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Will you judge my parenting please?

(55 Posts)
blue2014 Fri 24-Nov-17 00:22:14

I'm driving myself crazy!

DH and I have a very nearly one year old son. Before he was born I planned to stop breastfeeding, move to his own room and start nursery at 6 months.

He's still breastfed. He nibbles food but doesn't eat a lot of it.

We co-sleep

I took him out of nursery as it was making him sad.

I return to work next week and he will be chaotically split between me, grandparents and DH as we try to juggle his care around our work shifts so he doesn't have to go to nursery.

He's happy, he's fun, he's loving

But ALL of his peers seem more "grown up" than him. They go to nursery and are happy about it. They eat 3 meals a day. They don't have milk anymore. They sleep through the night in their own room.

Again, he's happy but he will be, i never leave him to cry for anything. I chase round the house all day playing with him. I cuddle when he wants, feed when he wants. I genuinely don't mind it. But am I ruining him? Am I doing it all wrong?!

heyjude12 Fri 24-Nov-17 00:30:57

Not at all. I did the same and don't regret it for a minute. As long as you can do this without it negatively impacting on you or your relationship then you are doing well flowers

JollyGiraffe Fri 24-Nov-17 00:33:15

But ALL of his peers seem more "grown up" than him. They go to nursery and are happy about it. They eat 3 meals a day. They don't have milk anymore. They sleep through the night in their own room.

I don't believe this. A whole group of under 1 year olds?

JollyGiraffe Fri 24-Nov-17 00:34:12

Not I don't believe you- I don't believe their parents!

3 meals and no milk? Really?

Sounds like you're doing a great job. Don't worry about it smile

Goingalonenow Fri 24-Nov-17 00:36:55

You're doing fine. DD is still a reluctant eater at 21 months and has milk twice a day.

blue2014 Fri 24-Nov-17 00:39:41

I know Jolly but it seems to be true. I was very active in the Baby groups in early days so he has quite a few peers. Off the top of my head that's 8 on 3 meals a day, 6 of whom are done with milk or only has one bottle a day (they are all 2 months older than him), 2 who don't eat massively well but eat more than DS does

I'm told they enjoy independent play too. If I'm not playing with DS (rare!) he's charming any other adult around him to play!

It just seems his peers are so 'independent' and DS just isn't . He will crawl off in a playgroup but always checks for where I am

blue2014 Fri 24-Nov-17 00:41:33

Thanks Jude and Alone - I'm not making him "soft" then?

Hawkmoth Fri 24-Nov-17 00:42:57

Here's me judging you: you're doing better than me.

You sound like you've got your priorities right and when baby is two or so you'll have a lovely secure happy little bod with great family support and the foundations for a great start to school.

yorkshireyummymummy Fri 24-Nov-17 00:52:51

I empathise with you massivly. Of course you want to just be the best mummy you can be and give your son all he needs.
But frankly, if you re read your OP you will see that you know the answer tou our question.
Your son needs to start to get some independence. I would start by putting his cot up in his own bedroom ( if you haven't done this already) and putting him in his cot for his naps during the day.
This won't happen overnight as he is becoming aware so it's harder to implement changes but you need to set yourself goals and targets ( eg, getting him into his cot overnight in three months)
With regards to the breast feeding I think you need to cut back a bit as he needs more than milk and he needs to start to eat proper meals.
Sit down with him with his breakfast or lunch and gently encourage him to eat- don't breastfeed first though. He's not eating proper food because he is not hungry enough because he is getting breast milk whenever he wants it!!
Now you are going to have some crying and screaming to contend with but unless you want to be the one crying and screaming when he refuses to leave your boob to go to school in three years time you need to start easing him into a more regular routine.
Obviously, this is just my opinion and I'm sure many other mumsnet terms will disagree with me.
I forced myself to put my daughter in her own bedroom at six months on the dot. I didn't want to. She's ten and I would have her with me all day every day if I could. But I realise that I'm being unfair to her in the longterm if I don't give her the confidence and independence to stand in her own two feet.
I would also look at getting him back into nursery. How do you know he didn't like it? Did he tell you? How many sessions was he there before you pulled him out? I started DD when she was 18 months old. First time was fine, second - tenth time she yelled and screamed for min of twenty mins after I left. Then she realised that it didn't matter if she yelled, she had to stay there until I came back so she had a cuddle with her fave nursery nurse , got a story read and then started playing with the toys and starting to interact with the other children. By the time she had been going for six weeks ( she went twice a week) she LOVED it.
Book him in over lunch time too so he can eat with the other children. This really helps your baby/ toddler to learn.
They need to be with other children. So do him a favour and gently untie the apron strings.
You don't have to untie them totally. I still spend oodles of time with DD, there's nobody I would rather be with and we are very very close. But she stands on her own two feet and I'm aware that she benefitted from the choices I made.
Ultimately , in today's society, there's not many mums who spend 24/7 with their children and a bit of space from mum is good for both of you. I would definatly look at getting son into nursery for some of the time when you go back to work.
Ask some of your own friends for their opinion. Ask your health visitor too.
I think you know that you have made a bit of a rod for your own back here especially as you go back to work next week.
But it's not like it's too late to IMplement some changes. You just need to ensure that you start to do them and stick to them rather than just talk about them.
Good luck, I'm sure it will be fine.
My goals would be
1) in his own bed, sleeping through by Easter.
2) at nursery for two or three sessions a week- starting next week with one session.
3) eating three meals and having a B/f before bed time by Easter.

You can do it and you know this is what he needs. ( IMO!!)

Hawkmoth Fri 24-Nov-17 01:45:56


CluelessMummy Fri 24-Nov-17 01:54:09

DD has just turned one, she is the youngest in her room at nursery by 6 months and every single one of her "friends" there drinks milk. In fact, she drinks more milk when she's there as the other toddlers were getting an extra bottle in the afternoon and she got jealous, so now she has an extra one too! Go with the flow I say. Happy baby = happy mum.

ladybirdsaredotty Fri 24-Nov-17 02:16:47

He's not even 1 yet! Literally still a baby. I did most of that with both of mine (well, I have 3 but the third is a few weeks old!). We were lucky in that we work shifts around each other so they have only ever done the free hours at nursery from when they were around 3 years old. Both breastfed until over 18 months (to be honest it drove me a bit mad in the end so this time I'll probably try to stop feeding to sleep earlier so he is more ready to stop once he gets to maybe 15 months). We've always been responsive to their needs (without pandering to unreasonable requests and demands now they're older). Neither slept through until 18 months. Neither ate that well as babies.

DD1 is now in year 1. She is completely happy at school, literally never struggled with being left. Also loves being at home. DD2 is at nursery, again has never once cried at being left. (Also loves us and home by the way!) Both are (objectively, I'm going by comments of teachers and staff) very bright and doing well.

Now obviously some of that is pure luck. But I say it to show you (anecdotally) that not having an 'independent' baby doesn't necessarily mean that they won't be an independent child! Nursery actually commented that they both settled so well as they were so securely attached to us and basically trusted us to leave them somewhere nice...and come back again! Again, I imagine lots of that is luck, too.

Anyway, if you and him are happy and your relationship is not suffering unduly then I wouldn't personally change anything. Also take with a pinch of salt what other parents claim their baby is doing 😉

ladybirdsaredotty Fri 24-Nov-17 02:55:59

Also, re. playgroup: my almost-4-year-old checks where I am every now and again at playgroup! Wouldn't you?

Pennywhistle Fri 24-Nov-17 03:03:48

Here’s what you need to know:

Children develop at different stages. My D.C. walked very early. My friend’s DS walked 8 months after them. It has made absolutely no difference to either academic or athletic ability.

My friends children were in nursery full time. I was a SAHM. It’s made no difference to any of them in either social abilities, intellect or attachment.

My friends D.C. were all spoon fed puréed food. My kids BLW. Not a jot of difference to eating habits.

My highly articulate, advanced reader D.C. spoke far later than all my friends D.C.

One year olds don’t need to be grown up.
They don’t need to play by themselves.
They don’t even need to sleep through.

Do what works for your child. For your family. For you. Mostly it doesn’t matter.

Also - other people lie about their babies. A lot.

BamburyFuriou3 Fri 24-Nov-17 05:04:54

What pennywhistle said.
All the research peer reviewed evidence shows that meeting a baby's needs encourages brain growth and is a good predictor for adult mental health. Your baby may have different needs from your friends babies, or they may be lying, or they may have been trained to not show those needs.

