When we first got married, we bought a king size bed because we knew we would want our children to sleep with us. But when our son was born, our pediatrician told us to keep him in a crib in a different room.
We tried the crib. That’s how most people do it, right, at least in the U.S. We were scared of SIDS and also wanted to get enough sleep that we’d be able to function properly, too.
The crib just didn’t work for us. He was up so much throughout the night we became zombies. And it’s no wonder he didn’t take to it – we just weren’t committed to having him sleep there. How could we commit properly when it wasn’t our style of parenting?
Looking back, I regret how we tried to do things a certain way because we figured that’s how it was supposed to be done, when our instincts told us different.
We also tried to get our son to take a bottle, though we knew breastfeeding would be the main feeding method. After breastfeeding was established, we kept offering him bottles, thinking this would be a chance for Daddy to do some feeding.
Turns out it just wasn’t necessary. And it caused problems. All the pumping to fill bottles that went unused led to an oversupply of milk that caused excruciating pain for Mommy. Daddy endured hours of misery trying to bottle feed a crying baby who desperately wanted to nurse.
Things would have been so much smoother if we had just listened to our instincts instead of following every bit of advice or standard operating protocol offered in the baby media.
Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t to say that you should dismiss medical advice when it comes to your child. And if you’re going to have your baby in bed with you, you’ve got to be diligent with precautions to ensure it’s a safe place for him or her to sleep.
What I want to say here is that you need to listen to your core beliefs when it comes to childcare. Understand your motivations for them. And have confidence in yourself as a parent. It will go a long way toward creating a happy home.