I do like the occasional blogging tag, and spotted this Controversial Parenting Tag one over at Life as Kim. While I’m not going to preach others on the way they parent, I do have quite strong opinions on what worked for us. Mainly because if we tried it and it worked for us, then it gets a vote from me.
With parenting you do need to flex as the methods you want to use, might not work for your baby. So you need to sometimes go with the flow. It does surprise me sometimes when you hear people complaining that their baby isn’t doing xyz, but then they won’t try the thing that works for so many other people. Each to their own though.
I think we were quite lucky with N. The only thing that didn’t work was breastfeeding (turned out he had a tongue tie but only found it out 2 ½ years later). Otherwise he slept fine, ate well, was generally good natured, even though he had a little reflux. He was an easy baby which meant we could be quite relaxed about everything with him.
Here’s the controversial parenting tag questions.
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Pro-life or Pro-choice?
Pro-choice all the way. Women need to be able to do the right thing for them, their family and health. Accidents happen when circumstances aren’t right.
It’s also interesting to learn about the economics. In Freakonomics* they suggested that it was legal abortions and giving women more choice that improved the American economy.
If it works for you and your baby then I don’t see why you wouldn’t. It’s better in some places than using a pram. I had a sling for N but it wasn’t the most supporting for a large baby, so I didn’t keep it up for long. If I’d had a better sling, I’d have baby worn for longer.
Unless there’s a medical need, then no.
It’s not something I could see myself ever doing, but it’s important for so many children and parents who couldn’t have children themselves, or those who want to help children who need the opportunity for a different upbringing.
I’m not a fan. I don’t like seeing children with earrings, let alone babies. I think children should be able to choose for themselves and be able to care for them.
Breast vs Formula?
I think where possible, an attempt should be made to breastfeed, or at least have mother’s milk expressed. But the baby getting enough milk is the important thing. We tried breastfeeding, but N would latch and not suck. I had to hand express colostrum to start with to get some into him, but longer term expressing just wasn’t getting enough milk out, and formula feeding worked for us. Mothers shouldn’t beat themselves up if breastfeeding doesn’t work.
CIO (cry it out) vs other?
I think babies do need to learn to settle, and if you’ve tried everything else, then cry it out is another option. N generally went to sleep quite well, but there were occasions where he’d moan a bit so we’d leave him and he’d go to sleep.
Nope, although I have probably given a sharp smack once a long time ago. We’ve not really had discipline issues, if we said no, N would stop. And if we’d set expectations first, he would generally follow them. So it’s rarely got to a specific discipline need other than a talking to.
If it’s safe and works for the family, then why not. You can get cribs alongside the parents’ bed that are good for this, but I’d not want the baby in the actual bed. N did go through a phase at about 3 years old, of always coming into bed with me. Luckily he slept as soon as he got into bed so I didn’t wake up. I wouldn’t choose to do it long term and not with a baby, as I think both baby and parents need space and quiet. But if they go through a phase and have no hassle going back then that’s fine.
Home vs Public vs Private schooling?
For us school all the way. I don’t have enough money to warrant sending N to private school, but I certainly wouldn’t rule it out given I went to private school for 6th form on a scholarship. I think the routine of school is important, and most like the majority of jobs. There are so many benefits of school over home-schooling, as well as parental freedom to have their own life and work outside of their children.
Yes, every time. To me it’s a nobrainer. My Grandad’s second wife had polio and was in a wheelchair ever since, and had never been vaccinated. If you can prevent potentially life-changing illnesses and help erradicate that disease from society, then I’ll get my child vaccinated.
I’m not in the situation where I have to make that decision, apart from for minor aches and illnesses. Medication would be my last resort.
Cloth vs Disposable nappies?
For us it was disposable. It was hard enough finding the ones that didn’t leak. I knew I’d be back at work and couldn’t see 2 different nurseries coping with cloth, plus all the extra washing when I was working full time. We might have been lucky and found a cloth brand that worked for us straight away, but we might have taken ages like my friends did who used cloth. I couldn’t be doing with that.
I think nowadays there’s a lot more options out there, and probably more people to ask about their experiences. If I was having a baby now, I’d probably look more into it.
Store bought baby food vs homemade?
Baby led weaning all the way and homemade where possible. We did have baby porridge for some breakfasts early on in weaning. Otherwise, N was baby led weaned, and ate normal food we were eating. So much easier at home and when eating out. If I’d done pureeing it would have been homemade too, as I generally cook most of what we eat from scratch. But I didn’t see the point of spending time pureeing food when he could eat normal food anyway.
Did you change some of your thoughts about raising children, after you had your own?