Monday, March 27, 2006

Not a method mommy

I feel like some sort of bandit. Each night now we can step out of e.'s room to her very natural and comfortable "Bye-bye."

Last night even came with some sweet waving before she will turned her head to one side to go over her day with bunny, bear, baby-bear, lion, and the rest of the sleepy committee.

She is a good sleeper but what niggles me about this ease to sleep is that we did everything wrong. You know, they say don't rock your kid excessively or overhandle them as newborns/infants... We did that. Don't pick them up when they pull up and cry out in the night when they are teething... we did that. Don't nurse your child to sleep... I SO did that! So we are simply shittin' horseshoes over here getting away with this post-weaning "See you, Mommy! Bye-bye, Daddy. Nigh-night."???

You know, I don't entirely think so. I really bought into every bit of advice that took as its centre one fact: your child is growing. I believed in things like maturation and cues from day one. I think the kid enjoyed all we did, each stage, and she is enjoying this independence now. It makes sense to her.

We did a lot of things that were not advised by the books but seemed to make sense for our girl. We avoided a lot of our family and peers around critical events with the kid (e.g. weaning) and that is regrettable, but we also avoided a lot of 'you should' advice and that was great! For example, we had really no bedtime babysitting past 13 months, because I didn't want to hear about how I shouldn't be nursing her anymore.

I don't want to suggest I have the answers here in any way. I just wanted to put out there to anyone who is simply 'goin' with their gut' and feeling at all weird about not adopting some method: I'm with you. The best advice I ever got as an expectant parent was as follows:

"No one can really give you advice. They might have ideas but when it comes down to it you are the one who really knows your kid."

ps... I am well aware I'm playin' with fire here on two counts. Count 1: I might jinx our Girl Friday by posting this. Count 2: I have #2 en route and all the rules say this little nuthatch will likely break this mould out all over just to make me eat these words. Right?



Anonymous croutonboy said...

Here here! We studied all sorts of things, but in the end ignored most of it and just let the kid and our own personalities dictate the relationship. And Cheeky sleeps great, is good-natured (most of the time), and plays well with others. And I have no freakin' idea how we did it.

7:49 p.m.  
Blogger nonlineargirl said...

"Don't overhandle your infant"? What kind of advice is that? Good thing you didn't listen.

8:03 p.m.  
Blogger Granny said...

Right - every one is different. We've been lucky enough to have good sleepers for the most part.

My "rule" has always been if they're hungry, feed them. If they're wet, dry them. If they're crying, pick them up and rock them.

8:05 p.m.  
Blogger Granny said...

Mo=Wo, I forgot until I saw the other comment. The "don't handle" and "strict schedule" rules were in vogue during the forties and into the fifties. Dr. Spock changed all that. He wasn't right about everything but I think he was right about that. Babies are for loving.

8:07 p.m.  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

'Go with your gut' is the best advice that I never received. Had to figure that one out myself (ourselves), but once I did, life with Baby became a hell of a lot easier.

I'm betting that it will work just as well - if differently - with #2.

7:45 a.m.  
Blogger Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

I completely agree. I have twins and I can't even do the same things with the two of them. I don't understand how people can thing that the same things will work for everyone. Every child is their own person. Just accepting that makes parenting easier.

10:32 a.m.  
Blogger MrsFortune said...

I dunno if you're right or wrong about #2 (I hope wrong for your sake) but it's good to know that instinct still means something.

11:21 a.m.  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

Great post. After I stopped listening to all the advice things got much easier for me and Chicky Baby.

BTW, its too funny that your description for your blog is exactly what I posted about today (the whole "knowing look" thing)... Today being the first day I stumbled upon your blog. Must be fate.

2:10 p.m.  
Blogger Kristen said...

Every kid is different - so even if you'd followed the "rules" and advice for your first one, your second one would have turned it all on its head! :-) You are smart to go with your gut and respond to what your specific child needs. You'll do great with #2!

2:24 p.m.  
Blogger Andrea said...

i am soo later to reading this because my kid doesnt sleep on her own, sob, but i read the books and then chucked them in the corner. I remembered what sounded good, the rest was instinct.

3:11 a.m.  
Blogger Mary P. said...

Some kids are programmed to sleep well, others need to be taught, and no two kids are the same, and what works for one won't work for another, and baby number two will, you're absolutely right, probably throw all the lessons you've learned with number one right Out The Window.

Parenting: a life-long exercise in creativity.

6:23 a.m.  
Blogger kittenpie said...

Being the reader and researcher that I am, I read tons, but in the end, if it doesn't feel right to you and for your baby, it's not right, so I ended up falling somewhere between the books I read, taking bits from each and some from my own feelings and patching together my own style, as I think most moms do. If you're happy and she's happy, I'm guessing you're bang on with that gut of yours.

6:58 p.m.  
Blogger stefanierj said...

Loved this post so much I linked to it (even though it really didn't fit in with the topic. But people need to read it, yo.) Anyway, I'm just here, fist in the air, saying "Hell yeah, Mo-wo!"

6:05 p.m.  

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