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5 Big Decisions To Make for Your Baby

Sometimes, having twins - my fraternal boys are 2-1/2 years old - feels like I'm conducting my own nature versus nurture experiment. I'm raising them with  essentially the same parenting methods at the same time yet observing radically different outcomes. For instance, I was gung-ho on pacifiers from the second my boys issued their first cries. Now I have one tot who's a Binky addict and one who let us come near him with nary a Nuk and, instead, could be consoled only when held upside down (don't ask). I sleep trained them both at 6 months, but two years later I have one little guy who still pops awake three to four times a night - demanding milk or water or a kiss - and another who snores through it all like a sailor hitting the hay after a 16-hour deck shift.

My hypothesis so far: Those parenting decisions that you grapple with? You know, like some of the ones you've already made (whether to co-sleep or get a crib, nurse or bottle-feed)? The ones you fight with your partner about because you think your child's future depends on what the two of you choose?  Eh, maybe not worth losing too much sleep over.

Of course, the choices you make during your baby's first year do matter - just not always in the ways you expect. Following, a cheat sheet for some of the biggest parenting-strategy face-offs, to help you make decisions you feel comfortable with.