A lovely encounter with parenting/sleep consultant Natalie Nevares (stay tuned for my full profile on Natalie and her company, Mommywise on Mommy Poppins) in the ever-enchanting Brooklyn Botanic Gardens cherry tree esplanade this afternoon reminded me of how silly it is to worry about the kinds of things I have been worrying about lately — nap schedules and the like.
Her non-dogmatic approach (she believes in something called “not feeling guilty or judging other mothers”…?) was so liberating! And this meeting just couldn’t have come at a better time for me. A few offhand comments from better sleep-trainers than I and a bad sleep week around here had me feeling like a mess. (Cue tape to yesterday, as Alton didn’t nap. Harper: “What’s wrong, Mama?” Me: “Oh, I’m just feeling frustrated because no one is napping around here.” Harper, rubbing my back: “Maybe you could drink some water? Or count to ten?”) But Natalie wisely pointed out that everyone was actually fine and in fact getting sleep and that if the baby wasn’t on a nap schedule, so what? If we did some co-sleeping, and everyone was happy, then so what? If I threw Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child out the window, so what?
Now, I am all for this “whatever works” parenting technique. Unfortunately, my babies seem to come with their own built-in eating and sleeping manifestos, and they are quite dogmatic indeed.
Their parenting beliefs are as follows:
1. Babies will sleep in cribs if you really make a big deal about it, but would prefer not to. Have you ever felt a crib mattress? They are hard as shit. No thanks. Please, bring us into bed and snuggle up. Pillows, blankets, warm bodies, yes please. What’s this called? Co-sleeping? Whatever, yes, we believe in that. Prepare to nurse, lady.
2. This leads to our next major belief: nursing on demand. Is this seriously even a question? Is there seriously any other option? Babies need to be nursed every 2 hours until breast milk can be replaced with bunny crackers. This is a physical need; do not listen to anyone who says otherwise.
3. Strollers are ok if we can sit up and look at interesting things. If you ask us to lie down in strollers we will be forced to express our displeasure at high volumes. For the most part, though, we believe babies should be carried or worn or whatever you want to call it. Pretty much all the time. What’s that? It’s 110 degrees out and we are glued together with sweat? Fine with us. Beco time. Bring it.
I guess they believe in Attachment Parenting Theory? I just hope they’ve done the research and chosen the right one