When you are an expectant couple, often all you are thinking about is the birth, baby names and decorating the nursery together. You imagine fondly the moment when you and your partner will hold your baby for the first time. However, what happens when your baby finally arrives and starts growing up? Will you always agree with each other about everything? Here are five things that you and your partner (or co-parent) might have differing opinions about when it comes to raising your child.
Leaving baby to cry at night
Getting enough sleep is essential, whether this means for you or your baby. Between 3 and 6 months, infants learn to fall asleep on their own when put to bed. Unfortunately, some of them have trouble settling down to sleep and, therefore, cry.
Experts say that you shouldn’t leave a baby to cry out over a long period of time. That said, neither should you take them out of their cot to bring them back into the living room. Infants need to learn that night time is the time to sleep. You can teach them if you have the patience.
When they cry, try not to go to them immediately. Instead, wait for a few minutes before going to their bedroom. Leave the lights on low and try not to speak. Reassure them, and when they have stopped crying, leave the room again. It may take a few nights. However, you may also get lucky and find that you baby falls asleep without any fuss. If this isn’t working, leave it until they are a little older.
If you don’t like the thought of leaving your baby to cry, one idea is to stay in the room with them until they fall asleep.
Holding your Baby all Day
Experts suggest that holding your baby all day long will mean that he or she won’t learn how to be independent and that they will become anxious when you are away. Infants should be held. However, as they get older, you can put them in a baby chair while you do the housework, or on the floor with a baby gym. As a result of this, your little one will get used to not being held as much and you’ll be able to get on with things.
Sleeping in the matrimonial bed
Infants under the age of 1 are better off sleeping on their own, as there is a risk of suffocation. You or your partner could also roll on top of the baby by mistake in your sleep. If you want to be close, put the cot next to your bed, so that you can reach out and touch your baby when you want to.
When your child is a toddler, they might want to share your bed. Although many parents let their children come to bed with them, it might disturb your sleep or affect your intimacy. If you want, you can make it a treat over a couple of nights, and then get your little one in their own bed the rest of the time. This way your toddler learns to go off to sleep by themselves, and you and your partner can have some alone time.
When your child is old enough to understand right from wrong, you will have to start teaching them some discipline. You might be laid back and less forthright than your partner (or your co-parent) and might, therefore, prefer a softer approach. Your partner, on the other hand, may believe that if a child is in the wrong he or she should be punished immediately.
If this is your case, try to reach a compromise with your partner. For example, you can explain to your child why his or her behavior was unacceptable. If your child ignores you, you can then establish a fitting punishment. Be consistent and try not to show your child that you and your partner disagree with each other. Also, it’s best to discipline kids without raising your voice and losing your temper, as this can easily make the situation worse.
Tantrums usually come in two forms. Sometimes, they’re caused by the fact that babies can’t communicate what they need and, therefore, get frustrated. Your child could also throw a tantrum because they can’t do what they want to do and hope, that by crying, they will manage to make you change your mind.
You and your partner should agree with each other about what to do when your kids throw a tantrum. It’s always best to be consistent! If your toddler throws a tantrum because they are unable to complete a task, try to remain calm and help them. It might be something really simple, like trying to get his toy bunny to fit in a box, or wanting to climb up on the sofa.
If they throw a tantrum because they want things they can’t have, you and your partner should agree to either stay close to your child and let them eventually run out of steam, or to remove them from the situation. This might be rather inconvenient if you’re in the middle of the weekly shop, but once this is repeated a couple of times, they should get the message.