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Challenge: Raising kids is stressful. Let’s share ways to make it less so.

We all think our way is the best way, even when it's not

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As a nursing mom who works from home, I've very rarely been away from my 7 month old for more than a few hours. I can't think of anyone I've spent this much time with day after day, hour after hour. Our apartment is so small, even his porta-crib is right next to our bed. At night we're only separated by a few inches and wooden crib slats that keep him safe in "baby jail."

(That is, until the 3am wake-up call.)

I read a lot of books and scoured the internet before he was born, and shortly thereafter. trying to learn everything I could about baby developmental milestones, sleeping habits and more. I never see battles from the so-called "mommy wars." I see parents that have figured out a lifestyle that works for them, and feel compelled to defend their choices in a world that has too many options - lest feel they made the wrong decision.

I can relate. My little guy was a fantastic sleeper for the first few months. We had a routine and it worked for us. He would always eat when he woke up, and before bed we'd read a story and sing a song. I'd whisper the same comforting assurances as I placed him in the bassinet. Life was good.

Without warning, things changed. I'm still not sure what happened - but everything was thrown off and the little guy couldn't fall asleep without a lot of assistance. I was totally unprepared. I needed a break - physically and mentally. My husband was watching the game with the baby fast asleep when I returned from a run. He figured it out! He had a new pre-nap routine that worked!

Nope. My husband said simply, "You told me to put him down at noon. So I just did."

No song. No book. I was very upset. He had not followed the instructions. He just placed him in bed and walked out. But everything was fine - in fact - everything was great. In my attempt to follow all of the appropriate steps and parent "correctly" I was making us all crazy. Sometimes the baby just wanted to go to sleep. And sometimes there wasn't time for a book, or I didn't feel like singing.

We're back to the pre-nap routine most days and sleeping well. I like the consistency, even if it really doesn't help (who knows?). But I learned an important lesson that day that I think applies to us all. Just because something isn't done your way, doesn't mean it's the wrong way. This is hard for me to admit even now. At the end of the day, as long as the baby is sleeping and everyone clean, dry, fed and loved...Life Is Good.

Be open to suggestions parents, you never know what a little change could solve!

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