When you are a new parent, people will tell you not to start any bad habits with your child. Do not nurse or rock or walk her to sleep. Do not hold him too much. Do not pick her up every time she cries. And on and on and on.
But when you have a high need baby and it is midnight and your child has been crying since six in the evening, you are ready to do whatever it takes to get your child to sleep.
So when Livi just would not sleep unless we walked and rocked and nursed her, that is exactly what we did. Did we start a bad habit? Probably. Would she have slept any other way? Most definitely not.
My instincts told me to do what I felt was right at that moment. My child was overtired and miserable and desperately needed to sleep. And so did we. So we did what we had to do and we all got at least some rest.
When you are a new parent, it is hard to follow your own instincts. I did not have much experience with babies, and I certainly had no experience with a high need baby. I was exhausted and tired and overwhelmed and it took all my strength to take care of my little unhappy baby.
I had advice coming in from all directions. Everyone told me something different but no one encouraged me to do what I felt was right.
Eventually, however, after listening to everyone else, I started listening to myself and slowly but surely we found our own rhythm, our own solutions, and our own routines. I was still insecure and worried about everything, but when I started to do what I felt was right, my confidence grew and I was better able to take care of my little high need baby.
And the bad habits? It is not always easy and it takes work and patience, but bad habits can be changed. And we started to change them when Livi was ready and after we all had gotten some sleep.