Sometimes you select the path of least resistance because you learn what it means to adjust to your baby, this little human being who is now controlling so much of your life.
Case in point, I’m about to take my baby to daycare. We are in the bathroom because I’ve just finished shaving. Baby has been playing with whatever our bathroom has to offer, but it’s time to leave. Of course, Baby has just found the tube of makeup from Mommy’s drawer. My instant response is to grab it out of Baby’s hand, but I know she’ll cry & scream and a mini temper tantrum will start that will trickle effect into making the next 5 minutes of leaving the house for daycare that much more unpleasant. What do I do?
I grab something else, the baby’s pacifier. Then I pick up Baby as she is still holding the make-up tube, and start our walk downstairs, sticking Baby’s pacifier in my mouth along the way. Next thing you know, Baby is looking at her pacifier in my mouth and grabbing it with her other hand. At that moment, I take the make-up tube out of her hand. She is now focused on her pacifier.
Simple redirection and Baby is happy with her new thing, the pacifier. I have avoided a little temper tantrum and my walk with Baby down the stairs to daycare is so much easier. Not just the walk down the steps is easier. Forecast forward. Everything that comes after is easier. Putting on her jacket, putting her into the car, everything. Lay the foundation for smoother transitions for baby. You got the smarts to figure this simple thing out. Make life easier for yourself.
Babies’ attention span, as you have already learned, is very pliable. It can last anywhere from 1 to 5 seconds. If you understand this, you can use it to your advantage in your busy life as a parent.
My life is so much easier now because I adopt these techniques at every turn. I make slow transitions from one thing to another, no big, abrupt changes. Redirecting her to something else when she is showing interest in one thing, and Baby’s experience of the world is not negatively interrupted. We are inadvertently and constantly making our lives more difficult by not seeing what easy things we can do to make babies experience more pleasant.
The more I adjust to my baby, the easier life is. My stress, that feeling of “I can’t control the insanity,” subsides, even if only for a brief moment. That brief moment is one less stressful event. Start doing this and adding up the brief moments of avoiding baby temper tantrums and start building that box of new memories. I had an easy time taking baby to daycare today. I had an easy time driving baby today. It was so easy feeding baby today. Those are great words to have to say.
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