parenting strategy for newborn(98 Posts)
I'm expecting in early November and I've been asked what our strategy is for many things recently - soothing /sleeping /noise etc. Is this kind of preparation really necessary or is it just over thinking things?
You can make up a seat why I'd you like but your newborn will dictate you first 12 weeks to his/her body with no regard for it what so ever.
Some babies won't sleep except co sleeping, some babies won't sleep unless they are in a dark quiet room by themselves.
Whatever plan you make will be quickly lost and replaced with following your baby's ques (and being screamed at when you get it wring) its probably worth writing it just so you can laugh at it when you find it (under all your neglected housework) 6 months later (as you start to really get to know your baby and develop a routine that works)
the strategy is "do not discuss the strategy"
Do the people asking you this actually have kids of their own...?
Based on my experience, I wouldn't try and decide on anything hard-and-fast as it can be too pressurising and lead to disappointment. It's all very well deciding you're going to do Gina Ford to the letter, but if you have a baby who's unsettled/refluxy/colicky/not a great sleeper/a poor feeder it simply won't work and it can leave you feeling a massive failure. If you have one that follows the routines as if they've read the book themselves, they probably would have done it anyway (if this happens please do not smugly tell other parents of newborns how easy it is - you will risk instant strangulation)
Similarly, you might decide on doing attachment parenting, then realise that your baby hates the sling, you and your OH can't get a wink of sleep if you bed share, that breast feeding isn't for you...I could go on.
Some babies won't take a dummy and don't need one; for others it is the only way to soothe them and save your sanity. Some will drop off in their moses basket and sleep contentedly from day one, others will want to sleep on your shoulder or in your bed and that's that.
I think the only thing to do is to have an idea about how you'd like to feed the baby (breast, bottle, mixed feeding) then make sure you understand the mechanics of that option and are prepared (i.e. have the numbers of the local BF counsellors and/or know how to make up a bottle, sterilise or express, all that jazz) and you've thought about plan B if your preferred method doesn't quite work out (I guess this applies to breast more than bottle). Pretty much everything else you can work out as you go along depending on the temperament of your baby.
I really laugh now at the rigid ideas I had before DC1 was born - it all went out the window! With DC2 I'll see what he's like and try to nudge him into a routine that suits family life, but with no preconceptions.
Much better to figure it out as you go along - otherwise you'll only beat yourself up for not following the 'strategy'.
Might it be helpful to think about ways of widening your options? E.g. make bed safe for co-sleeping rather than decide to co-sleep, borrow couple of slings from local sling library rather than decide to sling?
Who has asked about your parenting strategy? I think my reply would depend on that. If a sw/hv I would ask them to recommend a book/approach and show I was taking them seriously.
If anyone else I would smile sweetly, say that your strategy will depend on the personality of the baby you have and ignore.
Thanks everyone... Yeah its been from friends with children, which is why I thought I'd better check! I like the plan a plan b thing, don't want to seem a sap but figure I'll be doing anything it takes initially to get him to feed /sleep, with the idea that once the (wonderful) shock of actually having him has passed - then we can get practical.
Love that part about not sharing if he really does follow the letter - made me laugh out loud
Some decisions you do make in advance like Moses basket/co-sleeping. The only thing I did was decide to BF (if possible and to go with on demand feeding). I've looked a routines since but DD (now 4 months) doesn't fit! E.g. Gina Forc says naps should be taken in the cot in the dark at certain times - short nap am, longer early afternoon. DD either rolls and plays in her cot or screams! She naps on the move for now (sleep training to commence at 6 months!) and has longer in the morning, short in the afternoon.
It is worth having a bed time routine - bath, massage, story. It helps them wind down and cues sleep. Otherwise I'd just tell people you're
going to wing it see what kind of baby you have!
Strategy: wing it.
The wonderful and maddening things about babies is that you make all these brilliant plans such as mobiles to sleep to, a beautiful moses basket and soothing womb noise teddies and then...... baby arrives and says????? No. I wasn't in on those decision makings. I don't care how lovely my basket is with your t shirt in it and it rocking gently. I want to be held upright when I'm not feeding, every hour. So there.
