Ok. I do not know any two people that parent the exact same way. Everyone has their "style," and I really try not to judge other parents. Of course, there are a lot of exceptions in which I totally judge moms and dads. But in most cases, if a parent is doing something I do not agree with, now that I am a mom I can pretty clearly see where they're coming from. And also, with parenting, no one from the outside will ever know the full truth or reality of what goes on at home.
For instance, if I told a first time pregnant mom that I have bumpers in Henry's crib they might be like OMGGGG THE SIDS! THE SIDS! The truth is, I did not buy a bumper when Henry was born. Henry got a bumper when he was five months old and rolling around because I would literally wake up to the sound of him scratching the rails on his crib. The rails became a toy that kept him busy when he should have been sleeping. I think that's a pretty good example of "everyone has their reasons."
One thing that usually does grab my attention is when people say that their baby or toddler will only do this or that. For example, "my baby will only sleep in his swing." Let me say that if the swing makes your life easier and helps your baby sleep, I am a big proponent of "doing what works." HOWEVER... your baby WILL sleep other places. The truth is that "you" don't want to deal with the resistance and possible drama that will come from making that transition. And I totally understand.
Now that Henry is older, I try to avoid these kinds of situations. I try to not just give in when something is frustrating in the moment because I want Henry to be flexible in a way that is appropriate for a baby. For this reason, we did sleep training. Yes, Henry cried for like 10 minutes the first night with us checking on him every couple of minutes. But if your kid is crying in their car seat, you can't pull over the car every time to get them out and hold them. They have to learn that the car seat is necessary and a very important part of safety... and I use that logic for a lot of things. (not saying that car safety and sleep training are at all equal. one is non-negotiable and the other is totally up to the parent.)
So what's my secret? I still hold Henry's bottle for him. I know, that's not like shocking or horrible. BUT... I know he can hold it himself. He just wants me to do it because that's what he is used to. And every time we sit down for bottle time, I give it to him to do it himself, and he just ends up spilling it or playing with it. So what do I do? I go in there and completely reinforce that, yes, only mom holds the bottle. It is like "giving in" 101.
Don't get me wrong... The entire point of a baby is love and dote on them, and let them call most of the shots. It's not to teach them about the school of hard knocks. If I have made myself sound like some unloving hardass, I couldn't be any further from that. As far as I can tell, I am the only mom who baby talks their child at Boot Camp. We have a rule in our house that any time Henry wakes up from sleeping or a nap that the first thing we do is 10 kisses.
I felt I needed to get that off my chest, and maybe encourage other moms to share whatever silly things you let your baby get away with because it just doesn't feel worth it in the moment to deal with it properly.
See? He knows what he is supposed to do...