When I was pregnant and looking for parenting books and advice, I very quickly became overwhelmed and wanted to through my pile of books out of the window. For ever baby 'expert' that recommended one thing, there seemed to be an 'expert' that recommended doing the opposite. Before I knew it, I was doing everything wrong and my baby hadn't even been born yet.
There were certain parenting choices that I read about that I knew I wouldn't be comfortable with and still am not now that my child is 10 months old. So I am staying away from ideas like controlled crying, sleep training and avoiding picking the baby up in case I 'spoil him.' There were many best selling authors that touted this style of 'parenting', but it never sat right with me. On the opposite end of the scale was gentle and attachment parenting, styles of parenting that promoted babywearing, not exposing baby to chemicals and being respectful of baby's development.
I found the idea of gentle parenting and attachment parenting more appealing, as it seems more empathetic to the needs of the developing child. As much as I would like to employ gentle parenting with my own child 24/7, this is not possibly for us - even though I have been an advocate this type of parenting. The type of parenting that I practice, could be described as Balanced Parenting. When I say this, I don't mean that I a practice babywearing and then leave my baby to cry it out. What I mean is that I practice gentle parenting to the best of my ability, but don't panic too much if something slips (although I will inevitably feel guilty.)
I want to give some examples here of what Gentle Parenting is and where you can find more information, but also examples of the balanced approach that I have taken when I can't follow the gentle approach 100% of the time. This is only a quick summary, as whole books have been written on the subject (one of which I am hoping to review soon.)
This is Gentle Parenting as I practice it, and I am sure that I will learn a lot more about it as I read about it over the coming months. The point here is that you should not feel guilty, but just try your best. Take a balanced approach, don't kick yourself if it doesn't work out and keep the needs of your baby at the forefront of decisions.