I really feel it would have been so much easier to have and raise a baby in simpler times. Today, it feels like having and raising a baby has become somewhat of a competition or a trendy, popularity contest. That might sound harsh, but hear me out:
Although all the new advances in medicine have been amazing — heck, I wouldn't have my son right now if it weren't for ICSI-IVF—but along with all the wonderful advances, many theories, ideas, and rules have been created. Last time I checked, most people survived just fine without all these new theories and rules. There are theories on pregnancy, childbirth, sleep methods, feeding, vaccinating and the list can go on and on. I nannied for a couple different families that both followed some sort of parenting theory and I, truthfully, figured I would as well because I saw what worked and/or what didn't work. However, every child is different.
Currently, my husband and I do not follow any type of theory whatsoever:
I did not have a birth plan — well, my plan consisted of: 'yes I want an epidural.' Other than that, whatever was best for baby and myself is what would happen. I just didn't really care how I brought our son into the world, as long as it didn't hurt too badly (yeah, right!).
He is getting vaccinated — regardless of all the debate going on these days.
I did choose to breastfeed, but I was also lucky enough to have a little guy who is a quick learner, and we haven't had any problems. In fact, he eats so well, he's the average size of a seven- or eight-month-old at only four month. I hate how some mothers are made to feel like crap if they stop breastfeeding. I am a full-time working mom who pumps at work and feeds him myself when I'm home, but not everyone is able to do that. And, quite frankly, breastfeeding is not for everyone. Truth be told, I would like to stop now, but I won't. I promised myself before we had our son that I would go for nine months, so five more months to go and I won't feel bad about stopping.
Despite the recommendation to keep a newborn away from crowds, he was actually out at a graduation party at three-and-a-half weeks old. And he never got sick.
He had his first boat ride at six weeks — it was a pontoon and grandpa was driving extra slow
He only slept in our room for about a month, then it was on to his own room. (And I did not break the 'no bumper' rule.)
He started eating rice cereal at four months, against the big belief of waiting until six months. He loves it!
I just read so many forums, message boards, and blogs that mention so many different theories that it makes me wonder sometimes if I'm doing the right thing; if I'm being the best mom I can be. And, honestly, once Connor graced us with his presence, all intentions of following any theories went out the window. We are following the only theory we know best: ours. This may come from the fact that we, essentially, have a very easy baby. Aside from some acid reflux issues in the beginning, he does not fuss or cry much, he eats wonderfully and on a perfect schedule (perfect for my work schedule), sleeps beautifully, and is incredibly happy. All without following a single theory from a single expert. We are first time parents; we don't know everything and we never will have all the answers, but I do know this, the only theory we'll follow right now is our own by doing our best by our son to make sure he is brought up safely, comfortably, and happily. And, so far, I think we're doing a great job.
Do you follow a specific parenting style or method? What parenting choices have you made that have been most important to you?