Don’t give your baby water. But don’t let your baby dehydrate in hot weather. Give boiled water when it’s cooled. But don’t give tap water. Oh but you can give tap water after 6 months. Or one year. Or at all.
Don’t expose them to sunlight otherwise they’ll fry to a crisp in a matter of seconds. But don’t deny them sunlight otherwise they’ll get jaundice and develop Vitamin D deficiency.
Don’t pick them up every time they cry otherwise they’ll cry even more. But don’t let baby cry otherwise he will become traumatised and emotionally detached.
Don’t give your baby a dummy or he’ll have speech impediments. But do give your baby a dummy to reduce the risk of SIDS.
Don’t let babies room get too hot or he’ll have convulsions. But don’t let babies room get cold or he’ll become poorly.
Co-sleeping is the best way to get sleep, except that it can kill your baby, so never, ever do it. If your baby doesn’t die, you will need to bed-share until they start secondary school.
Don’t let your baby sleep too long, unless they’ve been napping too much, then you should wake them. But never wake a sleeping baby.
Don’t let baby sleep on its back or he’ll choke. Don’t let baby sleep on its front as he might suffocate (fortunately most of us don’t have to worry about the sleep thing because the baby doesn’t sleep therefore neither do we).
Don’t wean your baby on purees otherwise he’ll never be able to eat anything that requires chewing. But don’t do baby led weaning otherwise your baby will choke on the fresh food you’re giving them.
Don’t stress and clock watch everything you do with your baby. But do stick to a routine with the prowess and determination of Gina Ford if you ever want to sleep again.
OH MY GOD!!!!!!!
Because we didn’t have enough “don’ts” inflicted upon us when we were pregnant, we are then inundated with them once the baby arrives. And because that just isn’t fun enough, it seems half the advice we get given is constantly contradicted by another piece of advice! The cherry on the cake is that this is pretty much always around really important phases for our little ones; feeding, sleeping, bathing them, and as I am now discovering, weaning.
Initially I was really looking forward to weaning Josh, getting him to try various foods and flavours. But I didn’t anticipate the minefield of choices involved. I had never heard about baby led weaning until the last month. I really like the idea of it; getting Josh to try finger foods and lots of fruit and veg. But one of my absolute biggest fears is of Josh choking. And although I’ve booked myself on to a first aid course, it’s still a very real fear of mine.
So I thought I’d try purees; I’ve got a Phillips steam and blend machine so it’s no trouble at all doing it and for those times when we are out and about I’ve used the Ellas Kitchen pouches which Josh really likes. But then, the stigma of such foods reared its ugly head. I went out with some friends, and gave Josh a bit of an Apple Ellas Kitchen pouch, which my happy little fatty was enjoying. But I felt really embarrassed to be feeding him that when I saw others were giving their babies finger food which they were feeding themselves. I made myself feel even worse by letting Josh suck on an Organix Carrot stick, which again Josh absolutely loves and finds really soothing for his gums. But then I felt really guilty for giving him something that looks like a massive wotsit!
I could tell I was putting a lot of pressure on myself. Josh is still happy breastfeeding, which I certainly want to do for 9 months, maybe even up to a year, and he is perfectly happy with the home made purees I’ve made him as well as the naughty Ellas Kitchen pouches.
And so you see I’ve hit the nail on the head there “naughty Ellas Kitchen pouches”. Why am I labelling them as naughty?! Because they are ready made I guess. I should be making them myself, I’m perfectly capable (between nursing, playing with Josh, running errands, cleaning, washing, going to classes, blogging, seeing family and friends, cooking for us etc etc). It’s that stigma again. Which is silly; when I do puree food for Josh it’s not organic fruit and veg like the Ellas Kitchen foods.
After much reading, stressing and getting confused with what I “should” be doing, I’ve decided to do what I have always done with Josh. Use common sense, follow my instinct and do what makes Josh happy. Before Josh came along I read every book going, thinking I’d be able to “revise” my way into motherhood and how to help Josh sleep, stop him from crying, and get him to breastfeed. It did NOT work that way! But using my instinct, bonding with Josh and knowing what comforts him, that’s what has got us so far. That’s why I’ve got a 19lb (ridiculous I know) baby boy, who sleeps well in my opinion (I count myself lucky that we only feed twice in the night), who isn’t clingy, who loves cuddles with people other than me, and who is really relaxed.
So rather than attempting to read a million books, I’ve bought one on finger foods, and one on purees,and I’m going to combine the two and see how we get on. And I’m not going to let my paranioa that people are judging me for how I’m feeding Josh solids get to me, cause it’s more than likely that no one is judging me; I’m just stupidly judging myself!
So don’t overthink, don’t stress, don’t get too hung up on the latest trends, or what all your mummy friends are doing. But do do what is right for you, do what makes your baby happy, do what you feel is best, do trust your instinct and somehow, as always, the rest will fall into place.
And as always, I promise to try and take my own advice.
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