Saturday, December 29

Do this--no this

I have begun to dig into the avalanche that is parenting advice books, and it's giving me a headache. Never before did I realize what amount of thought goes into such simple considerations.

Do you allow your crying baby to self-soothe so s/he is a better sleeper as an adult, or do you comfort it immediately so it is reassured of your constant, loving presence? Do you breastfeed on a schedule so it knows consistency or do you feed on demand so his/her attempts at communication are acknowledged?

Every book you read tells you something different. This article does a good job at explaining the frustration and confusion that accompanies this kind of reading.


Nicole said...

I had the same problem whether it was listening to the advice of others on child rearing or reading about it. I just keep thinking that there is a nice middle between all the extremes. Somewhere. Right?

mamaval said...

Besides the huge do's and dont's I know what you mean. After while I put the books away and decided to wing it. I read a few things that sounded like the way I wanted to do things but then when the baby comes it may not jive with your child. So, I use a potpourri of methods. A little from my mom, little from some books, internet, smidgeon from the pediatrician (surprisingly I don't agree with the majority of them), little from my sister, little from my friends. It's funny that some people find one book they like and try to follow it to a T. Every kid is different and what works for my friends child does not work for mine and vise versa. Also what works for your first baby may not work for your next. Example: my friends baby is a very picky eater, Campbell eats everything. In the beginning seems like anything goes to keep sanity and the little bugger happy, fed, & quiet. There are some pretty weird books & concepts out there. When my brain got overloaded and I didn't know what to do I always stuck to "what's natural". How would you deal with it if you were in the middle of nowhere with this baby? Hold them, rock them, nurse them when THEY want it, etc. That's a big part of your life already . . . you'll be just fine! -Love, Valerie

whatevergirl said...

I have to tell you that I read myself to death when my first was born!! I just knew I was going to find the answer for my colicky baby! One expert said that putting a baby on a schedule made them feel secure. Well, I freaked out that my baby wasn't secure because I couldn't get her on a schedule!!! That night I fell into bed crying, and dear hubby said, "I think you need to stop reading all those books. She gets her security by you responding to her needs. And you always do that." Now that I have had my 2nd, I know he was right.
You will be amazed at the instinct God gives you as a mother. Always trust that.

Wendy said...

Listen to Mamaval. Every kid is different. Your baby will tell you what he or she needs (sometimes it will take a few tries to figure out what it is they want/need, but they will be telling yoU!).

For what it's worth, I can't imagine trying to breastfeed on an arbitrary schedule. The baby's needs can change day-to-day. One day, they're in a growth spurt so need more milk. Another day they are less hungry. Then they come down with a cold and want smaller amounts of milk more often because it is full of antibodies - medicine. You can't over feed a breastfed baby - if they are hungry, feed them. (I'm on baby #2, exclusively breastfeeding).

That said, I think most babies do thrive from some degree of scheduling but you can offer this elsewhere, such as with a bed time and bed time routine.