KC Montero and Stephanie Dods: On Intuitive Parenting While Raising Wyatt

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First-time parents KC Montero and Stephanie Dods are going with the flow in raising their happy baby, Wyatt.

KC Montero and Stephanie Dods admit to being exuberant personalities. Despite their son Wyatt being born during the pandemic, they’ve managed to make their house as fun and as loud as possible for him. “We always try to make sure our house is having fun at all times. There’s always music, it’s always loud,” Stephanie says.

Every Milestone is an Incredible Moment

“I think once you become a parent, every moment is so amazing and every stage is so incredible. You see the world completely differently. We’re now seeing the world in a different light and through our child’s eyes at the same time. Like the saying is really true. Everything that he does, everything that he sees and experiences—they’re so new and exciting. And it actually makes us appreciate the simpler things in life,” shares Stephanie.

It’s clear how smitten both parents are with their son. KC opens up that having Wyatt has made him a more appreciative and nicer person. “It’s opened my eyes to just helping. I don’t know what it’s done. Maybe it’s turned on a little switch in me. I was driving down the road the other day, and I was just feeling like giving or helping. And when I see other parents, or I see people struggling, I just want to help. I don’t know what it is. Maybe because having a child has totally flipped me into being responsible, or just being a better human maybe! Because I want my son to live in a better place.”

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KC Montero and Stephanie Dods on Pandemic Parenting

Since Wyatt was born in December of 2020, the couple disclosed that they don’t really know the difference between parenting without a pandemic. “There are always times where we are still very unsure if we are doing something right. The first time he threw up, we were like—what’s happening? But we pretty much go with the flow and we just keep it light,” KC quips. “If Steph watches Dance Moms on Netflix and Wyatt enjoys it, then so be it.”

“I follow a lot of moms in the US and back home. And just being able to see even something as simple as going to the grocery or the park—these are things I personally wasn’t able to do with Wyatt. Moms here who gave birth during the pandemic weren’t able to do that. And for us, Wyatt hasn’t seen both of his lolas or much of our family at all. So that’s been tough. You know, doing things without the physical support of them being here. But that’s the biggest struggle. Not being able to go out and not seeing family. But now, thankfully, things are changing slowly,” says the Filipina-Australian model.

“We want Wyatt to be social,” she shares. “Whenever we get the chance, even though we’re in this pandemic, we don’t want to restrain him. Being a social baby is so important. You’d hope to try and not make them scared of things. And we just want him to experience things, and that includes people. So we don’t want to shelter him from that. KC and I both grew up abroad and we are trying to raise Wyatt the same way we were raised.”

Going with the Flow

When asked what their parenting style is, Stephanie voices out that it’s very intuitive. “We’re not really that strict with routines. We’re holistic and new age that way. We don’t sleep train Wyatt. He’s woken up multiple times and I haven’t had a full night’s sleep since—I can’t even remember. We co-sleep. I exclusively breastfeed. I’ve never scheduled his feeding. I always feed on demand. And we’ve never used bottles. In the beginning, it was definitely a struggle. Breastfeeding itself and breastfeeding on-demand. But I’m so happy about it. It has made our lives so much easier.”

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“But I mean—this is just our situation,” KC Montero adds. “Every parent has their own situation. We’re lucky because when Steph was pregnant, she made that conscious decision. That she was going to be a mother, won’t get that much sleep at night, and that’s a part of it. And I guess this is why Wyatt is such a happy and content baby.”

“No one really tells you about anything until you’re going into it. And then you’re like—wait, what am I meant to do? And then you start getting into it and reading into it, then making these conscious decisions about where I want to go or what I’m going to do. Nothing can prepare you for this,” shares the first-time mom.

Steph adds, “Of course, we all have our own opinions. But I’m all for just being a parent and doing what’s best for your child. I mean, there are some moms, who probably for their own reasons, can’t do a lot of things. Especially in terms of breastfeeding. If it’s not a good experience for both mom and baby, it’s not anyone’s fault. there are other ways to feed your child, it’s not like breastfeeding is the only way. You can’t let anyone dictate how you should parent. You just do what’s best for you and your family.”

KC Montero and Stephanie Dods on their Dynamic as a Couple

The couple shares that the past year has been completely dedicated to Wyatt. And because they’re raising him with no help or yaya, they admit to not having a lot of time together. “But I think because our marriage is based on structure, being best friends first, that we are in it for the long run. We’re the type of people who don’t really need romantic date nights, in fact it’s nonexistent” says Steph. “We were so excited to have Wyatt. I know KC’s been waiting so long, and I wanted a baby so bad. We’re just happy. Like, this is it. Parenting and raising him, we just have fun doing it.”

“Other people are like, ‘Oh, you’re so carefree.’ And it’s only because I have the support of my husband. I see moms who struggle and lack support from their husbands. But KC is just there whenever I need him. Even when I don’t need it, he’s always there, taking care of me. And I think that’s such a big help. And you know, me as a first-time mom, I really didn’t struggle or I didn’t face a lot of hardships as much as my friends. I think it’s because of KC. I really do. Like he was such a big help. And I really couldn’t do this alone.”

KC finishes, “Romantic getaways these days always include the baby and we are both a hundred percent okay with that. My role in this marriage has shifted. Obviously, to make sure that Wyatt is okay. But more importantly, it’s my role to make sure that Steph is okay so that she can make sure that the baby is also okay.”

From all of us at Modern Parenting, happy first birthday Wyatt!

Words GRETCHEN GATAN FRAGADA
Photography EXCEL PANLAQUE
Art direction JANN PASCUA
Styling SIYA DARYANI and ROSHNI MIRPURI for CLOSET CULTURE
Makeup ANGEL MANHILOT for NARS PH
Hair by JOF FANTONE for COLORBAR PH
Sittings Editor MARGA MEDRANO-TUPAZ

Shot on location at SHERATON MANILA HOTEL
Special thanks to KITCHEN CITY

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