usually need to learn how to put themselves to sleep.
    • You: 1+ hrs while the baby’s asleep
  • Why it works: good for babies to know what to expect, helps parents interpret the baby, facilitates cooperative parenting.
  • Tips:
    • Try to start doing this from Day 1, and for everything you do now, think about whether it helps creating the routine that sustain in the longer term.
    • Be organized, but be flexible – expect different (types of) babies to take the routine at different paces (up to 12 weeks?); the routine might change when the baby gets a couple of months older.
    • Make sure to observe what the baby needs, especially when the routine stops working. For example, a baby starts to fall sleep after nursing, and it turned out that the baby are getting shorter sleeps, so the parent responded by putting the baby back to sleep for a bit longer.
  • To observe the baby’s behavior, try keeping a log.

总结:推荐了 E.A.S.Y. 法,吃、动、睡这3件事每天循环几次,规律作息。需要一段时间(大概几周到几个月)进入这种作息,也有可能随时会跳出合理作息,所以要写 log 帮助观察。月龄小的时候循环比较勤,月龄越大每个循环内时间越长。发现了作息的一些例子,还有一个家长的执行体会

Chapter 3: S.L.O.W. Down (and Appreciate Your Baby’s Language)

  • A crying baby doesn’t mean bad parenting, nor should the parent be embarassed – learn to tolerate the sound of crying.
  • Slow: try not to bolt onto the baby immediately just to stop that crying
    • the baby needs to develop his/her voice
    • foster the baby’s self-soothing skills
    • it takes time to learn the baby’s language
  • Listen: listen to what the baby is saying. A couple of things to consider:
    • the time of day, previous activities, growth spurts
    • the context: any noises in the house/neighborhood, odors in the air, temperature in the room, longer/unfamiliar encounters outdoors
    • negative emotions of your self can also be picked up by the baby
  • Observe: the baby’s gestures, facial expressions and body postures usually communicate what the baby needs.
    • from head to toe: head, eyes, mouth/lips/tongue, face, hands/arms, torso, skin, legs
  • What’s up: there are only a couple of causes for baby’s cries, and each of them usually maps to distinctive crying tones (unless left unattended for too long)
    • tired/overtired
    • overstimulated
    • needs a change of scenery
    • pain/gas
    • hunger
    • too cold
    • too hot
    • “Where’d you do? I need a cuddle.”
    • overfeeding
    • bowel movement

总结:推荐了 S.L.O.W. 法。心态上有两点:

  1. 不要不寻求原因就急着止哭,这样不能解决根本问题,还会导致 baby 哭声变得单一化;
  2. 不要不顾事实凭空 assume 原因,尤其是不要把自己的想法加在 baby 身上。技术上也有两点,但是需要练习:
    1. 联想过去几小时/一天/一段时间 baby 的表现推测哭声代表什么意思;
    2. 每种肢体语言代表什么意思——书里提供了表格。

Chapter 4: Eating

  • You could do breastfeeding, formula, or both; make sure to have the right feeding position, do burping before and after, listen for the swallowing sound, and watch for weight gains.
  • Breastfeeding
    • The breast gets stimulated by baby’s suckling, sending a message to the brain to produce/release milk. So there could be a delay in between suckling and milk getting out.
    • Try practicing while pregnant, and feed as close to the baby’s birth as you can – a schedule is provided for the first 4 days.
    • Use one side per feed and don’t switch sides during a feed; this allows the baby to take in hind milk.
    • Baby at 4-8 weeks get 2-5 oz of milk up to 40 min; 8-12 weeks – 4-6 oz, 30 min; 3-6 months – 5-8 oz, 20 min.
    • Store breast milk in the fridge up to 72 hours; do not heat with microwave – use warm water instead.
  • Some special situations for increased feeding: snacking (bad habit), growth spurts (every couple of weeks, up to 48 hrs each time – give both breasts and/or more formula)
  • Formula feeding
    • Cow-milk based vs soy based – the author prefers cow-milk.
    • Pick nipples that looks like breasts – the author recommends Haberman feeders because the baby controls the flow, not gravity.
    • How much: 3 oz/3 hrs for 0-3 weeks, 4 oz/3 hrs for 3-6 weeks, 4~6 oz/4 hrs for 6-12 weeks, 8 oz/4 hrs for 3-6 months.
  • Both
    • Allow 3 weeks to make the switch if baby haven’t used bottles before.
  • Weaning (introducing solid food) should start at 6 months.
    • Introduce 1 food at a time (twice a day for 2 weeks), in the morning, and observe any allergic reactions during the day.

