It will go against all of your instincts and odds are you won’t be able to do it without good reason. See below for good reason…
It’s Time To Cut The Cord Already!
We’ve all heard it. The metaphorical insinuation that moms (and dads) are doing way too much, and they need to back off. And it’s not just that, it’s the sarcastic inference that goes with it: you’re harming your child. Whether it’s in reference to how you’re overly babying your kid in some way, or to the helicopter-parenting style started by GenX parents who reached adulthood feeling somewhat detached and vowed not to raise their kids that way, now being carried on by the Millennials. As a mom, being targeted with that line is insulting. Like, mind your own business, asshole, I know what I’m doing. Well here’s news: You need to cut the cord.
This statement is a good rule of thumb when it comes to a lot the parenting styles that will inevitably lead to some seriously negative outcomes. I’ll concede that this is my opinion, and obviously, depends on how you look at the situation. If you like the idea of single-handedly creating a future situation that will require you to figure out how to fix, because of something you did years prior, well then, this post isn’t for you. You go. Helicopter-away.
I guess I haven’t really gotten to what this post is about yet. But it really is, The Best Advice You’ll Ever Get – The Hardest Advice To Follow:
Put Your Baby Down
Yep, that’s it. Put Your Baby Down, right from the beginning. It’s that simple. I’m sure you’re wondering what harm will come of holding your baby for a few weeks, almost solid. Let’s talk about it.
After a few weeks of holding and trying to adjust to the new feed, diaper and sleep schedule that has you feeling frazzled, the idea of putting the baby down becomes appealing. Maybe someone already told you to put your baby down, on day one. And maybe you didn’t want to at the time. Maybe you are ready now. A nice long bath or shower sounds like heaven. Sitting for a meal without a tiny human attached to you seems like a good idea now that mom and baby have bonded and it’s no longer critical (in your mind) to be stuck to each other 24/7. A break would be nice. The bad news: Princess Baby doesn’t feel the same way.
Wait, what? That’s right. Princess is now in charge. Well, unless you’re ready to start implementing the Cry It Out method. My guess is, if you’ve been holding your baby every waking hour (and some sleeping hours) and scheduling in dad, grandma, older siblings, neighbors, friends, etc., to hold while you use the restroom, you’re actively trying to avoid situations that will result in a crying baby. Well now that Princess is a few weeks old, and all of your helpers have disappeared, crying is exactly what is going to happen when you decide now is the time to put her down. This is action/reaction in full force, and I’ll go one further, being experienced in this department and say, again, this is one plus one, people. Trust me.
Problems that stem from avoiding this advice are the subject of many blogs and books on how to train your newborn to sleep. This advice is obviously for moms who have babies older than one day old because it usually takes a few days for mom to decide she wants to put the baby down for more than a minute. To think that a day can make the whole process so much harder than it has to be. That you are now reading books and blogs and mom forums for advice on what to do is unfortunate because it is so easy if it’s addressed on day one.
I haven’t seen any warnings about how hard it will be if/when you finally decide to put the baby down. THIS IS WHY I’M TELLING YOU. If you start on day one, it is much easier than even starting on day two or three, although day two or three is better than starting at one month.
I realize how this sounds. Some moms will probably think I am a cold, heartless, bad mother. I’m advising going against every instinct you will have when that baby is born. I’m ok with that because I am experienced and I have 4 kids who turned out perfectly fine being subjected to this practice. Following the experience I had with my first child, holding or having someone hold him for the first few weeks, leading to him not wanting to be put down, I knew I would never go through that again. And I can promise you, it is much easier doing it on day one than it is at any time that comes after that. So, yes, the longer you wait, the harder it gets.
If You Don’t Like The Idea of Putting Your Baby Down on Day One
Be prepared to deal with it later. I have given this advice to many, many new moms. Some take it, and others don’t. They come back asking, how do I fix this? There is no fix for this. There is a don’t let it happen in the first place. If you decide not to follow this advice, just know, you might regret it later.
The Positives of Putting Baby Down on Day One
Believe it or not, putting your baby down on day one really is the best idea in the world. It trains your baby how to be without you, and it doesn’t take long and doesn’t (usually) involve crying. You may be thinking, am I supposed to never hold my baby? Uh, no. That would be ridiculous. Of course, you can hold your baby! But you want to train her to self-soothe and help her learn how to be independent, and this is part of that.
Think about being in the hospital on day one. Visitors are coming and going, and your baby sleeps happily, laying on the bed in front of you. She is already ok with not being on top of you. Trust me when I say: TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT. Lay her in the bassinette and let her sleep without your movement! I have always found that swaddling is best because it mimics the squeezing she’s used to. Some babies do not mind being unswaddled, though.
Remember that one thing will always lead to another, which means what you do now, will affect what you’re required or not required to do later. Harder now = Easier later. Easier now = Harder later. That concept, by the way, applies to almost everything in life.
Recommendations of The So-Called Baby Experts and Why They Are Wrong
Some want you to hold your baby forever. I’m sorry, no.
There are thousands of recommendations and they seem to be changing every few years. I’ve read them all. You should google them. They are nothing if not interesting. Make sure you consider the fact that they could easily be telling you what you want to hear.
I don’t know about you, but when I find experts conclusions about how things I’m doing with my newborn that are specifically, perfectly, motherly will negatively affect my child’s psychiatric well-being in the future, I can’t take it seriously. This type of advice was just starting to be given out about ten to twenty years prior to the emergence of widespread chronically spoiled brat-syndrome. No thank you to that.
Life cannot be perfect. So many of the so-called experts are recommending this sacrifice of one person for another (mother for child) with the continued holding of a baby, sleeping with the baby, coddling of the baby, doing everything to avoid a crying baby, etc. Why isn’t the stress this causes the mother being factored into the mental state of the future child? Why isn’t how this leads to more coddling, more crying and to kid-ruled households being addressed? Also, when mom finally does decide it’s time to cut the cord, what kind of mental distress is that putting on a two, three or four-year-old?
And how is the effect on marriage not being considered?
Trust me, put your baby down. It’s worth it.