We can all agree that babies do not come with instructions. You will not find a manual that will tell you how things are done.
Your baby will come with his own little personality. Something that worked with a previous child might not save you this time around.
I spent many hours thinking about what kind of mother I wanted to be. I h̶a̶v̶e̶ had a list of things I would never do. Here are the 4 things I said I would never do as a mother.
I have never liked the idea of a baby staring at a screen. I was determined to keep my baby screen-free for as long as possible.
My little chicken has been battling a cold these last couple of days. He has been quite unwell and this has made him cranky and very unhappy. Friday afternoon he was crying non-stop for about 40 minutes. I tried feeding, changing nappy, burping, rocking, singing (in English and in Spanish!), tickling him, putting him on his play mat and on his bouncer. Nothing worked. So I tried a baby sensory video on Youtube. Magic happened. He just sat there staring at the colourful raindrops and smiley clouds.
I try not to resort to this first. When we do watch a video he is sitting on my lap and we cuddle. This way I feel we are getting some quality time together and we only watch 20-30 minutes. It took me only 3 months before giving in to screen time.
Disposable Nappies At Home
Using real nappies was one of the first things I new I wanted to do as a mother. Over the last couple of years I have been very concerned about the amount of waste we generate.
Carrying around a pooped nappy for hours is not something I want to do. Not to mention that we are still trying to find a cloth nappy that holds a poop without leaking. For this reason, we decided to use our cloth nappies at home and disposable nappies only when we are out and about.
And then the nappy rash happened. We thought we would try disposable nappies for a day to see if it got any better. The logic behind this is that they absorb moisture more than cloth. And, indeed, the rash got much better. This led to a week of full-time disposable nappies. But I not happy with this situation and we are going back to the original plan. We have bought new cloth nappies and are being very strict with a maximum 3-hour window before his nappy is changed. If we leave it any longer, the rash will come back. We also give him nappy-free time in the mornings. He really enjoys being able to kick about without a nappy on!
Neglecting Development Exercises
I was going to take him to so many baby classes… He is 3 ½ months old and we have been to 2 classes so far. Our first class was a mummy & baby fitness class followed by baby massage. He cried through the entire thing. After that I found a very interesting baby music class. We went to class just to find out that he was the ONLY baby that had signed up. So much for baby interaction.
At home we were going to do tummy time every day. Massage after every bath. And read a book before bed time every night. Nope, nope and nope. I have been terrible at tummy time. I feel bad and give up as soon as he grunts. But he has learnt to hold his head up thanks to my husband, who has more will power than me! Our little chicken loves his baths, but tends to get very upset when we start drying him. This is why we haven’t even tried to introduce a massage after his bath. I have tried to read a book to him during the day and he just cries. There is no chance I am doing this just before his bedtime.
Leaving The Baby To Cry
This is a tricky one. Nobody wants to hear their wee one crying, it is heartbreaking. I wanted to be the mummy that always makes her baby feel better. I would never leave him to cry.
Yeah right, not that easy.
I do not believe it is healthy to leave a baby crying. I would never choose to ignore my little chicken if he is upset. But just like a dog that can sniff your fear, my little one knows how to pick just the right moment. The other day he fell asleep for his midmorning nap. I sneak into the shower and just as I shampoo… Bam! Crying baby. Am I supposed to jump out of the shower without rinsing? No, I don’t think so. I talk to him from the shower in an attempt to calm him. But we both know he is going to cry for a little bit while I rush my shower.
Am I A Terrible Mother?
No. I am a mother that is learning on the move. As I said earlier, there is no manual with the right answers. I have a plan, but I am not afraid to take a turn and go in a different direction if that is what we need.
Each mummy has to try different things and take on board whatever works for her and her baby. We are all winging it a little bit at this motherhood thing.