For hundreds of years, prior to the advent of the printing press, parents were able to raise their children. And although the infant mortality rate was higher back then, I'm pretty sure that was due to illness, not from infanticide when parents didn't know what to do with their screaming child.
I'm not a huge Jungian "collective unconscious" believer, but I have to believe that all that childrearing knowledge, passed down through community efforts, generation after generation, must have rubbed off somehow. I really wanted to go into parenting trusting my instincts.
So where have my instincts led me? Are they that different from other parents? And how's it working out?
Set Realistic Expectations:
This is one of my pet peeves. And I'll admit I was guilty of not setting realistic expectations before Thatbaby arrived. I remember talking to my friend L about my plan to have Thatboy feed the baby at night sometimes, trading off so we each got sleep. Which is when L kindly informed me that my plan wasn't going to fly. Because I'd have to get up and pump at that time anyway. And then wash the bottles.
I remember when Thatbaby was born, looking at him and thinking how perfect he was. I know I'm not the only parent with that feeling. And yet, for many, it only takes about 2 weeks before they start asking when their "perfect" baby is going to fix him/herself and sleep better at night. Which isn't a realistic expectation at 2 weeks. One of the things that everyone around me noted was how much more relaxed and less anxious I was after having Thatbaby. My usual, anxiety filled self just wasn't worked up about anything, figuring that whatever was happening was probably normal. Right now, I'm dealing with a mother at daycare who seem completely taken aback that her child gets sick from school. Realistic expectations people.