8 things we can learn from our babies
It's super exciting to think about all the things you want to show your baby and teach her about the world. But there are some things that she can teach you, too!
- Listen to your body
Babies know when they’re hungry. Oh boy, do they know! And once they realize they’re hungry, they don't hesitate, they just keep eating until they feel full, then stop. When they're first born, and they're tired, they don’t think about the things they’ll miss out on if they go to bed early - they just fall right asleep. Even if dropping off to sleep isn't quite as easy these days, at this point, your baby prioritizes her physical needs in a very real and very simple way that a lot of adults have forgotten how to do. All of us adults could stand to simplify the way we hear and respond to our bodies.
- If you don't like it or want it, why do you still have it?
Okay, you probably ask a little bit more from your entertainment than your baby does, but the concept is the same. If the book you're reading or movie you're watching just isn't catching your interest, why finish it? You probably shouldn’t do like your baby might and throw it across the room, but putting it down or returning it to your friend works just fine!
- No such thing as failure!
Babies don’t make decisions based on whether or not they think they’ll fail to do something. If they did, they’d never learn to walk! Instead, the biggest factor in their decision-making process tends to be ‘how much do I want to do this?’ And there's not much that can stop them from trying until they can do it. Adults generally have a better sense of what's realistic, but there are times when knowing what you can realistically achieve can get in the way of trying something important.
- Build your muscles before you can walk
Okay, so unlike your baby, you already know how to walk. But this principle applies to every new thing you learn. Learning new skills, like parenting, takes time because you have to build up the smaller pieces that go into the bigger goal before you are better at it. your baby is building the muscles she needs for walking, running, and maybe even cartwheeling every day now. And in the same sense, you are building lots of different muscles, too - mental and physical - every single day. So don't assume you're not taking lots of tiny steps in the right direction, even if sometimes you can't see your progress.
- How to take a compliment
When you tell your baby how adorable she is, she doesn’t deny it or get embarrassed, she just smiles, sticks out her tongue, and basks in the praise. Maybe you could take a page from her book when getting a compliment - after all, there are surely lots of people who look at you in admiration and adoration.
- Know your limits
When your baby has had enough socializing, she lets you know it, often very loudly. While there are more polite ways of dealing with things, there is something to be said for your baby’s unwillingness to grin and bear it when all she wants a nap.
‘Nuff said. Sleep is precious! Unfortunately, you’ll probably have to remind your baby of how great naps really are as she moves into toddlerhood, so enjoy the mutual appreciation while you've got it!
- It’s okay to call for help
Now that you’re older, you probably have a wide support system - your partner, your parents, friends, siblings - but calling on them when you need help doesn’t always feel like an option; maybe you think you can and should handle things on your own. But sometimes asking for help is the responsible thing to do! You can think of it this way, if it helps: if you’re in a situation where you’d want your baby to feel comfortable asking you for help, it’s totally okay for you to phone a friend, too.
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