The Boy went to sleep on his belly long before he could roll over completely. He also was formula-fed and chomping down solids way before he was six months old. He rode in a forward-facing carseat before his first birthday -- but trust me, the chunky monkey was well over the weight limit -- and just a couple weeks ago, I bit The Boy. He finally bit me hard enough to break the skin and after months of fretting over his bad habit, I took the advice of my mother, grandmothers, aunts and most other experienced mothers I'd talked to and bit him back. Not hard enough to break the skin, but hard enough to get his attention to tell him biting hurts. He hasn't bitten since then.
I am fully aware some of you probably are appalled. Likely, I'm risking some nasty comments. But I bring up all these ways in which I am, maybe, a horrible parent because this article on Babble got me thinking about all the little parenting secrets we keep.
Every kid is different. What works once might not work twice. These are basic rules every parent discovers. But we live in this baby-centric era where there are campaigns for this, campaigns for that and experts everywhere telling you the BEST way to raise your kid.
Some of those campaigns -- the SIDS campaign, for instance -- are doing good things, I'm sure. But the thing is they all say there is only ONE way and so, if that one way doesn't fit our kid or our family, we feel guilty and sometimes, we just don't talk about it. When my pediatrician told me at The Boy's six-month check-up that I could start cereal and solids, I didn't bother to tell him my always-hungry kiddo had been slurping down mashed bananas and pureed sweet potatoes for weeks. We spent weeks of gassy, screaming nights and closely monitored afternoon belly-naps before I worked up the courage to let my colicky baby sleep on his belly. After ignoring him to show my disapproval of biting only gave The Boy a chance to sink his teeth into the soft flesh around my bellybutton, I found a different tactic. I'm not saying every parent should do things the way we do. I'm saying every parent finds their own way and that's fine, provided the kid is happy and healthy. And maybe what works for you will work for me or vice versa.
Let's all 'fess up in the name of helping each other out. What parenting secrets do you keep?