You are bound to receive varied advice on how best to care for your baby even before you give birth. This often leaves many first-time moms and by extension parents very confused. You are bound to be left wondering which parenting style and approach to adopt so as to bring up your baby in the best way possible.
Your first step should be to know what parenting is and what it involves. Simply put, parenting is taking care of your baby or a child entrusted to you. It involves fulfilling all the baby’s needs and wants in addition to understanding him/her and guiding him/her on the right path. This should make it easy for you to identify the best style and approach to adopt.
There are four critical questions that you need to ask yourself when deciding on a parenting style and approach to adopt;
- Do you prefer a structured way of doing things around in an order or let everything take its course?
- Do you prefer having your baby learning to become independent or you prefer being the only person who directs the baby on everything as he/she grows up?
- What is it that influences your personality and it is worth guiding your baby on the same path?
- Do you prefer to be the only person around who the baby goes to whenever he/she needs something or any family member can meet his/her needs?
These are very critical questions you need to answer because they relate to how your child conducts him/herself around and are bound to impact on his/her growth and development. It is very important to note that your baby is a different individual who will grow to become a different personality.
Although there are simply many parenting styles and approaches, there are two that you need to give a serious consideration.
At one end is the baby-led parenting style and approach. This is where you keep your baby very close to you. At times referred to attachment parenting style, this style requires that you provide all that your baby needs. Not only do you feed him/her when you want: you also co-sleep with him/her and never want him/her to cry.
This is a parenting style that is very popular with first-time moms. Although it creates a very strong bond between you and your baby, you need to approach it with extreme caution. This is because your baby can grow while remaining dependent on you on almost everything including when it comes to making critical decisions when he/she eventually grows to become an adult.
At the other end is the parent-led style. This style involves letting your baby learn to adapt to a prevailing environment. It literally means giving your baby the opportunity to learn how things are done at the family level. Although he/she has some level of freedom, you or a family member is always there to give guidance and direction where necessary.
This is a style that is very popular with established families where other children are involved. This style makes it possible for your baby to grow while learning how things are done around and encourages a baby to start developing independence tendencies from an early age.
Although there are many parenting styles and approaches, they all fall between the baby-led and parent-led parenting styles. A style and approach you choose should be in the best interest of your baby and not to your own interest. It is important to point out that because your baby is bound to grow, you may start with one style before switching to another so long as it is beneficial.