Carry on. You're doing great.

parrotonmyshoulder Fri 24-Nov-17 05:24:53

Babies don’t need to be ‘independent’.
You are doing nothing wrong!
Read Margot Sunderland ‘The Science of Parenting’ for confirmation that you are, in fact, getting it very right.

JoandMax Fri 24-Nov-17 05:33:52

Exactly as Pennywhistle said!

He's not even 1 he doesn't need to be independent or sleep alone or anything!

If he's happy, you and your partner are happy then really what anybody else does doesn't matter at all. All babies are different and need different things and will develop at different rates. Comparing them will lead to madness!

user1499786242 Fri 24-Nov-17 05:38:19

Sounds like my 2 and a half year old 🙈🙈
Still bf, co sleeping, nipples on food etc
One is so so young, he is still a baby!
You have the rest of his life for him to eat meals and be grown up
Just enjoy him being a baby because before you know it he will be a toddler running rings around you 😜😜

CheshireSplat Fri 24-Nov-17 05:41:43

On the nursery point, my friend's DS has just started preschool. It's his first formal childcare - they worked around shifts with grandparent help.

He is just 3 and has settled in brilliantly, no issues. Not clingy, just happy and confident.

So don't worry too much that you're creating any long-term issues. He's only little still.

Pythonesque Fri 24-Nov-17 05:42:05

There is a mantra I have seen paediatricians use - "Food before 1 is just for fun" - ie milk as a major part of his nutrition is absolutely fine at his age. He will change as much over the next 6 months as he has over the last 6 months ...

Sleeping - if something is working for you and your family then it is right. It is important to recognise if you fall into doing something that is a burden on you or others, and change it then. Personally my children went into their own rooms around 6 months or so when their night noises were waking me unnecessarily. I had to work hard with my eldest at around 10 months because she couldn't self-settle and - a key point - the disruption of being up and down to her at night had brought me to my knees.

I didn't much like nursery when mine were babies and ended up with a childminder for the eldest. (actually by the chance of not being able to get a place at the time I wanted it) That worked really well until she was past 2, then moving to nursery at 3 was good for her. Her younger brother started with a childminder and went to split childminder/nursery weeks at 15 months when I needed him to be full time. Definitely didn't want him in a nursery baby room, didn't feel the environment I wanted given a choice.

Sounds like you are doing pretty well at the moment - keep going with what works for you! Hope the return to work goes smoothly.

raisinsarenottheonlyfruit Fri 24-Nov-17 05:43:19

The World Health Organisation recommend we all aim to BF our DCs until they are at least two.

The culture we live in is anti-BFing and cultural norms like putting babies in their own rooms or stopping BFing before 1 year are not in the best interests of the child.

So, go you! Your instincts are in line with evidence-based best practice. Well done, excellent parenting! Now stop beating yourself up!

Oh and have you met local childminders? Some amazing CMs out there and very different to nursery - maybe something to think about.

Booie09 Fri 24-Nov-17 05:48:12

Don't worry too much about other people's children! Enjoy him being one they grow way to fast! My daughter is coming up to 9 and it litraly feels like she was only one yesterday! Your doing a great job.

gloopyglitterball Fri 24-Nov-17 05:52:16

Hi op. You sound like you are doing a brilliant job smile don't worry about comparing your dc with others as the parents often lie or exaggerate the truth. Your routine sounds very similar to what we did with our eldest. They are fine now and you wouldn't know the difference between who slept through, ate 3 meals/milk or went to nursery to those who were the complete opposite. Your ds is loved and cared for and that's the main thing.

raisinsarenottheonlyfruit Fri 24-Nov-17 05:52:41

Please ignore yorkshireyummymummy's advice. None of that is evidence-based. She is simply reflecting the formula-influenced culture we live in.

1 year olds do not need to forced to be "more independent". They are one FFS.

Trying to force your child to be "independent" before they are ready is not going to be good for them.

I coslept with both of mine till they were 2. I didn't waste any time or emotion trying to force then to sleep alone before they were ready. It wasn't a problem in any way.

My 4 year old still comes in for morning snuggles about half an hour before wake up time most mornings and It's a lovely way to start the day. My 8 year old doesn't any more.

Please don't compare yourself to others like this. Your instincts are awesome and you are doing a great job. Listen to your own instincts and your DS. He's lucky to have a mum so in tune with his needs smile

raisinsarenottheonlyfruit Fri 24-Nov-17 05:54:08

Children develop at different stages

YY to this.

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