21 July 2020, by E-van and Terry
I constantly find myself in some sort of self-doubt for milestones Raphael has yet to hit. And I feel awful for feeling that. You hear it all the time “every baby is different, some reach certain milestones earlier and some later” and yet, there is a silent competition going on from parent to parent.
Is he walking yet?
Is he sleeping through the night yet?
Can he sleep by himself yet?
Believe me, the questions are endless. What if he isn’t doing any of those? Does it make him any lesser than other babies? The answer is no.
Pushing Encouraging baby
I’ve stopped myself from stressing him into doing things just because it is the next milestone he should be achieving. If he needs a little boost of encouragement to help with his confidence, I am there with him every step of the way. We have since been having so much more fun when he gains that little bit of confidence each time we revisit an activity. I find myself immensely proud of my little one when he stands on his own two seconds longer than the previous time. And for some reason, we end up laughing together, because we both know he’s gaining that confidence and we are doing it together in a safe space. It’s so fun to watch him get so tickled with every little progress he makes.
To follow or not to follow?
I have tried putting Raphael through “sleep training” they call it. But it’s better known as CIO – Cry It Out. I believe many parents have adopted it, my own sister did. For us, we’ve decided not to do it anymore for two reasons:
1) Terry’s heart is soft, and he almost cries together with Raphael each time we try it.
2) Makes me feel like the villain for putting Raphael through the process.
The thought of it just haunts us…imagine being a baby, crying alone in a dark room, calling out to his parents who are his main source of comfort, but no one comes to his rescue. So up until now, Raphael still cries for comfort, once or twice, sometimes more, but we will always be there for him.
Disappointments Cherishing moments
As for milestones, I remember feeling a little bit disappointed and guilty when he doesn’t complete an activity.
But I soon realised, I shouldn’t be doing this to myself, or to Raphael. So I’ve since shifted my thoughts to cherishing every waking moment with Raphael and this is where I find comfort and it has a positive impact on our day-to-day achievements.
And to be honest, he surprises me time and time again. Now, he observes us and sometimes mimics my actions. It cracks me up every time❤️
The main take away from this entry is to remind myself and other parents out there, that it’s okay. It’s really okay if they aren’t walking yet, or if they still need you at night, or if they are just really clingy! Enjoy the moments with your baby and celebrate every little progress in their growing up journey.
Because once they get to that milestone, you will start missing the moments and wish they didn’t grow up so fast. They won’t be a baby forever. So let’s allow them to take their time growing up, no rush. All in good time.
Disclaimer: Trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to see a paediatric doctor if you feel that something is not right.