Trust your instincts, fam…
One thing I’ve learned from being a mom is that I do know what’s best for my baby. It took time to get to this point but now I am confident in the decisions I make for my family.
When my daughter was born, my husband and I used a very rigid sleep program. I knew in my gut right away that this program was not good for our family. However, I didn’t trust my instincts and we ended up following this program for a few weeks before moving on to The Full Feedings Method.
If I could go back and change one thing about those first few weeks, I would trust my instincts. I knew this rigid program wasn’t right for us and I continued to use it because I didn’t trust myself.
If I didn’t trust myself, how was my daughter going to trust me?
I found myself deep in depression, questioning my ability to parent my daughter and unable to work with my baby to meet her needs. The moment I started trusting my instincts, everything changed. I was able to find a sleep program that did work for my family (thanks, Ann!). I knew when my daughter was able to go longer stretches at night because I could trust how much I fed her during the day. It felt like my experience with motherhood flipped instantly in that moment. It was like night was over and I was finally able to see the daylight.
Making the decision to trust myself wasn’t easy. I needed the confidence to know that I was doing the right thing for my family. When my daughter was born, I felt disconnected from her. I was in tremendous physical pain, was struggling with my fears and anxieties, and felt guilty about letting all of that get in the way of my outwardly showing my daughter love. I felt like I was failing.
How did I make this change?
I got to a point where I realized something needed to change and that change had to come from me. I looked at my daughter one day and realized she doesn’t expect me to be “perfect.” She expects me to be ‘mom’. She has the natural ability to be adaptable and to love me unconditionally as the person that cares for her. Once I realized I didn’t need to have all the right answers and I didn’t need to do everything perfectly on the first try, I was able to begin trusting myself.
Does this mean every decision I made was the “right” one? Absolutely not! Part of trusting myself was knowing when something wasn’t working and having the confidence to move on to and follow a different path instead. There were times when I thought my daughter needed an increased awake time because her naps started to become less consistent so I tried it out and added 5 minutes. When that didn’t work, I shortened a nap and she was able to sleep better in the afternoon. I stopped feeling afraid of what could go wrong and started to feel excited at the strategies I had to help my daughter.
As a new mom in today’s world, there is so much outside noise from friends, Instagram and the internet but only you know your baby. You’re the one who needs to decide what your baby needs and doesn’t need. I’m here to tell you that you are doing the right thing and it’s time to trust yourself. Make the decision to do that. Start with something small, make one decision today for your baby that feels right. Please, listen to what your gut is telling you and go from there. I promise, you and your baby will be so much better off in the end!
Since I’ve started trusting my instincts, I’ve been able to make so many decisions confidently for my family and now we are able to work together as a unit each day.
You got this, mama!