Andy Tran

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What's in the course?

  • Gentle Parenting introduction.
  • Strategies to prevent tantrums and outbursts.
  • Techniques to keep your cool during difficult parenting moments.
  • How to discipline your child so they learn to desire to do the right thing.

 

Gentle Parenting is the long term discipline strategy so many parents are longing for. If you feel like tradition punishments just don't work, you'll be excited to learn the strategies that do. Gentle Foundations will teach you how to discipline with love and respect, without becoming a permissive parent.

Lizzy Mash, Course Creator

What's in the course?

  • Gentle Parenting introduction.
  • Strategies to prevent tantrums and outbursts.
  • Techniques to keep your cool during difficult parenting moments.
  • How to discipline your child so they learn to desire to do the right thing.

 

Gentle Parenting is the long term discipline strategy so many parents are longing for. If you feel like tradition punishments just don't work, you'll be excited to learn the strategies that do. Gentle Foundations will teach you how to discipline with love and respect, without becoming a permissive parent.

Lizzy Mash, Course Creator

4 First Time Mom Gut Feelings And How to Embrace Them

by | Jan 23, 2018 | Motherhood | 1 comment

(This post might contain affiliate links, which means if you happen to buy a product I love then I may get a commission - at no extra cost to you! For all the Ts and Cs go here.)

Being a first time mom can be pretty overwhelming at times, am I right? You wait and wait for the little one to arrive, and do everything you can to prepare, and when they finally make it to this side of the womb it’s amazing. You fall madly in love with them and all those mama instincts start to kick into high gear.

Let me tell you something though, so much of the common advice out there these days goes against the instincts we have as mothers. Doctors suggest mothers to use formula without giving them a fair chance to really try breastfeeding, mother in laws telling you not to spoil the baby by holding them all the time, and the other mother’s in your baby group talking about how their little one sleeps through the night already, because they did Cry It Out.

I think that God intentionally created a mother’s instincts so women all over the world would know how to take care of their babies, I believe He did this so babies would be nurtured and cared for. Times have changed, there are people making big bucks off of baby products, many of which go against those motherly instincts.

Think back to those first few weeks with your newborn baby

Did you feel any strong motherly instincts? Anything really tugging at you that felt like the right way to care for your young one?

I say go with these gut feelings! There’s a lot of advice out there about how to take care of a baby that only considers what’s best for the adults and not what’s best for the baby.

Now I’m not trying to start any debates about anything here. I do realize that each family has to make their own decisions for their own reasons. Not every woman CAN breastfeed for example, but I believe she deserves the support and encouragement to try.

If you’re a new mom you might have some gut feelings, or maybe you can remember how you felt back then.

I want you to know, it’s ok to have those gut feelings and you should look into them deeper and learn that there are other ways to take care of a baby than just what is normal is Western society. Being aware of all the safe options out there will help you to make informed choices about how to take care of your baby.

I have 4 common gut feelings that new moms feel, and I think you should follow them!

#1. (Breast)feed on demand and let them sleep as much as they want

You might have a lot of people telling you you HAVE to get your baby on a schedule, but it feels like it’s better just to feed them when they want and let them sleep when they want.

This sure makes sense, doesn’t it? The baby knows when they’re tired and hungry and certainly makes that clear to us, so why try to get them to fit into our life? Now there are some babies who get their days and nights mixed up, and that’s hard, but you can gently assist them to get that changed around.

If you feel like it’s best to let them sleep and eat when you want I say GO FOR IT, even if everyone tells you they need to be on a schedule. Most babies will actually start to form their own schedule, and as they grow it will sometimes change a bit and you need to adapt. If you can learn the schedule that works for them then you can assist them by keeping that schedule consistent. And always be flexible for when they start dropping naps and needing less feeds, or needing to go to bed later or sooner. Your baby will (for the most part) make it clear what they need and when they need it and just follow along with that.

