This is an extract from the lovely Kerry Secker’s latest piece for The Huffington Post. If you’d like advice or a consultation with Kerry (She’s really very good and has helped many a desperate parent) check out her website.
Over to you Kerry…
A parent’s instinct is nature’s way of ensuring that your baby stays safe and gets his needs met. Parents really do know what is best for their baby and family.
These books and experts can encourage parents to go against what feels instinctively right for them.
Kerry Cares Parenting mantra sums it up perfectly:
“There are no right ways or rules to raising your family only ways that are right for you and your family”
I am passionate that a text book baby or family simply doesn’t exist, that there isn’t a one size fits all solution and we are all beautifully unique! What will work for one baby and family may not work for another. I know babies do not come with their own user manual (wouldn’t that be great!) but I actively encourage parents to take all the information and advice in the textbooks as a guide and remember they are not gospel. The most important thing above everything else is to listen to what your instincts are telling you. Pick out the advice that you have an affinity with and ignore the rest that your instincts are telling you don’t sit right because if it feels wrong to be doing then it is safe to say it is probably not the right thing to be doing for you and your family as parenting instinctively feels right.
In my many years of working closely with parents I have come across lots of parents who have gone against what feels instinctively right because the textbooks said so, creating unnecessary guilt.
Here are my tips to get back to parenting with instinct:
Remember text books are just a guideline, they are not gospel:
Pick out the parts and advice that feel right to you and forget the rest.
YOU are the expert when it comes to YOUR baby:
The author of the text book or expert has never met you or your baby so how can they possibly know more about your baby and family’s needs or what is right for them than you!
Does this feel right to be doing?
Ask yourself this when making a decision and if it doesn’t feel or sit right to you it is safe to say it is not the right thing to be doing.
The only person whose opinion really matter is yours and that of your family:
You are always going to get people giving their unsolicited advice even if you have not asked. Just smile and be confident in YOUR choices for YOUR baby.
Ditch the words SHOULD, HAVE and MUST:
There are no shoulds, haves and musts when it comes to YOUR baby!