Firstly, congratulations! Where would mankind be without us? Um, yeah. Anyway. How is mummyhood going for you? Has the sleep deprivation hit yet? Don’t worry, it will.
One thing I quickly realised upon entering the world of parenting, was that EVERYONE has an opinion on the best way to raise your child. Clearly the best, and only, way is their way. Well, hang on a minute.This is MY child, I will raise him MY way. By all means, if the advice offered is helpful, take it and use it. If it conflicts with your style of parenting, don’t feel obligated to follow it. What works for one family does not work for all families. And please, do not fall into the trap of comparing your baby to another. Just because someone else’s baby was sleeping through the night at 3 weeks old, does not mean your baby should be. So someone elses baby crawls or sits up before your baby, does not necessarily mean your baby is behind. Of course, if your baby is not meeting milestones or you are concerned about your baby’s development, please seek professional advice. Whether it be your GP, a paediatrician or a Child Health Nurse. But generally, babies will do things in their own time, when they are ready.
Again, do not feel that you have to mirror another mother’s parenting style if it doesn’t feel right to you. Just as every baby is different, so is it’s mother. As long as your baby is healthy and happy, chances are you are doing something right. Personally, I breastfeed, co-sleep and do not let Ryder cry longer than absolutely necessary. Just because you bottle-feed, your baby sleeps in it’s own room and you ‘control comfort’ does not mean one of us is wrong. We are all mothers. My baby is sung, rocked or fed to sleep, yours self settles. We are different, as are our babies. We can still be friends. There is a saying that goes something along the lines of ‘do not judge, lest you be judged’. I take that to mean, do not criticise the parenting style of another mother unless you’re happy for threm to do the same.
Another thing that has been stressed upon me is the importance of routines for your baby. As in, feeding playing and sleeping at the same time every day. I am in two minds about this. Do you wake up at the exact same time every morning, do you eat lunch and dinner at the exact same time every day? If you do, well done. I wish I had your sense of time management. But I do not, and while I cannot even get myself to do things at the same time every day, how can I do the same for Ryder? I am working on this though. While I am establishing my routines through my FLYing journey, I am also trying to establish a bedtime routine and set bed/nap times for Ryder. I do not wish for a baby who sleeps from 6pm to 6am, I know that is unrealistic at the moment. But, as with FLYing, BabySteps will get us there. Well, closer anyway. My son is not perfect, nor am I. For now, I am woken every 40 minutes day and night to help Ryder back to sleep. But I am embracing it. In 20 years time, I will remember the late night snuggles, the lazy breastfeeds and the early morning smiles. Not what time of the night it was when he woke for the fifth time.
Enjoy your babies, for too soon do they turn into teenagers.