Eat, Sleep, Poop, Repeat.
I filled that paper out religiously, as if she would have died if I forgot that ½ ounce she sipped for 30 minutes and that one diaper that smelled like poop, and had a little yellow in it, was it a poop? a fart? a shart?? I’ll record it just in case.
But then I remember thinking… Where were the norms on the chart? Where’s the legend? How often should things be happening? OH…. there it was at the bottom – constantly reminding me that something was wrong with my baby I was already failing as a mother, daily. She wasn’t eating enough or for long enough, and didn’t poop nearly as often. I am also certain it was the wrong shade of green and not the right consistency. By the time I left the hospital I was fairly certain my child was headed for a life of failed parenting, not enough food, upset bowels, and constant charting of everything that went in and out of her. Finally at her one month appointment with a doctor that I am certain has defied the laws of age and death, gave me darn near the best piece of parenting advice I have ever received. Ready for it, I know you are, ready…. [quote]“She’s human.”[/quote]
Huh? (Exactly what I said, what I thought ….no duh I didn’t give birth to a puppy) So what did this mean *As I stare at him completely confused* He followed it up with this: “She will eat when she’s hungry, she will sleep when she’s tired, and she will poop when it all needs to come out; Our bodies know exactly what to do, and when she cries just try all three, change her, offer her food, rock her; one of them will work”
O-M-G I mean seriously – where the heck has that advice been, I guess all the parenting books would be useless if they put them in that cliff note version – but it was so short and profound all at the same time and what’s better – IT WORKS!
When she cried I always changed her, sometimes that was all it took; other times food, lastly I’d rocked her, sing, sway and BOOM out like a light and crying done.
I have carried this into my parenting routine as my kids have grown up. They will eat when they are hungry, they will potty when they need to (maybe not where you want but they’ll get there), they sleep when they’re tired (maybe not when you are ready for them to be tired but they will sleep), and they will love you more for letting them discover how their bodies act. It is ok to teach your children to listen to their bodies; Become in tune with how to understand what their natural needs and desires are. They learn to pay attention to cues that come from their inside instead of their outside. This often helps prevent overeating, over sleeping, and bathroom issues (typically constipation and infection). There are times where you know what’s best and you will have to overrule them and that’s perfectly fine, but try to give them a chance, let them begin to explore. Start small – Empower your tiny humans to be in control!