Being The Best Parent, Or How to do Your Best And Ask For Help

When I became a new parent it was hard. Being a new anything can be a challenge. Nothing can prepare you for something that is brand new. You can study and research but when you attempt to put it into practice mistakes happen. Nobody is perfect the first time or the second. Masters are thought to have 10,000 hours dedicated to reach their mastery. The majority of other people give up before that and the select few are either masters or gluttons for punishment. This is when looking at a specific skill and experts focus on a very narrow subject often. For children this is seen in researchers who look at a brief period of development. The information they provide is useful but it will not make us an expert. 

Expect To Be Proven Wrong

As a first time parent I set my expectations low. I did not expect my child to sleep through the night, to eat well, or do anything well. This has helped me get through the first few months of their life. The biggest surprise was the rapid changes. It is no wonder child development is such a huge field. It would be impossible to expect to know everything and with sleepless nights remembering strategies or things to try is difficult. With a second child expecting something different is almost a guarantee. This is where doing your best, in the moment, will go a long way. Apart from the people researching 10s or 100s of infants at any given time nobody will master caring for an infant. So we must do the best we can.

An Outside Perspective

My child had difficulty creating suction. They did not eat well for the first few months of their life. We opted for tongue tie frenectomy and a revision which did seem to help. As he grew he eventually was able to nurse exclusively (although pumping and breast milk bottles were used when my partner worked). As a provider with an expertise in movement and motor control when we had people over I knew the things they would see. Difficulty with tongue movement and some difficulty with movement on one side. This was not any major concern but this did change their ability to feed. Even though I knew the answer to the question I still needed outside support to tell me what to do. So even if you have expertise, or maybe especially if you do, it’s important to get outside help when you are struggling as a parent.

How I Hope To Help With Infant Sleep And Feeding

The first few months of life come down to two things: is the child growing and are they meeting typical developmental milestones. These two things can be difficult, babies grow at different rates and develop at different rates. I work with parents to reassure when things are normal and help them develop a plan to help the child’s growth and development. This centers around identifying the factors that contribute to the struggles and helping the family work together to improve the situation. This can include hands on massage and movement, external cues for the child, and using the child’s development to help them improve. Working with the flow instead of against it.

Go With The Flow

Children are difficult. Some are easier than others but I love my child. I know most parents do as well. When you are stuck in it and the child will not sleep or can not suck to get milk or formula it is hard. That is why I work with families to help them as a unit. The baby is a new situation and it changes daily. I am here to help when you feel like you are drowning or being swept away. You do not have to do this alone. You can go with the flow without being overwhelmed. I am here to help.

Dr Nichols