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July 13, 2020

23 Comments

Confession time … I literally don’t give a crap what other parents do. At all. I couldn’t care less.

As long as their kid is loved and safe (as most babies I meet are), I’m cool with anything you do. The thing is, there is SO MUCH JUDGEMENT around parenting we all constantly feel like we’re doing the wrong thing.

What I’ve learned is that the choices we make as parents appear to be judgements on other parents. If you breastfeed your kid until they’re three years old, clearly you’re judging anyone who switched to formula at three months. If you put your kid in childcare and return to work ASAP after a kid, well why did you have a kid in the first place if you weren’t going to actually parent them? If you co-sleep, you clearly think sleep training is evil. You must spend a lot of money on ‘the best’ nappies so your kid will sleep through the night – utter rubbish – we use Little One’s and they’re affordable AND awesome.  And so on and so forth.

I think we all need to take a chill pill. Let’s admit that other people’s parenting choices aren’t subliminal messages that we’re doing the wrong thing and realise that there’s no correct way to parent. We all just need to do what works for us and let other people do what works for them.

For everything you get told to do by one health care professional, there’s another that will tell you the exact opposite. For every friend who swears by a particular parenting method, there’s another who swears by the opposite.

It’s extremely confusing.

Here’s a list of crazy contradictions I’ve read/been told in the last year as a parent.

Dummies

Give your kid a dummy, it reduces the risk of SIDS … V … Don’t give your kid a dummy, it’s a negative sleep aid.

Give your kid a dummy, you don’t want them sucking their thumb! … V … Don’t give your kid a dummy, the sucking motion makes them think they’re hungry all the time and they won’t sleep through the night.

Co-sleeping

Don’t co-sleep, it’s dangerous and unnecessary … V … Co-sleeping is the norm in many cultures and is perfectly fine if done safely.

Don’t co-sleep, your child will never learn to sleep in their own bed … V … Co-sleeping makes night feeding much more manageable.

Solids

Give your kids puree, it’s a great introduction to food … V … Baby-led wean your child to avoid food issues later in life.

Start your baby on solids at 4 months … V … Start your baby on solids at 6 months.

Start your baby on solids when they show interest in food … V … Never put food in your baby’s mouth, always let them do it themselves.

Never give your baby packet food … V … There are some excellent packet foods with no additives that are great for when you’re travelling.

Sippy cups and water

Hard spout sippy cups are the best. (My maternal health nurse told me this) … V … Soft spout sippy cups are the best. (My friend who is a speech pathologist told me this).

360 sippy cups are the best … V … Leakproof bottles with straws are the best.

Give your baby boiled, cooled water from birth if they seem thirsty … V … Do not give your baby ANYTHING but breast milk until they’re at least 9 months old.

Breastfeeding

Breast is best … V … Fed is best.

Formula is a fantastic option for women who have difficulty/choose not to breastfeed … V … Avoid formula at all costs – you don’t want your baby to breast refuse.

Pump to increase supply … V … You can’t increase your supply by pumping.

Give your baby bottles early on so they can take a bottle for daycare when they’re older … V … Don’t give very young babies bottles – they might prefer it to the breast!

Expressing milk doesn’t have the same benefits as breastfeeding … V … Expressing milk is an excellent option for women who want to breastfeed but might have latching issues.

The world health organisation suggests feeding your child until they’re at least 2 years old … V … If you’re old enough to ask for it, you’re too old to have it.

Childcare

It’s fantastic for your kid’s social development … V … Children in full-time childcare feel abandoned by their parents.

Sleep Training

It’s cruel and harmful to your baby … V … It’s literally the only way you will ever get any sleep.

You should let your child set their own routine … V … You need to have your child on a strict schedule.

Is it any wonder we’re all baffled?

The point is, be the type of parent you want to be and the hell with everyone else but remember that the way you do/have done things is not the right way. It’s just the way you chose to do it.

If someone else chooses a different path, it’s not a message to you that you did things the wrong way.

When it comes to parenting, it’s only a problem if it’s a problem for you. And the reverse of that applies. It’s only a problem if it’s a problem for THEM. If you think sleep training/co-sleeping/baby led weaning/dummies/extended breastfeeding/childcare is idiotic… keep it to yourself.

Did you find so many contradictions when you were first starting out as a Mum? We’d love you to share them in the comments below!

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  • Judging never ends -sadly we all do it, even children without thinking about it do it. Its what we choose to do with our judgments that matter. Mum’s needs lots of accolades, we are all just trying to find our way, so hopefully we can all be kind to each other.

    Reply

  • “Run your own race & Stay in your own lane” has got me through many tricky times in the parenting world! :)

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  • There are many contradictions because every child is different so it is good for parents to choose what is best for their baby. Never compare your parenting style with other parents if you really want to get rid of the social parenting pressure.

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  • Always do what you this is best. Mothers have a natural gut instinct-stick with it and you can’t go wrong. However if you feel overwhelmed ask for help. No one will judge you.

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  • We do need to stop judging each other

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  • My first baby was a ‘crier.’ She cried a lot. I used to get really upset when people asked ‘why is she crying?’ It used to happen a lot and I used to question my parenting. What am I doing wrong? What did I miss? Am I a bad mother? And then I grew strong and trusted myself. My baby was healthy, sleeping, eating, had clean nappies etc, she was just a baby! So my response changed and was simple – ‘Shes a baby, she cries!’ and that was ok. My daughter is now 6 and an absolute cherub!

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  • Absolutely. All those statements are confusing and contradictory and I’ve heard them all. Learn to go with your gut and do what is best for your child and your family.

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  • What I get from this is every baby is different (so true) and what works for one will not definitively work on others. As long as your baby is fed, happy and healthy you must be doing the right thing for them. Listen to what everyone tells you and then work out what you want to follow and what you know won’t work for them. Most importantly know you are the best Mum for your child.

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  • So true. We all have different styles and reasons to do the way we do.

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  • I think it’s better to muddle through on your own with rearing children – every child is different and you can’t have one rule fits all. In your own household each child will respond differently so asking another person’s advice is useless as their child will behave differently from yours.

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  • My own way better for me and my kids.Mums knows what is the best for their kids.

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  • Let’s just all love our kids and teach them kindness :)

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  • It’s hard to not get overwhelmed by all the information out there. I’m 4.5 months into motherhood and going with the flow has been my motto.

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  • First time baby is really difficult because you are so unsure about anything. You want to do the best by your baby. So you listen to everyone’s advice and this can make you even more confused. By the time you have your second child it gets easier because you learn to trust your own instincts and experiences. You feel more relaxed and confident that you know what you are doing.

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  • I’m a first time mum and my bub is 4 months old and I distinctly remember feeling so overwhelmed by the millions of opinions out there. I was undecided about putting my baby on a schedule and now I’ve decided the best advice I was given was “do what works for you” and I tell people now to do whatever doesn’t take the joy out of looking after your baby.

    Reply

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