It’s amazing what a 5 month old baby can teach you. Before Oatcake arrived I had a long list of ‘ideals’ in mind as to how we would raise him, and some absolute ‘never evers’ and ‘always always’.
What I’ve learned so far is that essentially, this isn’t a game of thoughtful decision making, it’s a game of bloody survival! I would say within the first 5 months of Oatcake’s life, I have done absolutely every thing I said I would never do, and if I had a time machine, the first place I would go, would be to childless me and give her a big thwack around the face! But hey, I’m only human! How come parenting my hypothetical children was so much easier?
(Also 5 month olds don’t leave you with as much free time to write blogs incidentally! When they tell you the first 6 weeks are the hardest, they’re lying. So here is a bullet point list of the things I said I would never do, but am so glad I did.)
1. Give my baby a dummy. God knows where I got this nonsensical idea. A dummy is probably the only piece of baby equipment I couldn’t live without. I went back to speak at our local nct group with Oatcake a few weeks ago, and everyone asked what the best bit of ‘kit’ we had was. I said the dummy. They all smiled smugly at their partners with a look of ‘well ok, but OUR baby won’t need a dummy’. I didn’t mind them, because most of them will come to their senses in a few months time. All hail the dummy.
2. Feed my baby formula. Ok our freezer is smaller than my actual handbag. And expressing is possibly the biggest faff in the world. I have an other half who doesn’t go to bed until the small hours. It just makes brilliant sense!
3. Leave my baby to cry.. when you’ve gone 4 months with no more than 3 hours consecutive sleep and are just about ready to throw the screaming baby out the window at 3am, you will pretty much do anything.. and I’ll tell you what, it only bloody worked didn’t it! Hello blissful 8 hour nights!
4. Cosleep. You mean I can feed him without being awake? Ok deal!
5. Put a million photos of my baby up on facebook. Haha. Um. Sorry.
6. Cancel plans with friends because of the ‘routine’!! This one bothers me the most because I DON’T want to be that person! But if ANYTHING undoes all my hard sodding work, I might just cry.
7. Join f’ing Gymboree. He only bloody loves it dammit! I drew the line at joining the other baby gym class for 4 month olds that cost more per session than a one to one personal training sessions though.
So the only other rules I can look forward to breaking soon are..
1. Never letting Oatcake watch TV for more than an hour a day.
2. Never letting him watch Tv whilst he eats dinner.
3. Not feeding him sugar before his first birthday.
4. Never feeding him those ready made food pouches.
5. Not buying him plastic crap to play with.
6. Not letting him keep the dummy past his first birthday.
7. Not letting him play on the iPhone/iPad ever.
And those are things I’d never do! But I did! (Because I’m smart! And smart people do anything for an extra hour in bed!)