Note from Naomi: Today's post is a guest post from Jade, a newly wed fellow mummy blogger who has written a guest post about choosing a baby led lifestyle when bringing up her gorgeous son! Make sure you check out her blog over at The Newly Weds.
When you're pregnant with this tiny little peanut that you'e longed for such a long time, you spend a lot of your time reading, researching and talking to other mummies about the best way to bring up this little human. Of course, as a mummy (and daddy) you only want what's best for your baby. You like to think that by doing all this reading and researching and talking to others who have already embarked on the parenting journey that by time your baby arrives you will be filled with the best knowledge and ready to go.
However... we quite quickly learnt after Baby O was born, that we were very much learning on the job, there are no parenting manuals or people's advice that can prepare you for the little whirlwind that has entered your lives.
My husband (Dan) and I are very laid back people, sometimes a little too laid back but we made no firm plans for baby's arrival, the only thing we knew was that we wanted a happy mummy and a happy baby.
I knew I wanted a natural birth, but if it didn't work out - that's ok. I knew I wanted to try and breastfeed, but if it didn't work out - that's ok. I knew I wanted baby to sleep in his own crib, but if he wanted cuddles in bed with mummy - that's ok. You get the picture. Being a first-time mummy and daddy, you are brand new, just like your baby. You are all learning and who knows how things are going to pan out.
Once we were at home with baby O (and no I didn't get my natural birth, why did no one tell me contractions hurt that much, thank the lord for epidural) we very much still had no plans. All we knew is that this tiny little person seemed to be the boss and oh boy did he know what he wanted. And that's where it began...we gave him just what he wanted. Was this wrong? Was we making a rod for our own back? Should we be putting him into a routine like everyone kept telling us?
We fed him when he wanted feeding, be that every 2 hours, or every 4. We also give him bottles of formula as well as breast milk to give mummy's boobies a break and satisfy the hungry beast.
He slept in his Next2Me crib most of the night (thankfully we were blessed with a good sleeper), but if I couldn't settle him at 5 am then he came into bed for a cuddle so we could all get those last few hours shut eye.
If the only way he will nap in the day is laid on my chest then that's fine, you can't get enough of baby cuddles anyway so any excuse. I mean come on, Baby O is 6 months now, and as the days and weeks went by, we started noticing he was starting to develop his own routine. Yes, that's right, our baby put himself into a routine so that's what we have gone with.
He was ready for it, so he did it. Just like everything else. You can't force a baby to roll or sit up, they do it in their own time. When they are ready. He is now feeding 4 hourly, still naps on mummy in the day at around 10am, 12.30 and 5pm, was weaned at 4 and a half months and now on finger food. Has eaten Ella's kitchen pouches and goes to bed at 7pm and sleeps the night.
He has led the way and made this his routine and it has worked for us. I know this may not work for everyone but it fits in perfectly with our life style at the moment. People try to drum advice into you and scare you with all sorts, but you just take the advice you want and simply leave the rest with a nod and a smile.
In the grand scheme of things most babies turn into children, then adults and can sleep through the night in their own bed and not on their mothers chest, are potty trained, no longer eat only puréed food and don't require a bottle of milk or a breastfeed every hour.
You raise your babies and children the way that works for you, and other mothers should only salute you for doing such a fine job!