When I was a young child, I always loved taking care of other people’s babies. If there was a baby in the room, I was either oohing and ahhing over the sweet child or I was holding it. There was no doubt that I absolutely loved babies! I played with my baby dolls until I was about 15 or 16! I babysat as much as I could and I volunteered in the nursery or children’s church at our church.
I just felt like I could connect better with babies and children more than I could with people my own age. I felt like I was good with kids and babies and that I knew everything about how to take care of them. I KNEW that I was going to be an awesome Mama someday and I thought that I had everything figured out about motherhood.
Then… guess what happened?
I had my own babies. Things were going smoothly, until my firstborn decided to be unlike any other baby that I have ever taken care of. Don’t get me wrong, he was and still is the sweetest baby in the world. But everything that I did for those babies that I babysat or took care of before… didn’t work on him. I tried them! But they didn’t work.
After my first, I thought that since we finally figured out what worked for him, we would know exactly what to do with our second and that it will be so much easier. Guess what?
Our second baby is totally different. He requires a totally different care routine and needs a totally different side of my attention.
He’s still a sweet wittle baby! Just extremely different.
So what happened? What’d I do wrong that made them so different?
Every child will need a different type of care than the other.
Just because something worked for one child does NOT mean that it will work for the next child or someone else’s child. Everyone gets so caught up in the way “more successful moms”, school systems, and the government do things that they forget that their child is an individual, not a statistic. They think that since the advice that they got from another mom doesn’t work for their child that they’ve “done something wrong”. It’s not that simple.
Every individual is different. Every household is different. Everyone’s schedules or different. And that “general advice” doesn’t always work. If it does, great! But if it doesn’t… don’t think you’re in the wrong. Because you aren’t.
So how exactly can we figure out what works for our child in particular?
What is trial and error? It is when you try something and when it doesn’t work out, you learn from it, rule it out as an error, and then try a different approach.
For example, when your child is crying, what is the first thing you go to? Mine is picking that baby up or hugging him/her. When that doesn’t work, I go to food (usually a sugary food, sue me). And when that doesn’t work, I go down the line of my next options and try each one until I get that baby to stop crying. I can NOT stand a baby crying.
When something isn’t working for your child, you’ll know. You’ll feel it. That motherhood instinct will kick in and work on you! Sometimes, this can happen immediately. Other times it takes awhile to notice. It depends on the circumstances. Either way, you’ll know.
The best way to keep track of when something is working or not is to write it down in a journal. Write down what it is that you’re trying that’s new and then chart the results (behavior, reactions, etc.). I know this can be time consuming, but if you’re really struggling with figuring out how to help your child improve in a certain area, then it’s worth it.
I can share here on this blog everything that works for me, just to give you an idea of what could work for you. But that does NOT guarantee that it will work and that does NOT mean that it’s supposed to work.
It’s all about…