5 things I said I’d never do as a parent

  1. Co-sleep - I’d read and heard a lot about how unsafe co-sleeping was and so I made the decision that it would be something that I wouldn’t even consider. Especially since I’ve been known to do some strange things in my sleep. I think I stuck to this decision for about 3 months, until we visited my mums house and Molly decided that she wasn’t too happy about sleeping in her travel cot. I probably stuck it out for about a night and a half, but sleep deprivation got the best of me and we invited Molly into our bed at about 4am. The first time I didn’t get much sleep because I was worrying so much but Molly did and so we continued to co-sleep for the rest of the trip. And we haven’t looked back since. Most mornings Molly comes into our bed at 5am so we can all get an extra hour or two of sleep. It’s a lovely thing to do. If we have another child I’ll probably co-sleep again, if needed, but I’d still probably wait until they’re a couple of months old again.

  2. Buy shop bought baby food - This was complete naivety on my part. I thought that baby food would work out really expensive and I thought that they were full of rubbish. This is not actually the case. The supermarkets always have good deals on jars of baby food and the ingredients are simple and minimal. They aren’t full of salt and sugar as long as you are sensible about what you are buying. When we started to wean Molly I tried to steam and blend my own baby food but it all just got too much. Since Molly doesn’t sleep for longer than 30 minutes I don’t get time in the day to do things so I was trying to do everything I needed to do in the evenings. I couldn’t stay on top of it all and I caved and bought baby food. It is one of the better decisions I’ve made though. She has a mixture of shop bought and homemade and now we’re all happy.

  3. Buy plastic tat - I hate plastic baby toys. They just seem so flimsy and cheap and tacky. I decided before Molly was born that she would only play with wooden educational toys. I’m not sure if this decision was based on image or what is best for baby. There’s also the fact that plastic isn’t a very sustainable material. And don’t get me started on what I’ve read on VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) and BPA (bisphenol A) coming from plastic toys. However, all of this went out the window when I realised that babies LOVE plastic toys. The lights, the tunes, the spinning and the buttons. So obviously we’re now the owners of many cheap plastic toys and Molly loves all of them. I still try and buy second hand etc where possible, and we still have a few wooden toys too so I don’t feel too bad.

  4. Let baby watch tv - ‘My baby was not going to watch TV! My toddler was not going to watch TV! I will be super mum and will play with my child for stimulation and she will never be sat with her eyes fixated on that rectangular screen.’ Yeah right. Sometimes a little distraction is needed. I don’t let her watch TV often, and she only watches baby sensory videos on youtube. It’s not like I’ve sat her down in front of 50 shades of grey every afternoon. Sometimes I need to get things done and I need her to be distracted for 5 minutes. This is when the TV can come in very handy. For example, when she’s all set up in her pram ready to leave the house and I realise I’ve not packed her changing bag. I can guarantee at this point Molly will start crying, and I don’t know what happens to me when she cries but I just cannot function, so I’ll put on a little baby sensory video. This keeps Molly happy and quiet and I can pack her bag without flustering and everybody is happy. I still feel guilty that I let my baby watch a screen but I don’t think 5 minutes here and there is going to cause any problems.

  5. Be overprotective and worry too much - I think this one covers all the previous points and much more. My husband kept telling me that he didn’t want me to be one of those parents who was so overprotective over their child that they were barely able to do anything. I think they call it helicopter parenting. I assured him that this wouldn’t happen and I was going to be so laid back I’d be horizontal. Ha! Now, I don’t think I’m that bad. I am a worrier. I used to watch her when she slept, I was completely over the top with loose things around her crib etc. I absolutely hated it when she moved into her own room and considered sleeping on her bedroom floor ‘just in case’. I have no idea what that ‘just in case’ was referring to but I just didn’t want anything to happen to her. So I am just a little bit overprotective. My husband thinks I’m very overprotective but I think it’s all just part of being a new mum. I do worry less as she gets older and gets a little less fragile, but then there’s always new worries coming along. I’m pretty sure I won’t become a full blown helicopter parent when she’s older and I’ll let her venture off into the world when she’s ready. I’m also pretty sure my husband will disagree with me on that one.

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