On my mind: Parenting styles

on my mind

Happy Friday! How was your week?

One of the things that I’ve found really interesting since becoming a mum is how totally differently people approach the daunting task that is parenthood. In my old job, I used to work on a parenting book list, so I was well aware of how many opposing view there were on what the ‘right’ thing to do is. And now that I’ve been doing it for a few months and have actually read some of the books (along with countless, countless websites!), as well as seen how differently the other NCT mums are all approaching it, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is definitely no one right way.

I am a pretty organised and structured person, so I knew that I wanted to have some sort of routine for Theo. I read about and settled on a loose interpretation of The Baby Whisperer. Some of her suggestions are pretty crazy, so I’ve ignored those, but Theo seems to be happy with our little routine of eating, playing, napping, even if he never naps for more than 30 minutes at home, meaning there’s a lot more playing than napping! They say that babies like familiarity, and that routines relax them, and he certainly seems very settled so I’m happy I went down this road.*

I also believe in independent play, so although he has toys and I do play loads with him, I also think he needs time to play on his own on his mat, exploring what he can do with his body without tons of other stimuli. I’ve been following Janet Lansbury on Facebook, and she has some lovely suggestions, even if again, I don’t agree with everything she suggests. He generally seems quite happy with his playtime, and it’s SO fun watching him first discover his hands, and start wriggling about, threatening to roll over!

I am happy with what we’re doing, but of course everyone does it so differently. There are mums in my NCT groups who have no routines at all, whose babes stay up late playing so that dad has a chance to see them, who have every baby toy known to man. Some babies love their dummies, some love ceebeebies. You know what? Those babies seem pretty happy too.

I think a person’s parenting style is so much more about helping the parents get by and feel good about what they’re doing, rather than helping the baby. As long as they are healthy, feel secure and loved, get a bit of rest each day and aren’t worried about where they’re going to get their next meal from, babies seem to be pretty relaxed about the whole thing!

If you’re a mum, what did you do that helped you?

Other things I’ve been reading and thinking about this week:

Happy weekend!

* I should probably make clear that by settled sadly I don’t mean ‘sleeping through the night’ or anything crazy like that. He’s just generally a smiley, calm baby. When he sleeps through the night for the first time I think I’m going to throw myself a party to celebrate! 

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