Baby Care

After nine months of pregnancy, taking care of your precious baby becomes your number one job. Check out the story below about how different mothers view baby care differently.

It is unusual today to have the kind of job where you can bring your babies to work with you but I have been blessed to have had that privilege. My son was almost ten years old when I started to work there and I enjoyed bringing him into the office with me once or twice a week.

He was 12 when a co-worker had her first child and we enjoyed every chance we got to keep an eye on the baby boy. It wasn’t at all unusual to find me rocking the baby while proofing some materials or even walking him to sleep while his parents attended to an errand outside of the office. My son became a most welcomed babysitter during our office meetings, he had a great gentle touch with the baby.

Because of our family atmosphere, their son never had to be placed in daycare and always had the attention and comfort of someone he knew and trusted all through the first 18 months of his life. People were amazed at his ease in social situations and his enjoyment of people in general.

When they decided to take a new job in another state, it was heartbreaking to say goodbye.

Meanwhile, a new couple joined our staff with a four-month-old baby. At our first staff lunch, the baby began to cry and I offered to walk him. The Mom hesitantly agreed and I walked off down the hall with the baby. He calmed down and fell asleep so I returned him to the car seat that had brought him in.

A half hour or so later he woke up and she nursed him and returned him to the car seat. But he wasn’t content there and started to fuss. I offered again to walk him. But this time Mom shook her head and responded that ‘He’ll be fine.’

He wasn’t fine and he fussed for the next twenty minutes or so in the car seat which she pushed under the table at her feet so that he couldn’t even see anyone’s face.

I was nearly beside myself listening to his whimpering and worked very hard to keep the frustration from showing in my expression. I know that not every parent believes in comforting babies all the time, but this baby was still quite young and getting used to a new environment and new people.

That first meeting proved to be a sign of things to come. This young mom believed that children needed to ‘cry it out’ and ‘self-comfort’ and apparently believed that even her young baby could benefit from this conditioning. The months to come were nothing less than torture for me and just about everyone else on the staff as we often had to endure his crying himself to sleep at naptime.

Where we had taken turns loving on and nurturing the first office baby, we were discouraged from interacting with this one. Even when he was a bit older and walking around, I felt that I had no freedom to pick him up or keep him occupied with a quick game of ball.

This young couple also ended up moving away before their son turned two and I have to admit it was a relief.

I am not against encouraging a baby to self-soothe and even occasionally fuss things out when they are overtired, but to be honest, I cannot imagine expecting this from a baby that is less than 18 months old. I believe all that this young mom really instilled in her son was anxiety.