WFMW: Parenting Advice Edition — Don’t Watch the Clock; Watch the Baby!

It started as breastfeeding advice that I heard in a La Leche League meeting. “Don’t watch the clock; watch the baby.” Great advice for nursing to make sure you establish a good milk supply and meet your baby’s ever-changing needs rather than putting your child on a rigid schedule. It also seems to work well beyond nursing — sleep, solids, potty-training, weaning, new experiences. As a classic Type A personality, I like to be in control. I like to PLAN. I like to read the latest research to support my choices. That’s all great, but it all has to come down to what *my child* is ready for. Are bedtimes or naptimes becoming challenging? Perhaps her sleep needs have changed and it’s time to reevaluate our routine. How do I know she’s ready for solids? Is she showing signs of potty readiness? Should I put her in a playschool program or keep her at home with me? No book can have all the right answers for every child. As parents, we have to watch our babies, know our babies, and read the signs from our babies (however old those babies) to know what they need.

Watch the baby.

That’s the advice that has WORKED FOR ME. I hope it works for you, too.

For more Works for Me Wednesday Ideas — specifically “parenting advice” ideas, this week’s theme, visit Rocks in My Dryer.

6 thoughts on “WFMW: Parenting Advice Edition — Don’t Watch the Clock; Watch the Baby!

  1. So true! I, too, am very Type A and wanting to plan everything, but kids sure wreak havoc with that! Thanks for the reminder to see each of our children as blessings and individuals and respond to their needs, not what someone or something else tells us we ‘should’ do!

  2. Really good advice. It is always good to remember that every child is different. Just when you think you have mastered something the next one comes and is totally different. I guess God likes to keep us on our toes.

  3. I remember that line from when my four were little (they now range from 17-24) and it is priceless advice. I posted a reply on someone else’s blog (sorry, I’ve already forgotten who) where I said that most baby books were written for other people’s children. Mine never, ever did things when the books said they would…but eventually, they did them.
    I’ve never heard of a normal, healthy child walking into first grade with a bottle and diapers, LOL!

  4. Excellent advice. I’m a LLL leader and LC, and that’s something I tell my moms all the time!

    Please visit my WFMW if you have a minute – I’m sharing crucial information about breast cancer.

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