20 weeks old
Friend: “I was given this book where the author has been excommunicated from his church and his child raising methods supposedly aren’t even good for children.”
Me: “Oh yeah? What’s the name of the book?”
Friend: “Baby Wise”
Me: “Oh I love Baby Wise! Haha!”
Coworker: So what’s your parenting style?
Me: I think I’d like to be more structured in feeding and not do the on-demand thing.
Coworker: Yeah? We like the more loving way.
Me: Okay but being structured is loving too you know.
It’s true that there are as many ways to raise a child as there are number of parents out there. Each parent should, of course, do what works for their whole family. If you like being more child-focused, great. If you prefer being more parent-focused, great. Whatever works. We love our children and want the best for them. Some methods would drive me insane…and what I like could drive someone else insane. We all have different reasons for our preferences and opinions…but I do believe some methods are more effective and efficient than others. My goal is to find whatever method(s) I can for effective & efficient parenting and will help me keep my sanity. (It’s always about finding the method that provides the greatest long term results with the least effort for me.) My sanity is tied around getting enough sleep, not making more work for myself than necessary and in being respected as a parent. So I read everything or receive advice with grains of salt on hand. Right now, I’m really in agreement with the Baby Wise method. (I’m not saying it’s the best or only way, just that it really works for us.)
I’m aware of the forums out there hating this style. Saying it’s abusive or likened to torture etc etc etc. Seriously, any style taken to the extreme is abusive. Like letting a baby stay completely dependent on his/her parent for everything is abusive in my opinion. But I digress…yes Baby Wise is written in a prescriptive, cause & effect style that doesn’t always jive with the perceived uniqueness & individuality of babies (and their parents) but it really suits my personality. I am an INTJ after all. The cause & effect methods suit my cause & effect way of interpreting the universe. To me, as unique as every baby & parent & family is, we still all share similarities around preferences for comfort & convenience. It’s just expressed differently though the causes are usually the same: hunger or sleep related. And with relatively sound reasoning & discernment, I have not found giving my baby some structure in her feeding/sleeping habits abusive. I’ve been trying to follow Baby Wise since Nessness was about six weeks old. I love that she’s now a good eater, is getting three to almost four 90 minute naps a day and has been sleeping 9-11 hours straight through the night since she was 17 weeks old. I think the structure is great because she can learn what she’s capable of too. She’s happy and thriving. So we’re happy. (And maybe we’ve got an easy going baby but it’d like to think our efforts to provide structure helps too.)
Whatever your parenting style is…if it’s working for the whole family and everyone’s happy…then great! Stick with it and just smile & nod at whatever others might say. They might have a good suggestion to mix into your methods…or they might not. I’ll always hear people out because, who knows, there could be some good ideas to try and might just actually work for us. But for now…we’re with Baby Wise.