Friday, February 15, 2008

Combating Babywise Myths #4: If you need help with it, then it is obviously a wrong thing to do

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This was a comment made on the Babycenter boards back in about April or May of 2007. I really found this to be odd logic. Here is the reason.

We need help with a lot of things, both as mothers and just as humans. Here are just some short lists:

As a Human, I have Needed Help With:
  • Learning how to drive
  • Learning how to use a computer and various programs
  • Learning my ABCs
  • Learning how to cut my husband's hair
  • Learning how to sew
  • Learning how to dance
  • Learning how to cook
You get the picture. We need a lot of help and support. Even after I knew how to cook, I would often call my mom for clarification about the recipe. I had the recipe in front of me. I had helped her make it. I had eaten it a thousand times. But I still had questions. I needed to make sure I was doing it correctly. I wanted to know that I understood the process. I don't think I should take that as a sign that cooking is a bad thing.
These days, I now have a lot of experience cooking (relatively speaking). I make new recipes every week without needing to ask anyone questions. I still try to improve my knowledge and skills in the area, but it is much easier for me than it was in the beginning.
As a Mother, I Have Needed Help With:
  • Nursing
  • Bathing
  • Diapering
  • Dealing with sickness
  • Teething
  • Knowing just how to dress baby for different seasons
  • Discipline
Again, you get the picture. Let's explore the item I listed that is most difficult (at least in my eyes). Nursing. Brayden was no natural, and neither was I. It took us several tries to get latched on. I had several visits from lactation consultants in the hospital. I visited again when he was 2 weeks old to monitor our progress. I read a lot of material on breastfeeding. I don't think anyone could argue that since nursing required some assistance, it was the wrong thing for me to do. We worked, we got it, and we nursed successfully for one year. We weaned at one year old only because I wanted to, not because we needed to.
Nursing Kaitlyn was a very different experience. She latched on the second we tried. I was an experienced nurser. I didn't have one visit from a lactation consultant. We had it from day one. When she was 6 weeks old, she contracted thrush and I a yeast infection in my nipples. I contacted a friend of mine who is a lactation consultant. She gave me several ideas for helping us get over it quickly and help my nipples heal. The fact that I needed help to fix this nursing difficulty didn't mean nursing Kaitlyn was a bad thing. It meant I didn't know and knew someone with experience and knowledge who could help me. Within hours of starting her suggestions, things were better. We are still nursing at 10 months old.
So here is my point, even in motherhood, everything doesn't come to us as second nature. We learn the best ways to bath a baby. We learn tips on preventing diaper rash. If diaper rash happens, we learn how to treat it. Even if we read about something, we will ask humans for advice.
There are support groups for Babywise moms, yes. That doesn't mean Babywise is a bad thing that shouldn't be done. I also belong to a Breastfeeding Group. That doesn't make breastfeeding a bad thing. People in general need support, and I think women especially value it.
It is okay to have questions. It is okay to need clarification. In a recent email, Anne Marie Ezzo told me, "The other thing to keep in mind for all - is the proverbial 'bell curve' there will always be those on either end of that curve and of course it would be impossible to deal with all of that in one book and is why a blog site like yours is helpful." I loved this statement. A book can be a good guide and a great start, but it cannot cover every possible scenario. It is great to have people to talk to. People can ask questions back and get more information. People can tailor the answer to your unique situation.
Continue to seek help when you need it. It says nothing negative about you, your baby, your parenting style, or your parenting ability. It says you are wise to seek the experience of others. It says you are humble. It says you are willing to learn and continue to improve your abilities. I have always found the wisest people of all to be those who realize they don't have all the answers. I love this quote from a song by the band Kansas, "And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know." How true it is.

3 comments:

Krystal said...

Me again. :) Well today I layed her on her back to take her naps-did not go well. :( I feel so bad, that I know she is tired, and she is up there crying. She feel asleep for the 3rd nap really quickly, and I was like YES! But she only slept for about 30 min. and then she was awake and crying. After 1 hr. I took pity on her, and went and gave her loves, and put her back down on her tummy. But I think she was just too worked up, overtired, etc. and she didn't go to sleep. So when I finally went to get her to eat, she was on her back again. I don't know what to do!! Should I just wait until she can roll both ways so that she can get herself on her tummy if she flips over during the night (in in the meantime continue turning her over when she does get on her back)?? Or should I continue on this path and just stick it out w/ the CIO?? Also, how do I help her her learn to roll from her back to her tummy? During awake time she is so content on her back (playing w/ her feet, watching her brother, etc) that she doesn't even try. Sorry I keep bothering you!

Dana said...

Thank You!!!

Plowmanators said...

Krystal,

I would continue to put her to bed the way you do it. If she hasn't rolled over yet, she might not be able to yet. I would practice during playtime--as in, give her the opportunity to learn. I would prefer naps to continue to go well and just flip her in the night. If naps started to become an issue, I would consider CIO. Without knowing if she is capable of flipping on her own, I wouldn't want to mess up naps just to teach her. You can't force her to learn to roll over, but you can try enticing her with things she has a facination with. For example, my baby has a facination with my cell phone, especially because she isn't allowed to play with it. So if you have something like that with your baby, put it in a position where she would have to roll over to get to it. Good luck!

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