5 Ways to Raise Un-Fussy Babies

Jill Smokler
Baby
126

crying baby

From the time my precious children were tiny infants, I resisted making them as comfortable as they could possibly be. Horrible? How could a mother do such a thing? It may not work for everyone, but I had three babies who were unfussy, easy to please, and easy to care for, thanks in no small part to the steps I took. Seems worth a little discomfort to me. Thankfully, they don't remember a thing ...

1. I fed them cold milk. I was unable to breastfeed my kids, so they were formula fed from the beginning. I would make all of the day's bottles in bulk first thing in the morning, lining them up in little rows in the fridge. When the kids were hungry, I'd just pop one out, making it almost as easy as whipping out a boob. It never even dawned on me to heat the bottles, until my mother-in-law noted that we were feeding our tiny babies ice-cold milk. That can't be comfortable in the middle of winter, she noted. Why make them picky when they don't ever have to know the difference, I answered? In retrospect, their faces did seem to jolt wide awake when I fed them, and it mustn't have been too comfortable, but it saved me a few precious hours in the middle of the night and they never knew another way.

2. I used cold wipes. Wipe-Warmers? Ha! I never understood why a mother would possibly want her child to get used to a nice toasty wipe. What happens when you're out at the grocery store or in the car or on an airplane? Wipes can't always be brought to a dreamy 80 degrees if you ever plan on leaving the house. Better to just get the baby accustomed to the chilly wipe right from the start. Plus, the less comfortable it is, perhaps the more willing they will be to get potty trained in a few years.

3. I wiped roughly. My kids never cry when I roughly wipe ice cream or peanut butter off of their faces since I've been doing it that way from the start. Kids' faces will always need wiping and having a nice, dainty touch takes 10 times as long.

4. I dumped water on their heads. I never bought fancy contraptions to shield their eyes from bath water -- I simply filled a bucket with water and dumped it on their heads. And, guess what? They learned to close their eyes. No screaming in the tub, no holding breath, and no huge scene. Easy-peasy.

5. I changed their diapers anywhere and everywhere. Fancy changing table lined with terrycloth? Who needs that? I plopped my kids right on the kitchen counter or the ottoman or wherever was convenient and that's where we did our business. It made things much easier on me than having to schlep upstairs a hundred times a day and they never knew another way.

See? The less you do, the easier things are. It's a parenting philosophy that works for me.



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