« Everyone's an expert | Main | Teaching empathy in the face of tragedy »

September 06, 2005


Mother forever

Oh my god there are still instinctive sane mothers out there who nurture their child's individual needs! Babies cannot be programmed full stop. What a pleasure to cuddle a newborn baby when that time is so short lived because they change so fast. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for routines but they need to fit in with your normal life. They can't be so rigid that you literally live by the clock. What a miserable existence for a baby and it is this that angers me the most and literally makes me bristle. My SIL is whispering her gormless head off as I write, AGAIN with her second baby. She pulls him out of sleep to feed him then wonders why he cries and won't latch. She puts him down when he's still hungry and wonders why he won't sleep, all because that's what the book says you have to do. It's so upsetting to watch. I can't bear to talk to her anymore because of it. I am glad and proud I nurse and cuddled on demand.


I totally relate to this post! I too, felt that things were running smoothly, till I read that damn book and was told that everything I was doing was WRONG; that I'd be stuck with a bratty, 5-yr-old kid hanging off my breast non-stop if I didn't follow her EASY (ha!) program. After a week of misery I realized my baby is not a thing to be "programmed" and I reverted to my accidental ways. He, too, spat out the pacifier -- the thing that Ms Hogg claimed would be the magic solution to getting him to sleep. Just think about it, if you were a baby, wouldn't you prefer a cuddle to a piece of rubber shoved into your mouth?


I agree with nicola. I hate when books advise against nursing on demand. Then I laugh at the people who have problems nursing because they followed that advice. My life is so much easier when I do what comes naturally to me.

Accidental Parenting is the path of least resistance. I guess if it's so easy it must be wrong somehow! I always tell people that it works for me now, and if it creates a problem later, well, then I'll deal with it. Just like I would if I thought it was a problem NOW. Oddly, I haven't had any problems. As my daughter got older she just didn't need to be rocked or nursed to sleep anymore, and I didn't even have to do a thing. That was probably accidental too.


"Accidental parenting" is simply reacting to your baby's needs as your baby alerts you to them. It could also be called mothering. It is what your baby and you are programmed to do. It is the way that humans have parented their infants since the beginning of time. To do it any other way is not only misguided, but exhausting for you both!


Hee, hee. Well, I got sick of trying to get all the info in the book straight--so I went with my gut from the get go. And you know what? I enjoyed my son more-- and felt a hell of a lot more relaxed (but, mind you, it took me a good 6 - 9 months to realize that I had to LET the book info go). Sigh... maybe with number 2 it will go smooth from the start? ;-)


I committed many of those same "sins" when in survival mode with my son as a newborn. Parenting from the gut made the most sense for my family and I think we were all much happier as a result. And, contrary to all of those parenting Cassandras who predicted doom, my son and I were able to move onto more adaptive strategies as he matured and I became less of a zombie. I'm glad to hear that accidental parenting benefited you, too! I'm sure we're not the only ones.


Thanks for this post. I'm expecting my first and "The Baby Whisperer" is on my list of books to buy!

I think I'll get something else instead.


I was a bit of tyrant when my son was born and got sooo annoyed when well-meaning relatives coddled him. There came a point, though, when it all became too hard and I just decided to enjoy him a lot more and worry about the consequences later. On the whole, I think we're both happier. :-)

Critter's Mom

If you are guilty of accidental parenting then I am too. Don't worry, I do not think a jury of our peers would convict us. :)

The comments to this entry are closed.

DotMoms Daily

    follow me on Twitter