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Thread: Creating bad habits

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    19

    Default Creating bad habits

    I normally don't have a problem trusting my instincts, but lately it seems like everyone thinks I'm doing things wrong (pedi, family, friends). He's 4 months old.

    I nurse my baby to sleep
    whenever he wakes in the night I nurse him doesn't matter if he is hungry or for comfort
    I let him nap on me during the day
    He naps when he's tired not on a schedule
    I cosleep with him (his bassinet is pushed up next to my bed)
    I swaddle him at night

    Are all of these things creating bad habits? It just seems natural to do them and he's a happy baby. Am I just over thinking things today?

    Thanks for your opinions and advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    6,564

    Default Re: Creating bad habits

    I don't think any of them are bad habits.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: Creating bad habits

    Here's what I think. For some normal developmental processes, we have a good cultural understanding of how they work, that kids are not ready or able to do things differently at x phase of their life, that this will change in the future. Like diapering: we understand babies are not capable of being toilet trained (i know, i know, EC, but i'm talking mainstream). So we put them in diapers. Diapers are gross, they're a lot of work, they leak, they produce waste, they make our babies get rashes and sores on their sensitive parts, and all the rest - and yet, we accept them because we don't imagine we can much do anything to change the developmental process needed to make babies ready to toilet train. We by and large accept that they'll do it when they're ready, and in fact we're shamed and warned against doing it too soon ("psychological trauma" and all that). No one berates us for putting a diaper on a 6 month old because "we'll still be diapering him when he goes to high school". No one tells us that we're "creating bad habits" by "giving in" and "coddling and spoiling" babies when we put diapers on them.

    But we don't have the same framework for viewing how babies eat or sleep, even though those are parallel developmental processes. So. The task is, for those of us who do believe that eating and sleeping are parallel developmental processes, to just keep reminding ourselves that we are providing the best care for our little ones while they are little, while this is what they NEED (not want - a 4 month old's wants and needs are the same), and that these phases will not last forever. Just like diapering will not last forever.

    My 2 cents.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    6,564

    Default Re: Creating bad habits

    auderey - LOVE your diaper metaphor.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Upstate SC
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Creating bad habits

    Hey mama! My girl is almost 4 months as well, and I feel like the people who've given me advice lately are doing so because they think that even though I've done a good job so far that there's gonna be something wrong at some point & they're just waiting for one piece of advice to stick. I know most people want everyone's children to do well, but sometimes it seems like they also want to take the credit if you follow their advice & it works for you and your LO.
    I say trust your gut and if your baby is happy and healthy, then you're doing it right for you and him!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,643

    Default Re: Creating bad habits

    Auderey: So well stated!!!

    There's medical advice, and then there's parenting advice. Medical advice is based on science (ideally, that is); parenting advice is based on opinion. What you got is parenting advice. You can thank people for their opinions, and then go on to do what works for you and your baby. You know him best. Your pediatrician sees him for 20 minutes every couple of months. Family and friends probably see him a little more often, but they aren't there at 9:00 at night, trying to get a fussy baby to sleep. I guarantee you that if your pediatrician, friends, and family members were handed your baby and told "Okay, you get him to sleep, since you know so much", they wouldn't make it 20 minutes before coming out of the bedroom going and saying "I don't know what he needs, maybe he just needs you!"
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    22

    Default Re: Creating bad habits

    I am doing all of the same with my 4 month old daughter too! Except the swaddling (I only stopped becuase it's too hot in my house) and cosleeping. I often fear that I'm creating bad habits too and many people make me feel that I am, but in the end I am happy with what I'm doing because my little girl is happy. And she loves her mama. I tried to stop doing some of these things and it only made her miserable and that in turn made me miserable. I've adopted the theory that they are only this little once, and I don't want to spend this time trying to force her to do things that make her unhappy; I want to enjoy her. As long as she is happy and healthy, I plan to continue to parent the way that I am comfortable with and makes us happy. You know your baby better than anyone...I say do what you feel is best and works for you and your boy. There is plenty of time for them to become independant little people, so why rush it? Just my way of thinking...but I'm new at this so I may not have the best advice!! Good luck!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    8,018

    Default Re: Creating bad habits

    Just wanted to chime in with some supportive words and say with the pps. It sounds like you are doing great!

    We follow a lot of the same parenting principles. I can assure you that my 4, 7 and 9 year olds did not develop any "bad habits" from having their needs met as infants and toddlers. The eat normal food at regular intervals, go to sleep on their own, and sleep through the night under blankets without being swaddled! More importantly, they have complete faith and trust that we will always be there for them no matter what. We are doing all the same things with our almost 3 month old DD.

    Molly

    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Middle of nowhere in Ohio
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: Creating bad habits

    If you look at the scientific aspects, children who have their needs met quickly when they are infants, form developmentally better than children left to "cry it out" or not have their needs met as quickly. They grow to have better self esteem and believe they can trust people. I always went to my kids when they cried as babies. It also made me feel good to be able to soothe my children all on my own and know that they needed and wanted me. Yes you are overthinking things A baby who is 4 months old doesn't even have any bad habits, they just eat, sleep, poop and coo!
    Passed my CLC exam!

    Mother of 3: 12-25-04 12-3-07 1-13-2011

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: Creating bad habits

    I would say, just try not to give out all this information to people who do not appreciate it

    One thing I learned along the way is to not tell family and friends (except close and trusted friends) too much of what I do. It is not necessary to tell everyone asking how you raise your child, it is sufficient to simply thank them for asking and gently steer the conversation another way - with some of my older family members it worked well to simply steer the conversation to memories of how I was a child or their childhood and they would forget to continue probing into how often I nursed (on demand) or did he have a sleep cycle yet (no, he didn't in fact sleep to any discernibly pattern until about 18 months). I stopped mentioning to my numerous sisters in law that we cosleep and I that I am still nursing (he turns four soon) and as it is unusual they just assume he is weaned long ago and sleeps in his own room, and I never mention I had a home birth.

    I know it sounds like a cowardly thing to do but honestly I do not have the energy to waste on fruitless debate. I need my strenght for my own needs and my child's and my husband's needs.

    I used to just automatically respond to all questions asked with a detailed answer, like a 19th century school girl. Now I mostly thank them for asking and ask about their health etc or their children.

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