Last night as I lay in bed snuggling with my beautiful baby, thinking about how much I enjoyed it, I started thinking about how different my experience with Eljay is compared to how it was with Chai. With Chai I grew to hate the nights, I got little to no sleep, was constantly exhausted and at my wits end trying to get him to sleep. In contrast, with Eljay he snuggles next to me, feeds when he needs to and then we both drift off to sleep together.
Instead of telling me all the things I should and shouldn't do, I wish that someone had told me to trust my instincts and do what felt right for me and my baby. I wish that they'd told me to sleep him on his belly if that worked better for him, to share a bed with him if that helped us both sleep better and to enjoy the precious time that I had with my beautiful baby. Unfortunately no-one told me that, they all told me that I should leave him to cry, that he needed to learn to self settle and that if I didn't do these things I'd be creating a rod for my own back.
No matter how many times I was told to, I just couldn't leave my baby to self settle (aka cry himself to sleep). I'd hate to be left to cry myself to sleep and I couldn't do it to my baby. I would have loved for someone to tell me about gentle parenting and show me methods to gently teach Chai to self settle. I wish I'd know about Pinky McKay back then.
I look back to how I felt after I had Chai and realise how awful it was and how bad I felt. I was constantly exhausted and each day I just got more and more tired. I felt like I was in a fog of exhaustion that didn't lift until Chai was over one year old. As much as I loved being a Mum and thought Chai was amazing, I didn't enjoy him as much as I would have liked to. I hated the nights. I dreaded night time. I still don't like night time with Chai. At 2 1/2 years old he still doesn't sleep through the night. If I'd done things the way my Mummy instinct told me to, perhaps he would sleep through the night. Who knows?
To all of the beautiful Mums out there I give you this advice. Trust your instinct. Do what works for you and your baby. Ignore what everyone else says, you know what's right for you and your family.