Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Nipple Confusion and Other Myths of Motherhood

When I was pregnant with Lydia I wanted to be super prepared. For everything.

I read this one baby book from cover to cover about three times, making notes in the margins, underlining, and even attempting to read the entire thing to Brian (which didn't work out so well).

I somehow had it in my mind that everything would go 'by the book'.

I am living proof that it does not, my friends.

I swore I would never let my baby sleep in my bed with me, not under any circumstances, because if I did, she would most assuredly die of SIDS. I swore I would put her in her crib from day one, because if I didn't, she would never sleep in there for the rest of her life. I swore I would never give her a binky, because if I did, she would get 'nipple confusion' and not be able to nurse. I swore I would never let my baby cry, because if I did, it meant she hated me. I thought nursing would be a piece of cake, and if it wasn't, that it would be my own fault. I thought I would have her on a schedule, and if I didn't, it was because I didn't try hard enough.

Well, let me tell you something. Babies like to snuggle. Babies like to sleep. Babies like to suck. Babies need to cry sometimes. Babies learn to nurse and sometimes it takes a little while. And finally, babies think schedules are LAME-O.

It's all very simple, really.
I mean, how many babies do you know of that starved to death because their mothers gave them binkies?

If I were to write a book on babies, this is what it would say:

Do. What. Works.

The end.

And maybe somewhere in the lengthy introduction I would tell parents not to worry so freaking much about every single solitary little thing like I did. Because it just sucks the fun right out of having a baby.

I'm only sorry that it took me so long to figure that out.

The best part about it is that through all the trials and bumps in the road, my kid continues to love me.

So thanks, Lyddie Bug. I love you, too.


Jack & Lindsay Chang said...

OH! She is beautiful! Abby & Brian, you have quite a doll.
I was a bit nervous after reading a book about breastfeeding...I mean really! There are some people out there that are like Nursing Nazis (I am to sure if that is appropriate to say). But like you said, babies have their own way of doing things!

Kimba said...

Abby, your problem is that you aren't imagining the milky way hard enough.


Am totally with you on the book idea. We should do it, and I'll write a foreword for you. Huge and lengthy, about how this book will change your life and make everything peachy, and then they turn the page and that's all it says. The End.


Nick and Stacy Stevens said...

You are so right Abby. I worried about all of that too. After a while I threw out everything I knew and just followed Amelia's cues. She loved to sleep in my bed at first. Well she sleeps in hers now just fine. It wasn't this huge deal like I thought it would be. I wish I would have been a little more relaxed about things in the beginning. Okay, the first month and a half. It is so much easier following the baby's cues and not stressing about a schedule. It all just kind of happens when it is time to.

Martha Lee said...

I feel like saying told you so except I don't think I ever did. Sorry.
I think it is good to info from different sources just so you are not clueless but there should be a big warring warring on the covers that it does not always work like they say.

More importantly, Lydia is so beautiful and getting so big.

Liv said...

Amen to that!

I don't even believe in my due date b/c I'm going with the theory that babies do what they want no matter how much you try to schedule and coax them.

The Kilpacks said...
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The Kilpacks said...

As I am sitting here and reading this to Josh, he has this to say:"
The fun part of having kids is making them!"

Lloyd said...

Your learning and learning very well. We as parents never stop learning, and as you have heard me say before, "parenting is a life sentence." There is no parole.


Lloyd said...
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heather said...


and p.s. it didn't take you too long to learn.

and p.p.s she's perfectly beautiful... just like her mother.

meghan said...

I'm glad to hear you gave up on making her stay in her crib! Klara is happy with a teddy bear instead of me now. Sad! Now and then I climb onto Thomas' top bunk just for old time's sake. Its just not the same! Enjoy it now!
Love, Meg

Violadiva said...

I want laundry as cute as that!

And even if you don't normally watch
'The Office', please tell me that you saw the Baby episode last week? It's still up on hulu so you have a chance. You'll love the part about nipple confusion and breast feeding.

Kjersti said...

I love this post, and I completely agree. I know I've been there when I stress so much about something that my girls should be doing (like giving up the bottle or potty-training), and then when it happens it seems to effortless and smooth that it seems like a waste of time to worry about.

Lydia is so beautiful!

Leslie said...

I can't stop looking at that picture. She is absolutely gorgeous and I can't get over that smile! Young to be doing that, right? It is because she is so happy that her momma loves her enough to go with the flow. What a lucky girl.

Camille and Paul said...

Oh Abby,
You are funny. She is gorgeous. I think it is hard not to let your mind focus on finding all the information you can on doing "the right thing." (Especially being a first time Mom.) I don't think it is a bad thing you learned it, you can apply your knowledge but also know that the baby will lead the way A LOT. So, I think you are doing fabulously well, don't worry that you stressed, because that must have been a really good learning step, and now you know not to stress and you learn as you go. You know how to better relax!

She is a gorgeous little girl! I am so happy for you.

Bre said...

I would give almost anything to come see her. I can't get over how cute she is! Love you guys!