- Family and Parenting
All Babies Are Different
One 'Size' Doesn't Fit All
In 'general' a baby can get a little orange juice after two weeks alive. In 'general' a baby should not be given solid food until six weeks. In 'general' a baby should be able to sit up at four months. In 'General' a baby should be trying to walk at a year old.
In specific, it depends on your baby. You must know your baby. You must know when your baby is hungry and when he is not.
Too many people make 'in general' assumptions, and wonder why they don't have a happy baby.
Don't throw the advice of the pediatrician and your mother out of the window, but temper it to match your baby.
There are babies who will consume a bowl of porridge at four weeks, others who are sitting up in three months. Some begin to walk before a year old.
Some babies cry because they are cold or hot or the sheets feel scratchy. It is not that they are hungry.
Get to know the little person well.
Touching + Holding
Nathan was just over a year, and every time anyone put their hands on him or reached for him he started to cry, and wouldn't stop until back in Daddy's arms. The only person Nathan seemed to like; that is look at and listen to, was a lady who had never tried to touch him.
She would talk to him as if he were grown, looking into his eyes, and Nathan always paid attention to her.
The parents couldn't understand it until the lady told them; "Nathan doesn't like to be passed around like a bag of groceries. Don't let people hold him unless he reaches for them."
It never occurred to the parents that Nathan objected or that the term 'bag of groceries' might be more what he was feeling than they were thinking.
Many babies do not like going hand to hand. Some do. Some want everyone to hold them. Some don't want anyone but Daddy. Know your baby. You wouldn't let a perfect stranger pick up and nuzzle your six year old, why let them hold your six month old?
Some babies cry when they are held in standard against the shoulder style. They actually want to be held like a football. Being on their bellies, looking forward, they can see what is happening and feel more in control.
It may not look pretty, but sometimes you will be astounded that the fussy baby in your arms becomes the alert happy one simply by the change of holding.
Talk to Your Baby
Too many parents assume the baby doesn't understand or that it is silly to talk to them. This is a very big mistake. Even before birth talk to your baby. Talk in a pleasant voice as if you are talking to an adult. Don't use baby talk. This would be like teaching a child Greek but everyone else speaks Italian. Why should a baby start life with a 'language' that has no future?
It is better to say; "Are you hungry? Do you want food? Food," than "Mommie baby ungwy? Hmm Ungwy? Wan mummum?"
Talk to you baby, the sound of your voice, the cadence of the language will be absorbed. You will be amazed that the change in the timbre of your voice, going from happy to concerned will be picked up and responded to.
Babies love to be talked to as intelligent beings. Talked to, read to, soothed by the sound of your voice. Explain things to a baby as if he or she can understand. The baby might not get your words but the sentiments.
Them & You
Notice other parents. Notice the good and the bad. Notice the toddler who looks to his mother before doing anything and responds to the nod or head shake. Notice the child who doesn't seem to know his name despite how many times his mother shrieks it.
The calm alert child; the fussy whiney one, the one that screams for attention, these are the results of the parenting that child received.
Some parents are 'told' not to pick up a baby unless he or she cries. Well, you know why the toddler is screaming. Some parents think that every baby needs to be fed bang on 3 hours of the clock, so is trying to shove the bottle in the babies mouth when the baby isn't hungry.
By seeing the responses of other babies you can compare and contrast to your own, appreciating that your baby is unique. And though 'in general' is good for statistics,
it has no place in your nursery.