If you have been following our blog, you all know how much I wanted to be a dad. You all know that in February 2017 we gave birth to our son Parker. I would like to talk about a few things my wife and I have learned while raising Parker and things that are worked for us.
The first thing you should know is that my wife and I have never followed a schedule. We both believed that we could learn the signals indicating when Parker was hungry, tired, or needed a bum change. What we have learned is that parker has automatically set up his own schedule. For instance, he generally sleeps from 9 pm until 8 am, eats and then at about 10 am he goes for his first nap. There are days when Parker gets up earlier and some days he gets up later. However, the signals allow us to know what he needs and when he needs them. We also follow a certain set of rules as well such as; we never put Parker to bed with a bottle, and we don’t put any toys in his crib ever. The reason for never giving him a bottle or toys in his crib is that we didn’t want to associate play or eating with his crib. When putting Parker to bed my wife and i never change Parkers bum and put him straight in his crib. This is for the same reasons, we don’t want Parker to associate bum changes to bed time. This last thing has benefited us because Parker doesn’t get fussy or upset for any of his bum changes. Parker never gets to sleep in our bed, we cuddle him to sleep in our bed sometimes. But he never gets to sleep with us. All of Parkers naps are in his designated crib or sleeping spot.
Secondly Parker has quite a few toys, Grandpa loves to spoil the hell out of Parker. At any given time, we only let him play with a certain number of toys. Currently he has his activity table, interactive car toy, his block puzzle and his giraffe puzzle. As parker grows up or as he gets bored of toys we can exchange them for others. We never let Parker play with his toys in his room. We are strict about this rule; the bedroom is for sleeping and bum changes. I personally think that this is the reason that Parker sleeps so well. Parker has many interactive books as well. Interactive books are a great way to stimulate Parkers mind. In the car, we don’t give Parker any food, drinks or toys. Parker has learned to entertain himself.
Thirdly, we don’t stop Parker from making noise during the day. My Wife and I encourage Parker to make noise, this allows him to develop speech skills. We host an AirBnB and we have found if Parker makes sound during the day he is less likely to make noise at night.
Fourthly, we give Parker a taste of as much of our food as possible within reason. He is not picky in the slightest and will eat practically anything. We do follow the basic rules such as no honey before he turns twelve months old, no shellfish and we use common sense. Also, we gave him common allergy foods as soon as 6 months to avoid him having any allergies. When we go to restaurants we always take Parkers dinner and snacks in case Parker needs something to eat, but generally he has enough patience to wait for us to get our food.
Lastly, we give Parker to various people for short periods of time. We think this is good because it gives us a break from parenthood, also parker doesn’t yet get upset from my Wife and I being absent. Last Year my Wife and I went on a 5-day cruise and from what my Mom told us he didn’t miss us until we got back.
These are just a few things that my Wife and i have learned and are doing to raise our son Parker. It worked for us but it may not work for you.