总结:一系列跟吃有关的问题。母乳方面需要学习和练习(有的长达40天)。奶粉方面需要找到合适的奶粉和瓶口。如果既要用母乳又要用奶瓶,需要一定时间转换。不管是母乳还是奶粉,都要关注到底有没有吃下去(听吞咽的声音和称体重)。6个月开始可以开始介绍固体食物,从水果蔬菜和 oatmeal 开始。

Chapter 5: Activity

  • When the baby wakes up, there’s usually 3 alarms asking for attention: fussy/fidgeting, coughlike cry, and all-out cry.
  • Diapering tips
    • Announce your intention before changing the diaper, and follow up with calling out (dialog) each step during the process.
    • Shoot for finishing in 5 minutes to minimize the baby’s discomfort.
  • Avoid overstimulating the baby with excess sounds, images, touches, smells, tastes, and movements.
  • Toys: give toys that the baby can physically and mentally manipulate and enjoy on his/her own – needs to observe the baby.
    • first 6-8 weeks: just looking and hearing
      • straight lines (drawn with markers) on a white card to stare at, can change colors to stimulate/calm the baby
      • soft and soothing lullabies
    • 2 months: the baby can turn his/her head
      • flash cards of wavy lines, circles, simple pictures (faces, houses)
      • soft and soothing lullabies
    • 3-4 months: can reach and grasp
      • responsive toys (good to touch, and/or generate noise) like rattles
    • 4-5 months: can roll
      • household items: a spoon, cubes and triangles (anything that fits into a toilet paper roll is too small)
    • 6 months: can sit up
      • things that reinforce an action, like a clown or jack-in-the-box
    • 8-10 months: can move and crawl
      • childproof the house
      • rolling toys, things that can be put in and taken out
      • games: peekaboo, nursery rhymes with body movements
  • Bathing tips
    • Don’t buy shirts that go over a baby’s head.
    • Make sure room temperature and water temperature is approprieate.
    • If the baby seems distressed at bath time, wait for a few days before trying again.
    • Don’t apply soap directly on the baby’s skin.
  • Baby Massage
    • Touch is the next sense that a baby develops, after hearing.
    • Can start as early as 3 months, starting with just 5 minutes after a bath.
    • Use baby oil or vegatable (non-scenting) oil to gently rub the baby’s body parts.

总结:在玩/动方面有几类活动——换尿布、玩玩具、洗澡、按摩,每一类活动都给出了一些 tips。具体来说随着月龄的增长,可以观察到 baby 应对外界环境的能力逐渐增加,可以增加各种各样的活动,但是一开始要注意不要过火。在活动的时候尽量多观察、少介入,让 baby 在安全的环境里来主导活动,以促进自立。

Chapter 6: Sleep

  • The 3 stages of sleep
    1. The baby yawns and/or shows other signs of fatigue (turn face away, rub eyes/face, less coordinated).
    2. The baby has a focused and fixed gaze/stare for 3-4 min.
    3. The baby nods him/herself off and jolts awake suddenly, and repeat (like someone nodding off on a train).
  • Sleep (and putting him/herself to sleep) is a learned skill. Tips for training:
    • Start as you mean to go to: anything you do as a temporary measure might stick with the baby as a habit.
    • Independence is not neglect: respond to the baby, but put him/her down as soon as the need is met.
    • Observe without intervention: don’t respond to every noise because the baby needs to learn how to get back to sleep on his/her own.
    • Don’t make the baby dependent on props: avoid heavy-weight habits like nursing/carrying to sleep, or pacifiers.
    • Develop nap time and bed time rituals: say/do the same things before the sleep, and keep a sleep diary.
    • Associate sleep with a positive experience (set the mood as resting and recharging) for the baby.
  • Practical tips
    • Use a dedicated place for sleep (e.g. no napping in the kitchen), and use nap time rituals.
    • Look for signs of fatigue: ideally put the baby to bed by the 3rd yawn, otherwise the baby gets overtired.
    • Wind down before the sleep: dim the lighting, tell a story, play a lullaby or do a baby massage.
    • Put the baby down before he/she’s asleep to avoid the baby’s confusion after he/she wakes up.
    • Reassure the baby by patting on the back or add a sh…sh…sound if the baby doesn’t calm down.
    • May swaddle the baby for the first 6 weeks.
  • To help the baby sleep throught the night, make sure the baby
    • does’t oversleep during the day (wake up the baby if necessary)
    • gets enough feeding in the evening to stock up for the night (feed every 2 hours in the evening, a dream time feed at 11pm)
    • has enough time/practice to get back to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night (don’t rush in responding to every noise)
    • has a pacifier for sucking (as a temporary cure) if he/she’s getting enough food and only wants oral stimulation
  • Normal sleep disturbances
    • Usually it takes ~20min to put the baby to sleep, but when there’s a loud noise, it has to start all over again.
    • The baby usually wakes up with a dirty diaper.
    • When solid food is introduced, the baby might get gas or allergies.
    • When the baby starts learning to move around, you can calm the baby down with pats and shhs.
    • Growth spurts and teething may disturb sleep patterns – let the baby bite on a frozen washcloth (only freeze a corner).

