I have since learned a very important lesson. Not everything should be learned from books- particularly how to put your child to bed. There is a limit to how much parenting advice you should get from books. Things I HAVE learned from parenting advice books:
1) If the book tells you that in seven days your child will be sleeping perfecting all night through - stick your tongue out at the book and put it back on the shelf.
2) If it isn't broken don't listen to books when they say you are doing it wrong and try to fix it. THERE IS NOTHING TO FIX - and if you try their method it doesn't work and then you have a harder time going back to what was working, consider suing as an option.
3) If the author of the book is written by a pediatrician but said pediatrician is not a parent, put the book back on the shelf.
4) If you want to feel badly about your parenting abilities and to feel guilty about what you apparently haven't been doing with your child - get a parenting advice book.
5) If you love your child, and they are happy and growing - YOU DON'T NEED ANY PARENTING ADVICE BOOKS - WALK AWAY FROM THE LIBRARY.
Now, these lessons might not be the experience for every parent out there, but they have been mine. The important thing that I realize, and that I have noticed the authors of these books don't, is that every baby and every family is different. What my experiences have been and what I know works for my son are different from every other baby and family out there. I HAVE found the chat rooms and list-serves MUCH more helpful for figuring out a problem or small incident than a book where the author tells you that you have been doing nothing correctly from day one, but don't worry - they know how to help fix it.
The only books that I will be using for a while are the Baby's First Year and What to Expect: The First Year These offer advice, yes, but they are meant more for what to expect to see from your child developmentally. I would also recommend Bright From the Start - very helpful and interesting.
With that said, thank you for reading this first of what I image to be many rants on parenting. Until next time!