Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Only first-time parents deal in absolutes
I was totally guilty of it. I had Lillian and she was a Goldilocks Baby- not too easy, not too difficult. She cried some, was happy some, didn't sleep that great and then we worked on it and then she slept great, ate OK, breastfeeding went badly for a while, then it was fine. I had a problem, and then I'd solve it, and there would be much rejoicing.
I was one of the first in our group of friends to have a baby so they all asked me for advice when they had their first. I was totally the expert. "This is what you have to do..." I'd tell them with total confidence. Do not let your baby sleep in your bed. You must get a swaddling blanket. 10/10 buy a Moby wrap and an Ergo carrier. You need both. Do not let your kids sleep in their car seat, they will die. Let them cry it out, they will stop crying and then they'll learn how to go to sleep by themselves.
I was baffled, then, when I'd ask my mother about a problem I was having. Surely she, a mother of 7, would have experienced this. She would say, "hmmm, I don't know. None of my kids ever did that."
I now know that I wasn't a baby expert. I was a 2006-Amanda-and-Tyler-in-San-Luis-with-the-infant-Lillian expert. Things that worked for her didn't work with my other kids. Things that worked for me in that time of my life don't work for me now.
Someone asked my opinion the other day and the best I could say was something like, "I can tell you what worked for Nora, but didn't work for Ethan, so I don't know if it will work for you."
That said, my new piece of advice is to wait for allergy season to have your baby cry it out, because then you'll be strung out on allergy medicine and can totally sleep through the crying.