I just read a post written by Courtney of Avonlea Way about how she put her baby on a schedule. But something she said reminded me of my experience with baby number two. Courtney writes, “With this routine I knew when to feed him without worrying about what time it was. I was able to read his signals and his needs better too.”
During these first few months of Lucy’s life, I’ve often felt confused about how to make new baby decisions. Yes, I’ve already had a baby, but every baby is different and I’m different than I was before.
Lately, I’ve been trying to figure out how to help Lucy take more regular naps. She is a great night sleeper, but not so consistent at napping. As I’ve struggled, I’ve overwhelmingly had the following thought come to my mind:
The best thing you can do as a parent is listen to your child.
Over and over, I’ve realized that even though I want the answer to what my child needs to be written down in some corner of the internet, unfortunately for me, it’s not there. The only way for me to figure out what my child needs is to watch and listen and respond appropriately. I love what Courtney said about the E.A.S.Y. method because she uses it as a tool to help her anticipate her son’s needs. Advice from other moms and various parenting methods are helpful, not because they solve problems but they help us understand our children better. That said, it is empowering to realize that you–the mom or dad–is the only person who can meet your child’s needs because you love them and live with them and listen to them.
So there it is. My very best bit of parenting advice: listen. Figure out what your child does when they are hungry/tired/frustrated/scared so that you can help them. Maybe that is an obvious aspect of parenthood, but it has definitely taken me two years to realize how important that one bit of information is.