How do you raise a child? How do you care for a baby and make sure that you are providing a good home for him? How do you know if you're doing a good job?
I don't have any answers to these questions. Katya and I aren't wealthy and, like everyone tells us, "Babies don't come with a handbook", so trying to find the best way to raise a human being seems like a daunting task.
Which is why I've decided not to stress and worry about all those questions, and simply to give him all my love and affection instead. When he cries, I comfort him. When he's fussy, I entertain him. When he's gurgling and cooing and talking to me, I play with him, and when he's sleepy, I rock him to sleep and make sure he's tucked in and warm in his crib.
It's impossible to spoil an infant. They are completely dependent on their parents for EVERYTHING. The most they can do is wave their arms and kick their chubby little legs and cry. I don't want Maxim to be stressed that he won't be fed or that he's been abandoned, so when he starts to cry, he knows that mommy or daddy will be there.
I recently read on babycenter.com (why is it only for mothers?) that "...infants aren't actually happy when they're smiling. They are displaying a trained response to stimuli. Babies don't actually feel happy until they are a year old." Bullshit.
Just one look at Maxim's face light up when he sees me after crying in his crib alone shows me how happy he is. Or when I play the "airplane game" with is soother, flying into his mouth and, upon landing, he gives the biggest toothless smile and squeals with delight, kicking his legs excitedly. Or when his mother lays him in her lap and makes all the animals sounds and he smiles and gurgles with pure joy. One look at his face and I can tell you that whatever psychologist-du-jour that babycenter.com dug up knows jack s**t about infants.
You can't spoil an infant, but you can provide a loving, warm and secure home for them to grow up in, and that's exactly what we're trying to do.
How can I tell if this is the right way to raise a healthy, confident and happy baby? Here's how: