As a mother, mum to be, dad, or maybe even just someone with an interest in parenting, I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of contradictory advice/opinions/research/theories into exactly how children should be raised. “don’t do this”, “do that”, “you shouldn’t do what you’ve been doing”, “this worked for me so it must work for you” and so forth.
Now, I don’t mean to say when you ask for help and get brilliant, helpful support & advice from fellow mummies that you shouldn’t take it on. That’s a different cattle of fish & a very positive cattle as I’ve been aided many a time by my lovely followers!
I am a formula feeding, co sleeping (bed sharing), baby rocking mother. Shys had gastric reflux induced colic from the 2nd week of her life. Here’s my list of controversial advice:
• Don’t stop breast feeding – I would just like to say, if I hadn’t stopped, Shy would not be the weight she is now as I think I cried a little every time I fed her whilst practically having her in a head lock at my breast due to the pain.
• Don’t hold baby too much or she will become “handsy”
• Babies that are instantly gratified when they cry ie instantly picked up, demand fed etc are more confident babies… This then goes against point above.
• Leave baby to cry herself to sleep as adults don’t need rocking to sleep so why does she? – she was rocked to sleep in my belly. It’s already a hard enough transition from belly to world without taking away every comfort they know! (just my opinion)
• She should be put into a routine from the first few weeks – this doesn’t take into account particularly difficult or unsettled babies.
• Don’t put baby in your bed – Shy has always slept in my bed give or take a few nights in her Moses basket as she has been such an ill and colicky baby.
• don’t put baby on their fronts to sleep – Shy has never slept better than when sleeping on her front as its easier for her wind etc. especially good for sicky babies and safe enough of they’re in your bed, ON TOP of your own duvet and not able to fall out the bed (Shy has always had a strong neck so self suffocation is not a high risk. Not all babies are the same!)
Now, this is all just my own personal experiences. My own choices. It doesn’t mean I’m right. I do believe I could start getting Shy into a bedtime routine but at this moment I can handle her sleeping pattern and would rather not put her through it just yet as it will mean lots of crying. I don’t think she’s fully settled or adjusted to life outside the tummy and don’t see the need to make it harder yet. Once I see she is starting to learn how to manipulate situations & develops wants apart from her needs, is when I feel babies are ready to be “moulded” into routines.
My point is, all babies are different. You can probably find research proving anything is wrong or right, and you will find in time that one person who says something is good can be proven wrong.
Raising babies is controversial and there is no wrong or right. Babies like Shy who suffer from reflux DO need more comfort and patience. There’s nothing wrong with your baby needing hugs because it makes them feel better. Inside the belly they weren’t suffering intolerable belly pain, allergies etc (mostly) so be nice. Yes, a routine will be necessary one day but it doesn’t have to be straight away if you know what you’re doing!
Any opinions or examples are more than welcome in the comments x