'I wish I'd known about being strong in trusting my own intuitive wisdom'.
We often forget to tap into our own intuitive wisdom because we have unlearned to trust it. From school age we are taught to listen to ‘experts’. Throughout history most recommendations regarding baby/child care come in and out of fashion. Sadly parents, babies, grandparents and caregivers pay the price of this ever changing advice. Everything from sleep-positioning to swaddling, to sleeping bags, seems to fall into this arena and become the ‘flavour of the day'. Unwittingly, the baby’s safety may be potentially compromised.
Scientific research forms the basis of most Ministries of Health’s policies worldwide, and the school of thought about the validity of science is that it is based on fact and removes the myths and ‘old wives tales’. However, there is also significant validity in coalface experiential observation and practice over a length of time, and hopefully these two schools of thought will continue to merge more over time.
With continual new research outcomes and changing trends, the variables associated with 'official' preventative safety don’t necessarily follow quickly enough. For example, when the advice was to sleep babies on their tummies it took years before the necessary firm mattresses were advised so that babies did not have their faces into soft bedding. Up until then, there were fatalities with babies’ faces becoming imbedded in soft mattresses.
Some parents, grandparents or caregivers can become experts at pre-empting babies needs thereby minimizing their need to cry.
Your intuitive wisdom comes into play also when baby cries. Much has been written on crying and most people agree that crying is a natural way for babies to communicate. Babies cry to communicate needs such as the ‘feed me’ or ‘I have a pain’ or ‘I’m lonely’ cry (being separated after having been in the womb for nine months takes baby time to adjust to of course). A baby’s cry is a parent/caregiver’s cue to tune into their unique baby and tap into their own intuitive wisdom. You soon learn to discern your baby’s cry.
For a young baby it is more ‘normal’ to cry than not to cry. But there are different schools of thought on how long they ‘should’ cry and many schools of thought on how to react to a crying baby. I prefer the ‘nurturing, gentle within flexible boundaries’ approach so everyone’s needs are being met.
TRUST YOURSELF. Listen to new knowledge, listen to old knowledge from people you trust, observe your unique baby, and consider your and your family’s needs. Then put it all together with your own intuitive wisdom and common sense.
- Miriam Rutherford - van Gisbergen