To Do it Over Again, I Would Have...
June 24, 2013
As a parent, you constantly have to make quick decisions, and you wonder if you are making the right choices. There are many topics some moms feel very strongly about, and you are often judged by your parenting approaches. With almost five years under my belt as a mom, here is the direction we took with a few of these debatable topics.
There are lovers and there are haters. I must say, we are LOVERS! As a parent, I feel lucky that all three of my kids took the pacifier. I can't tell you how many times they have soothed our kids or given them instant peace (us too)! Especially, during teething or when they were sick! I recall our pediatrician recommending we break the pacifier around 12 months because that is the age when kids get attached. We didn't exactly follow that recommendation and ended up having them a bit longer than planned. The boys were 2½ when we said our final goodbyes. I had intended on doing it when they were 2, but at that time, we made a big move and were going through several other transitions. However, by 2½ they were just using their pacifiers at naptime and bedtime. I was terrified of the day we finally did it. We waited until my sister's baby arrived and packed them up for the new baby. The boys were all about it until we left their house and they quickly realized what had happened. To our surprise, Dylan did really well - a bit sad, but not awful. Carter cried fairly hard that night and was sad the next night and that was it. I would say all the moments they added a bit of peace to our lives completely outweighed those two rough nights! As for Olivia, she still has hers, and we will probably work on breaking it within the next year.
With Carter and Dylan, we were huge fans of swaddle blankets. I remember the day I got home from the hospital I went and bought more. Without them, they would fling their arms around in the night and wake themselves up. As for Olivia, she wanted nothing to do with her arms being tucked inside a blanket. We still used the swaddle blanket; we just kept her arms out. These are great since they can keep your baby comfy, but you don't have to worry about the blanket covering up their face in the middle of the night.
Making Baby Food
When I had my boys, I didn't even consider making my own baby food. I thought it seemed hard and too much work. With Olivia, I decided to give it a try, and I loved doing it! I was shocked at how easy it was to do and felt good about doing something good for her. Even if you don't make 100 percent of the food, I would highly recommend giving it a try. I found sweet potatoes to be the easiest and one of the cheapest things to make. The website wholesomebabyfood.com was a really great resource for a guide of what foods to introduce when, along with cooking instructions.
Holding and Rocking Your Baby
When we had our boys, I heard and read things about not rocking or holding your baby too much because they would get spoiled and eventually you would have to hold them all the time. On the flip side, I also read it's not possible to spoil a newborn with love and comfort. We certainly held the boys plenty and rocked them some, but I was always a bit nervous they wouldn't sleep at night if we held them too much, and we tried to put them down quite a bit so they wouldn't get too spoiled. At an early age, we were able to put them in bed awake, and they would go to sleep (which was great!). But, by the time Olivia came around, I was well-aware just how quick your sweet, little baby grows up. So, she has been held and rocked a ton! And with no regret, you can't get those early days back and they grow SO FAST the first year! She could do a better job self-soothing, and it would be great if we would make the move to putting her down awake, but we will get there and she will be just fine!
With infants and toddlers, you are constantly making transitions to new things. Some transitions work out great, others will be trying. But, I always find, the minute you make it through one obstacle, you are quickly moving onto the next so don't stress too much about it - you will survive!