With Ella, my first baby, I was one of "those" mothers - doing everything by the book and even overdoing it.
No sugar. No chocolate. Staying away from all the no-no's like eggs and cheese and hell, anything that you aren't supposed to give them before a year. I carried a diaper bag that was stocked to the hilt. I read the baby books like Baby Wise and spoke Holier-than-thou to others. I thought my child sleeping through the night was due to my super duper parenting. I read reviews of toys before buying them. I refused things like pacifiers.
And now with Karl, all that is out the door.
~ If I am eating something and he seems interested in it, I give it to him (unless dangerous, ie: honey, of course). He's licked my ice cream. I've given him chocolate. I've given him sips of diet coke, coffee, ice tea.
~ I actually tried to get Karl to take a pacifier. And while he did a few times, he was pretty much a non-paci baby.
~ My diaper bag is often my back pocket. I simply stick a diaper in my pocket and go. When I do bring a diaper bag, it contains less than my own handbag.
~ All the baby books are collecting dust on my shelf, trusting in my instincts instead of expert advice. (of course I remember a lot, I'm not saying those books didn't help).
~ When I give advice to other mommies, I keep in mind if it worked for me, it doesn't necessarily mean it'll work for them.
~ Karl sleeping through the night is due to Karl's ability to sleep through the night, not my parenting. (I do, however, think me letting my babies sleep in their crib instead of co-sleeping, sleeping in a bassinet in my room, etc, did help each one turn into great crib sleepers.) It's all due to each baby's personality. For sleep, I did the exact same thing with all three kids and had 3 different sleepers. Ella slept through the night by 11 weeks. I could put her down wide awake and she'd just go to sleep without even a hint of a cry. Allison, while going to sleep quietly was her strong point, she didn't sleep through the night until the day she turned two years old. Karl slept through the night by, um, hell, I don't even know. Maybe 12 weeks? And he's slept through the night since. But when I put him down, I get a few minutes of crying with him before he falls asleep.
~ Toys? He gets the hand me downs from the girls but when I go to the store to buy a toy, I just let him pick what he's interested in. I don't first go online to make sure other people liked it too or how educational it is. (although I still stay away from toys that play themselves, if you know what I mean. I like toys the kids have to play WITH. Not be entertained by.)
Here is some evidence of what I'm talking about. I was trying to get a picture of Karl doing "so big!" so I could get a shot of his cute little shirt (daddy is a sports nut and he loves any sport like clothing). But Karl wouldn't raise both hands because he didn't want to mess with the hand that was holding his cheeto. Yes. I let Karl eat cheetos. Oy vey.