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Being a first time mom at the age of 42 has come with a lot of challenges. I have been use to living my life on my own terms and without having someone dependent on me, let alone a baby. So while I was pregnant I read a lot of baby books and how to books on babies. One that I found very interesting and funny was Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman. I actually loved this book and highly recommend it. I have always enjoyed reading on how different cultures do things, from cooking to raising their children. Here are 5 things I’ve successfully implemented in my baby girl Olivia’s life that has made me a believer
1. Give Your Baby A House Tour
When I first read about giving your baby a house tour when arriving from the hospital, I thought well that’s easy enough. It would make sense to give a tour of her or his new home. You would actually do this when a new friend arrives that hasn’t seen your home yet. I was pretty tired when we got home from the hospital so just showed her the first floor and of course her nursery and introduced her to her new pet, Motley which sadly passed away a few weeks later. The next day I gave her the full house tour. French Parents: this is the beginning of the parent-child communication and the giving of information and reassuring their babies.
Takeaway: It’s never too late to give your baby a house tour and if the weather is nice a tour of your backyard or outside might be nice too.
2. No Baby Talking and Be Polite
Although this wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be sometimes I would catch myself doing the goo-goo talk but not so much now. Olivia is 9 months old and ever since she came home I would talk to her like I would an adult. I tell her good morning, tell her what she is having for lunch and dinner, I tell her what our plans are for the day, and much more. This sets a good example of good communication, good manners and courtesy.
Takeaway: Talk to your baby more; tell her or him good morning, hello, thank you and what anything you can think of.
3. Schedules are the Best thing Ever
I personally love to have things scheduled in my personal and professional life so when Olivia came along I thought I can get her on a schedule too. Of course, I asked her pediatrician if after a while we can put her on a feeding schedule. The doctor quickly responded, NO. Just let her eat whenever she wants. I was disappointed to hear that but by then I had already read Bringing Up Bebe, and thought to myself I would still do it. After a couple of weeks of formula feeding she naturally fell into her own pattern. We were so relieved!! There was no second guessing if she was hungry or not. Even now as a nine month old baby, we know exactly when she eats breakfast, lunch and dinner is for her and the best part is that when she starts to eat alongside us she will be on the normal breakfast, lunch and dinner times. Currently, she is eating between three and half to four hours with an extra bottle in the early morning before her 9:00 A.M breakfast.
Takeaway: Get into the habit of schedules your baby’s breakfast, lunch and dinner around the same time you and your family eats. Keeping the same bedtime is also very helpful.
4. Vegetables as a first meal
Typically, here in America rice cereals is the first solid food feed to a baby. I chose to go with organic steel cut oats at 5 months and at 6 months introduced zucchini which my baby girl loved both. I am proud to say that she has eaten dozens and dozens of different veggies, fruits and compilations of both. The French on the other hand introduce veggies first, then fruits and later meat and fish. The goal of this is for their children to love all types of foods and not just eat cereals or a limited amount of foods.
Takeaway: Introduce vegetables first, then fruits.
5. Let Your Baby Just Be
I think as mom especially new moms we want to be right next to our baby and entertaining our baby at all times but it’s best to let your babies just be. This means that it’s okay if your baby or toddler plays or discovers things on their own. This can also be helpful when you need to do some chores (close by) or even do some self-care. I’m also reading Danish Way of Parenting, which talks about letting your children, just play unorganized by their parents or adults. To let them play is a critical part of the upbringing of Danish children.
Takeaway: Just observe and let your baby play. Do your own thing while your baby is playing, such as doodling, writing, folding laundry, or organizing your space.
These few steps have clearly made our lives as first and old parents much easier. But of all the tips this book offers, I think that having your baby on a food and sleep schedule is the BEST. There won't be any second guessing yourself as to why your baby is being fussy or crying. You'll know that it's fussiness due to being tied or it's time for a bottle/puree. I highly recommend, Bringing Up Bebe.
Please comment below and share your tips and successes of baby raising!!