The “nature vs. nurture” debate is as old as child rearing. I’m sure that the key to effective parenting lies somewhere between the two, and I keep this in mind when making virtually any decision involving my son.
Case in point: Miles woke up a little early this morning and, after a feeding, got a little fussy when we put him back in his bassinet. My loud and increasingly ample gut told my non-morning-person self to ignore the grunts and whines and let him gradually fall back to sleep on his own. My paternal instinct, meanwhile, seemed to say, timidly, “Yeah, but can’t you do a little something?”*
It turns out I could do a little something. I staggered drowsily to the bassinet and rolled it over to my side of the bed. I clambered back in, scooted as close I as I could to the edge of the bed to let Miles see my face, then put my hand down into his bassinet so I could hold his hand. And then I went back to sleep.
But so did he! And the whining stopped immediately. Sometimes the bare minimum effort yields the best results for everyone.
*Note: “Paternal instinct,” in this case, may refer to the incessant nagging of my wife.