Before I had a baby (or was even pregnant) I think I may have been one of those women that was quite ‘judgy’… How could she take their baby to her bed at night? And how could she give her child a pacifier? I had decided that when I had a baby (and ohhh, how I wanted one), I would do things quite differently to others. Below is the list of things I said I would or wouldn’t do when I had a baby. Did I stick to it? And has it affected him in any way?
Here they are:
1. I would breastfeed baby.
2. I would not rock, walk or bounce baby to sleep. Ever.
3. I would not allow baby to sleep in my bed.
4. I would not let baby use a pacifier (or ‘chupa’ as they are called in my house).
5. I would not take baby for walk in buggy to try and get him to sleep.
6. I would not let baby sleep on top of me.
7. I would not carry baby too much so that he gets used to it and wants to be carried all the time.
8. I would follow Gina Ford, Baby Whisperer and any other parenting books I had so we could get into a routine as soon as possible.
9. I would not pick up crying baby from cot – he will learn to soothe himself and go back to sleep.
10. I would follow Annabel Karmel weaning advice ‘to the T’.
So now… The Truth. Keep reading to see what I did or didn’t do!
1. I did not breastfeed my baby. I’m not going to go into it right now – but here is my story if you want to read it.
2. Baby has been rocked, walked and bounced to sleep and he is still sometimes walked. I tried *really* hard not to do any of these things… But you know, whatever works!
3. Baby has slept in my bed. We travelled to India and to London when he was six months old. We were away for seven weeks and didn’t have a cot for him in either place – so he slept in our bed – and he slept really well! Even before we left, there were nights when I brought him in to bed because I was just so tired!
4. Baby used pacifier. And still does. While I was pregnant, I had no intention of buying pacifiers. And then someone told me that I should have them just in case. And also since we travel – it would be easier on his ears during landing. (Little did I know that he prefers to scream than take his chupa) So I bought a set of two. And at two weeks old, when I was worried he was ill (he wasn’t), the doctor suggested I give Vindoo a chupa to help settle him. He actually wasn’t happy to take it at first, but that soon changed. He uses one mostly when he’s tired and cranky and about to fall asleep.
5. I did take baby for a walk to try and get him to sleep. Only a handful of times. And it worked. But only until we got back home!
6. Baby did sleep on top of me. Sometimes that was the only way to get him back to sleep when he woke up. He doesn’t do it anymore though!
7. I *loved* carrying Vindoo when he was a newborn. He was so tiny and (still is) perfect. How could anyone *not* want to carry him? It was my mum, more than anyone, who kept telling me not to get him used to it… But I did it anyway!
8. I read a whole bunch of parenting books while I was pregnant and was quite gung-ho about following a routine. But when he actually arrived – it was so difficult! Luckily, he quickly fell into a routine. Feeding every 2 hours. And then 3 and 4 hours. My problem started when he was about 14 weeks. He was feeding every four hours, which was great – but they were never the *same* four hours! I didn’t know what was happening from day-to-day. So I decided I would follow the Gina Ford feeding and sleeping times. It was great 🙂 But he still doesn’t sleep through the night.
9. If you are a mum that let your baby cry it out and put himself to sleep – Well done to you! I wanted to do that. I just couldn’t. There were nights when I ended up in tears while listening to Vindoo crying. I just couldn’t do it.
10. Weaning. I started feeding Vindoo baby porridge and baby rice from when he was about 5 months. He loved it! Once he turned six months, I started on the carrot puree and the others suggested in Annabel Karmel’s weaning books. A few days later, we left for Bombay. We were staying with my grandmother – and it was a full house. My aunt, uncle and cousin were there too. And my parents. And everyone ridiculed me for making the poor child eat vegetable and fruit purees. And how could he eat dinner at 5pm and sleep at 7pm? Together they convinced me to let him eat what we all ate (without the salt, sugar, masalas and chilli obviously). He eats really well (touch wood) and likes almost everything.
Now… The question is – have any of my choices affected him negatively in any way?
Nope – not at all! He is happy and healthy 🙂 I suppose the fact that he still needs to be walked to sleep sometimes isn’t a good thing… But the only thing I’m a bit worried about is the pacifier thing. I figure we’ve still got a few months to deal with that. Suggestions for weaning him off it would be very much appreciated!