Today’s topic is a simple one, trust your instincts. As moms we often get bombarded by advice from well meaning friends and family (I hope you don’t feel bombarded by this series!) and it can be overwhelming trying to decide which advice to listen to for your baby. Should you let your little guy cry himself to sleep? Or should you co-sleep with him till he’s a year old? Should you start him on cereal at two weeks? Four months? Nine months? Above all else (with prayer :-), trust your instincts. You are your child’s mother, and no one knows that little baby better than you. My husband was amazed that even as a tiny babe, I could differentiate Javi’s cries. The sleepy cry, the hungry cry, the angry cry. It took some work and time, and I had to really pay attention, but because I had gotten to know my baby, I was a “Javi-expert.”
There were two areas where my expertise in my child proved right over and over. One – he was always cold. Of course, he was born right at the beginning of a northern winter, so I would expect him to be! But so many people critiqued me for having him bundled up, snuggled in fleecy pajamas or swaddled in thick blankets. They were constantly peeling away blankets and clothes. But I stuck to my guns, knowing that he slept better and was happier in general when he was toasty warm. The other area was food. My child is an excellent eater. I’m not saying that to brag, it’s just a fact. Some kids are good at eating, some at sleeping. The kid nursed like a champ from the beginning, and has a voracious appetite. I’m a little scared about the teenage years! This monstrous appetite meant that at four months, breastmilk alone was not enough to fill his little belly. He was nursing every two hours and crying afterwards in frustration because he was still hungry. People told me I was crazy, but as soon as I started him on oatmeal, he calmed down and started sleeping more too. The babe was just hungry!
I always recommend seeking the advice of others. It’s awesome to have experienced moms to share what worked best for them. It’s great to bounce ideas off anyone, with kids or not, to get an impartial opinion. But ultimately, YOU must decide what’s best for your baby. Weigh all the advice, and then trust your instincts.