Thursday, August 30, 2018

'Smart' parenting?

When I got pregnant, I wanted to read about the same, naturally, and all possible information at one place. I got this book as a gift through our company's Maternity Wellness Program, "What to expect when you are expecting" - by Heidi Murkoff. I don't want to go into the details of how stressful the phase was for me, for various reasons even outside of the normal & regular anticipated ones!

I want to talk about what worked best for me, from the points discussed in the above book a bit and the next book by the same author, "What to expect the first year".

The books talked about each and everything covering both emotional and practical aspects, which I loved the most about the first book in particular. It gave me the confidence that it is not a crime to think about my convenience.
I really liked how the book acknowledged that it is an extremely tiring experience anyway, and described some smart options to make the experience rewarding.

Among many, the four smart choices I adopted that worked the best for me/us so far are:
1. Crib: I always wanted the baby to sleep in her own crib, and not in the same bed as us because I had a strong feeling none of us would be able to sleep well otherwise. My family said the baby wouldn't feel safe/secured/protected if I did that. Well, while they planted that doubt in my mind, not that I cared too much, but I also didn't have an option because we have a dog who was used to climbing on to our bed and pushing us to make his space to settle well and sleep peacefully. After the baby came in, he has himself made a choice to sleep in his own bed, he is smarter & more considerate than we thought he was!

2. Day care: I joined office right after my maternity leave per policy was over. I didn't know how it would work out but since there were no major concerns at home and my husband was very hands-on, we thought I should join back. I was also clear that I would put her in the day care, the book made me more confident. We explored the option, she was growing up much faster than we (my husband :)) thought she would! She was about 8 months old when we started to put her in the day care, we started with the half-day option and after 3 months we moved her into the full day option. It turned out to be a very smart decision again to do so. There is no way we could entertain her at our home the way she gets entertained in her day care - with 100 times more toys than what we could keep at home, and many other children around. The day care also was the option we thought of because:
a. The other option could be having a full time maid - we were not used to having anyone at home and we wanted to have our privacy intact.
I know a full time maid at home to take care of the child is a preferred option by many to make sure the kid stays home, under our vigilance, and stay away from infections. But I think keeping vigilance is also a big task, day cares do that for us - they have a maid, and the vigilance is the teacher's duty so that headache is taken away from us. And, day cares have a reputation to take care of, and they are obligated in a way which a maid won't be in my view.
b. I am strongly against employing any girl to take care of my child, specially minor girls or even the ones who still can explore better options and not work like this.
Of course, the catch here is to find a good day care (especially to avoid infections and other serious issues) that suits your needs/preferences - thankfully we found one, and we are really grateful to the staff there!

3. Car seat: My husband and I wanted to be as independent as possible; if one of the two of us was missing, we wanted to have an option for the second person to handle things on his/her own. One big thing was taking the kid in the car, hence came the car seat. We bought the car seat around the time she started the day care. I think it is a good experience for the kids as well, she keeps looking around without disturbing, so far we have not had any unpleasant experiences taking her around in the car seat. It is safer, and suits more practical reasons as well like my clothes not getting spoilt/crumpled :)

4. Sleep routine: After the first few months, I started kind of a ritual of giving her a bath before sleep, or I actually tried this to induce sleep. I don't know when it became a routine for her - I think children adapt to patterns pretty quickly and a couple of days of doing the same things in the same order does the trick!

She comes from the day care really happy, and tired --> she is usually not in a mood to eat anything so we instructed the day care to feed her something before she leaves, it fit well in her day schedule and food timings also --> she plays for about an hour or so and it is soon 'bathing' and 'goodnight' time --> we give her a bath, change to her night dress and she has milk before she sleeps in her crib, and she usually doesn't wake up through the night, she never did even when she was young; unless in some outlier situations. After which we are able to do our work (like I wrote this blog :)), wind up and so on and get a good night sleep ourselves!