There is no right or wrong when it comes to raising kids. We could even argue that there is very little “right or wrong” anywhere, except for “best practice guidelines” when it comes to living in a community.
As a mother, I am pretty relaxed for certain things. For example: I never sterelised Laura’s dummies or bath tub or food bowl. As far as I know, she never got any real bad infection because of that. In the UK, nobody has the habit of washing hands before holding your baby. My mum was shocked to see parents putting their newborn (days old) in direct touch with their clothes, dirty from a day out.
I was always stressed when Laura didn’t want to eat or ate very little. I’m still worried when she doesn’t want to eat but only if it comes with fever or something like that. I managed to stop worrying about her eating habits too much as, with everyone, she has good days and bad days. Sometimes the food is better than other days, sometimes she is not in the mood for chicken. But she looks healthy and in shape – neither fat not skinny – and full of energy; what else can I ask for?
On the other hand, I was always very stressed to give Laura a bath every single day (although doctors here don’t really recommend), even more stressed to make sure she had her naps during the day and in bed by 7pm. In my head, sleep is sacred and babies/kids need 12 hours of continuous sleep. I don’t know where I got this from, but when I read that people that sleep well and continuously for several hours, learn more and assimilate things better, I got even worse. (But honestly, I read all sort of studies when it comes to sleep and they normal say different things).
So when I saw this lady with a small baby at the platform, almost 8pm, I got this pain in my stomach and first thing I thought was that that baby should be nice and warm and fed and bathed and in bed sleeping! Geez, is this crazy? Am I projecting my personal desire of being nice and warm and fed and bathed and in bed sleeping into all babies in the world?
I remember how Laura was wild when we went out with her or had visitors at home after 5pm. It was like the devil was in the house. And I hated to see her stressed like that and how stressed I was. Best days were always when she was at home by 5 and we started relaxing her and put her in bed by 7pm. But every baby has its own way and parents as well. As I said, there is no right or wrong, but what works or not for each one of us.
I have the feeling I will be exactly the same with baby 2.