Sassy Dots

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Begin With the End in Mind

This post is dedicated to our friends J and E who are expecting their first baby in February. *applause* But any time now would be good, right J? lol They had little cards to write advice on at their shower, but I neglected to do so. I'm trying to make up for it now. :)

The best advice that I can impart on any first time parent is this simple phrase; Begin with the end in mind. Take a couple of minutes to sit with your partner and talk about how you see life after baby. There are so many different parenting techniques/models/styles. So talk with your spouse or partner and figure out what is important to you.

Do you want baby to sleep in bed with you or in their crib in their own room? Do you want to carry them around in a sling? Do you want them to play well on their own? Do you want to teach them about healthy eating? Do you want them to be able to sleep through the noise of a party? Do you want to rock them to sleep every night? Do you want them to have a pacifier or not? Do you want to teach them that reading is important?

I'll give you an example. K and I always said that we wanted to make sure that C would sleep through anything. When people first came to the house to visit they would whisper if she was asleep. We quickly told them not to worry, speak normally, in fact, speak loudly. The dog would bark, the phone would ring, and C would sleep right through it because she was used to the noise. On the flip side I heard of a couple who would turn the phone off when their kids slept, and any little peep would wake them up.

There are of course things that will come up that you didn't anticipate. K and I said that we didn't want to give C a pacifier, well, she had a really strong suck reflex, so really the paci was something that turned out to be beneficial for the first bit. That is, until she started waking up from sleep because she had spit it out. We realized, after a couple of restless nights, that we would have to go back to our original plan of no paci. It took another few restless nights to break her of the habit, but she slept much better after that. It's much easier to avoid developing a habit, than it is to break one, but that's not always possible.

Now you might think that some of these issues won't arise until they are much older, but I would argue that that is not the case. Everything you do as a parent develops attitudes, personality traits, habits and values in your child right from the start. If eating healthy is important to you, then you as a parent need to lead by example, maybe even think about making their baby food. If you want them to love reading, then maybe a book before bed every night is the way to go. I'm not trying to say what is right or wrong or even if there is a right or wrong. What I am saying is you need to decide what is important to YOU which means acting in a way that will lead to your goal.

Really me,
The mommy


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I know this is your blog, so I hope it's ok for me to impart my 2 cents (aka my "mommy advice"), which is the following: Always pack at least 2 changes of clothes in the diaper bag...the day will come when you'll need them both! :)

  3. Great advice Anita, and very true. You're always welcome to add your advice!

  4. Hi Nik! Can I add something? Read about all the different "sleep solutions" out there before baby comes. Decide which one you like and works for your parenting beliefs. Discuss with partner what this means (i.e. if you use cry it out, everyone has to be prepared for it)Stick it out, but if it feels wrong don't worry about stopping.

    And your "momtuition" is usually 100% right, so don't ignore it.

  5. Great tips GoeyGirl. Definitely always trust your momtuition! Thanks for adding in!