Wait until you've met your baby and just plan loosely such as set up a changing area, decide to give breastfeeding a go, buy a couple of packs of different nappy brands etc.
Lol lol lol at the idea of any kind of "strategy"
It's a tiny defenceless human, not a game of chess
Do they basically mean are you going to have a routine or not? It seems such a bizarre question!
My strategy was/is to go with the flow. Lol
lol the only thing i'd suggest is: take the advice, read the books then look at the actual baby and do what YOU think is right.
A huge bomb is about to go off in your life - your strategy is to survive that's all - your baby will decide the rest.
My advice is this;
listen to every advice going,
then make up your own mind.
It's your journey with your baby. Congrats!!
It's very true that your baby will dictate a lot of how things go at the beginning and for most people muddling through is the 'strategy'. But, at the same time, it doesn't hurt to read up, particularly if you haven't been around babies much, as I hadn't.
The only thing I would say is: read widely and don't get too fixed on one idea/philosophy. Personally, I found the Baby Whisperer and Sears' The Baby Book useful and have since read Babycalming and wished I had read it when DD was tiny. But then, I do like to feel like I've 'done the reading' - like others have said, approach with an open mind and you'll be fine.
Yoni and Yummy particularly liking the bomb bit, so right.
Lol - as my DFather says, it's fine to have a strategy but don't expect it to survive first contact with the enemy!
Honestly, being too rigid in your thinking is likely to lead to misery if your baby has other ideas. Adaptability is key (still working on this skill myself).
Agree with mummybare's recommendations - The Baby Whispwrer and Sears have suggestions without giving a rigid routine that will make you feel like a failure if you don't have your baby working to the clock at 4 weeks.
But my friends and I all had ideas about how we would parent, and often they go out the window - in the end you parent the way your individual baby and circumstances demand.
I always said I'd never use a dummy, but when my colicky refluxy baby was in his 4th hour of screaming in week 6, I was begging for him to take it! That said, he always refused so in the end I got my wish, but was sad about it we never envisioned outselves cosleeping, but that's the only way we've got any rest. And I spent lots to get a parent-facing option for his buggy, only to find that he is a little nosy parker who is miserable unless he can survey the world from his perch! I have friends who were set on bfing who have had to ff, who were planning on being SAHMs who hate the repetitiveness, others who wanted to go back at 6 months but have now quit their jobs and so on.
If you're already thinking through ideas, sounds like you'll do a great job. The biggest thing I wish I did in advance as a 'strategy' was to have a proper chat with DH about division of labour in the early days, turns out that he thought that being home meant I would do everything - that was a bit of a shock to both of us!
Work out now what DP & you agree/disagree on (cosleeping, dummies, how to make up feeds, fruit shoots etc, if you find out one of you wants it learning chinese and the violin by 2 months it's worth getting the rows out the way now).
Wait until baby arrives.
Go with the flow (and, most likely, change your mind on everything).
If you are a bit of a control freak (like me) it might be worth getting used to the fact that all plans go out of the window when the baby comes ! My ds is 9 weeks old and something I learned very quickly was do whatever suits him or else it's hell. He hasn't read any of the books and knows exactly what he wants!
I wish someone had warned me
Do what ever gets you the most sleep you will all be happier for it and punch anyone who mentions a rod for your own back.
I wouldn't decide a strategy
BUT I would read as much as you can now. Not just the books, but places like MN. There are big gaps in lots of parenting/baby books (.Bear in mind that most books are written about the "average" baby, which doesn't really exist). for example lots of the bookks don't even mention tongue tie which causes real problems for many babies and parents. Overtiredness is another thing that is barely mentioned in books and trips up lots of new parents. Reflux is another possible problem (though that is relatively rare).
At least that way when something seems not quite right you might have some ideas as to what it is.
The first 8 weeks or so are just about survival. Remember that. Do whatever it takes to sleep and eat and for your baby to sleep and eat. That is your job and forget everything else.
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