My name is Christina Hnatiuk. I am a new mom of a 6 month old baby boy, Marshall. I am married to a wonderful man, we will have been together for 5 years, married for two. I work full time in Human Resources and part time as a Ukrainian dance instructor. I love to try new things, especially new restaurants and food. In my free time, which is hardly ever, I love to bake, specializing in cheesecakes. This is my first time writing a blog but I am looking forward to sharing my adventures in parenting with everyone!
As a first-time mother, I did a lot of research. Sure, I had friends and family with a lot of experience, but I wanted to be independent and informed. I read all kinds of pregnancy books, baby books, sleep training books, mommy blogs, and don’t even get me started on Pinterest. I had all this information and all of it contradicted the rest. Every book, article, blog and person I talked to would tell me different “Milestones”. And in my very honest and personal opinion these so called “Milestones” are the worst!
It all starts from when you find out about your little bundle of joy. We start reading everything we can in preparation for what is to come. All of the books and all of the articles give you some kind of schedule that the development process should follow. So what happens when you can’t feel that little peanuts movement at 16 weeks, or the baby doesn’t drop at 36 weeks? Panic sets in. All these other people had these things happen at this time, I mean they wrote a book on it, it had to have happened to more than one person right? I never felt the baby drop. And I panicked. I thought something was wrong for sure. I bounced on the exercise ball, walked, and pretty much did everything that people told me to, all because I read somewhere it was supposed to happen! Turns out it just didn’t happen and that was something that was different for me.
Then the baby is born and there’s a whole new set of questions that arise. My little one is 8 months now and I still struggle with milestones. How long should he be sleeping? Is he eating enough? Why isn’t he crawling? Did he stand up too fast? The list goes on. The truth is, there is no right answer to any of these questions. Every baby is different. Every parent is different.
Our little one has always been quick to do things, he had amazing head control from day one, sat up on his own, crawled and even stood earlier then the information said. This is great if you are always ahead of or on time with the schedules. But when it came to feeding and sleeping our little one wasn’t in line with the “experts” suggestions.
According to pretty much any information I read, at 7-9 months our little one should be sleeping 11-12 hours a night and 2-3 hours during naps, weaned from night feedings (although 1 feeding for formula fed babies is normal as well), and 2-3 naps per day. Most sites say at this age babies should get 12-14 hours of sleep a day. Now I know these are just guidelines, but as a new parent it’s hard not to question your every decision. We look to these sites and inforgraphs for the information that we ourselves are unsure of. Our little one sleeps nowhere near 12 hours a day. At night, he sleeps from 8-9 hours, that’s if we catch him before he is overtired or nothing else interferes. He still eats 2-3 formula feedings a night, and until this last month he still slept in our room. He maybe only naps 1-2 times a day, and totaling 2 hours if we are lucky. I figured for sure we had done something wrong. But he is the happiest baby, rarely fussy and smiles all the time. So obviously, we are doing what is right for our little guy!
It’s hard to come to grip with that though. Friends on social media, your doctor, and even your mother or mother in-law, can make you question if you are doing the right thing. Everyone is different including our little ones. Make sure you do things at your own speed and what you are comfortable with. Read and listen to advice and suggestions, but take it with a grain of salt. These are not the same for every child and every parent. Remember you have instincts too, follow them and have confidence you are doing the right thing.
“There is no such thing as a perfect parent. So just be a real one.” -Sue Atkins