There is no perfect baby! It is all in your head.
Recently there is this sudden talk with some mums about sleep training your baby. Started out with my fellow psychologist mum where she told me about her practice where she followed this book on how to manage it. So far she feels like there’s hits and misses. Then comes another mum who follows Facebook groups on sleep training but somehow it does not work for her baby and she feels upset about it.
All the articles that start with “sleep mistakes to avoid”, then you start reading them and you start feeling all horrible because you are doing everything that the article said you should avoid. Some advocate to let your baby self soothe and cry it out, some say to be responsive to your baby’s cries. So many contradictory articles and advice out there that you are at a loss of what to do.
It got me thinking about expectations and also all these advice that books, facebook groups and internet articles give. There are so many out there and believe me I have read them all. Some are really helpful but some are not.
But are these articles helping or adding more stress to mums? Are these articles giving mums a set of expectations that your baby just cannot fulfill.
Why are there no articles telling mum that you are already doing the best that you can? Or articles explaining that different strategies work for different babies.
On top of the stress that mums feel in wanting to do everything right, these articles add on to the pressures of having a perfect baby.
But is there a “perfect baby”?
Is there a such thing as a “perfect person”?
I believe that one method or strategy does not fit all. What works for another person’s baby may not work for yours. Just as in psychological therapy practice, I believe in an eclectic approach where one form of therapy may work with this child but not for the other and sometimes you may have to try out different approaches to see what works instead of sticking so strictly to one method that you end up making the child and yourself so miserable.
Thus, I want this article to be about acknowledging yourself that you are doing the best that you can as a mum and that mums out there can cut yourself some slack and just go with the flow of what works for your own baby. Whether it’s putting your baby in a rocker or putting your baby in a cot or beside you to sleep, it’s fine! As long as your baby sleeps and you feel good about being a mum.
Sorry to burst your bubble but there is no perfect baby! It is all in your head.