So I was reading an article about parenting (which actually was arguing against the use of that word - "Parenting") today. Some of the research cited talked about how when we directly "teach" our children we are actually limiting what they learn (which I think most of us would agree is not our goal!) For example, if we show them the "right" way to use an object (toy, tool etc.) then we often miss out on them exploring and being much more creative about how they will use said object. Makes total sense.
Later this morning I took a shower with Carter. Lately I've been putting a little hand towel down on the bathtub floor and letting the tub fill a little bit with warm water while I shower. He can see me and smiles and kicks and splashes. I get clean and can easily wash him too. If the water starts to get to high I simply take out the plug. At the end of the shower I pick him up and put him in the warm spray of water. Sometimes I can tell it is almost too warm for him by the sharp intake of breath, but I watch him closely and put his hands and feed in first to gauge whether the temperature is ok for him.
Carter's first bath was with me in the tub. That time I sat with him and supported him gently. He didn't cry and I think he enjoyed floating in the warm water. Since then he has taken many baths with me and his big brother which has proven to be enjoyable too, and sometimes very amusing for all of us when something that Gerry does makes Carter laugh.
Many babies in our culture are bathed almost immediately. But we have actually learned that waiting to bathe newborns actually has many benefits for babies! When I was a first time mom I bought a "special baby tub" to bath Marisol in and that is mostly where I bathed her.
As I showered with Carter yesterday it occurred to me that all of these "Parenting" books and experts are similar to us "teaching" our children. Because all of these "directions" exist, it makes us parents (especially new parents) think that there is a "right" way to do things. Oh and lets not forget all of the STUFF! Of course we "needed" the special baby tub and the special foam mat to put in the big tub. (oh wait... maybe my arms and a hand towel are enough!) Many new babies scream and cry through bath time - it is common to hear parents saying "my baby hates bath!" or "yay! _____ had their first bath without crying today!"
I wonder if we did away with all of the instructions and allowed parents room to TRY things - experiment with what works and feels best - if more babies (and parents!) might enjoy bath time and (not) "parenting".
ps I'll put a couple of links in the comments.
#randomramblings #bringingrandomramblingsback #trustparents#trustbabies #lessteachingmoretrying