One of the best things Dr. Spock said in his landmark book, Baby and Child Care, was, “Relax. You know more than you think you do.” You’ll probably find that you know enough for your own child just because you know her so well. When you are together constantly, you are familiar with every little sound and movement. Parents often say they can differentiate between the different cries for hunger, wet, tired, hurt and even cranky. And you will know what to do for each of them.
When babies are small, their needs are exactly the same as their wants. You can’t “spoil” a little one. One of the saddest things I ever heard was when Lloyd’s grandmother said to me as I was holding one of my babies, “I wish I had done more of that. We were told by the experts to stick to a strict schedule and if they cried between times for feeding, to just let them cry or we’d spoil them.” Can you imagine? Here were mothers wanting to cuddle their babies and babies in need of comfort and they were kept apart by the “experts.”
Even I have to admit that sometimes your child’s infancy is not all fun and games. Someone once described a baby as an alimentary canal with a loud noise at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other. And there’s sleep problems, but that’s for next time.
Always know there are definite compensations along the way. I call compensations those fleeting moments of joy when your heart crinkles with foolish love for that baby. And then they grow up in the blink of an eye, and all you’re left with is the memories of those moments.
Next: Sleep Issues