Sunday, March 3, 2013

Parenting books.... how to feel like a terrible parent

iI don't know about any of you but I like to make informed, researched, non emotionally driven decisions.  If there has been an important decision or event in my life (where to go to college/grad school, what kind of dog to get, which Coach purse to buy) I generally try to get as much information as I can and feel like I'm making a well thought out decision.

When we were trying to get pregnant I scoured the internet for fertility tips, bought What to Expect before You are Expecting, stocked up on pregnancy tests, read all about how pregnancy tests work etc.  Once we were pregnant, I read What to Expect When you are Expecting, joined BabyCenter, got weekly emails about the stages of my pregnancy.

Once Sawyer was close to being born I decided read up on the sleep books - Health Sleep Habits Happy Child and Baby Wise.  This was my first real experiencing with parenting books.

See, the pregnancy part is pretty straight forward.  There are actually physical things that happen during pregnancy that you can't dispute.  While there are certainly some controversial topics regarding pregnancy (ie can you safely drink a glass of wine while you are pregnant?) that will offer multiple opinions, most people can't really tell you how to be pregnant.  You just are.

But once the baby comes out, its a whole different ball game.

Now everyone and their dog has a different method of how to get your child to sleep, where he should sleep, what he should sleep in, how long he should sleep, how to interpret his dreams and they all scare the crap out of you that if your child doesn't sleep correctly that they will be cranky and irritable children.  Healthy Sleep Habits and Baby Wise are two different philosophies.  Which one is right?  I don't know.  The Eat, Play, Sleep has kind of worked for us so far but have I been following it to a T, not so much.

Since Sawyer is nearing the 6 month mark, we are looking at starting solids.  Our pediatrician gave us the green light to start solids at his 4 month appointment but I wanted to wait until closer to 6.  Why?  I think the research is pretty clear that closer to 6 months is better for the baby.  They really don't need anything other than breastmilk that first 6 months.  And I'm talking scientific, peer reviewed, published research.  I'm a science nerd, what can I say?

Our hospital offers a Starting Solids class but it was full when I went to go register.  In my parent baby class they talked about a newer concept called Baby Led Weaning (BLW) which basically advocates for skipping purees altogether and just giving your kid hunks of food off of your plate.  I thought that sounded interesting so since I couldn't go to the class I bought the book.

I don't think this cover is exactly the same as mine but close

I started reading it last night and half way through but I was so mad!  Just the way they presented the information was so irritating - it really gave the impression that their method is the right way and any other way leads to picky eaters, developmental delays in swallowing and language, eating disorders (seriously) and juvenile delinquency (okay, not really but it wouldn't have surprised me if they said that).   And none of their "evidence" is scientific - its strictly anecdotal.  Both Andrew and I were spoon fed with purees and I'm pretty sure we are well adjusted people who have no food issues.  I know plenty of kids who were spoon fed who are very good kids and good eaters.

It really irks me that these books are so adamant that their way is superior any other way will be so harmful to your child to the point of scaring people.   As a parent, I only want what is best for my boy.  I never want to cause him any pain or harm.  So much parenting is common sense and doing what works best for you and your baby, not following the advice of some idiot who managed to get a publishing deal.

This book does offer some good information and certain parts of it seem to make sense but overall I want to do to opposite just to spite these stupid authors.  Maybe if they presented it in a less "holier than thou" way I might be more open to it.    I know that every child is different and will respond differently to food.  I don't think that offering Sawyer pureed carrots on a spoon in a couple of weeks will cause him to have phobias of all things orange. 

All in all, I'm glad I read the book and have the info.  Will I put it into practice and skip purees?  You tell me....

carrots, sweet potatoes and pears ready for the freezer
Oh, and if you follow the BLW philosophy - I'm not judging.  I just don't think its the right thing for us.  But I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences...

1 comment:

  1. So true! As I started reading homeschool books it is this way too. Everything thinks if you don't structure your day this way your kids is doomed. Or if you homeschool your kid is doomed or another says if you send your kid to school they are destined for jail. It's ridiculous. I want to be educated to, but I agree, I think it is taking the pieces of good advice and putting them into your family IF THEY FIT.