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January 21, 2005

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Kim

I think that especially as first time parents, you get inundated with advice, and naturally, everyone thinks the way they raise THEIR kids is the best way. Trust your instincts, go with your gut, and you'll be fine.

I breastfed 3 of mine for around 2 years each. Veda got cut off at 19 months when I had preterm labor issues with Luka; Luka self-weaned at 10 months, then I herniated a disc and was on too many narcotics to go back. I try not to beat myself up too much about all that anymore.

Cosleeping has worked great for us. Our kids are well-adjusted and independent, and the closeness gained by sharing sleep with them has been great. I didn't cosleep with my oldest, and there is definitely a difference in the bonding. But, you know - it's not for everyone. You gotta do what works best for you and Bosslady - and Peanut too, of course.

Your love for your daughter shines through everyone post, my friend. Peanut will be just fine.

Metro Reader

Not to make too much of this but the Nigerian joke was a mildly racist cheap shot. Your sense of humor is usually knife sharp but c'mon: goat milk vs. beetle dung? Such are not the actions of an aspiring Best Daddy Blogger.

Laura

As I read this, I thought, "they must only have one kid". With number two, I got a LOT more relaxed in my approach!!! I still nurse her (b/c it's cheaper) and she does sleep with me (b/c if she doesn't, she'll scream until she vomits).

But lets take the topic of sanitation for instance. My opinion is that exposure to germs builds the immune system!!! Bring on the ball pit at McDonald's. Screw "them".

This is no contest as to who can be the best parent. We're in the trenches. It's about survival from minute to minute and nothing else.

Suzanne

I remember all the insane advice I got from everyone when little man was a baby. I agree with you totally,...keep life and parenting in perspective, in balance, follow your instincts. What works for one child might not work for another. People laughed at me when I read him books as a newborn, or told me he would get a virus if he wasn't totally swathed in blankets from head to toe on a day reaching 90 degrees. (i'm sorry, the kid looked hot to me geeze). I know they meant well, but I did what I thought was best, and I've got a great, healthy, smart, well spoken, son, that people comment on all the time.
"My, he's so well spoken for a child" "he's so polite"...I suppose I'm doing something right!
You are too! Peanut is very lucky!

MetroDad

Hey, MetroReader....on second reading, I could see how one would see my Nigerian joke as borderline racist. But I think, as most of my regular readers know, I'm far from racist. If anything, I'm an equal-opportunity xenophobe and self-deprecating wise-ass. Next time, I promise to poke more fun at White Men of European descent, the French and the Latvians. And of course, one need only read my site briefly to see me poke fun at my Korean ancestors. All in good fun but your point is well taken.

And for my Nigerian readers out there, I say "Ku Aro!"

Bradley

First time commentor here, MetroDad. And let me say that I couldn't agree with you more. For a first time parent, you seem to have a healthy perspective on the balance that you need to have between being fully informed and being able to choose your own path. You'll find that everyone in the world will give you parenting advice. Take what you want. Ignore the rest. But I think you, the BossLady and the Peanut will be fine. You seem to be handling it all in stride. It's not easy but it sure is rewarding, isnt' it?

Keep up the great work!

geoff

hear hear.

we haven't even had our twins, and already the advice is flowing! i like your attitude and intend to stick by it. but yah, the idealism of a novice parent is certainly a beautiful thing... :)

Dr. Johnny Fever

That's just what the world needs: smarter strippers.

Kristie

I personally didn't breast feed because I recognize that my diet sucks. I don't eat well enough to keep myself healthy, let alone nourish my children properly. Green veggies are not a regular part of my diet. Red meat is. And starches. Had I breasfed my girls they probably would have turned out to be chunky kids with chronic snotty noses.

I also didn't do the co-sleep thing. First, I didn't want to smother them by rolling on them. Second...I think it's a hard habit to break. When you're ready for the munchkin to sleep in his or her own bed so that you can spend some quality time with your spouse...the munchkin will probably protest. I'm all about avoiding screaming hissy fits when it's at all possible. (This is also the reason that I didn't let my girls keep their pacifiers past 6 weeks old. I didn't want to go through the horrors of losing it and breaking in a new one.)

Look around at all of the hellions running around out there. The ones with the parents who read the books and applied what they learned. I didn't read the books and I can't remember one time that my child acted like a maniac in a store (with the screaming and the running and the throwing things). Those "experts" don't really help anyone.

Meredith

I was also NOT breastfed as was the hip thing in the early seventies. So Mom says anyway. I have often wondered how much smarter I'd be and I have my breastfed brother to remind me that SOMETHING made him smarter. Of the few things the pyschic in Korea could tell me for sure, one was that my brother was smarter. I was smart enough to already know that though...

I remain a sponge on the sidelines waiting for all the wisdom that your thirteen or fourteen weeks of parenthood has imparted. Thanks as usual.

