5 Times I Ignored Parenting Advice
There is a LOT of information out there about parenting. Like, a LOT. While it can be incredibly overwhelming, it’s actually something that helped me avoid “mom guilt” when I had Miles because I realized that there was no possible way for me to follow all of it. I also realized that there was a lot of contradictory advice for the same situation, so following one path would have meant not following another. It’s hard to feel guilty about something if that’s how things play out and it’s something that really helped me trust my instincts when it came to raising my children.
Even though there’s a lot of conflicting advice out there, there are some things that most everyone agrees on. These are the things that, if not done a certain way, could make someone feel like they are doing parenting “wrong.” I wanted to share some of those with you and let you know that I didn’t always follow recommendations in hopes that it will help someone else not feel as bad about any similar decisions. I’m sure this list will continue to grow as my children get older, but for now here are some things that worked better for us.
When Miles came home, he was generally fine with being fed and going back to sleep during the night. He didn’t cry or fuss for long after being fed — except for the last few hours of the night before it was time to get up for the day. Desperate for sleep, one night I finally brought him into bed with me and he fell right asleep.
I had forgotten this until Remy started doing the same thing. During her other wakings I would feed her, burp her, then lay her back down. Somewhere in the 4-5 am hour, however, she would continue to whine or spit out her pacifier and cry. I brought her into bed with me and she would curl up and sleep for a few more hours.
I didn’t feel comfortable sleeping with them so young for an extended period of time — say, those deep sleep hours in the middle of the night — but I felt ok doing it for a bit before it was time to start the day. It’s something that I think helped my bonding with them as well. It’s something I did for maybe a month or two with Miles and will probably do with Remy for a similar time before transitioning them to the crib full time.
Feed baby to sleep
Going along with the above, it’s recommended that for “better sleep habits” (whatever that even means), you don’t continue to feed your baby to sleep. This can apparently create a habit where they need to always be fed to sleep or they won’t be able to go to sleep on their own. Well, guess what? I fed and continue to feed my babies to sleep.
Remy is still a newborn, so she of course needs to wake up and eat – especially since she is so small. I woke up with Miles and fed him back to sleep until he was 11 months when he finally started to sleep through the night. His wakings went from sporadic as a baby to a more predictable two times, then only once until that 11 month mark. Since he would eat and go right back to sleep, I had no problem continuing to feed him until he slept through the night. Now at 21 months he sleeps from about 6-730, so I don’t think it caused an unsolvable problem. 🙂
Sleep on stomach
It’s emphasized again and again that “back is best” when putting babies down. It helps prevent SIDS and also keeps them from getting stuck in that position and not able to breathe if they are face down. Some babies like sleeping on their stomachs, however, and as long as I was/am nearby to watch, I had/have no issue letting them do so. Also, I would only do during naps when I was awake and not overnight when I couldn’t watch.
Fed is best. It’s an idea that is more commonly accepted these days, but often the choice to start with formula over breastmilk is more frowned upon. With Miles, we made it 6 weeks of pumping, nursing, and supplementing before I called it quits and made the switch. With Remy, I decided in the hospital when they brought me a breast pump to start using that it was an experience I couldn’t go through again.
Use crib bumpers
Bumpers are also advised against because a baby could potentially roll into one and not be able to roll away to breathe, among other incidents. When we lived in Chicago, we had a one-bedroom condo which meant that Miles was in our room with us the entire time we lived there. I ended up getting bumpers for two reasons — 1) he was getting his legs and feet stuck in the railings and 2) he would have trouble falling asleep if he could see us, so it created a bit of privacy for both of us. I made sure to get breathable ones in case he happened to roll into them, but I also got them when he was at an age where he was able to freely roll back and forth so I wasn’t as concerned.
Can you relate? What are some times where you ignored parenting advice?