miércoles, 21 de noviembre de 2012

Lesson 3: Follow some advice but make your own decisions

Before the baby arrived, as you know, I read many books and articles and I listened to other mums and dads, but one article that really stuck into my head was this one: Why French Parents Are Superior

After reading it carefully, I realised that it was my kind of parenting: playing with your children but teaching them independence, allowing them to enjoy with the parents but having some manners and discipline.
I thought long about it and I decided to combine it with some others old ones. Like not having them constantly on your lap or move them to their own bed as soon as possible. So far, I cannot say that I have succeeded or failed, but here are some of my techniques for achieving it:

  • Use the bouncy chair from the day 2 for doing home tasks while he was not sleeping. - It allows you some time for doing what you usually did before and gets him used of being on his own little by little.
  • Allow him to spend long periods of time playing on his own at the gym or the high chair.- Stimulation on his own and independence, just what we wanted!
  • Move him out of the parents bedroom once the night breastfeeding stopped. - Most of the times the parents are the ones who are wakening up the baby in the middle of the night and getting back your own bedroom feels weird but nice.
  • Ensure that other people hold him and encourage his smiles and interaction while doing it. - Sociability is a good skill and I think it reduces the separation anxiety...
  • Explain what is going to happen every time I need to change his nappy, his clothes  feed him or getting him to sleep. - Be respectful to him and he will be respectful to you (or that's the idea)
  • Encourage him to fall sleep on his own with different techniques. - Again, independence!!!

Some of these techniques were severely criticised but I had already discussed them with my husband and we were sure of what we wanted. After all, we are his parents and we supposedly know best.

jueves, 15 de noviembre de 2012

Ranting about winter baby outfits

Living in Scotland is great. I love its people, I love its atmosphere, I love its history. And I hate its weather.

As it was not difficult enough to dress for winter myself everyday (How do you manage to not look the same the whole year?) now I have to dress the wee one.

I've stocked up his wardrobe with lots of long sleeve shirts, polo shirts, jumpers, cardigans and corduroy trousers. But I feel like he is wearing everyday the same clothes!

Last week, we *finally* received a box full of presents and clothes from Spain. They were all lovely and warm and nice, but too big for him :(

I'm now in the search of a nice and smart party outfit for the holidays. Already seen this from H&M:  

What do you say? Do you like it? Any other ideas for the holidays?

Routines & "routines"

Although I thought I had a very good knowledge of what a baby could need during her first years of life, when we got pregnant, someone gave us the famous "The New Contented Little Baby Book: The Secret to Calm and Confident Parenting" by Gina Ford and I managed to read it during one of my business trips.
I felt it was quite helpful but too strict for my style of parenthood that I was planning already.

Then, a good friend and recent mum recommended "Secrets Of The Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect and Communicate with your Baby"  by Tracy Hogg and I read most of it (Some parts were too repetitive and were extremely similar to the first book).
I felt that it was closer to my parenting style but not close enough to follow it completely.

When the baby arrived, the mayhem started, and I decided to create my own routine based in all the knowledge acquired from those books.
I followed my own routine based in the FAST routine from Tracy and with similar hours than Gina, but not being too strict and modifying the times after each month or so. I used many of the tips from both books, like changing clothes from PJ's to comfortable clothes first thing after breakfast feed or waking the baby up using the light.

I don't think there is a manual for all mums and dads out there. Each parent has to find their own routine and stick to it. If it works for your baby, it works, and that's it.
I recommend reading those books and getting the essence of them, but do not get too stressed if your own baby doesn't want to follow those routines, probably your baby just needs a new and completely customized one, only for her!