When our baby boy was born, we felt we had enough experience at this parenting thing to know which ‘mistakes’ to avoid. I say mistakes loosely because it was all a learning experience and at the time worked for us and our daughter. But, there were certain things we did (or didn’t do) with her that we swore we wouldn’t do again the second time around. We felt we had made a mistake in giving her a pacifier, letting her sleep in our bed as long as she did, not taking the bottle away sooner, not breastfeeding longer, etc. So, with our second child we were determined to avoid those ‘mistakes’ and do ‘better’.
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Nearly two years into having our baby boy around, I can say that we made some improvements and avoided some of the things we did not want to repeat. Some things, however, we apparently did not learn from. Or perhaps they aren’t mistakes to avoid after all and are simply things that work for our family. Here are a few examples of what I mean:
- Letting him sleep in our bed – Just as our baby girl did, baby boy also wakes up in the middle of the night. This is expected of babies and toddlers, of course, but there’s debate as to how parents should handle. I was determined that our boy would not fall into the trap that our girl did; the one of ending up in our bed every night. But, alas, there have been quite a few nights where he ends up sleeping with us from the middle of the night on because it’s just so much easier to cuddle with him in our bed than try to get him to stay in his. I figure what’s important is that we all get sleep, right?
- Ignoring tantrums – We had quite a bit of trouble with our daughter in dealing with her tantrums. We eventually got past it, but it took a while for us to figure things out. Of course, this was a prime spot for us to not make the same mistake. We’re actually doing pretty good in this area; I can tell baby boy’s tantrums are not as bad (yet) as hers were. But, again, this is something where you just have to figure out what works best for your child and your family. It may not necessarily be a parenting mistake, but a learning experience.
- Picky eating – Our daughter is the pickiest eater and though we are not a vegetarian family, one would think we are judging from her acceptable menu options, which rarely include meat. We blamed ourselves for giving in to her pickiness when she was younger and providing her with alternative options. To this day, she mostly eats a different meal than we do at dinner. So, with baby boy we are trying to ignore his picky moments and letting him have only one option, even if it means he eats it much later than presented. However, we have caved in a few times and given him an alternative because, after all, we just want him to eat something.
Do you have any parenting ‘mistakes’ you’ve made and want to avoid in the future? Do you still feel they were mistakes or just part of the parenting journey?