Friday, February 11, 2011

My parenting advice? Just keep on keeping on...

The thing about going onto the Internet for advice about raising children is that there is SO MUCH information out there. And it all contradicts itself (and always adamantly). Baby must have their own crib! Co-sleeping is best! Pacifiers work! Pacifiers will ruin them for life! Let them cry it out! Crying it out will traumatize the child and they'll never trust their parents and won't do well in school and will end up a college drop-out living in a van down by the river!

The second night FunnyKid was home, I caved in and gave him a pacifier someone had given us as a gift (despite my decision that he wouldn't be using them). Then I went on the Internet and found several sources that said pacifiers should no way, no how be given before the baby is three weeks old because it will cause nipple confusion and they will stop breastfeeding and what-were-you-thinking-you-must-be-a-first-time-mom-what-with-such-a-dumb-mistake! I cried.

But FunnyKid spit out the pacifier within minutes of falling peacefully asleep and then kat's lil sis told me her kids were given pacifiers in the hospital and then the pediatrician confirmed that we were not actually ruining the kiddo for life by giving him a pacifier to soothe him as long as he was weaned off it by nine months old (FunnyKid weaned himself off after using it four times so no worries there).

As the months have gone on (I can't believe FunnyKid is already six months old!), I've gotten a lot better about choosing what advice works for us-- and I avoid using Google to help me decide what's best for FunnyKid. But every once in awhile-- say, in the middle of the night when FunnyKid has been crying for awhile and we are trying to get him to go back to sleep without eating because we know he's waking up out of habit instead of hunger-- it's so tempting to search the Internet to see if we're doing the right thing.

And, not surprisingly, the advice ranges from Babies cry, let them cry! to Crying it out will scar your child! Because we are now somewhat experienced that this parenting gig, we did what worked for us (and I didn't even cry). And I'm 99% sure we haven't ruined FunnyKid for life (yet).

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