For all moms and dads out there, this is a topic I know you are all too familiar with. Conflicting ways of parenting styles. The judgment of the right and wrong way of doing things. If you have a child and say you’ve never dealt with this, you know you are lying to yourself. Just fess up now. I am the mother of a 11 month old, and I want to share some of the conflicts I have faced so far with parenting my baby girl.
#1 Obviously the topic one I’m going to discuss is Breastfeeding. After you have your baby, your are encouraged to participate in “skin to skin” contact, and latch your baby on your boob ASAP after giving birth. For me, this is something that I was really passionate about. I did skin to skin, and I did latch her on immediately after giving birth to her. It made me feel an instant connection, and made me feel powerful, in the sense that I am a woman and I have these amazing superpowers of being able to provide nutrients for my baby via MY BODY. Although it was awesome, it soon became very painful. I eventually got a bad case of mastitis after returning to work, felt like I was on my deathbed, and I began to wonder, “OK, can I do this?, Am I a terrible mother if I stop?”. I decided to push through, and keep going, which leads me to the next negative thing I experienced.
I was attending a funeral on this specific day, and I felt HORRIBLE. Not only in the sense that I was going to a funeral, but physically, my body was giving out. I had uncontrollable facial twitching, was losing function of my hands and arms, losing sensation in my lower extremities… Something was just really wrong. I was again on my death bed, but had to continue pumping because I felt like I was going to explode and was in so much pain. My mom, and husband decided I needed to take a trip to the ER because something clearly wasn’t right. My body was not functioning. After an IV, and some testing, they quickly made me aware that my electrolytes such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium, were HALF of the normal levels that they should be. They informed me I would have to be hospitalized overnight, to receive IV electrolyte replacement- I had to be away from my 2 month old, for the first time, and I was so upset. I am naturally a small person, so my baby was just taking a lot more out of my body than I was able to produce. I just couldn’t keep up. I felt like a failure, like a terrible mother. I had to make the decision, if I was going to stop breast feeding or again push through these negative medical issues it had caused.
My first night away from Ramsie, and daddy took such great care of her! (He’s a keeper).
After a lot of emotional break down’s and conversations with my husband, we decided that my health needed to come first, in order to be able to give our baby my 100%. It was sad, but after realizing the hit my body was taking, I realized this was also taking away from my daughter because I couldn’t give her my all, always getting ill from feeding her. Luckily we had about 3 months of milk stashed, so she received breast milk until about 5-6 months which I was pretty proud of. I have to say I did feel the pressure of “breast is best” and let the judgment of people irrelevant in my life dictate my decision to breast feed, when all along I should of done what was right for both me and my baby. Formula feeding makes me no less of a mother. I am happy that I am able to give her my ALL, 100% of the time, and she is as healthy as can be. In the end, thats all that matters. I have to encourage mothers and fathers to ignore the judgement on this topic, because both feeding ways are appropriate and healthy for your baby. Breast feeding is great for bonding and natural nutrients, but if you physically cannot do it, or simply don’t want to, then don’t. You don’t need to explain yourself. It is YOUR baby, and YOUR body, so please make the decision that is best for YOU, and not others. ⬇️ my huge stash that lasted 2-3 months after stopping breast feeding.
#2 The next topic we have encountered as parents is, co sleeping. When Ramsie (my daughter) was only a few months old, we had her in our room in the pack and play next to our bed. We kept her swaddled, as this was the most comfortable way she slept. She was safe, and no harm was done. We heard a lot of back noise, about how we should’ve had her in her crib from day 1. Again, this decision of ours, its irrelevant to everyone else who is not sleeping in our room with us. Our dog Kai, didn’t mind it, so I guess thats the only opinion who could’ve mattered? I have read many articles on how long your baby should “sleep in your room” and I’ve seen some studies, that say up to THREE is appropriate. Seems a little excessive, but again its your decision. Who cares…. if your child is safe while sleeping, why do others’ care so much? You shouldn’t make personal decisions on what your going to do with your child based on irrelevant comments.
I encourage you to talk to your pediatrician about whatever route you want to take with this topic, and determine the best thing for you and your baby. (Thanks doctor S, for always being understanding, and communicating with my husband and I, on a “real level”, instead of throwing statistics in our face). I encourage you to choose a pediatrician who you can be honest with, and not have to tip toe around the truth, about how you parent your child.
#3 When to start feeding your baby “solids”, and should you make their baby food, or give them ” pre made” baby food? We have dealt with this issue, and per our pediatrician, it was okay to start introducing food at 4 months old. I know this is conflicting, but we decided to go with the advice from the person who went to medical school, and has professional advice regarding this… not google, and angry mothers who post online acting like their doctors. We made sure our daughter was hitting the correct milestones before trying this, but our choice was to start at 4 months, and she did perfect. There is no wrong decision when starting them at 4 months, or 6 months. YOUR baby is unique, and when you and your baby are ready for those next steps, then you go for it after consulting with your ped.
I was all about making Ramsie’s baby food FRESH and organic for the first couple of months. I would spend 6-7 hours, on Sundays, making her food, and I did get enjoyment out of doing this. It felt good, knowing I was providing her with clean and fresh ingredients, made directly from me. After awhile, I’m not going to lie, it got very time consuming, and as she got older, it was hard to take 5-6 hours to make all of her food. So we decided to try organic baby food that was pre made. She loved it just as much as the food that I slaved hours over, so no harm done. We made the switch, and I still feed her fresh organic ingredients when possible, but I do not stress myself out, about making every single thing. Life is too short to get anxious about something like this. Your not a bad parent when making the decision on feeding your child fresh foods, or jar foods. Starving your child, would make you a bad parent and probably would put you in jail, so as long as your feeding them the amount they need to be healthy, then your golden and jail free. ⬇️ my obsessive Sunday baby making sessions.
#4 BABY NAMES So this, is an issue we had obviously before we had our daughter, and if I could go back in time, I would change how we approached this. We went through a million list of names, ones that we loved and hated, and while sharing the ones we liked, we ALWAYS had at least one person giving us nasty comments about the name. Like really? Is this your baby? Did you create this baby, and carry him/her in YOUR belly for 9 months? Nope, didn’t think so. My cousin decided to keep their baby name a secret until she was born, and a friend of mine did this as well, and I think they are so smart for doing this. Props to you guys. We decided on a unique name, a typical boy name but changed the spelling more girly and out came “RAMSIE“. I have never seen a little girl with this name, or this spelling and it has a special meaning to US… but boy did we get some weird looks, and negative comments about her name. Now, that she’s born, everyone loves it but the first reaction was pretty comical. Lesson learned, keep your baby names to yourself until their born, if your strong enough to do so. People will have SO many negative comments about any name that you choose, but remember who is carrying this baby, and who created this baby. YOU DID.
That is all for now, just remember YOU are the parent, and you know what best for your babe. Don’t get down on yourself for your parenting styles, from negative comments from others. You rock, and know yourself and your baby more than anyone else.
⬇️ hilarious Ramsie video, laughing at our dog Kai. I think it safe to say, we have a happy baby on our hands 😘