Happy Friday everyone! The weather here has dropped and according to the forecast, it doesn’t look to be rising anytime soon! I am busting out my boots, big sweaters and scarves today!
I’m over 5 months into this “motherhood” thing. I am FAR from figuring it all out but I can say that I am feeling comfortable with what I do. There’s something that happens even before you have a baby. Everyone feels the need to tell you what you are doing wrong and how to fix it. 5 months in and I’ve learnt that what I feel is right, is in fact the way to go. There is no body who knows your baby or you, better then yourself.
1. I’m still a clean freak!
When I was pregnant a couple of people joked that I should start getting rid of my OCD ways. That I should accept that my house is going to be a mess for the next 10 years. I even saw messages on social media that gave the message of letting the mess lay around for a while because babies are only little for so long. The truth is? I can’t! I believe in snuggling my baby AND keeping my house under control. Laundry is still folded right out of the dryer, countertops are wiped off and I still NEVER go to bed with a dirty dish in the sink. Am I neglecting my baby because he is playing by himself in his excersaucer while I fold a load of laundry? I like to think that I’m not.
2. Desperate times call for co-sleeping!
Doctors, nurses, books and regular people all said not to let a baby sleep in bed with you. It will spoil them and you will never get them to sleep on their own. I tried to follow this rule for a while but after a night of of zero sleep you need to do what you can to get a little shut eye. After hours of trying to get a baby to sleep/stop crying, discovering that I could get 2 solid hours of shut eye if I snuggled with Sam in bed was golden. I threw that co-sleeping rule out the window and in the future had no hesitation to have him sleep next to me if it meant I could get a little sleep.
3. Introducing food to your baby is so confusing!
The doctors and books say not to start food until 6 months, yet most think you are starving them if you don’t feed them food starting at 4 months. There’s purees, baby-led-weaning, feed them cereal, don’t need cereal….the list goes on and on! Since I haven’t given Sam anything but breast milk, I have had to reassure many people that I am not starving my baby. We’ll be starting with cereal at 6 months and I’ll be doing purees and a little baby-led wearing. Basically, I’ll be doing whatever I feel comfortable with. I’m pretty sure he’ll be fine.
4. I don’t put my husband first.
When I was pregnant I had read all about making sure to still put your husband first. That it was important for him to know that even though you had a baby, he is still your number one. Maybe this will change with time but right now, Sam is first. Really, it’s not a race but Sam needs me more then Ryan does right now. I try to take time out to make sure Ryan and I still have time together after Sam goes to bed. However, Sam is dependant on me for one of his basic needs. I’m so tired sometimes that I hardly have time to remember to brush my teeth, let alone make sure Ryan knows he is number one.
5. We don’t cry-it-out.
For the most part, Sam goes to sleep (and back to sleep after a mid-night feeding) pretty easily. There are times though that after placing him in his crib, he starts to cry. The “experts” say to put your baby to bed awake. To not rock or nurse them to sleep first. Putting them to bed like this allows them to self sooth and learn how to fall asleep. If a baby begins to fuss that you should let them “cry-it-out”. There is even a whole schedule to follow in order to teach them to self sooth. We tried it and Ryan and I both agreed, we can’t do it. Every night Sam gets nursed and then rocked to sleep before we place him in his crib. If he does wake up, we let him cry for only a couple of minutes to see if he will fall back to sleep. If he doesn’t, we go in and re-apply the soother and rub his head. We repeat until he falls asleep. We have both agreed that letting him cry for 10 (or more) minutes is not for us.
Parenting is an adventure. No matter how much you try to teach yourself before you have the baby, you just need to figure out what works for you. Babies are not all the same and therefore a manual will not work for every family. Expect fingers to be pointed and opinions to be expressed but listen and take those thing lightly. The first little while after baby is all about trying to figure out the kind of parent you’ll be.