Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My baby slept on his tummy and more gasping stories...

I have been reading "Free Range Kids", well actually listening to it because our library didn't have the book available when I went.  I got to thinking about my parenting style and even though I don't agree with everything this lady is saying, I do kinda think I might be some what of a free range parenter.

  I have never really read any parenting books...believe me, I tried!  I couldn't find the time, the energy or the desire to finish or follow through with any of them though.  Mostly, I would start reading and realize my baby didn't fit into their category.  For example, "Happiest Baby on the Block" what I read of it, totally and completely didn't work for us.  "Baby Wise" also didn't work for us.  I am a baby wearing, part time cloth diapering mama but I don't do the co-sleeping thing and I didn't have a natural birth- in fact, I had quite the opposite and I am still proud of myself because at the end of the day, I had a sweet baby boy, and no one asked me if I did it naturally!  Imagine my disappointment if I had gone through the grueling pain of natural birth (by the way, mine still had plenty of pain involved!) and then no one even knew.  I am definitely NOT slamming natural child birth because if I could have, I would have, but I know me and I know my pain tolerance is ridiculously low.  Applause for all of you who have given birth naturally, it just wasn't what I decided to do.

I also read up on how babies should sleep.  Before we brought Caleb home, I had made up my mind that our baby would be sleeping on his back, no questions about it.  Guess what?  We brought Caleb home and for the first two nights he woke up every 30 minutes...I tried a swaddler, no success....I tried putting him on his side using a positioner, no success...finally, at my whits end, I put him on his belly and he slept for 3-4 hours at a time!  From then on out, he was on his tummy and that is the way he sleeps now.  Of course I thought about SIDS, but I also did some further research on the whole back sleeping thing, only to find it isn't all it's cracked up to be...I used common sense with my baby and I didn't force him to do something that wasn't natural for him.  My next baby may be totally different, and if your baby sleeps fine on his/her back...great! 
I also: 
~let Caleb watch cartoons
~have a DVD player in the car that I use when Caleb is cranky or whenever I feel like it
~I don't have locks on my toilet, fridge or cabinets (although I keep my medicine and cleaning stuff in high cabinets that Caleb can't reach)
~not all of my plug outlets have covers
~I have a rectangular coffee table that doesn't have bumpers on it...gasp!
~Caleb has pizza and or grilled cheese at least once every day- he just started eating and so far those are my most successful food items, so that is what he gets fed until he is ready to expand his food choices
~I reprimand Caleb and he definitely knows what "no" means...and he listens to me because I am consistent with what I tell him "no" to (not to say that he doesn't have melt downs or days when he tests me over and over!)
~I let him have vanilla wafers almost every day and he also eats sugar on a pretty regular basis in moderation

I am sure some of you feel strongly against some of the things that I don't and vice versa.  I am not telling you all this to try and say "If you aren't doing things the way I am, you stink".  What I am trying to say though is that every child is different and every parent is different.  Common sense is a great tool and when it comes to your kids the "experts" don't always have the answers...imagine that, right?  You could literally read parenting books for the rest of your life and still seem like you fail as a parent somedays... but that is totally normal.  God gave us the children we have for a reason and I think if you give yourself a chance you might realize that you just might be able to outsmart some of those "experts" who have been trying to tell you how to raise your kids.  You know your child best...don't try to keep them in a box that they are fighting to get out of. When it comes to your children, give yourself a little more credit and you just might find the answer you were looking for was with you the whole time :)


fancypants said...

Amen! I totally agree with you. the experts change their minds about what to do as often as women change their shoes. There is always some new train of thought out there. Like you- I feel like they are just trying to make us all feel bad. I followed the whole sleep on the back thing. But I had a friend who had a colicky baby and that was the only way she could get her to sleep.
I agree- do what works for your children.
I let my kids eat cake for breakfast from time to time- my thought is that it can't be any worse than a donut!

Miles Makes 3! said...

You go girl...
I've learned by living in Germany that there are a MILLION different ways to parent and every country has "their" way. The parks here would make American parents pee their pants b/c of lack of safety, however Germans do not use pacifiers. They believe kids should always wear a hat no matter the season, and exposed feet (sandals) is an almost guaranteed way to make your child sick.
It's just funny to me when you compare these 2 cultures, (whom both swear by their ways), they are completely opposite! So again, you go because there is definitely no textbook way to raise your child. Otherwise any kid that wasn't American wouldn't thrive...or even survive!

Anonymous said...

YOU GO! MAMMA! You tell 'em! I'm with ya all the way! You're a great mamma. It also helps that you have the bestest little boy in the world.

Anonymous said...

Yay! I love this!! :) Jacob slept on his back great as a baby, but I had the same problem with Ben as you did with Caleb. Put him on his back, he was up every 30 minutes... Put him on his tummy? He slept all night. You better believe he sleeps on his tummy! It seems you and I have a lot of the same parenting styles. I read a few of those "parenting" books when I was pregnant with Jacob but never have them a 2nd thought with Ben. I hardly used any of their "advise" anyway! Kodus to not caring what others think. The only parenting critic you need to listen to is that cute little boy! :)

Kristan said...

Amen sister! I have never cared about the age recommendations on toys, both my girls slept on their bellies, I fed on demand, I went to Wal-Mart the other day for the sole purpose of buying a flexible ruler for a paddle to keep on my person at all times!... Not that I use it as often as I probably should. When my first born was a tiny baby the Dr. had me in tears because she was not following his recommendations on when to eat, sleep, how to do both... I finally realized that God made me her mom and I chose to follow common sense too.

Kathryn said...

Great post! Well said!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Different strokes for different folks, right? ;) I learned not to judge other moms after I became a mom! Funny, b/c the BabyWise method worked wonders in our home...but my kids are different than yours. :) Good for you for not worrying about what other people think and seeing what works for your family!