#2. Sleep where your baby sleeps

So often moms get the advice to “sleep when baby sleeps” but for a lot of moms that seems impossible because they have to hold their little one while they sleep (or because they have a million things to do but we will get to that one next).

I remember when I was very surprised when our nurse told me exactly how to position my daughter at naptime so she could breastfeed and we could both sleep. I was shocked because I thought bed-sharing was this horrible, horrible thing.

But then I did it a few times, and it was amazing! I was finally able to sleep while my daughter napped and it gave me so much more energy! I eventually went all in with bed-sharing even at night time but it took me awhile to get used to. I probably would have tried it sooner but I was so dead set against bed-sharing, not because my motherly instincts were against it, but because that’s what society had told me over and over.

If you are one tired mama then I definitely recommend finding a SAFE way to bed-share either during the day or at night and it can rock your world! You should definitely follow the safe sleep seven and I watched a few videos on YouTube too to see exactly how other mothers positioned themselves with baby to bed-share safely.

If you’re reading this and think I’m nuts that’s ok, I once thought bed-sharing was nuts but that’s before I knew it could be done safely. Everyone has their opinions though and I respect that. For those who feel like it makes sense to sleep with their baby I say go for it, but go for it in the safest way possible.

#3. Hold your baby close to you at all times

Guess what, holding a baby all the time isn’t going to spoil them! Your baby feels safe and comfortable when they are in your arms, and aren’t baby snuggles wonderful anyways?

But holding a baby all day long can be kind of…boring?

Did I say really boring? It’s just that it’s hard not to think of the million things you need to do when baby is asleep in your arms.

Let me tell you about the first time I wore my baby in the Ergo Carrier.

She was 8 days old, and I was sleep deprived and bored. I was spending day and night holding her in a chair in our bedroom. I had some pretty rough postpartum healing so it’s not like I wanted to do that much anyways. It was 4am, my husband was still asleep but I was ready for the day to begin. I decided I was going to wear my girl in the Ergo! I fashioned her into the snuggly infant insert, held her to my chest and managed to strap her in! It felt like an amazing accomplishment.

That morning as I wore her for the first time in the Ergo I cleaned up the bedroom and made myself some breakfast. I felt very good about myself and thus began our long and lovely relationship with babywearing. I love using the Ergo but I have also enjoyed a DIY version of the Moby wrap, and I also have a ring sling but I never really got a hang of it like the other two.

 

So if it doesn’t make sense to “sleep when baby sleeps” because you can’t get anything done, then wear an awake baby while you get things done, and the sleep where baby sleeps during naptime! Win-win!

And bonus – things get even easier when you can wear baby on your back. I started when my daughter was 8 months, which is pretty late where I live well because I live in Africa and newborns go on the back right away, but the common age suggestion for back carriers would be at 4 months or can sit unassisted.

I would say a baby carrier is one of the most important of baby products. A wrap like the Moby is super great for the “fourth trimester” when the baby basically just wants to feel like they’re still in the womb, and a soft structured carrier like the Ergobaby Carrier or the LILLEbaby is great for when they’re older and work well for dads as well.

So if you just want to keep that sweet little bundle of joy in your arms all day…but also want to be able to do something at the same time, then definitely get into babywearing!

#4. Comfort your baby when they cry

When your baby is crying you probably feel a very strong instinct to hold and comfort them. I say definitely follow that instinct!

Now you will probably get a lot of advice against this, many people will tell you not to do this, but I say GO FOR IT.

You won’t spoil your baby by comforting them. They are crying because they need you and it’s a good instinct for you to comfort them.

And I’m not just talking newborns here, even as your baby gets older and starts getting into toddlerhood it’s still important to comfort them. For me this is a big part of my Gentle Parenting journey. Some parents might start saying that the young one is “manipulating” you  for your attention, but the way I see it they actually really do need our attention, and she’s my daughter, I brought her into this world, and if she needs attention I’m going to give it to her.

Even when those cries are more like a tantrum I still offer my full comfort and support to my daughter, because I respect her feelings (as BIG as they are) and I know she needs me in order to feel safe.

