Parenting On Demand
While some parents feel more comfortable putting their baby on a schedule as soon as possible, many others believe in completely watching their baby’s cues and giving them what they want when they want it. This generally means that there is no set nap time or feeding time, there is just baby time, which is often ALL the time.
The Baby-Led Routine – Pros
Babies often have a mind of their own. If you let them they will generally do what they want when they want too. Even if you don’t let them chances are they will cry and scream until they get their way. Most babies respond very well to a parent meeting their needs as soon as they utter a whimper. When you meet a child’s needs immediately it can help to teach them and show them that they can depend on you and that you will be there when they need you.
Chances are as your baby gets older you will start noticing a pattern in his day. You will find that he is naturally waking up around the same time every morning and taking naps around the same time throughout the day. You will know about when he should be hungry and when he is ready for bed. When your “on demand” baby starts setting up a schedule of his own it is safe to let him go with that schedule.
The Baby-Led Routine – Cons
Some babies will simply never get on a schedule on their own. If this is your baby and you parent by demand, you might find that your baby is 6–9 months old, or even a year, and he still has no regular nap or bedtime schedule. With an older baby this can be very tiring for mom and dad, as well as for the baby. In some cases a parent might have to try to force a schedule upon their infant in order to get rest for the entire family in the house.
Some people may tell you not to parent on demand because you will spoil your baby. You can not spoil a baby. No matter what your grandmother says, spoiling an infant isn’t possible, because at just a few months old an infant doesn’t know what “spoiling is”. Most pediatricians agree that a baby can’t be spoiled until they are at least six months old. Many say a full year. If you are unsure do your own research and ask your pediatrician his opinion.
No matter how you choose to parent your baby, being a good parent and loving your baby is the most important thing. Just having mom and dad around will help your baby grow up confident and happy.
Do you know your baby's birth stone? Birth Flower? How about when you'll be handing over the car keys? Check out our popular Fun Birthday Facts Calculator to discover fun trivia about your baby's birth or due date!