Thing I said I’d Never Do

Today I took baby to get weighed and measured. I always love going to the baby clinic and getting that little dot on the growth and height chart. I do find it mildly exciting. That probably sounds very sad but when you get confirmation that your baby is growing up and “following the line” correctly then it is very satisfying. Over the last couple of weeks with one thing or another (family wedding, illness all around and then niece being poorly) I haven’t been for a while so made an extra special effort to get up early, pack baby up and tootle down to the surgery. To my surprise baby was fairly static in weight; still putting weight on and following his line but showed a slight dip. His height is fine and even jumped a line which filled me with joy! The Health visitor assured me it’s fairly normal and not to worry but “to bring him back in two weeks, just to be sure”. What? Why would she say that? Is she concerned? Should *I* be concerned? But he looks fine? (Actually he looks more than fine…he spent the whole session trying to eat his toes and screaming in delight at anyone that would talk to him!).

After getting over my mild panic I found myself trying to distract baby with a toy to get him to drink more. It didn’t work. Bribery crossed my mind but at 5 months he is obviously too young to be corrupted. Or even understand what that kind of corruption means. I then had a flashback of my exasperated mum trying to bribe my food shy brother, when he was about 5 years old, with a new toy car if he’d only just finish his food! Its something I swore I would never do but I do find myself thinking about the various tricks I will probably try in the future to get baby to eat, drink, sleep and generally behave well. Pre-baby I had all sorts of “I will never do that” principles on how to raise a baby. I think I have already broken at least half. For instance:

1. I will never give my baby a dummy, they ruin your teeth!. This changed after about 3 weeks during a particularly long crying session. We had a couple from Avent (Evil Avent!!) that had come free with the steriliser. After pacing up and down with baby in various arms, rocking and cradling baby the OH and I picked up the dummy and thought “ooh, I wonder” and popped it into his mouth. It was like magic! He’s had one ever since. I have been assured by my dentist friend that as long as it’s not for years and years it is ok. Thats my story anyway! Now I would go cold all over if I left the house without one.

2. I will not let baby get used to sleeping in my arms. That is very bad!! I think I broke this rule on about day 1. Maybe even hour 1. He was too beautiful and too perfect to not sleep in my arms you see. Plus I was breast-feeding and he used to fall asleep and I never noticed sometimes due to all the gazing I used to do at his lovely face. I realised after a bit of time that I’d have to put him down to wade through the rubbish tip in my house and attempt to occasionally clean it. So yes. breaking out of this little habit can still be hard on some days but he does now sleep (about half the time) without being cuddled.

3. I will always breast feed. No bottle feeding!! After a couple of weeks of struggling badly and discovering I couldn’t produce milk on one side (and crying a lot out of tiredness and guilt) I decided to become one of those combined fed mothers. And it actually worked wonders for me. I had always wanted to be someone who went for 6 months exclusively just on breast milk and switching over to partial bottle was a hard decision, but in hind sight I am very glad I did it. Baby got all the breast milk I could give him and also the formula to keep him going.

4. I will never give a damn about what people say about baby! This one is very hard and whilst I am a fairly balanced person I still find myself feeling guilty about baby decisions “ooh should I start weaning at 4 months? 5 months? 6 months? His milk? Is that why he’s not putting on as much weight? But he looks ready? Arrrgh” you get the picture. Coupled with people around you throwing in their views baby rearing (“Why isn’t he doing blah blah”) can be bloody confusing. I am the worrier in our family. My hubby is more the “Sod off! We will do what we want!!” type. Thankfully we balance each other out like that!

5. I will use controlled crying as a method to get baby to learn to self soothe! I don’t think this even took off! Initially I’d panic at every little whinge and think baby would need a mass of cuddling to make him feel better. Although I can now distinguish between a whinge and a genuine need for a cuddle I have never been good at controlled crying and will instead shout out to reassure baby that “I’m here! Whats the matter baby?” It seems to work ok for us. I think!!

There are still some “principles” I have yet to break. Considering my track record on the above I will no doubt be writing another blog in a few months. A little taster of the contradictions to come….

1. I will never bribe my child. If he doesn’t finish his food he can sit on the naughty step till Kingdom come and then be sent to his room.

2. As above, once he is old enough, I will be firm with my punishments and carry them through. The Naughty step will be very much alive and kicking in this household.

3. No fruit shoots. Ever!

4. I will be the Firm Parent! Grrrrrr!

 

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19 Comments

  1. mum2babyinsomniac May 13, 2011 / 5:11 pm

    Making decisions about how you are going to do things before having a baby seems so easy and straightforward and then they arrive and it all changes! I felt the same about dummies and then one night my lo wouldn’t stop crying so my oh drove to a 24 hour supermarket to buy some! Babies like to suck things and they help prevent sids so that’s all the convincing I needed! My baby hated it though much to our disappointment!

    • mcai7td3 May 13, 2011 / 5:32 pm

      Mine will always have one to stop crying and it sometimes instantly works. Think of the bright side, you won’t have to wean her off it eventually. Ummm how do you even do that? Uh oh 🙂

  2. L.A.C.E. May 13, 2011 / 5:12 pm

    LOL “Sod off!” LOVE IT! Seriously take it from a mom of four, take advice with a grain of salt. Nod ah ha, sift through it later, take what you want and toss the rest to the wind. Every body has an opinion on how you should raise your child. Especially those who have never had children. That one simply astounds me.

    With children I have also learned never to say never. It are those things I end up doing. I bribe and have sent my children to bed hungry because they refused supper.

