Welcome aboard this blog train – My Parenting Mantra. We have some awesome bloggers who are going to drive it for over a month. We promise to bring you some enriching contents that will add to your own parenting experience.
Parenting is fairly new to me, well it is a year old now and for me the learning is an everyday thing and a work in progress. I did not have a ready made Parenting Mantra. I did not come into this with a lot of preparation; I read only a decent amount about parenting during pregnancy. I rather followed a forum and kept myself updated about my day to day progress. I did not read a lot ahead. I have rather learnt it on the go and have been treading this path with the help of my instincts.
Here are a few things I have taken away from this journey of parenting and have learnt in this year and a half with my baby, who is now a naughty little toddler. This has become my Parenting Mantra.
- Trust your instincts: you are mother and trust me you know best. In spite of all that you have read or the innumerable advice, trust your mom gut.
2. Don’t fall for the rigid schools of parenting demarcations: There are various thoughts on each and every subject of parenting. And that is great but the fact that the followers of one consider the others to be completely wrong is a great concern. As long as the baby is healthy and happy, no choice of parenting is wrong. So learn to accept other schools of thought and respect them and also be proud of your own choices.
It is fine if you are a cloth diapering mama and another woman is a disposable diaper user. Learn to respect other’s views and also do not be intimidated by people who try telling you that your way is wrong way.
3. As long as the baby is Fed; its OK: Small babies need to be fed every 2/3 hours, and there is an age old fight of formula versus Breast milk. Do what you can do, that is, feed the baby. Be it breast milk or Formula. I breast fed my son till he turned 14 months old but I completely understand if another mother formula feeds.
4. Expressing Breast Milk is quite a job; hang in there: For all the expressing mamas out there, who are working and spend time away from their babies. I just want to say hang in. It is extremely tough, the whole cycle of expressing, storing, thawing, ensuring that enough milk is there, it can take over your whole life. There is literally no time left if you work full time and also express milk and feed.
Here are few points that may help you:
Drink a lot of water
Include foods which help in production of milk as part of your daily diet
Invest in a good breast pump.
Looking at your baby’s videos while expressing, helps a lot
Do not despair if in any one session the output is low, it happens
Avoid Stress as much as possible
5. Avoid packaged food if possible: Any form of packaged food has high levels of sugar and salt and preservatives. Try giving only homemade food to the baby. I am happy that I did not need to give Cerelac or any other packaged food to my son. Also I did not introduce sugar or salt till the age of one.
6. Babies are fussy eaters: Here is a pointer, babies fuss, a lot…That is ok, your baby may eat one thing one day and reject it the next day. He may refuse to eat anything altogether the next day. Do not panic. Babies below a year are anyway only learning to eat. In spite of whatever people tell you; their main food should still be milk. If he is learning and eating then great, if not, just be patient and keep trying. I know it can be disheartening if you go to huge lengths and try and make different things for your baby and they reject it. But hold hope, they will learn slowly.
7. Babies do not sleep like us: So the biggest learning for me was this; “Sleep like a baby” is a myth. True we never tried sleep training, and always co slept, but my son has not been a heavy napper ever. Apart from the first two months when he did nap a lot, at least every two three hours. Post that he has only been napping once a day. And night time his sleep pattern was always only 2-3 hours at a stretch, till the time he was breastfeeding. The exhaustion is natural if you fail to get a good night’s sleep.
8. Toddlers are much more of a handful than a baby can ever be: yeah so if you think that you are tired now, wait till the baby starts walking. Then you will actually understand what being tired means. Read about my funny toddler experiences here :
9. You cannot spoil a baby by loving them: No matter what anyone tells you, hold your little bundle of joy as much as you can. There is no way that you can spoil a baby, in fact the more you hug and cuddle the more it helps with you too. It releases the hormone Oxytocin which is one major reason for you felling happy. The more you snuggle with your little bundle of joy, the more joy it spreads through your whole mind and heart. So if you want to keep rocking your baby a little more, just do that. Soon he will grow up and you will miss those cosy snuggles.
10. We follow a lot of unstructured free play and try learning through that. Baby A loves to play in the park, and I let him get dirty and let him play freely there.
11. While Imposing rules explain the reason to the toddler: Mot people think that it is not important to explain things to toddlers and young kids and believe in just telling them things that certain things are just rules. Though we may not feel so but they do understand a lot. I always try telling my son why he should not do something rather than just telling him not to do it. Though it is natural for toddlers to try and do everything and he will most likely not listen to you, it is natural for them to be curious. But I still feel that telling him that he should not jump from furniture because he will get hurt is better than just asking him to stop doing it.
12. Toddler tantrums are natural and OK: Tantrums are a part of life and your toddler will learn to do it and you will learn to handle them. The problem arises when you are in public. Then the stares you get can be a bit unsettling. Well do not let them intimidate you, you are not a bad parent and your kid is not a spoilt brat either. Just ignore those people, they have forgotten their own childhood.
13. Do not give in to each demand and each tantrum. Though it is very hard to not give in, always ensure that you do not give in to tantrums just like that and fulfill unreasonable demands. Keep your cool and put in some discipline. Having said that, choose your battles, sometimes it is ok to give the bar of chocolate to the toddler than having the meltdown at the counter.
14. Shop Online as much as possible: Trust me it is just easier.
15. Give yourself some time: Try to sneak in an hour for yourself if you can afford to. Delegate work. Not everything needs to be perfect and not everything needs to be done by you. Delegate work, Ask for help if you have friends and family, else get paid help.
16. Give yourself some credit: You are doing great and remember to give some credit to your better half too. Though the focus is always on the mom, the dad is also equally responsible and is also just learning this new life. It is as much a challenge and a joy to them too. Don’t forget to tell that to your partner.
17. Document it: Click photos, make videos, store them in baby books, albums. These are moments worth millions and we already love looking at the photos and videos of baby A from just a year back and marvel at the wonderful way he is growing up. Store and cherish these moments.
18. Last: Hang in there. There are days when I am overwhelmed, tired and sad, but it is getting better each day. Some days are harder and other days are better. But all said and done, seeing your baby grow is a bliss and that is what makes it all worth it.
So here is my take on my Parenting Mantra
Enjoyed reading My Parenting Mantra? Don’t forget to read what our next blogger mom Afsha Galar who blogs at https://beingmomtastic.wordpress.com says about her Parenting Mantra. Also, do comment and let us know your opinions. We are all ears.