Taking on the role of the parent for the first time can be an incredibly intimidating and daunting experience. You’re fully responsible for everything to do with the health and well-being of a fragile, little baby. Dealing with the so-called “normal” stuff is stressful enough and, should you seek the advice of 100 other parents about nearly any issue, you’re bound to be bombarded by over 200 different opinions. The truth is you’re a horrible mom or dad unless you follow this definitive parenting guide.
Let’s start with the “simple” matter of sleeping. If you want to establish a strong bond with your child from a very early age, then you should definitely be co-sleeping with the little one. She’ll fall asleep more easily and she’ll have a more restful sleep too, knowing that you’re right there by your side.
Except, of course, for the fact that co-sleeping parents are definitely going to roll over and murder their child in the middle of the night. That’s why you should never sleep in the same bed as your baby. It’s dangerous and irresponsible!
So, let’s say that you’re ready for the baby to sleep in her own crib in her own room. The best practice here is to ensure that the crib is completely free of any toys or extra blankets, because those can all represent significant suffocation hazards. You wouldn’t want the baby to roll over in the middle of the night and get entangled in something.
Except, of course, for the fact that you want the crib to be a warm and inviting place where the baby feels safe and secure. The best way to accomplish this is to populate the crib with some of her favorite stuffed animals and security blankets. The crib then gains the positive associations of these items, rather the negative associations of being left alone in a room.
Blankets and Sleep Sacks
But if you want to keep your baby warm at night, the best parenting advice is to invest in a sleep sack or three. These can provide the little ones with the warmth that they need without restricting the movement of their limbs. There’s no suffocation hazard here!
Except, of course, for the fact that should something go awry in the middle of the night and you need to perform emergency CPR, getting a baby out of a sleep sack is far more difficult and time-consuming that simply removing a blanket. Those precious few seconds can mean a world of difference.
And when it comes to establishing a good bedtime routine, the best parenting approach is the “no cry” method. By giving this constant assurance to the infant, you are teaching her that your love is unconditional and she never has to worry about being abandoned. Intense crying can have a profound psychological impact and can deeply affect future development.
Except, of course, for the fact that a baby who is never given the opportunity to learn how to self-soothe will never be able to put herself to sleep. She’s going to experience even worse separation anxiety in her toddler years and beyond. Strategic use of the “cry-it-out” method is vastly superior here, because the baby learns to be more independent and self-reliant.
Damned If You Do…
In today’s post, we’ve only discussed the topic of sleeping. We haven’t even touched the innumerable other Pandora’s boxes, like breastfeeding vs. formula, disposable vs. cloth diapers, and the order in which to introduce solid foods, among countless others.
Naturally, all of the above scenarios are with tongue planted firmly in cheek. The truth is there is no such thing as a definitive, “one size fits all” guide to parenting. No matter what you choose to do (or not do), someone is going to criticize you. At the end of the day, you just have to do what works best for you and for your child.
If you’re worried about whether you’re doing what’s best for your child, you’re probably on the right track.