Friday, May 3, 2013

Mommy Instincts, Outside Judgements

So I have said it before, I do not subscribe or contribute to the mommy wars. I support my friends and people I encounter in blogs, whatever they choose. If questions are asked of my or on a forum, I qualify my statements by saying my opinion or this has worked with our family. With that said, I know my chosen infant "parenting method" is not main stream, but it has worked for us so far.

I say the above because even now on my third baby, contradicting parenting styles and mommy blogs make me doubt my instincts. Even though we chose PDF (parent directed feeding as lined out in "On Becoming Babywise"), I feel strongly that most babies do not fit this mold. My first, Mr R, we were not able to get the hang of breastfeeding and no one told me about lactation consultants and all my support people told me to just formula feed (except one who told me to exclusively pump).  I had health issues after delivery and just did not feel I could keep up with him.  He was eating 4 oz of formula every 2 hours at 2 weeks old, and with good reason.  He went from 8 lbs and 21 in at birth to 11 lbs 24 by 1 month.  He out grew the infant seat in height by 5 months and we are predicting he will be taller than me (5'1") between 8 to 10 years old. He in now way fit the PDF mold, but I continued trying mainly focusing on feed-wake-sleep cycles.  He still slept through the night by 3 months and naps with a solid (predictable) routine by 4 months. Miss E we had to wake for the first 6-8 weeks because she was a sleepy baby and then naturally went to the 3 hour routine, went down for naps perfectly with minimal crying to settle. Baby B is somewhere in the middle and definitely shows signs of cluster feeding.  Both girls are exclusively breastfeeding, but Miss E started getting bottles of breast-milk at 4 weeks due to a surgery I needed to have. Miss B had her first try at a bottle and it did not go well, onto trying different bottles for her. My point being is that with each one, my instincts kicked in even though they were all different through trial and error I figured out how to meet my child's needs.  Why is it that I am letting other mommy blogs and my family make me feel guilty for doing the same with this new baby?

Baby B is so sweet and hardly ever fusses until she gets tired and wants to be held.  She likes pressure and swaddling and she is such a chunky monkey, her blankets don't stay. My family have been telling me that I am spoiling her, with not giving her a bottle yet (even with breast milk), rocking her to sleep often and nursing her to sleep at night, comforting her as soon as she cries.  The thing is, with Mr. R, he cried almost all the time, especially at night, for hours whether I was holding him or not. It was a little easier to try to let him cry it out and by 3 months, he figured out how to self sooth and it was not so much a big deal.  Miss E never really cried for long, but Baby B when I have tried gets hysterical AND stops as soon as she is in my arms, even falling asleep seconds later. She is also, at 10 weeks, sleeping at least 6 hours each night and almost 8 on a few occasions this last week, so I am getting a similar result while loving her the way I feel she needs to be loved. Even if I weren't getting that result, or if it continues to take longer to become a regular thing, I am alright with that and need to stop having doubts about my actions.  Now I just need to figure out how to work in grocery shopping with a cluster feeding, growth spurting baby.  I encourage you to follow your beliefs and instincts whatever they may be and not allow outside pressures or influence or mark your decisions. Not to say that parenting does not require education, I agree it does.  Especially if you hope to change habits like yelling, but no parenting method or child fits a mold as dictated by a single parenting book, find something that has principles you like and adjust it to the stage and personality of your child based on your Mommy instincts. Be confident in your mommy abilities and do not let others make you feel guilty or doubt those great instincts.  We are all being the best, beautiful mommies we can, doing what is right for each child and our family that we possibly can. 

How do you fight doubt and the mommy worries?

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