Babies are not just tiny adults

Today, my girl had her 6-month checkup, and now that she’s 6 months, of course the favorite question for everyone to ask is, “Is she sleeping through the night yet?”

The yet part is, by far, the most annoying part of that inquiry. And when I say no, it’s always followed by unsolicited advice that frequently leads to a discussion of her “schedule.” As in, “what’s her nap schedule?”

This question used to make me feel like an inexperienced and unqualified parent. It initially made me rack my brain, but the only entry I ever found under “schedule, baby” was a blank page. Now that I’m much more at ease and confident with my own parenting skills and talents, it just makes me react with “schedule? WTF schedule are you talking about?!” When I can’t even nail down a routine for myself, how about we just roll with life, as it presents itself? Maybe that’s just the meditation practice talking, and I’m getting better at staying in the moment (ha!) or, more likely, maybe it’s just that I firmly believe that babies are not just tiny adults.

If I know anything about myself, it’s that I think it’s time I stop spending so much energy alternating between ruminating about what has happened and worrying about what’s yet to come and start focusing more and more on the moment. Every day is new, every moment is different. And that’s how I’ve spent the past 6 months. As a result, her “schedule” is as follows: she eats when she’s hungry. She sleeps when she’s tired. I know baby experts say again and again how important a routine is for baby. But, following my own parenting logic of “do whatever works,” our “routine” of addressing needs as they arise, is working just fine. She’s doing very well, growing and developing. Right on schedule.

 

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