As a father of two children, one of whom is soon to become a teenager, I’m always surprised by the shear number of books available for expectant mothers and confused fathers. I’m also utterly flabbergasted by some of the utter trite the authors peddle which is why you should stop reading parenting books immediately.
Some of the advice in these books is quite unbelievable, so I’ve decided to use my parenting experience to dispel some of the advice.
Playing white noise to help a baby sleep
This is, in my opinion, utter bollocks. The idea was suggested by a doctor who published a book (obvious money-spinner) and decided that white noise is great for babies as they are used to noise and don’t like quiet environments.
I can count on one hand the times that we struggled to get our children to sleep and when we did have a problem we just played a storybook on a CD player in the bedroom. This would very quickly lull the baby/toddler to sleep; it worked like a charm and I regularly suggest it to new parents who report great success.
Some parents, however, decide to adopt the idea of playing white noise to help the baby sleep. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of hearing one of these devices you’ll know how annoying they are. The baby sleep and everyone else has to put up with a terrible hissing noise that sounds like a 1940’s wireless.
Instead of subscribing to this idea, just make sure you don’t make your home silent when your child goes to bed. Keep the TV or radio on. Have conversations. Cook and do the washing up. Your baby will quickly adapt and as they grow they’ll be used to sleeping in an environment where the rest of the family doesn’t have to tiptoe around as soon as the baby goes to bed.
Setting an ‘optimal’ temperature in the babies bedroom
There are thousands of parents buying baby monitors which not only allow you to talk back to your child but also to consistantly monitor the temperature of their bedroom. This does very little other than add completely uncessary stress to the parents who end up walking around looking at a temperature read-out every 5 minutes.
Throw the thermometer out of the window – you don’t need this overpriced piece of paranoid crap. Humans have this thing called a central nervous system. This built-in system makes you know if you are hot or cold. Walk in the bedroom. If it feels just a tiny bit chilly that’s OK – your child is wearing clothes and has covers on them. If the room feels too warm then the room is too warm; turn the heating down.
It really is that simple and another reason why you should stop reading parenting books.
Don’t leave your baby to cry to sleep
I find this one very interesting. Apparently an ‘expert’ decided that letting a baby cry themselves to sleep will result in separation anxiety or in the child hating you in later life. This theory is now being peddled accross the internet leaving yet more parents in limbo with some parents calling the practice “Victorian”.
Now of course you don’t want to leave your baby to cry if you’re unsure they are safe. Crying can be a sign of pain or illness. Remember though that your baby learns very quickly and will soon realise that if they cry they get attention.
There comes a point where all parents will have to decide whether to let the baby cry it out or not. My advice is this: of you know the baby is doing it for attention then leave them alone and let them cry it out. Yes it’s hard and no one likes to do it but if you don’t then you’ll always be running into the childs bedrrom every five minutes and they will wrap you round their little finger before you have time to realise what’s happened.
There is evidence to support this. Marsha Weinraub, Professor of psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia found that babies should be left to go to sleep on their own, even if that meant they cried for a bit, after conducting research on the sleep patterns of 1,200 children from birth to 3 years.
There is no rule book for parenting.
The above are just some of the reasons why you should Stop reading baby and toddler parenting books. Most of them are written by people to make money, nothing else. Each author is looking for that next trend (fad) to help promote sales.
Instead, use common sense. Speak to friends. Ask your own parents or family. There is no rule book when it comes to being a parent and billions of babies have grown into adults quite safely without silly noises and ridiculous monitors.
Stop buying into these ideas – stop buying the silly books – Why you should Stop reading Parenting books – stop adding unnecessary pressure to your life.
Be a parent. Enjoy it. Don’t stress it.