Picture of a family, including mom, dad, and three young children

Why I Know Nothing About Mom Techniques

I have three children. So: people mistake me for a baby professional.

This post is juxtaposed with my thoughts last week about how moms are the health experts in their children’s lives. I still believe that. But, if you were to ask me for baby techniques? I have very little to offer.

When asked how my babies self-sooth, I draw a blank stare. They don’t! I have never sleep trained and wouldn’t know where to begin. My swaddle is pitiful. I don’t know how to prepare a bottle of formula. Really, I don’t.

Yikes!

Part of this is because I don’t ignore my instincts. I’ll cry if I go against where my heart is tugging. And when my baby cries or fusses or squirms, I don’t care what time it is; I’m going to nurse! I can’t not. I can’t not!

I just go with the flow. Baby’s wants and baby’s needs are the same. Many mothers will say: “My baby won’t let me put them down!” Well, good! That’s a baby with a good desire. Your baby was inside you. It wants to be close to its mom, to nurse, and be loved, to experience the most basic human language: touch. When they’re outside, they can’t get close enough. Trust me: holding your baby won’t create a bad habit. Babies don’t have bad habits. They have survival instincts and desires that create emotional stability for independence later on. Hold your baby. Nurse your baby. DO what YOU want to do with your baby! Habits need not apply.

But, I must say: when mom needs a break, that’s a good desire too! Don’t feel bad wanting an hour to yourself. Your desire for a break is your natural response to being pulled at, sucked on, and needed 24/7. Getting a break helps you be a better mom. So: get someone else to hold the baby and take a break guilt-free.

People talk a lot about different techniques on how to handle your baby, but I don’t think any ONE technique is superior to another. I think they ALL belong in your tool box. You pull things out as you need them. There’s no reason to use tools just to use them. If your baby is inconsolable, break out the swaddle and see if it works. If your baby will go to day care and need to crib sleep, then sleep train. If you adopted or for some other reason can’t nurse, thank goodness for formula!

From the beginning, I’ve just done what I wanted to do with my babies. I’ve kept them close. I’ve nursed them (still, I nurse my 18-month-old daughter on demand!). I sleep with them. They can hop in my bed whenever they want!

And you know what? They’re thriving. They are not what people warned me they would become. Instead of clingy, needy, and unable to cope with the world, they are independent, happy, and clambering to get away from me. I’m tickled every time my daughter pushes me away to go on an adventure with her brothers. I’m delighted when I see my 5-year-old son hop on the bus to preschool without fear. I love seeing my 3-year-old son interact with others in his joy-filled clowny way.

These things we want to do to nurture our babies are called instincts. They’re human-natured and they’re there for a reason. Trust them. And ignore the ideas people throw at you about habits and manipulation and how your baby is taking advantage of you. Pish posh. Babies and mamas. Mamas and babies. They’re the most beautiful combination when left alone.

Pinterest Graphic: Why I Know Nothing About Mom Techniques

Share this post

Cheer Here #5: Time to Stop.

Cheer Here #5: Time to Stop.

I recently had my kids to myself for two weeks. My husband is in the Navy Reserves and took his annual 2-week obligation in Yokosuka, Japan. As the wife of a former active duty sailor, I’ve done this before, and I know how to set reasonable goals, how to capitalize and make the best of our time without dad, and – most of all – how to survive with grace!
But, I’m an ambitious mom. “Ambitious” is the euphemism I use for flighty, frantic, fast-moving, overly-focused, and (often) motivated for no good reason. I just try to get a lot done. Laundry and a trip to the library and dinner and Oh, maybe I’ll make bread for us today. (Spoiler alert: the bread did not get made.)

Read More »
Skip the Baby Shower and Throw Her a Nesting Party!

Skip the Baby Shower and Throw Her a Nesting Party!

Whether we have the closeness we need for postpartum support or not, we need intention. Things don’t happen magically. But one way to at least get acquainted with a new mother’s home is to throw her a prenatal nesting party!

Now, does it really make sense to throw another baby shower for a mom going on her third, fourth or fifth child? This isn’t exactly her first rodeo. But don’t we still itch to celebrate her? She’s having a baby! Her family is about to change and grow and that deserves recognition. What is more, the larger the family, the larger the need. She’ll need friends who know their way around and are comfortable in her home. So, when your friend is pregnant, ditch the baby shower idea and instead throw her a nesting party.

Read More »
Mason Jar Snacks

Mom Tip: Mason Jar Snacks!

Mason jars have become the center of our universe, and I love their practical uses. When I saw mason jar snack ideas on Facebook, I knew I had to try it! I’ve found that these are great in conjunction with my snack packs. They serve a different purpose (yogurt and granola don’t go so well in a Tupperware container!) and I usually pack 1 or 2 snack packs for the kids and a mason jar for myself. Mama’s gotta eat, too! Never mind that my snacking often happens quickly in the car.

Read More »