Whether you are a mommy or a daddy, you have an unexplainable inner knowledge of what is best for your child as well as what is absolutely NOT.
My Mommy Gut sounded off loudly when my son was an infant because his constant crying communicated to me that something was wrong. And there was.
I just found out last week at his first chiropractor appointment that some vertebrae in his neck were twisted sideways most likely since birth. He’s two now!!!
All the ear infections he had were most likely caused by this. Some of his crying was in response to a literal pain in the neck. I found out I was taking him to the wrong place, but my guts were correct in believing there was more going on with my baby than colic.
Dominic has also been fussy into toddlerhood, which obviously isn’t colic at this point. He has a significant speech delay where he tries to speak but does so with his mouth closed.
He can say eat, Baba (Momma), Da Da, sissy (thirsty), unk (milk), ep (help) and sit.
He tried to speak entire sentences but mostly it comes out in a series of muffled vowels with no approximation involved. We see a speech therapist who thinks his stubbornness and low stress tolerance are impeding his ability to speak.
I agree to a point, but my Mommy Gut was telling me to dig further. Looking up speech delay had me reading articles about dairy and gluten sensitivities. As I read more, I discovered that Dominic’s symptoms fit very well into the category of food sensitivity or allergy, specifically symptoms of a dairy issue.
As I am part of a parenting partnership, I have to run these ideas past my husband who doesn’t always see eye to eye with my theories. Our parental guts aren’t always in sync and that is okay.
After taking my son to the chiropractor and discussing my theory with her, she validated my suspicions and suggested we try eliminating dairy for three weeks. She explained how it can take that long to see a difference.
I am elated to be noting an improvement in his speech over the last week! Could this be coincidental? Yes it could. Only time will tell. I’m hoping to see an improvement in his stress tolerance and irritability too so he can be that happy tot I see bits and pieces of every day.
On the subject of fussy behavior, which we’ve been dealing with to a greater or lesser degree for Dominic’s two years of existence, it seems everyone has an opinion on how to handle it. Most of the time, to my shock, people have suggested that my child is manipulating me purposely and that I should, as his mother, practice some ignoring.
My Mommy Gut has always had, and will always have, a huge issue with that. The core of my being, every cell of my body, every belief I have tells me to be here for my child even if he’s flailing around on the floor in fury and won’t stop crying for a half hour straight.
I have tried popular theories like ignoring his tantrums. I have news – My kid has little legs that run right after me if I walk away from him. And he gets even more upset! He will escalate without help. I know this about him. That method might, and probably does work with some toddlers, but not mine.
I believe without question that Dominic has feelings behind his actions that need attention. I don’t give the behavior attention. I focus on his feelings. This is how I will always parent and I think it will be an asset to him as he gets older because he will always know he has someone in his corner.
Not every child grows up feeling like that and trust in others can’t be replaced easily once it is lost.
I will never regret holding my baby too often. That is not going to damage him. That is what my gut tells me and I trust that more than anyone else’s opinion because I have a connection with my child that no one else will ever have. I carried him inside of me, which gives me the right to trust my insides when his needs are concerned.
We all have that innate knowledge- our Parental Gut. I write this to inspire you to trust what you know in your heart is right, and to distrust others advice if you feel it to be wrong for your little one.
Children are not “one-size-fits-all.” I think a holistic approach is the best way to investigate any issue a child is having. Nutrition, nurturing and naps….That’s how I roll with my little guy.
Some days are easier than others, but I will continue to practice what I believe and to trust my gut unless I have a damn good reason not to.
Amanda is the owner of Ready or Not – A Baby Planning Service. She is in love with her toddler and her husband and derives much of her writing inspiration from her family experiences. To learn more about Amanda and what she does to help pregnant and new parents, please check out her website at www.readyornotbabyplanning.com.