Johnny Damon

I was too busy laughing at the Mother Shabubu joke that I haven't been able to read the rest of your post! I'm sure it's equally witty and imparted with good advice. That's what keeps us all coming back for more!

ShortStoryDude

Last time I was at a strip club in Jersey they had the most beautiful Nigerian stripper.

maiji

I hear you on this one Metro. When I was pregnant with my little girl, I soaked up everything I could from the internet. Now, after 20 mos., I feel it comes down to your gut instinct and what method works best for you and the baby. You can't force yourself to follow everything you read just because medical research says its the best. As long as the baby not in danger of harming herself, I just sit back and lay off the paranoia.

honestyrain

i think people should only do what i do when parenting their kids. i'm a parenting genius. it's almost creepy how good i am.

hang on, someone just threw a shoe at me.

ungrateful little cosleeping breastfed til he was 2....

Krissy

Oh, but if you look at it that way, the options for being wracked with guilt are seriously reduced. As first-time parents it's our job to mindfuck every single little choice until we're curled up on the floor in a fetal position being caned by the ghosts of our MILs and La Leche Advisors.

I had a breast reduction and successfully fed Charlie a few ounces a day for two months. I briefly fetaled over giving it up and my pediatrician laughed at me and told me to get over myself. Formula is fine.

We didn't co-sleep because my husband sleeps like the dead. If the dead were to roll and kick a lot and steal all the covers. He frequently almost smothers the cats. No way will the baby be in the bed.

And, can you imagine being two years old and being kicked out of the only bed you've known? I have to think that's more damaging than learning to sleep in the crib from the get-go. I know some, otherwise exemplary parents, who are preparing to move their two year old to his own room now that they have another baby on the way.

Grrrreat. Because there isn't enough resentment in a sibling relationship. Tell the older kid that not only will the baby get all the daytime attention, only CUTE people are allowed to sleep with mom and dad. To the toddler bed, ugly!

I feel strongly about this crap.

I have a very cheerful, frighteningly strong and intelligent bottle-fed crib-sleepin' babeh.

Works for us.

alice, uptown

I wasn't breastfed (it wasn't done in my mom's social circles in 1960) and I turned out fine. What amuses me more is a recent study that says kids who have been exposed to second-hand smoke grow up to be less intelligent than their peers. (No one correlated parents' IQ with kids; the researchers weren't exactly the sharpest knives in the drawer). I scored in the 99th percentile on every standardized test I ever took. Imagine how well I would have done if I'd grown up in a non-smoking home....

Beth

Back when I was a new mom (shortly before man's discovery of fire), I was so scared I would do the wrong thing with my son (now the Famous Zero Boss). My dad, bless his heart, looked at me, winked, and said, "just love him, Bugs, and the rest will follow." Heck Metro, if she is a stripper someday, she will probably have a financial portfolio that will make us all weep with envy.

Z.

I have a three and a half year old daughter...last month I had the problem of her wanting to sleep with me...she kept coming to my bed...at first I did not know how to react because the American "books" say, it is not a "good" thing. Then I thought...Americans may want to raise individualistic and strong children, well, us living in Istanbul, Turkey, it seemed my daughter wanted to have intimacy with me nowadays. I was confused!! At last, I consulted a dear friend who is a child psychologist who told me not to mind too much...I was relieved. Now, she goes to sleep in her room...then (if) she wakes up during night she comes to my bed. I love watching her cuddle up so joyfully, and she kisses me in the morning on my cheeks...I guess to motivate me further. Well, the bottomline is to love our children I guess.Is this a comment or a commentoire??

Grins

My son is probably better adjusted since I didn't let him sleep with me. If he had I'd never have gotten any rest. You don't want to see me if I haven't gotten any rest. It is tres scary. Tres.

Roger

Be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Problem with medical research is that there is very rarely black and white. yes, go with your gut. But let that gut be informed by research. We made a decision early on to ignore conflicting family and friend advice/criticism and let our pediatrician (whom we have learned to trust) be the arbiter, and guide the development of our parental gut instinct. On the breastfeeding- DW found it very difficult, and gave up after 3 months. Once she "got over it" (our pedia's advice) we were all a lot happier. So Mr. Bean MAY have an IQ 5 points lower... What does that really matter? I doubt that will significantly affect his life, and given the overwhelming diversity of forces which shape us as we grow, there's no way of knowing, so it's not worth worrying about. Most of the breastfeeding guilt is driven by La Leche anyhow, and most doctors understand that the research shows that breastfeeding is advantageous, but formula will not make your kid a retard!

Breast feeding for 10 - 15 minutes per breast 8 - 10 times every 24 hours is an ideal target. Crying is a sign of hunger, which means you should actually feed your baby before he starts crying. During the first few days, you may have to wake your baby to begin breast feeding, and he may end up falling asleep during feeding.

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