I'm the first to admit that I'm a lazy person, if I can get out of doing something, I will, if I can do something half heartedly but get the same result I will. I've now realised I parent the way I do because is slips in just perfectly with my tendency to be a lazy bum.
I believe the way I parent my baby is the best of both worlds, for him, meeting his every need and for me least physical effort, allowing me the most rest making us both chilled out happy people.
I'm going to break down the three biggest features in my parenting life at the moment and share the laziness they behold.
Breastfeeding – the lazy feeding choice. Breastfeeding something only a mum can do for her baby (except in case of cross nursing) therefore mum can take every opportunity her bub feeds to sit down and put her feet up. In the early days when bub is feeding all the time it can be easy to have the thought 'oh no not feeding again' but once you learn to embrace the fact that feeding means, happy quite bub, rest and comfy couch, tv/laptop one will quickly drop those thoughts and learn to look forward to the next feed time. Even better when babe cluster feeds of an evening. When else can you set up there on the couch, snuggling your suckling babe totally guilt free and let go all that needs doing or palm it off to others around you. This breastfeeding thing can really be "milked" and used to your advantage ;)
Bed sharing – ultimate in lazy night time parenting. How can something that results in optimum amounts of sleep for mum and babes every possible need being met, being right there next to mum and her milk be forgotten in our culture today. I was planning to co sleep (sharing the same room, babe in arms reach) with my baby from birth, this however very quickly turned into bed sharing (sharing the same sleeping surface as your baby) as to sit up and pick baby up out of his bassinette, feed then return him to bed simply required too much effort and awake time on my behalf. I decided to ditch the bassinette, I side cared the cot and never looked back. I get the regulatory "is he sleeping through the night?" from family or strangers and I can respond, "no, but I am" and go on to explain that he feeds and sleeps and I sleep, rouse to help and mouth find a nipple in the dark and drift off again. Maximum sleep, maximum happy mum. I truly wonder where I'd be if I hadn't discovered this mothering bliss this time round.
Baby wearing – don't settle your baby, cruise with your baby! I'm forever hearing mums discuss their frustrations that their baby only settles when they're held or rocked. Naturally this is where bub wants to be, close to mum, warm and secure. In an attempt to be as lazy as possible I've resigned this time round to give in to that and not waste one ounce of energy on settling my bub. I think of these mums, and myself with my twins, who would wrap and rock and shush and dummy and half an hour later still find us doing the same thing and frustrations building. Bub finally goes off, only to wake however long after and repeat the whole process next sleep round. So, to wear your baby, baby either feeds to sleep and slips in to the carrier undisturbed and you carry on about your day (or you just stay snuggled on the couch in the first place) or bub is full as a goog and getting tired, pops in the sling/wrap/woven etc carrier and as you plod around he checks out his surroundings, you unpack the dishwasher, put a load of nappies on and the next time you look down he has drifted off with absolutely zero effort on your behalf.
I hope I've inspired you to be a little lazier in your parenting. I think the point, if nothing else, is, slow it down. Chill out and take all of your baby in, look at him or her, its going too fast isn't it?
Author: Louise David from Birth, Bubs & Beyond is a private practice Lactation Consultant and Registered and practising Midwife. Louise provides breastfeeding / lactation support services to women and families of the Wollongong and Illawarra areas. Louise is a member of the Lactation Consultants of Australia and New Zealand LTD association and is Certified as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. For more information see our Parents Guide listing for Birth, Bubs & Beyond under Support / Newborn.