I have bounced all the bounces: When sleep training works

When I graduated high school, a group of friends and I went camping alongside the sand dunes at Honeyman State Park. We went skinny dipping, we played drinking games, we flirted—and, gathered around a campfire, we burned the spiral notebooks and three-punch paper we had filled with notes on biology, history and literature.

As remnants of high school went up in smoke, I felt ready for a new chapter to begin.

I’m considering doing the same with our giant stability ball—because that’s apparently what I do when sleep training works.

Don't let anyone mommy guilt you about sleep training your baby. Ferber works—and it gave me my life back. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Don’t follow this advice

It’s almost a cliché that once you become a parent, everyone—friends, family, randos on the playground—are suddenly an expert at how to raise your child. Sometimes the advice is helpful; sometimes it’s ridiculous; most of the time it’s confusing. (And sometimes it’s obnoxious enough to inspire a rant by yours truly and make me swear off online parenting advice altogether, like this.)

Every so often, a mother-to-be or new mama asks me for advice. I could say a lot about getting help with breastfeeding (if you choose to go that route), finding support in other mothers, bringing spare onesies when you fly and plenty of other tips. But what I usually say instead goes something like this:

You are the expert in your baby. You carried her for 40 weeks; you know her better than anyone else in the world. Do what you feel is right and ignore the other advice. You will make the best choices for your baby and your family.

I’m grateful to the people who told me something similar. They gave me the support and confidence to follow my own parenting path (one that my husband and I walk together, of course).

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Here is the advice I’m glad I ignored.
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