Monday, 1 August 2016

5 THINGS I DO AS A PARENT WHICH I THOUGHT I WOULDN'T

USE A DUMMY
When I was pregnant I was adamant that we would not be using dummies once our baby had been born. I had read all sorts of things about them causing nipple confusion and not allowing baby's teeth to come through properly and a whole lot more scaremongering 'research' that made me almost hate dummies. In the end, we gave Freya a dodie when she just a few days old. We were both exhausted and I think we would have done anything to help settle our babe and get some shut eye. Freya is almost 8 months now and still uses her dodie, primarily for bedtime and naps but occasionally when she has hurt herself and needs comforting or is struggling to calm herself down. We are planning on trying to wean her off the dummy around her first birthday, but we need to conquer sleeping through the night, first! 
Conked out after her first Christmas. 
BOTTLE FEED
You may have noticed I mentioned nipple confusion a few lines up, and that's because when I was pregnant I was desperate to breastfeed Freya. I am 100% totally pro breastfeeding, and although Freya is formula fed now, it doesn't mean I didn't try my best to feed her myself. I breastfed Freya for the first three days of her life and there were a couple of reasons why we stopped. Firstly, I wasn't armed with enough information. I didn't know about cluster feeding and I didn't know that for the first 4-6 weeks I should expect to be nursing my baby almost non stop. Freya was feeding ever 60-90 minutes, sometimes more during the night and I genuinely thought I was starving my baby. I thought my milk wasn't filling her up and she was going to become ill if we carried on. In hindsight I know she was just cluster feeding and helping to regulate my supply. Secondly, I was made to feel very uncomfortable on numerous occasions, and I only breastfed for three days. I hate to imagine how uncomfortable long term breastfeeding mums are made to feel. Freya has been bottle fed for almost 8 months now and she is thriving. I am a firm supporter of breastfeeding but it's not the be all and end all of being a good mother. 
Tom helping to feed his baby cousin. 
BABY LED WEANING
When we first started weaning Freya at 19 weeks (don't shoot me) we did traditional weaning. She started out on baby porridge before moving onto homemade vegetable purees and jars of baby food and we were more than happy with this set up. Until she started having strops watching us eating our food once she had finished hers. It was then that we started giving her finger foods such as cucumber, carrot and toast fingers. Honestly, it was just so we could eat in peace to begin with. And then we started to see how much Freya enjoyed feeding herself. She was in her absolute element, and so we decided to go fully fledged baby led. Freya now feeds herself all of her meals (apart from her pudding as it's usually a yoghurt or a fruit purée and I can't cope with that sort of mess!) and eats the same main meals as we do.
Saturday morning breakfast is always the best.
BED SHARE
Bed sharing had never crossed my mind during pregnancy. I worried about rolling over onto my baby or her somehow managing to suffocate herself with the duvet and it just wasn't something we wanted to do. I can't really remember how we started occasional bed sharing, to be honest. I think Freya was really, really distressed one night and we just decided to try her in with us and hope that being with her mummy and daddy would calm her down. And it only bloody well did! We haven't bed shared for a month or so now but whenever our baby girl is struggling to settle herself and gets worked up or is poorly, all three of us share a bed and we stinking love it. 
Fast asleep in Mummy & Daddy's bed.
USE NICKNAMES
One of the reasons we chose the name Freya for our daughter is because it can't be shortened to a different name. For example, Victoria to Vicky or Sophie to Soph. We wanted Freya to be called Freya. Obviously.  Over the months though, Freya has been given numerous different nicknames. Freya Boo, Freya Boobie, Frey Frey (I HATE this one, it literally makes my skin crawl) and Freya Doodle Dandy. Freya Doodle Dandy seems to have taken first place in the nickname stakes and has since been shortened to Freya Doodles, Doodles, Doodle, Doods and Dandy. I tend to call her Doodles or Doods these days, which is something I never thought I'd do! 
Just a super cute photo of Freya Doodle Dandy. 
I'm far from the mum I thought I would be, but I know I'm doing the very best I can and that's all I can ask of myself. 

Thanks for reading,

Grace x