Being a first time mommy is overwhelming as it is. Throw a whole lotta guilty advice in the mix, and you get very nervous mommies.
So, let’s talk about all these things we aren’t supposed to do. Well, ya know, it’s ‘against the rules’!!!
If you go onto any parenting forums or read any parenting websites, apparently you are not to co-sleep or you will kill your baby! Yes, that’s correct. You must put your freshly popped out newborn in a giant cot on its own to sleep. Or you will kill it!
I wonder how all these other nations where mothers co-sleep with their babies feel about this. In Japan where mothers co-sleep and breastfeed their babies, I wonder how high rate of SIDs is? Lowest in the world.
Newborns are, well, newborns for a very short period of time. They need their parents close by instead of being put in a huge cot alone in a room. I don’t understand it.
Common sense is needed when dealing with co-sleeping. Naturally, parents shouldn’t be inebriated, been smoking, on drugs. Co-sleeping can be made safe.
Something like this can be used for the baby and still be close to the mother:
Don’t feed to sleep/Don’t rock to sleep
Now this is a confusing one. Some say don’t feed baby to sleep. Rock til baby is drowsy then put it in its cot and WALK AWAY. Then there’s some saying don’t rock to sleep or it becomes a sleep association you will have to rock it to sleep forever!!! (ok, maybe not forever but you get my drift).
The whole feed, play, sleep method is great if your baby works with you. Ya know, great if you can do it if you’re one of the parents who can execute this method to perfection. However, it doesn’t work for others. What are you gonna do when you have a screaming baby who just won’t adhere to these methods and … rules? I got told off by the lactation consultant GP (whom we paid a lot of money but no good returns for) and the child health nurse that the baby has to fit around our lifestyle. Oh really? Would they like to come over when the baby is screaming lungs off in the middle of the night waking up the whole apartment complex (my neighbours hate me, oh the dirty looks they gave me when they walk past!).
In a nutshell, we gotta do what works for us to the best of our abilities for the well-being and safety of our babies. Following other people’s rules will only drive us insane and make us feel more guilty as we already do. These rules and methods work perfectly for some mothers. Ya know what, that’s good for you but the rest of us struggle and we we just gotta improvise.
No screen time
Ok, I am an exclusive pumper. The breastfeeding mafia can fuck off on this also. I had a traumatic birth and postnatal experience. My baby was taken away to nursery in my sleep and the hospital didn’t help with breastfeeding. In fact, they fed him formula while in the nursery.
So, when they finally let us go home after holding us in the hospital and refused to let us leave, I pumped and fed him. Why? Even after engaging services of lactation consultant and lactation consultant GP, we still had issues. Even the lactation consultant GP told me that ‘it’s ok not to breast feed, formula is ok’. Yes, this came from a registered lactation consultant GP. Hearing this from an expert, what could I do? As if I didn’t feel enough guilt and failures with the birth, I now had to deal with the failure of not able to breastfeed.
So I pump. I have to pump whenever I can.
There have been times when he was so hungry, he drank all that I’d pumped. So I was pumping while looking after him so I could feed him straight after.
As he grows bigger, it becomes harder to entertain him while I pump. This and to make sure he is safe … and not screaming. You can’t really predict what a baby will do. He may sit happily playing with his toys then the next moment he’s screaming his head off. Sorry not all of us have perfect, quiet, well-behaved babies.
Well, put him on the floor to entertain himself, they say. Let him have tummy time, they say. Give him toys and get him to entertain himself, they say. Really?
What happens when all these methods fail? What do you do?
I need to feed my child. So yes, I am ‘guilty’ of exposing my son to ‘screen time’.
Why? Because it works. He is happy to sit next to me to watch a bit of Peppa Pig or Curious George or Lily’s Driftwood Bay while I pump … without screaming or wanting me to carry him around. This works for us.
For you anti screen time nazis out there. Good for you that your baby is quiet and well behaved and you can breast feed them. Good for you that it works for YOU.
Well, this works for me. He sits next to me quietly while I pump for his next bottle. What I’d observed is that he doesn’t want to watch the screen for a long time but he’s happy to be distracted even for a brief period while I pump a bottle to feed him after.
I love my baby. And I will do anything to keep him safe and do whatever I can to make him happy.
The most important thing about this motherhood gig is?
Be there for your baby.