Parenting is not an easy thing for me, I learned a lot about myself during this time, and became stronger mentally and physically than ever. At the same time, I realized that the way I communicate with the baby and follow her during her development is very simple and easy. From the side especially – as I hear all the time from friends and strangers. Why is that?
I believe there is no easy answer. It’s a combination of factors that led me to the point I am now. But one thing comes to my mind. I try really hard to trust my kid in her needs. What does it mean?
When eating – not to force her, offer options (according to her age of course. For instance, at 10 months I offer her water or formula to choose) and accept refusal. The hardest part of this is when I see she’s hungry, but denying formula bottle. Ugh, it’s hard – but she needs to learn that when she is hungry, it’s time to eat.
- My Child Won’t Eat!: How to enjoy mealtimes without worry
- WHY PARENTS SHOULDN’T FORCE FOOD ON PICKY CHILDREN, ACCORDING TO A NEW STUDY
- DON’T FORCE KIDS TO EAT. PERIOD.
When sleeping – not to force her, slowly to calm her down, provide rituals and give her a try to get asleep on her own. I’m still working on it and now I’m on the part ”offer to get asleep on her own”, but it’s a long way to go, it’s not easy at all. But I whant my baby has good sleeping habits – so yes, I will work on this part.
- HOW TO FOLLOW YOUR BABY’S AWAKE WINDOWS FOR BETTER SLEEP
- YOU CANNOT FORCE SLEEP
- Sleep Train a Baby? Don’t!
- 8 Reasons NOT to Give Kids a Bedtime
When playing – not to disturb her, watch and offer help, but to not do games for her. I believe that the baby will learn to play for sure. I feel sad when I’m seeing adults showing their kids how to play in the sand. Please, once again: not playing with their kids, but for and without them. It can be fun (I do hope this is at least fun for those parents), but I prefer to give my kid a chance to work on her imagination. We will play together when she will show me the rules, not when I’m on charge and tell her what to do.
- 4 ways to encourage independent play for baby’s benefit—and yours
- Why Independent Play Is Necessary For Your Child’s Health
- Why Playing Alone Is Important for Children
- Experts Agree: Independent Play Creates Successful Adults
When growing up – not to speed up a development. Your baby is an individual, he knows better when to sit and to walk. He will do it on his own way and in a perfect time.
- Kiss Me!: How to Raise Your Children with Love
- Your Baby Skin to Skin: Learn to trust your baby’s instincts in the first year
- Baby Knows Best: Raising a Confident and Resourceful Child, the RIE Way
When hanging around – ask her to help me. It a really good idea to involve the baby to home stuff from her youngest age. At the age of ten months, my kid helps me to unload a dishwasher. That’s so cool, I’ve even started to load dishes more often into the machine.
The most challenging part of all above is to stop myself each time I want to help, to speed up or to force my kid to do something in my way. For instance, it was terrifying for me to put her in the crib drowsy, but awake – as all sleep advises tell to do. It was so hard to make her to fall asleep and I was sure she can do it only in my hands. But eventually, I became so tired that I gave up and gave my kid a chance. No, not from the first time, it took a week or so – but she did! She did finally asleep on her own! It was a great day (and night!).
Bottom line. Try to trust your kid with a physical and emotional development. He can reeeeeally surprise you!