Trusting Your Instincts and Why It's So Important

Everything in our babies' lives is new. Their physical, cognitive and social development comes in sporadic bursts. Just when they’ve mastered a new skill, had a growth spurt or learned a new game -- wham! -- a whole new challenge develops.

So cut your baby some slack. Maybe she needs a few days of cuddling to make up for a rough week. Maybe yesterday she was starving, but today she just wants to snack. (Don't you want two sandwiches on some days and on other days just a half?)

Trust your baby when he indicates that he's lonely, tired, hungry or eager to play. Trusting him teaches him to trust himself.

"If you let that baby sleep in your bed, you'll never get her out."Perhaps the greatest block to trusting your instincts is the fear that whatever you do now you're doomed to do forever. This fear implies that you're incapable of change and that a precedent set can never be broken.

Please. Human beings are nothing if not adaptable. You're a creative, intelligent adult. Find what works for you and your baby now and do it. When you come to a point when that behavior isn't working anymore, trust yourself to come up with something new to replace it.

"Don't pick that baby up. Babies need to cry." Babies do need to cry. But we need to respond. Their crying is to get our attention, our help. It's their desperation signal that something's wrong, that they need us. Are they hungry, tired, bored, lonely, overstimulated, scared?

We watch their cues and take our best guess, and often we get it right. Even when we miss it, the baby gives us credit for trying and learns that we can be trusted to make the effort.

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