I realized a few things after Riv was born:
1. There's a million and one ways to raise a child.
2. My parents, who were born and raised in Korea, have a very different view of how to raise a child vs the majority of Americans.
3. I never realized how big of an impact, other people would have on how I raised Riv.
The biggest challenge and obstacle I had to overcome was my feelings towards how Riv slept. I only know a handful of mommies my age and 90% of them sleep trained their babes and had a crib system going. I, on the other hand, went through an internal battle. I was hysterical 99% of the time. I was hormonal. Physically in pain and going through a ton of healing. I was having a tough time breastfeeding a baby who was turned off by a really bad mastitis infection. Everyday was a blur. The very last thing I wanted to do was hear Riv cry. The reality was, my attachment to Riv grew very slowly... not instantly. Nonetheless, I felt this overwhelming responsibility on my shoulders for this little one. She was so dependent on me. As a result we didn't sleep train.
We had it all... a pack and play, a bassinet, a crib... and none of them were being used properly. The pack and play became a changing station, the bassinet became a laundry hamper and the crib became simply a decoration to the nursery that was untouched. So where did Riv sleep?
Riv slept on our chest and arms 90% of the time. She enjoyed the swing and occasionally slept well when we put her down. I know parents out there are going to judge us.
"It's too dangerous for a baby to sleep with their parents."
"Your baby will never grow out of that phase and will need you to sleep with them forever."
Here's the reality of how it went down.
Raymond and I absolutely loved holding River in our arms. As first time parents, it was bliss when she snuggled into our chest and peacefully slept. Slowly we used the bassinet from time to time during the night and she slept OK in it. She then transitioned into our bed. We purchased a travel bassinet that we could keep in between us so that she could safely sleep on the bed with Ray and I. Then we decided to sell the crib that was untouched, did a ton of research, and purchase a Dockatot to use on the floor instead (which Riv still uses till this day). Riv sleeps in her own room at the age of 17 months and sleeps through the night with occasional wakes due to bad dreams.
In the midst of all this transition and figuring out what was right for Riv, I was so worried about what my friends and other people would think about the way Riv slept. How she wasn't sleep trained at 3-4 months. I was so worried about all these negative thoughts that I seemed to somehow have glanced over the fact that Riv was reaching all her milestones on early/on time. That she laughed a ton. She is happy. Doctors say she's healthy. She sleeps 12-15 hours. So why the heck am I stressing out?
Lesson learned for baby #2.. Do what works for you and your family. Do what works for your baby. I wasn't jeopardizing River's sleep or health but I wanted society to think I was doing everything "right". There are a million ways to raise your healthy baby. There are also times I agree with my parents on how to raise a baby and there are times I agree with the American culture. Nonetheless, I'm going to continue to do what is suitable for my little babes and what will keep Ray and I sane to be healthy parents.