I think post is important because social media can sometimes make it feel like there’s a right and a wrong way to go about raising / caring for your baby. I hope this post reminds you that there are lots of ways to do things, and what’s best for one may not necessarily be what’s best for all. At the end of the day, what’s always been most helpful to me / us has been just following our own intuition when determining how to best raise our kid.
Below are 3 things I didn’t do with my first baby, that are usually looked upon negatively, that don’t need to be:
BREASTFEEDING: I only breastfed for 3 months. It wasn’t for us. It wasn’t fun. It was actually ALOT of work. Ryder had no trouble latching when he was first born (after c-section, he was Frank Breech), but after briefly leaving the hospital, we were asked to come back because his level were low and he was showing signs of jaundice. He wasn’t getting enough fluids, so they asked that we supplement with formula. From there, we tried our best to keep up with pumping breast milk & supplementing, but it just got confusing and ultimately, I couldn’t keep up my supply, so we switched over to formula at 3 months. I know a lot of moms would find it selfish, but that’s what happened and what ended up working out fine for us. I was TORN in the beginning with major feelings of guilt (surprisingly from some of the nurses), but those quickly evaporated with my OB who delivered Ryder said to me, “it’s not like the kids in Ryders class are going to quiz him on where his milk came from”. That was all I needed to hear to know I wasn’t doing anything ‘bad’, or ‘wrong’. If you are facing a similar situation, please know that you are doing a great job and you know what is best for you & your baby. Let’s change the narrative around this, please. You would think it was a criminal act, the way some people get up in arms about this.
SLEEP TRAINING: we never did sleep training. I know that might not be what some people want to hear (I’m sorry!), but luckily Ryder has been a pretty good sleeper for the most part. We never had set schedules – when he was a newborn until about 9 months, I feel like he decided when it was bedtime. I could tell when he would start to get sleepy and put him down to bed. We would generally go to sleep / wake up at the same time each day, but we were extremely relaxed about it. Even now (that he’s 18-months), we have a very loose schedule in term of our days, but we don’t let it run our entire lives. Which brings me to my next point…
NEUROTIC SCHEDULES: we don’t do crazy schedules, and I don’t leave things like dinner to get him to bed. We’ve always carried the mindset that Ryder will need to adapt to our lives, and not the other way around. I want him to be flexible. I want him to be a go-with-the-flow kinda guy. I understand that kids have limits and need their rest and yadayadayada, but I feel like if we are constantly catering to him than how will he learn? So, when it comes to the days where I have him f/t, if we are out and about – he naps on the go. If we have a family dinner or dinner out at a restaurant, he will come and if he gets tired, he’ll sleep in his stroller. Some days are harder than others, but for the most part I feel like that’s literally why he is so easygoing. We’ve never catered to him. I’m not the kind of mom who is leaving early because of bedtime. I don’t put too much pressure on it, instead I just deal with what comes and it’s always worked out.
I’m sure there are more things I could go into depth on, but for now (and to not get into trouble with the mommy-police) I’ll leave it at that in hopes that this might help out someone who’s walking around feeling judged. You’re doing great sweetie!!