总结:对于 baby 来说睡觉需要练习,尤其是睡整晚的觉。所以尽量不要采取一些给照顾者增加负担的哄睡方式,以免 baby 产生依赖。最好是发现 baby 困了就放其睡觉,并提供合适的睡眠环境(安静、昏暗)。为了晚上能睡时间长一点,白天不要睡太多太久(跟月龄有关,书上提供了表格),睡前吃饱。不过有时候睡不好就是睡不好,没什么办法,都会过去的。

Chapter 7: Your Time

  • Give yourself a break – realize that all moms need time to heal.
  • Some recovery items to consciously plan out: eat, sleep/nap, exercise, be off duty with the baby for a few moments every day, prioritize, plan for the upcoming, know your own limitations, time with partner/friend.
  • It’s all too common for moms to have mood swings among these: balanced, anxiety/pessimistic, miserable, denial, confusion/doubt.
  • Take psychological health seriously; ask for professional help for postpartum depression.
  • Typically dads' reactions in the postpartum period: hands-on with the baby, hands-off, worry about everything, proud/criticizing, denial.
  • The relationship between partners change as well.
    • Mom feels overburdened: involve dad for things like shopping, bath, and dream feed so that he feels like he’s part of the process.
    • Talk openly about each other’s expectations, frustrations, and feelings.
    • Expect to make lifestyle shifts from daily schedule to sex life.
  • [less relavant] Create a circle of support from neighbors, friends, and relatives; tips for hire nannies.


Chapter 8: Special Circumstances and Unforeseen Events

总结:这章讲了多胞胎、早产、代孕/领养的心态以及应对方法。如果是早产的情况,在 due date 之前要控制视觉刺激并且注意卫生,之后几个月要关注baby的进步,一步步放开过度保护的心态。

Chapter 9: The ABC Cure for Accidental Parenting

  • A chapter for troubleshooting and resolving the bad habits that the baby took up on – it can be changed by changing the parents' behavior.
  • Identifying the issue –
    • A for antecedent: what did the parent do the baby. E.g. parents rock the baby on their chest and offer breast to soothe the baby.
    • B for behavior: how does the baby respond and look like. E.g. the baby’s often cranky and demanding.
    • C for consequences: the pattern established as a result. E.g. the baby can’t sleep on his own at 8 months.
  • The issue can be resolved by taking one step at a time.
    • Observe and figure out a strategy. E.g. If a baby is frightened about being in his/her own crib, try to stay with the baby around the crib for more time each day.
    • Do each step slowly – don’t rush, but be very consistent about the change. (Sometimes up to 100+ pick ups and put downs in/out of the crib per night.)
    • Attack one problem a time – e.g. daytime sleeping first, then night time sleeping.
    • Expect some regression, but still be committed to the plan.
  • It’s challenging to comfort a colic baby, but it’ll pass.
    • ~20% of babies suffer from spasmodically contracting gastrointestinal tract contraction – colic.
    • Symptom: prolonged crying of the baby for hours, typically the same time every day (3 hours of crying per day, 3 days a week, for 3 weeks+.)
    • Parents should take turns to take care of the baby while the baby’s crying (for stress relief, get out of the house).
    • There’s nothing a parent can do with colic, but putting the baby on E.A.S.Y. can take away the guess work and help the baby be comfortable when there isn’t a colic onset.

总结:accidental parenting 是一种为了暂时安抚 baby,无意中帮 baby 养成坏习惯的行为,结果经常是让父母更累更头痛。纠正这些问题需要从根本上认识到问题的根源,然后在几天到几星期内采取同一个方法来让 baby 形成新的习惯(书里提供了 troubleshooting 的表格)。具体举了几个例子:抱睡、每小时都要吃奶、不断哭闹、不能断奶。

看完这本书,感觉 Tracy 的这些理论还是很符合我的胃口的,因为不但讲了怎么照顾婴儿,而且讲了为什么做这些。在事前就订下一些规则会让做决策的时候容易很多,这本书推荐的 E.A.S.Y. 就是这样一种规则,一旦小孩生出来,就可以“无脑”照 E.A.S.Y. 来过日子。