Friday, October 1, 2010

Advice

I know I complain a lot about unsolicited advice, especially the assvice I got while trying to conceive.

But the truth is, I've heard some good advice, too.

{sandwiched in there between the mothers that think their way is the only way and the mothers that compare your baby to theirs every chance they get... even if their baby is turning 47}

The best new parent advice I got was from the nurse teaching our childbirthing class. {turns out I didn't need that class, now did I?}

Her advice was to put your baby down for bed sleepy but still awake, right from birth.

Most parents have the urge to rock that newborn for the first few months, and I get that. But if they never learn to fall asleep any other way, you are going to have tired arms two years later as your toddler fights sleep.

She said nothing about 'crying it out' or any of the much loved/criticized sleep methods. She simply said to lay your child down when drowsy and let her fall asleep on her own.

I took this advice. From the moment we brought Kherington home, I would nurse her, lay her down, kiss her, and let her put herself to sleep. {you know, besides those entire naps that she took in my arms}

As an infant, swaddled with a full belly, she blissfully dozed off. As she got older, she learned to self-soothe and put herself to sleep.

I haven't dealt with crying fits at bedtime, or hours of rocking, patting her back, and then sneaking out of her room.

I won't be so bold as to say I'll never have to do these things in the future. But so far, bedtime is a breeze.

Often, she falls asleep at the breast and hardly notices when I transfer her to the crib. But most nights, after reading and prayers and nursing, I lay her down and kiss her drowsy eyelids. I leave the room and watch her on our video monitor.

She sucks on her monkey lovie, rolls to her favorite position, and sometimes talks herself to sleep.

I know Kherington is a low maintenance baby. So maybe bedtime is just another thing she has made easy for us.

But regardless, I think the advice makes sense. Teaching your baby to soothe herself will make life less stressful for both of you. And trust me, you still have plenty of time to snuggle.

So, I'm curious... What's the best parenting advice you've ever received? From whom did you receive said advice?

What advice would you pass along to new parents?

{Don't be shy, I love comments!}

5 comments:

Rob and Nicole said...

Thats awesome! We have always done the same with Abigail; she is also a low maintenance baby...so lucky! At our childbirth class the nurse said that all babies are born with their personalities and that you cannot change that no matter what you do or how hard you try. We had to remind ourselves of this when it came to Abigail sucking her thumb...she sucks it to go to sleep, it is great in that she can soothe herself to sleep and not need our help. She gets up at times during the night but knows how to put herself back to sleep which is awesome. I am so glad that we didn't start any crazy habits to get her to sleep!

Rosalie and David said...

you are so blessed to have such a low maintenance child and also to have the emotional strength to be able to put her to sleep like that! i'm jealous, anyway the best advice i got is still very hard for me to follow but very true, don't force a kid to eat anything. i'm not sure who specifically told me, but it is so true, children will eat, what they need, when they need and there is no point in trying to get them to do anything else. there are times when my kids go to bed without dinner and they sleep just fine, and other times when i can't seem to find enough to feed them. my baby went to bed last night after a dinner of raisins, kids are just like that. hope all is well, love to all of you!

The Trost's said...

I agree with that advice, as that is the advice I give new parents myself. We followed that philosophy with our first and were told by many, "Your next one is going to be a horrible sleeper since G is such a good sleeper and baby." They were all WRONG! M was just as calm of a baby and just as good of a sleeper from the beginning as G was. I also never did any sleep training or cry it out with my girls.

Bobbie said...

I totally agree! While finishing my degree, Ainsley spent at least equal, if not more time, with my mom and grandma, than she did us. There was no way her GiGi & Maw Maw were going to just put her to bed...singing, rocking, walking, you name it, they did it. It was HELL for us, when we had her and just wanted her to go to sleep. I would say until about a year, she wouldn't just go to sleep on her own. We (mostly Sam, because I couldn't bear it) had to finally use the "cry it out" method, which luckily only took a week or so. Anyway...with the twins, it was never even a question what bedtime would be like and in all their 17 months, they've been fabulous sleepers!

I completely agree with the eating advice too. I don't think Kherington has any eating problems:)

2 bits of advice I can think of at this moment. #1 is from my grandma, who had 4 kids in 6 years and raised them by herself. "The dirty dishes and laundry will be there tomorrow, but that moment with your child won't." I'm naturally pretty OCD when it comes to organization/cleanliness, but I've had to break myself of that habit. One rule I've made for myself is that at the moment any of my kids hands me a book, I stop in my tracks and read to them.
#2 is something I established for myself- I don't ask for anyone's advice. I quit reading parenting magazines, reading on-line forums, etc. I follow MY God, MY instinct and MY heart. Fortunately, I've yet to be in a situation, where I felt I desperately wanted/needed anyone else's input. I believe mother's intuition/instinct is a God given gift. I have no problem giving or receiving advice, I just feel like society wants to solve everyone's "problems" for them. I see part of the art of mothering, as figuring it out as you go! Talk to me in 20 years and I could have a different story and/or crazy kids!

Sorry for the lengthy babble! XOXOXO!

KrisKay said...

Take breastfeeding classes and study up on it! It's the best thing that you can do for your child (I know you know that!). The more you know about it, the better prepared you'll be for struggles and the easier you'll overcome them. It doesn't hurt to have a mentor (or lactation consultant) on speed dial either!

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