In December of last year my husband Rhys and I welcomed a little pink bundle into the world by the name of Lara. Since then I have been learning the ropes of motherhood by strictly following the parenting style known at “Winging It.”
Dad has asked me to share some of my thoughts here on his page in the hopes that some of his mummy followers will be able to relate. Since we all know that maternity leave really just involves mummy lunches, baking cakes and staring wistfully at a calm, sleeping baby all day, I figured I could probably find the time to share a few things here and there…. (Wait, what?)
So for my first post I just want to say how shocked I am by how many “rules” there are out there with regards to bringing up a baby.
According to numerous mummy blogs and articles written by ‘infant sleep consultants’ (that’s a job, according to a close friend of mine, you become qualified for by having a baby yourself who is a fantastic sleeper), apparently if you just follow your intuition and take a relaxed approach to parenting you will end up creating a monster.
Specifically, a monster who never (EVER!) learns how to self-settle and who will require you to breastfeed her, whilst singing “twinkle, twinkle little star” and bouncing up and down on a fit ball with her in your arms every day until her 18th birthday.
Well don’t I feel foolish. And here I was enjoying rocking, feeding and cuddling my sweet baby to sleep. What a novice I am! I can’t even start to comprehend how embarrassing it’s going to be for Lara to have to drag me with her to school camp and her friend’s sleepover parties just so she can get some shut-eye. Like being a teenager isn’t mortifying enough!
So after scouring through the online treasure trove of sleep advice, I have come to the conclusion that I have two options here.
- I can carry on enjoying my baby and helping her off to sleep in a way that is nice and easy for the both of us, or
- I can stop being such a lazy parent and start some “gentle” sleep training techniques. This may require a bit more effort on my part and maybe a few tears (baby’s, mum’s or both) but eventually baby will “learn” that she doesn’t need me to fall asleep and she can comfort herself. That, despite only being 4 months new, she doesn’t need her embarrassing mother with her terrible singing voice to rock her and hold her while her delicate long lashes get heavier and her big blue eyes close in adorable defeat as sleep takes over…
Actually, you know what? Scrap the sleep training. While the rocking, feeding, singing and bouncing is keeping everyone happy, I think I will just stick with what works. And maybe I will just need to look into buying a bigger fit ball.