why you should always listen to your gut when it comes to your children... and your boobs

First, sorry for being so absent.  Sick me last week + sick me again this week + sick Andrew this week + trying to sway (okay more like force) the girls into a new routine this week + boob in rebellion all boils down to the utter neglect of the blog.  sorry.  really.

This post is all about a lesson learned this week, one that will likely stick with me for a good long time.

When the girls were born they were tiny amazing wonders and I really had the whole go with the flow attitude down.  I will let them sleep when they want to fall asleep, I will let them eat when they want to eat and I will just go with it.

This worked out amazingly.  They were happy babies and they were thriving.  They woke during the night three times in the beginning and two times until recently and every time they woke we would feed them and put them down and they would just drift back off to sleep in their amazing way.  This past month or so the whole drifting back off sort of petered off and Isla sort of refused to go to sleep unless she ate herself to sleep on the boob.

It was time to change things up... so I thought.

So while at Chapters last weekend I happened on a book.  I read about the pick up put down method and thought it was pure genius (okay maybe you other mothers figured this out on your own... I did not).  So I bought the book, read on and figured that hey getting the girls into a four hour routine where they put themselves to sleep would be awesome.

So this past week has felt like an ongoing marathon.  There's been some progress, some good that has come out of this but there has also been crying and worst of all a slew of self doubt.

I was torn between the competitive, determined me and the new soft, uber emotional me.

The tipping point.... the boob... it rebelled... it basically said your new "routine" is a load of crap and does not work for us (it is ridic engorged... help me please).  Then I became a sobby mess feeling like I had failed the girls which of course I hadn't but it really rang home the whole intuition thing.  My girls love the boob and this book was clearly not breastfeeding friendly and I am no way near ready to stop.

So the boob won, well maybe we all won.

This morning I fed them both in bed, half sleeping and knew the book was wrong.  This time that we have together now is so much more important then forcing them into a routine.

Now I don't regret the purchase altogether as I did find the pick up put down method very useful.  I now have a tool other than the boob that I can use to soothe them to sleep.

but in the end... my gut won.

as it should have.

Instinct by Mindiaphotos via etsy
have you done this?  bought a book, got on board with a program and then realized your instincts inevitably won out in the end?


  1. I hadn't heard of this method before so I just looked it up real quick. It sounds like it could get exhausting, especially with two babies! Like you said, only you can know what your babies need, throw the methods out the window if they don't seem to be working. I couldn't handle the crying myself, but to each their own.

  2. I read this book... in fact I wrote a post abt it too! Lol PUPD didn't work for us, but the EASY routine does. I started to feed him after every wake time instead of sleep time (unless it's bedtime). I feed in between too. It took a little while to do it, but I don't think I started it until he was four months! I think with books it's great to get a lot of ideas then take what works and make it into your own. I read a lot of books that we off from what I want (Babywise comes to mind). Great in theory, but in practice not so much!

  3. I tried Babywise when Aiden was a newborn and it sucked! It really wasn't breastfeeding friendly and it didn't work for Aiden, especially when it came down to letting him cry it out in his crib. I completely regret it and after 4 days of it, I gave up. Totally not worth it to me. I learned my lesson to just let Aiden lead.

  4. Yes! I recently went through the same thing with my baby. I've never had any problems with letting my girl eat and sleep when she wants, it always worked for us. But after listening to other people, I felt like I needed to get Aida on a set schedule AND get her to fall asleep on her own, blah, blah, blah, "BECAUSE IT'S BETTER FOR HER". I had eleven straight days off with Aida (I work part time) and I thought that it would be the perfect time to try it out. The books I had, The No-Cry Sleep Solution and The No-Cry Nap Solution sounded genius and I liked their no cry approach. After nearly a week trying to get her to switch to a schedule and fall asleep without the boob, Aida and I were both miserable, and she was all screwed up and wasn't sleeping. Finally I said, F* it, it's more important to me that she sleep than how she sleeps and returned to our regular "routine". And it worked and it still works for us. I felt like a failure for awhile afterwards, but when I thought about it, I really didn't have a problem with our usual on-demand routine, other people did, or I perceived that other people did. Whatever. There's a lot to be said for mother's instinct and knowing what's best for her baby.

  5. If there was one thing I learned very quickly after becoming a mother it was not to bother reading books about parenting. Some do have useful tips of course but you really just have to trust your insticts and go with what works best for you. How can someone who's never met you or your child know how to bring them up? All babies certainly aren't the same.

  6. p.s. I totally went and bought two of those nursing necklaces that you wrote about back in December, kind of an early birthday present for myself, and, well, my hair/face/chest/clothes. We LOVE them! Not only does Aida play with them while nursing, but she also chews on them while I've got her in the sling. I'm so glad you wrote about them, otherwise I never would have known they existed! Thanks.

  7. First off, LOVE the teething necklaces. :-) We notice a HUGE difference when my daughter is without hers longer than about 6 hours!

    Secondly, I'm a firm believer that western civilization is not a good one for attachment parenting (aka, listening to and following our babies lead). Not a single books theory on parenting and "schedules" (I HATE THAT WORD!) fit every child, heck, any child. Children were not born to fit into our lives, our lives changed when we welcomed them into the world! Do exactly what works for you and your family, your mommy's instinct will lead the way. :-)

  8. This is such good advice! I am just starting to think about what my parenting style will be, and it's very overwhelming to look at the choices and how adamant people are on each end of the spectrum. It's so nice to hear your frank, common-sense point of view. So are there any parenting books that you did like? I am trying to figure out what to read. Or maybe just wing it and count on my own instincts and "experience?"

  9. @Stephanie - the crying isn't awful, it decreases every day and it is definitely not crying it out. It's more crying in confusion because it's something new. Still wears on me though.

  10. @Courtney - yeah feeding in between is much much wiser. Increasing a bottle feed would be much easier than trying to increase a nursing feed. I feed the girls a million times a day... well that's what it feels like.

  11. @Heather - funny how the book preaches that letting the baby (or babies) lead is so wrong yet if you know your child you will understand (most) of their ques and wants and then respond to them rather then try to fit them into what you want.

  12. @April - " it's more important to me that she sleep than how she sleeps " - well said. exactly.

  13. @April - glad you love the nursing necklaces!!! I have a "chew beads" necklace which the girls love.

  14. @The Swann's - so glad the teething necklaces have helped!!! Also, when I stumbled upon an article "why african babies don't cry" early on post birth everything seemed to make more sense to me.

  15. Have you read The Continuum Concept? It's a bit crunchy, but it basically says that babies are born to be with their mothers, maybe worth a read for reassurance


  16. This is such a sweet (and slightly funny) post. I can totally understand the kind of emotions you were going through...maybe not as a mother, but as a girl, for sure. =)

    I'm glad you trusted your instincts. You sound like a fabulous mother!

  17. Yes! I totally fell for Dr Sears and his alternative vaccine schedule. Now that my daughter is almost 4 months old I feel like I have been tricked. We are going to get back on track and follow the AAP schedule. What vaccine schedule do you follow in Canada?

    1. We follow a provincial schedule for vaccines but we did opt out of one of the newer ones despite pressure from the clinic. My rule - if it hasn't been out for 20+ years it's not going in my babies.


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