    • mcai7td3 May 13, 2011 / 5:30 pm

      Very true. It took me a while to learn to take advice with a pinch of salt. And you are sooo right about people who don’t have kids! They are the ones filled with tips! I wonder if I was too… Hmmm. Now I just assure mums they are bloody fantastic and not to stress so much.

  3. KatieB May 14, 2011 / 3:20 pm

    L.A.C.E. is exactly right about the advice, thats exactly what I do and it works very well. You’re the one who knows your baby best, there are some great HV’s and some not so great ones, please don’t let any of them worry you with suggestions that you should get him weighed more often. If there’s a reason to worry then ‘you’ll’ know about it and do something anyway!
    As for the dummies there’s a lot of good reasons why they’re recommended now, but again if it works for you then great :0)
    A fruitshoot won’t hurt every now and again and you prob won’t have much choice once you’re at a toddler party and that’s all there is to drink but one thing I will say……never never let him have more than one, he’ll get so hyper he won’t sleep for days!! xx

  4. janeblackmore May 15, 2011 / 8:10 pm

    Say away from the fruit shoots!

  5. mothersalwaysright May 20, 2011 / 2:43 pm

    I wouldn’t worry about the weight thing too much. The last time I got my daughter weight she’d dropped on the chart and I spent the entire day worrying. Then I spoke to my mother (ever the voice of reason) who told me babies grow in fits and starts. They don’t always follow the line perfectly – that line’s based on averages anyway. It’s easy to get hung up on it (I know, I’m the worst) but as long as your baby’s happy and healthy they’ll let you know if there’s a problem. That’s what I’m hoping anyway…

  6. Lee May 22, 2011 / 1:26 pm

    We were always better mothers before we had kids!! I wasn’t going to bribe my toddler but now I would give her pretty much anything in order to have her cooperate every now and then!!

  7. TheBoyandMe May 26, 2011 / 8:40 pm

    Ha! Ha and ha again I say. The Boy is 2 weeks off 2 and we still cuddle him to sleep. I defy anyone to judge me, I refuse to use controlled crying and he falls asleep within 5 minutes. There will be a time when he doesn’t let me cuddle him, he’s going to sleep feeling safe, secure and loved. Who is it hurting?

    Tiny point about the weight, he may well drop down a line now he is becoming more mobile. He’s burning the calories up.

    • mcai7td3 May 26, 2011 / 9:35 pm

      Ahh very true, I never thought of the calorie burning. Thanks for that, will definitely remember that.

  8. would like to be a yummy mummy May 28, 2011 / 2:48 pm

    I used baby whisperer techniques to get my children to self sooth and sleep but love it when my little one falls asleep in my arms…it’s magical. You can’t help but stare and smile when they are all cuddled up to you. I bet all Mums use blackmail too. I guess we all start out thinking we won’t do this or this but at the end of the day you do what works best for your little one! feel free to check out my post too 🙂

  9. Reluctant Housedad May 28, 2011 / 3:34 pm

    We’ve got three kids, and they’ve all been different. What we learned from the first, didn’t apply to the second, and neither of those experiences combined applied to the third. They’re all different. Just gotta go with the flow, baby!

  10. @somethingblue_2 May 28, 2011 / 5:05 pm

    I sometimes think Health Visitors are put on this earth purely to scare mothers. It’s not how it should be. I really wouldn’t worry. Isn’t it scary how motherhood changes us into someone we never thought we’d be though? I regularly find myself saying and doing things that result in the horrific thought that I’m turning into my own mother (don’t get me wrong, I love her, I just don’t want to be her!)
    Great post.

  11. Anna May 28, 2011 / 9:57 pm

    This is all so true! I think any ideas you have before you become a mum go straight out the window once you actually become one. I think most mums go through this, and really as long as you’re happy with what you’re doing, it doesn’t matter what you used to think, and it certainly doesn’t matter what others think.
    It’s useless to tell a mum not to worry cos that’s what mums do best. But don’t worry I’m sure you’re doing everything just right!

  12. TheBoyandMe May 29, 2011 / 11:00 pm

    Treasure every second with him, go with the flow and let him feel nurtured, loved and secure at every opportunity. You will never get this time back again!

    Thanks for linking this up to ShowOff ShowCase.

  13. TheBoyandMe May 29, 2011 / 11:01 pm

    You need to get a ‘tweet this’ button on here lovely.

  14. Jenny paulin August 31, 2012 / 11:12 am

    Ha ha how I laughed at this!! I am the same I broke so many ‘rules’ I had made pre baby and then pre toddler!! It’s harder to reinforce once they are actually here isn’t it??
    Thanks for linking up lovely you do write great posts xx

  15. lifeloveandlivingwithboys (Kate) August 31, 2012 / 11:36 am

    I had so many ‘rules’ I was going to stick to before I became a parent but I found grandparents are the worst for breaking your rules and you very often find yourself bending said rules to get a bit of peace now and then. I wonder how long before you break the ‘No Fruit Shoot’ rule 😉

  16. Rollercoaster Mum September 2, 2012 / 12:31 am

    Haha! Rules are made to be broken – bet you a fiver you break the bribery one (and probably fruitshoots too!) One of mine which I have still not broken is that I would never ever take my children to McDonalds – I don’t mind if they go with their friends for treats or birthdays (don’t want to be a total spoilsport) but I will not darken their doors with my kids myself. Many others that include bribery, sweets and worse have long been thrown out of the window!

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