“Go by the baby, not the book.”
It’s the best advice I’ve ever received. Before I was a mom I thought I had it all figured out. I thought I knew exactly what my baby would like or dislike. I would read about the magical connection brought on by baby carriers. I had visions of myself baby-wearing throughout the day, getting things done and soaking up that skin-to-skin contact. Well, my daughter gets overheated very quickly and greatly dislikes the carriers we have.
I read that I shouldn’t introduce a pacifier for a month to avoid “nipple confusion”, but you bet your bottom dollar I was breaking open the binky packaging at 4 am on our first night home. Same with bottles. And teethers.
There are so many “rules” to parenting. So many suggestions. So many apps telling me when and how to feed, nap and bathe my baby. I think I’ve broken almost all of rules the so far. And were doing just fine.
Although I’ve only been doing this for four short months (which is really four years in mom-time), I’ve learned to read my baby’s cues and meet her needs based on this. If she’s vigorously rubbing her eyes, she goes to sleep, even if my Huckleberry app is saying she isn’t due for a nap for another hour. If she’s sucking her hand, she eats. I’m not sleep training. I’m not timing how long she eats anymore.
I go by my baby, not the book. She is fed, clean, well rested and HAPPY. It’s an absolute privilege to respond to her needs and be present for her.
So, go by your baby not the book. They’re going to change the advice in 10 years anyways.
What lessons have you “unlearned” while parenting?