Squishels & Me Squishels & Me

...follow her lead...

Following Squishels' Lead with Respect

adult hands and baby feet
adult hands and baby feet

We parent with an emphasis on respect- respecting our baby's lead, and respecting our baby's needs.

We respect Squishels' lead by trying to allow her to choose when her basic needs are met: hunger, discomfort, pain, and fear.

This means respecting her need to be fed at the most inconvenient times- like when we're trying to get the housework done, or trying to get the shopping done. For me, this also means not covering her whilst I'm feeding her. I like to think of it this way: if I wouldn't like to eat under a cloth, why should I make my baby feed under a cloth? Of course, this comes with some common courtesy for others- using parent feeding rooms when available, and trying to be as modest as possible when feeding in public (which isn't always easy with a baby!).

This also means respecting her need to have a nappy changed as soon as it becomes uncomfortable. This is one of the more difficult ones to accomplish, because her 'I'm wet' cues aren't the most clear to us. However, it being inconvenient to change the nappy because I just want to finish writing this blog piece, or I just want to finish my T.V. episode, isn't respecting my daughter's need not to sit in her own pee. For me, this also means changing her when she wakes to feed during the night- we're all tired, and grumpy, but she'll get better sleep with a dry bottom right?

The other thing for us, is respecting her choices. If she doesn't want to be put down, or sleep in her own bed, or be passed off to a loving relative, she can say no (with random baby cues, that again are hard to pick up). But we try to respect where she wants to be and how she wants to deal with big emotions- generally with our help. So, that means co-sleeping with daddy, and always being in Daddy J's or my own arms 99% of the time. But, she's only going to be this small and cuddly for a short period in her life, right?

So, that's how we strive to respect our baby, by following her lead and her needs. How do you respect your baby?