I’ve found having my second baby I’m much more relaxed. He’s just having to slot in and around. To be honest I haven’t the time to worry about routines and schedules and baby specific activities instead my days are filled with toddler tantrums, battles over mealtimes, over enthusiastic loving of the baby (read squashing) and soft play.
So all those parenting books I had for the Toddler are gathering dust. To be perfectly honest they’ve been gathering dust since the Toddler was about 12 weeks old. When my husband came home from work. Actually was met at the tube station by me, tears streaming down my face, frantically rocking and pacing the pram with a happily cooing baby who was very much awake, saying
The books say he should be napping now. Why won’t he sleep??
My husband took one look at his smiling boy and one look at his sobbing wife before taking control of the situation and pushing the pram with one hand while holding my hand with the other walked us home. Where he have me my best ever piece of parenting advice
Read the baby, not the book
And so ever since I have. Mostly. I still have the books and I’ve pulled them out to look at to see how much I actually deviate from them now….
Jo Tantum – Baby Secrets
I bought this when the Toddler was about 6 days old. First piece of advice given was don’t go nuts on baby clothes. Oops big fail. Though the recommendation of 6 only was definitely not enough for us. We had days where we would both need to WEAR 6 outfits. I may not have had a projectile vomitter but he was a master poop up the back kind of baby from the early days.
Other pieces of advice I ignored….
Days 1-2 putting baby to the breast for 5 minutes on each side only. Our feeds were mammoth. And involved lots of cuddling and sleeping in my arms. Time I cherished. If I’d have broken that off at the allotted time I would have felt cheated. And I’m sure that the baby would too. Breaking away his security.
Routine. I longed to be a routine parent. I loved the images painted of how I would know that my baby would sleep so I could head out around that time to enjoy a leisurely coffee. Even more than that I love the sleeping through the night at 4 months guarantee the books seem to give off. It was trying to follow these routines that made me a sobbing mess. First of all – wake your baby at 7am. What a joke. My baby was always up and playing well before then. And if he wasn’t? No way was I waking him up. Nap timings throughout the day. One short morning nap. One long lunch time nap. One short morning nap. The toddler missed the memo on this and was the king of the 30 minute power nap. He could sleep up to 5 times in a day. Sometimes 3. Never at the same time. Nappy off time? Only prudish baby in the world. And wee on the floor. Next.
On top of this the feeds were to be at set times. Something which didn’t sit well with me. I wasn’t hungry every day at the same time and then needed my food exactly 3 hours later. And some days I needed more some days I needed less.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the book and the routine work for some. I like the power pumping section and that it acknowledges both breast and bottle feeding.
It just turned me into a crazy sleep watching pram pushing sobbing power walking mum.
Elizabeth Pantley – The No-Cry Nap Solution
I told you I was nap obsessed. I didn’t want my baby to cry (though this time round, though it’s inevitable that there is more crying as I only have so many hands at some point during the day one of the boys will be crying, sometimes both) I do not and will not leave them to cry it out intentionally. I just don’t believe in it for us personally. And it usually ends up with vomit. And I hate vomit. So I thought the no-cry nap solution would be ideal.
Turns out you need to be relatively patient – not my strong point, and there’s still some tears involved mainly mine. As patience is not one of my virtues and I had my magic weapons…. boobs they did for naptime! And bedtime. And anytime I thought he should sleep. Which apparently isn’t something which you should do and means that the baby is reliant on me to fall asleep and could wake up confused that I’m not there. I get that. I mean when I fall asleep on the couch and wake up in the bed I’m fairly disoriented and chances are I’ve half asleep dragged myself into bed (there’s no way the husband could carry me up the stairs) I’m confused so no doubt a baby would be. However diving into his room and shhhhh patting him back to sleep while I crouch on the cold, tiled floor just isn’t me.
Likewise if they fall asleep in the car. I’m much more likely to pull in the drive and wait it out instead of risking a transfer!
I’m all for the EASY life…. which brings me nicely too:
Tracy Hogg – The Baby Whisperer
A routine guide. AGAIN.
Though this time a much easier one to follow:
I especially liked the idea of me time while the baby slept.
Unfortunately what the book didn’t address was how to enjoy that oh so elusive you time when sat in a car. Or being pinned down by a baby.
Gina Ford – The Contented Baby
Too routine. Too strict. I picked it up at a friends house and quickly put it back down as it terrified me.
Same thing at the same time every day. No deviation recommended.
Not for me I’m too go with the flow chilled out *in my eyes if you ask the husband he will say otherwise*
The Husbands Advice
As I’ve said many, many times my husband and partner in most crimes, especially all those parenting crimes we commit, very quickly told me to stop reading the books and start reading the baby. And flat out refused to buy anymore. I know there are more out there. And I know I could and possibly should pick one up on how to deal with tantrums and keeping calm.
I just can’t bring myself too.
Because ever since my husband uttered those words to me…
Read the baby not the book
I’ve been a much happier parent. A more relaxed parent. With happier children.
And I don’t think I’m doing too bad a job of bringing them up.
I think I’ll stick to that…. what about you do you read the books?
Disclosure – this post contains affliate images as it was the only way I could think to get the images as my books were all on the kindle!