My son is two next month! TWO! I just don’t know where the time has gone. I still don’t feel like I know what I’m doing, but he seems to be developing well so I’ll just continue!
As soon as I found out I was pregnant, there a hundreds of things I could have purchased or worried about, luckily I had a dreamy pregnancy and so only took multi-vitamins; I didn’t bother with any paid for pregnancy groups or fancy clothes, I lived mainly in clothes that were a couple of sizes bigger than I was- maternity clothes are shockingly expensive!
When my son was born, luckily he had so many presents- toys, clothes, books etc that we didn’t need to buy him any clothes until he was about 9 months old! He had the basic nursery items and a good quality buggy and car seat and slings as mainly we were out and about, all the clothes I bought him were second hand. I didn’t bother with anything to “boost” his development or things that seemed a bit strange to me- the “bumbo” being one of them- a seat designed for a baby to sit up before they are ready to. I propped my son up on cushions and he learnt how to sit up by himself, when he was ready.
There’s a concept named “tummy time” where you put your baby on it’s tummy for x amount of time a day, most babies hate this because it’s uncomfortable for them, yet there is advice to do this to “strengthen their muscles”, I forgot to do this most days, and when I did do this he could stand maybe a minute or two before crying… it was a ridiculous cycle and I felt like a bad parent when he didn’t have daily “tummy time”. Looking back this seems so silly, babies develop naturally at their own rate of doing things. There are so many theories and social constructs and PRODUCTS that are invented to make your baby develop the right way… parents are so exhausted they don’t see the bigger picture- that not all these products have been around for very long, yet humans have managed without them thus far!
Another concept is “sleep training” where you let your baby cry for x amount of time so it “learns to soothe itself”. There are theories both for and against this, for me and my husband, we chose against and around 18 months old he started sleeping through the night. It was a long 18 months, but we felt this was the right approach for us- to pick him up when he cried. I believe there are huge cultural differences to this and it is a very emotive subject because it involves the idea of attachment theory and that if you let your baby cry, they won’t have a secure bond with their parents and it will affect them later on. There is research proving both method is feasible, I feel it what is right for your family. But again, the PRODUCTS that are sold around this- sleep training classes, books, etc.
How have we made such a simple, natural thing (pregnancy, birth, child rearing) so complex and monitory?
Tune in next week for more musings! Stay safe guys and have a good week, Claire x