A lot of advice out there for child rearing is going to suggest that your needs and desires are actually more important than your child’s.

To me, this does not seem like a Christ-like approach to parenting, which is why I hold my daughters need and desires as a high priority. If I’m not able to give her what she wants (ex. crying because I won’t let her put her fingers in the outlet) then I still comfort her and say something like, “You really want to play with that, and I’m sorry that you can’t. I moved you away to keep you safe.” I recognize the fact that she’s sad she can’t do what she wanted, and I respect that feeling. She doesn’t realize that it’s dangerous and it’s something she really wanted.

I treat her with love and respect because that’s how I would want to be treated, and I have been this way with her since she was a newborn. Many of the foundations for Gentle Parenting can actually begin in the newborn phase.

So if your child is crying please feel free to go to them. Pick up your baby, hug them, kiss them, nurse them, do whatever you can to comfort them. If you feel uneasy about the idea of crying it out, that might be your instincts talking. Investigate further and you might find that the Cry It Out method to get your small one to sleep might not be a good idea for you. Even if everyone else is telling you to do it, even if your baby is the “only one” not sleeping through the night, it’s ok. It’s ok to be different.

I say God put that instinct in you for a reason, so you should follow it!

If you go with these gut feelings, you might be inclined to Attachment Parenting

If all these feelings sound familiar to you, and if you like the idea of comforting your crying baby, and sleeping where they sleep, and taking care of them in the way that just feels right, then you might really like Attachment Parenting.

I found Attachment Parenting because I kept following my instincts and realized I was actually doing Attachment Parenting. I have since learnt I feel more comfortable being labeled under Gentle Parenting because it’s a broader term, but you can read about the difference between Attachment Parenting and Gentle Parenting here. (LINK)

There are a lot of moms out there who are following their instincts and taking care of their babies this way. I would encourage you to get connected with a group of supportive moms so you can be surrounded by people who encourage these instinctual ways to take care of a baby.

Attachment Parenting has some principals (Co-sleeping, feeding on demand, holding and touching, and responsiveness to crying), but this shouldn’t mean you have to follow all of these all of the time. Some moms work fulltime, or have some sort of circumstance that can make it unrealistic, but that’s ok. Attachment Parenting can look different for everyone, so find a group of supportive friends who can support you on your unique journey.

Mama, feel free to follow your gut

There is a lot of awful parenting advice out there, and it’s not just during your time as a first-time mom. For years you might have people trying to tell you how to raise your child and you need confidence to make the right choices for your family.

If you want to raise your child in a way that honours and respects them as a human being then I know you will love Attachment Parenting when they’re a baby, and when they’re a child you will definitely like Gentle Parenting.

Gentle Parenting is a loving and respectful way to guide a child through life. It allows you to discipline them in a way that will teach them to have a heartfelt desire to do what’s right while also building a strong relationship between you and your child. It’s a long term approach, but it will reduce the drama in your home and shape your children into amazing little humans.

If you want to learn more about Gentle Parenting specifically then I have a free 7-day e-course for you called Gentle Foundations. This course will walk you through the basics of Gentle Parenting to prepare you to be a more positive parent who understands their child’s development and can support them in a natural way. Follow your instincts with Gentle Parenting!

There might be a lot of people in your life telling you to raise your child differently, but if you want to follow your instincts then find a group of supportive moms and follow your motherly instincts together.

It’s ok to be different!

The Moving Mama

The Moving Mama

Lizzy Mash is an experienced early childhood educator now living in Africa as a missionary working with children and families.

She teaches Christian moms how to take a more respectful and Christ-like approach to motherhood by using Gentle Parenting strategies.

Read more about Lizzy here >>

1 Comment

  1. lola

    I like these, especially comfort them when they cry, i honestly cannot watch my daughter cry and just stare at her. My hubby says i am too soft but oh well, i always say they will only be little for so long so let me enjoy the moments

    Reply

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