Today’s post is from Nikki at Earthway Parenting and she discusses what we expect of our babies and what they expect of us – she goes on to say that she tried the ‘cry it out’ technique with her baby and what experience she took from that. Over to Nikki…
We all have them.
Do your expectations as an adult meet up with your expectations that YOU have for your infant or child?
Expectations as an adult tend to go a little like this… To be loved. To be respected. To be acknowledged and nurtured.
Why then do we not feel that our infant/child would not also have these same expectations?
I ask this because I feel that some of us are still on the same ‘old school’ page of crying it out, punishment instead of teaching and expecting that our children should ‘respect our authority’ then we will return the favour and ‘respect them!’
I know that this might jostle a few feathers and that’s ok because if it does then I am SO pleased that you’re here.
The French Psychologist Jean Piaget was one who insisted that infants and children should be treated according to their appropriate stage of development. Not as if they were capable of understanding what adults wanted precisely when adults wanted it (Taken from Don and Patricia Edgars book “The new child, in search of smarter grown-ups”).
Crying out with my first daughter
Babies enter our world emerged through their senses, touch, sight, hearing and the effect of its physical actions of the world around them. For this reason why do we feel that its ok to have our infants crying themselves to sleep, screaming incessantly because no one will come to them? I did this with our first daughter. I thought that I could ‘train’ her to sleep like the midwife taught me to. Every fibre of my being ached to pick her up…. But I didn’t. This is what I HAVE to do if I want her to sleep longer then 2-3 hours. She was only 6 weeks old. She had severe reflux. She was sick. But she wouldn’t sleep so this is what I was told to do….
Fast forward a couple of weeks later and I ended up at Tresillian with her to “train her” to sleep. Six hours later and I was told she wasn’t “trainable” she was sick. Oh my. I cannot even explain the ache in my heart. My soul.
I decided NO MORE. I am going to listen to HER needs. I am going to co-sleep safely, I am going to babywear, I am going to hold her as much as she needs me to. Because this is her expectation of me. I was no longer going to adhere to MY expectations. Societies expectations.
I personally had had ENOUGH.
All of our infants have been jostled about in utero, carried, nurtured and warm. All of their needs have been met for nine months. Why then once earthside do we feel that they need to ASK us by crying out for what they need? They simply shouldn’t have to. Thy need the fourth trimester to acclimatise to their new world. Therefore, their expected place is within arms, and at the breast, this is his inmost sense of place. This fulfils all of his needs and contributes to his development.
By the age of two your child has gained a more practical understanding of their world. They are coming to understand that things (including their mum and dad) continue to exist even when they are out of view. Their expectations change again (and most likely far earlier than two).
Every child is always trying to make sense of their world. They are putting the pieces together. “Mum holds me, feeds me and nurtures me. Dad plays with me, holds me and nurtures me.” These are their simple expectations and they are also ours as adults.
Let’s show them that those expectations are healthy, because as adults we expect these foundations so why can’t our children expect the same?
Image credit (top) – Hadas Images
Earthway Parenting provides a safe place for parents to share and honour each others journey’s. It is a space to come together and embrace the winds of change, to nourish each other’s soul with education as well as impart wisdom. It is about discovering and enabling conscious and intuitive parenting.
Nikki writes for us every month so be sure to keep your eye out for future posts. Previous articles include:
- Tantrums – an attempt to communicate – view here.
- Parenting Consciously – view here
- Gratitude Lists for a happier you – view here
- How to set positive boundaries for your children – view here
- Gentle approach to sleep and settling your baby – view here
- Infant care and connecting with your little one – view here
- They’re only young once – parenting with connection – view here
eBooks & workshops
Nikki has 3 eBooks available. You can download them below
- Conscious Parenting eBook here ($9.95).
- Or her Infant Connection eBook – here ($19.95)
- Three ways to parent to a more peaceful world – here ($14.95)
There is a Post Partum Care workshop is coming soon in September – register interest here.