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Back when my daughter was about ready to start solids, another mum asked if I was going to “do” baby led weaning.
My blank stare revealed the horrible truth.
I hadn’t a clue what she was talking about!
Somehow in my sleep deprived fog, I had completely missed one of those whopping big decisions about which all mothers are meant to have intelligent, insightful and well informed opinions!
A newly pregnant friend confessed a similar experience. At 5 weeks, her midwife asked if she wanted to have the baby at home or in hospital. My friend didn’t have an opinion.
She didn’t even know she was “meant” to have an opinion so early and instantly felt like she failed “mummyhood 101”.This got me thinking about all the other great debates of early motherhood upon which we mothers are expected to be instant experts. These are the top ones I came up with for pregnancy and the first 6 months of your baby’s life …
Big Decisions Mums Must Make
- Hospital v Home birth
- Midwife led birth v doctor led birth
- Natural labour v Medical pain relief
- Natural placenta delivery v Managed 3rd stage labour
- New born vitamin K supplement v No vitamin K supplement
- Breat feeding v Bottle feeding
- Co-sleeping v Cot
- Disposable v Cloth nappies
- Sleep when they like v Sleep routine
- On demand feeding v Feeding routine
- Comfort to sleep v Controlled crying
- Soother, comforter, dummy v No soother
- Stay at home v Go back to work
- Nany / child minder v Nursery
- Baby led weaning v Purees
- Circumcise v Don’t circumcise
- Baby wearing v Buggy / stroller
Too often these decisions are presented as big either / ors, when in many cases the best for our child and our family is a “happy medium” or the best decision we can make in the situation we are in.
Sometimes, this mass of decisions can seem like yet another load on our already frazzled minds, but taking some time to read around the pros and cons and practicalities of them well in advance is worth it.
There are so many people – from supposed baby “gurus”, to families, friends and even complete strangers – who want to tell you how you “should” be doing it. Knowing that there are always choices and that you can do things “your way” is incredibly empowering …
It is definitely worth reading a few baby books to help think through these decisions …
But some of the “big” books like The Happiest Baby on the Block take a very strong line on some of these decisions and don’t really help you consider the alternatives.
If your looking for a good overview of your options before leaning one way or another the What To Expect series is as ever a good place to start.
What do you think? What were your biggest decisions?
Or did some completely pass you by? I’d love to hear your thoughts … and if you found this post helpful do check out our other pregnancy and baby posts …