A steep learning curve

Before Asher was born, I was pretty confident in my abilities to care for a baby. During my growing up years my mom always took care of other people’s kids and I was there to help get in the way and learn. And Collin and I have nieces and nephews galore. I’ve burped, rocked, changed, and played with more babies than I can remember. My sisters may have accused me of being a baby hog at more than one family gathering. So when I was pregnant, I was nervous about and preparing for the labor and delivery, but when it came to actually caring for our boy, I thought, “How hard can it be? We can totally do this.”

<I’m sure you are laughing at my naiveté right now. Go ahead. I’m laughing too.>

And then Asher was born. And we quickly found that there was more to it than we had anticipated. You don’t just feed the baby. We have to make decisions about when and what and how much to feed him. Wait a minute, this is way different than my sister passing off her little one and saying, “Here, feed him this.” We have to figure out how to get the boy to sleep and when he should go to sleep and for how long. And where. And how dark and warm and quiet is should or should not be in the room. But… I thought you just rocked him for half a minute and sang a song and that was it? Also, we thought that if we wanted to go somewhere and do something, we wouldn’t let him hold us back, we would just take him with us! But when you’re faced with the decision of staying home and keeping him happy or taking him somewhere and him getting so tired that he screams for an hour… well, you get the idea. Needless to say, we have been learning a ton in the past few months. I’m so grateful for the times my sisters and friends and other family members let me care for their little ones. I would be lost even more without those experiences.

We’ve been having a bit of a hard time figuring out sleep around here. We didn’t want to impose a strict routine on little Asher Henry, for lots of reasons: we want him to eat when he’s hungry, sleep when he’s tired, we wanted him to be flexible, etc. And we didn’t want to be THOSE people who can never go anywhere or do anything because their kid has to read 4.5 books, sing 3 songs, have a bath, and be asleep by 7.01pm every night. But in our efforts not to be those people, we turned into those people because our days are so unpredictable. And it just isn’t working. He’s not settled. We’re going stir crazy.

My mom said to me the other day, “Maybe he needs fewer naps.” Well, yes, that makes sense. He has been growing and changing and we have to adjust with him. So we are trying out a new schedule. Today is the first day. And it’s going beautifully so far. Wish us luck!


  1. Yay for soft hearts to heed the advice of others. And Yay for change and transition. And Yay for you all, Candice - raising a baby is hard - with or without a schedule, nanny, and experience. You all are doing a great job and the key thing - the thing that matters most - is very evident: your total love for your baby boy.

    I can't wait to see you in Nov and be the naive one. I live for being Aunt Tiff and just taking him for a while, rocking him to sleep and then handing him off to a parent to "manage" from there. :)

  2. "But in our efforts not to be those people, we turned into those people because our days are so unpredictable." You perfectly summed up my rationale for getting Riggins on more of a schedule around the same age! And honestly, it's hard to do that much before you're doing it now, because newborns require going with the flow a whole lot. But it sounds like you're right on track for easing into a new routine that will probably give you so much more predictability and confidence! Good luck! You're doing GREAT, mama!

  3. I stumbled on your blog recently and have enjoyed seeing you guys and Asher. He's a doll!! Congrats! And you are doing such a good job of enjoying him. I never wanted to be "those people" either, but it happens and I think everyone is happier because of it. I was sooo clueless and at the young age of 35 I thought I had it all figured out. Boy was I wrong!! Anyway, if you haven't gotten a copy of The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems, I highly recommend it. She knows what she's talking about and she's from your turf! :-) I hate recommending child rearing books to people because different things work for different people, but this book has been a life-saver MANY times. I promise...it gets easier and easier!!!

  4. I'm so happy you guys are exploring things that work for you! For us, keeping V on a flexible schedule works, but for others it doesn't. The most important thing is that you realize that you are the exact parent Asher needs. Stay in tune to his reactions and go from there. Some kids are born needing more structure and others are free spirits despite their parents' desires for structure. :) I am more and more convinced that kids come out of the womb with a fully developed personality. I used to think, "Babies are babies and they all eat, sleep, poop and are basically the same." Boy was I wrong! :) Please know that I am here if you ever need to talk about things. But sound like you are in a great place! I hope the swaddling is still working for you (if you want it to!). :)

  5. I hope you don't include us in the crazy bed by X exactly group!
    Karis did well with a schedule, but at Asher's age, it is a bit hard to predict, because with a shorter than average nap, he will be ready for another earlier than you expected, etc. I just try to go with wake times- when did he wake, how long can he go for, put him down at that time, and see what happens! Also, they are always always changing their 'schedules', therefore, driving parents crazy! Just be consistent, whatever you do, try to keep him from getting too overtired, and give him opportunity to dose. This too shall pass.
    Maybe check out baby whisperer- I didn't read it, but get the gist of it.


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