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Hello Moms - I have a beautiful 10 month old daughter. She is very bright, curious and active. I have no concerns about her development as she babbles, loves playing peekaboo (has even figured out how to be the one hiding), chasing mommy and daddy, etc. I have been heavily criticized for a few things by other moms, my parents, doctors, etc. and I just need some prospective. Please share your thoughts....

1) My daughter has never had a breastfeeding "schedule". Some days she's on my boob 24/7 and other days not so much. Some times she's thirsty when she wakes up and I choose to let her nurse for a few minutes versus giving her water right now. I don't feel water is really necessary until she's a year old...then I might focus more on getting her off the boob milk. For right now - I see it as extra nutrition.

2) My daughter does not eat a huge amount of baby food. She would prefer to have milk still. She is growing and developing very well, so I don't see this as a problem. However, others do. She loves to eat hummus, yogurt, avocados, pears and a variety of purees though veggies are a tough sell. People think it's weird she doesn't eat more. Thoughts?

3) My daughter will not sleep by herself. I have tried all the tricks and nothing has worked. This didn't happen until we hit the 4 month wall, as many people call it. At this point, she started waking up screaming all night. It almost looked like night terrors. Then she started only napping for 20-30 minutes at a time. I spent months trying to put her on a schedule to "fix" the problem and only frustrated myself and her even more. SO - what I decided to do is help her go to sleep when she's obviously tired. It's not a schedule by any means but it's the only thing that has ever worked. She still is a terrible sleeper at night. Some nights she wakes up what seems to be all night and others she wakes up once in a while. At first, I thought she might have an allergy BUT she slept like an angel for the first 3 months of her life, so I can't think it has anything to do with that.

In general, I have been told I coddle, spoil, spend too much time on my daughter. I feel really overwhelmed by all of the negativity and it has actually kept me from being able to make friends. Other moms won't be friends with me because I'm "weird". I could really use some mom thoughts right now from you all.

Many thanks - Jennifer

Loving momma to Asha and loving wife to Pankaj Gupta
 

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Your daughter is physically and developmentally on track. All thanks to what you are doing. So give yourself a huge pat on the back.

Sleep problems? Eh, all kids have 'em. I wouldn't worry. Every baby I've known has been "a terrible sleeper" at one point or another, often for two years straight.

Try your best to brush off comments about your parenting. "This works for us. More lemonade?" with a big smile will do a lot.

But I'm not seeing that the way you raise your daughter should be preventing you from making friends. After all, you don't have to discuss your pov about food, sleep, etc. with them. Isn't there some other common ground besides children?
 

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Your daughter sounds totally normally and in love with her mama! My 6 month also only sleeps 30 minutes for naps (I didn't know that 4 month thing was normal! that's when things changed for her too) and cannot sleep without me at night. We haven't started solids yet but I can imagine she won't be a big eater (she could care less when we eat in front of her for the most part). It sounds like you're doing a TERRIFIC job!

Is there a LLL near you? I have found some GREAT friends, connections and other older mothers who can mentor me through the kind of parenting my husband and I chose to do. They've helped me so much.
 

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OH my goodness...I wish you lived by me and we could be friends...for real. Most of what u wrote sounds like me. We have never had a schedule...I've gone w/ the flow and went w/ my babies cues. I tried putting him on a "nap" schedule bc of others comments, thinking maybe I should give it a try. It didn't work out for us. He got to the point where he knew he was supposed to nap when I laid him in the crib to nap, but he wasn't happy about it. Sometimes he would fall asleep and sometimes he would cry to sleep. It upset me to let him cry to sleep, it felt wrong. So now I will lay him on his back and tell him he can nap if he wants too, but he doesn't have to. Sometimes he will sleep and other times he'll get on his tummy and play...he totally knows what's going on. If he wants to nap he will. Like right now...he nursed and fell asleep and has been sleeping for over 30 minutes. When he wakes up, I will offer him the bb and he can nurse again for how ever long he wants, or not at all. THis is what works for us and we like it this way. My sis-in law has her baby on a total schedule w/ naps. they're late to alot of functions bc the babies sleeping..he's on formula and they parent completely different then us...it works for them. We don't agree w/ their style, but we don't get in their business. The in-laws don't agree w/ us and they DO get in our business. Funny how it works. Oh, and my baby sleeps good NOW for the most part during the night. He still nurses often most nights and will wiggle and kick and scratch his eyes at times. Lately he's been wide awake in the middle of the night wanting to play, but will fall asleep shortly after when I snuggle up w/ him and stroke his arm. Anyway...I think u sound like an awesome mommy who is doing it perfectly. Sometimes it can be hard to not wonder if u'r doing something wrong, when it seems u'r on u'r own boat and everyone else is on another staring back criticising every thing u do...but u'r not alone. I bet u will have MANY responses from wonderful mommy's telling u so. Take a deep breath and know that u r doing a great job! U reap what u sow.
 

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:

You are doing all of the right things for your family! Don't worry about what others say - they are entitled to their opinions just like you, but that does not mean you have to agree. Everyone sees parenting through different eyes - just remember that you will always make the best decisions for your child as long as you follow your heart and lead with LOVE!!! Good job, mama!
 

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Just wanted to chime in and say you are doing a WONDERFUL job!


As for the BF'ing, have you been to www.kellymom.com before? It is a great breastfeeding resource, and you can search for any questions you might have and find evidence based answers. You are doing great by feeding on demand, and not pushing solids. Breastmilk is sooo much more nutritionally dense than any solid food could be.

I am guessing you have heard of 'attatchment parenting' before, but if not, I just wanted to tell you that you are following it! And that is GREAT!
: You are doing all of the right things. Continue to follow your daughter's lead, and don't listen to what others are telling you.

Welcome to MDC! It is a great place to find support from others who choose to parent attached and more natural!
 

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You sound like such an amazing mama! Your baby is so lucky to have you. Keep doing what you're doing, congratulate yourself on your happy, thriving child, and get some earplugs for the crazy criticism. Seriously--the biggest learning experience of parenting for me has been learning to trust myself and my baby, and to tune out (when I'm feeling generous) or strongly argue against (when I'm feeling confrontational) the contradictory "advice" that people can't stop giving.

I too wish we lived nearby so we could hang out! Can you find some supportive new friends? Maybe go to some LLL meetings, babywearing groups, things like that?
 

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She sounds exactly like my 6 yr old at that age. He has turned out perfectly fine, is fiercely independent, can play and entertain himself for hours, etc. Ignore the naysayers, they don't know what they're talking about.
 

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As I finished reading the OP, I thought "you've come to the right place".

Feeding schedule? Not here. My guy gets the breast whenever he seems interested. Sometimes it's an hour between feedings, sometimes it's 3-4 hours.

Solids are just experiments in tasting before a year. I believe even the AAP acknowledges that breastmilk should be the primary source of nutrition up to a year of age.

Sleeping problems happen. Isn't it unfortunate that people use something outside of our control to judge our parenting skills?
My guy is happily sleeping alongside me, still waking several times a night to eat and I'm okay with that. They are only little for such a short time.

Welcome to MDC!
You might check the Tribal section to see if there are mamas posting from your area.
 
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