I think instinct takes over in a real emergency: 'She really is ill, I know this isn't normal', but on a day-to-day basis it can be clouded by what we know, what we think we know, our preferences, our own experiences. Do you have anything specific in mind?
Hmmm, there is an ongoing issue that I have posted on the B&B feeding boards, nothing major at all and lots of people in RL have said everything is fine, however I'm still a bit wobblesome about it. But I just started this thread as a general discussion to see how other people have found the balance. Good point about the emergency though, I expect that's what happens all right. The morning after DD was born I found my first grey hair....thanks sweetheart, wasting no time eh
Ohh, feeding, you only gain balance on that one retrospectively, I think. I completely sympathize with anxieties over breast feeding, slow weight gain, etc.
Your instinct tells you to love, protect and nurture your baby. The details have to be learned. We try to measure our success against norms such as weight charts and baby books, but the babies don't always seem to conform (my best HV said, 'Remember she (DD1) can't read the book yet'). By the time we've learned how to manage one aspect of our babies' lives, they've moved on to the next stage.
I'm not very helpful on this, as I don't think I was brilliant with babies, and just sort of muddled through it (both times). With several years of distance, though, I am incredibly rational about it all, as both babies (9 &12) are still here, eating, sleeping, growing and learning. I have learnt to be assertive when I'm sure there is a problem, and to be more confident in my parenting style and choices. It's a very long haul, though. Keep counting the grey hairs.