Before I got pregnant – and whilst I was pregnant – I had my own views on parenting and what I would and wouldn’t do. I thought I would give a little insight into a few areas in which I have gone back on my word.
I always said I would breastfeed for at least 6 months. That changed after a week. The first latch on was great and he fed well for about 5-10 minutes. However we discovered he has a minor tongue tie and within his first week I really struggled to carry on with breastfeeding. I went to an NCT breastfeeding clinic, got advice from friends and still nothing helped. I was in agony every time he fed and I would tense up and cry. Bertie’s latch was fine, it was his suck. It was unbelievably strong (and still very much is!). After lots of crying (during and after feeding him) I had to make the decision to stop. It was heartbreaking for me that I couldn’t feed my son and took me a good few weeks to stop feeling guilty. I did however pump for a week, but after a few pumps a day this began to hurt too, so I reduced the amount I pumped and after a few days my supply just dried up. I then had to exclusively formula feed. As I mentioned above, this took me a while to “forgive” myself as I felt so guilty. I would think people are staring at me thinking, “why is she bottle feeding him and not breastfeeding? That’s so wrong.”
Then I thought, “people would probably stare if I was breastfeeding in public and think I should do it in privacy.” So, whichever route you go down, do it with pride and don’t worry about what people are thinking.
I also always said I would never give a dummy. I have always hated them, and I never had one when I was little. However, even after a feed when I knew he wasn’t hungry he would suck his fist and he tried to suck his thumb. I didn’t want him sucking his thumb as you can’t take a thumb away, so, I gave him a dummy. Luckily I had one as it came in the Tommee Tippee starter kit, and he loved it. He likes spitting it out though, so I have to hold it in his mouth. Luckily this didn’t last long, and now keeps it in most of the time, but he does like to hold on to my hand like a security blanket, it’s so cute and makes my heart melt. I just hope his need for a dummy doesn’t last long and he doesn’t get attached to it, that is what I’m dreading most. Fingers crossed.
Lastly, I was always a bit sceptical about co-sleeping with babies, and I always thought I wouldn’t do it. But yet again this is something I have done, actually been doing since the day we bought him home. Bertie loves his cuddles and has always been cuddled to sleep. In the early days/weeks, I would sometimes wake up and wonder how he was asleep on me. I must have got up still asleep when he was whinging. However, I do need to try and stop cuddling him to sleep as I think this could become a problem.
So, really, no one can say exactly how they will approach things and react to certain situations as a parent. You just have to make your way through it in a way that suits you and your baby. No two babies are the same, and no two mothers are the same. Do what is right for you and your baby.