When I had my first baby James I tried to do everything by the book, after all that's what is portrayed by the health professionals as the right way but my gosh it was hard!
I don't know if someone forgot to tell the health visitors and doctors but someone certainly forgot to tell these babies that they should apparently all be following the same weight curve, same height curve and be walking at the same age because they babies just don't want to play ball! I worried and stressed driving myself mad that James wasn't gaining weight at the right time or his teeth hadn't come through when the book said they would.
I drove myself and probably James mad trying to fit in baby groups, days out, baby music classes, meeting other mums and swimming classes because this is what I thought I should have been doing.
Then I realised what I was doing was actually stressing us both out, I was trying so hard to be the best possible parent that actually I was missing the whole point. Babies don't need 10 classes a week or constant stimulation they just need love and happiness and sometimes just like us they just want to chill out too!
When Evelyn came along I was adamant I wasn't going to fall in to the same trap. We signed up to 1 class and that was it as it was something I was genuinely interested in. We left the rest of our time to do as we pleased we met up with friends but on our basis not a timetable. We went for random walks, we dropped in to play sessions that meant we could come and go as we pleased. Some days we just stayed in on the sofa and had cuddles and played with the toys she had at home. We have both been much more relaxed at happy with our relaxed schedule and I don't feel tired or exhausted trying to keep up an unrealistic struggle.
So mums and dads please don't feel like you must be filling your days with baby classes and lessons, groups and walks (unless you want to of course, which is totally fine!). Just do what makes you and baby happy, don't get disheartened by what health professionals and other parents are doing. Every parent and baby are different and that's fine in fact that's great if we were all the same wouldn't it be boring!?
If you and baby are both Happy then your doing it "right"!