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AIBU: "It's your baby, you can do what you want."

(98 Posts)
Lelophants Tue 12-May-20 17:35:39

Is this an entitled thing with us brits? I've seen so many posts about people who either think this (or argue against people who think this). I also had a conversation with a health visitor recently. I 100% listened to her but even she said "you don't have to listen to me though, you can do what you want with your child". "No! I most definitely should not!"

Weaning at 14 weeks, putting your tiny baby in a forward facing car seat, putting them in their own room on their front at 5 days old and letting them cry it out until they're vomiting (I don't agree with CIO ever but even American doctors argue it's unsafe before 6 months old!) All of this isn't "it's your baby, you can do what you want."

If there is actual health and medical advice saying you do these things and you will DAMAGE your child in any way, it's not up to you to decide whether to do it or not! You are responsible for their welfare, you don't own them and have your fun picking and choosing when to care for them properly. There's a difference.

(Adoptive parents go through so much and yet if you can have sex and have a baby it's like you can do whatever you want to them! Awful).

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PorpentiaScamander Tue 12-May-20 17:38:02

Well ultimately you can do what you want (abuse and neglect aside obv)

Doesnt make it sensible/best practice, but you can choose to do any of those things.

Soubriquet Tue 12-May-20 17:40:11

Within reason you can!

Most people have common sense but to do things that cause abuse and neglect

Herpesfreesince03 Tue 12-May-20 17:42:37

Well there’s obviously a difference between normal parental choices and child endangerment/abuse

PotteringAlong Tue 12-May-20 17:43:16

You are responsible for their welfare, you don't own them and have your fun picking and choosing when to care for them properly.

Depends on your definition of caring for them properly though, doesn’t it. You only have to read the thread the other day with the woman who was in bits because her DH was engaging in “rough play” with their son. One of her examples of rough play was sitting on his dad’s shoulders...

It is your child your choice to a massively large extent.

nysnet Tue 12-May-20 18:00:10

I agree but I also do think it depends. There's things like raising your child vegan or on junk food, getting your babies ears pierced, raising your child religious ect. That even though they can be controversial topics and we may or may not agree with them, it's up to the parents.

tartanbow Tue 12-May-20 18:09:25

well presumably most people do what they think is most beneficial for them and their child (unless your a shit parent) - I know parents who share a bed with their baby, this isnt the proper guidance but they say it's the better choice for them and their baby sleeps better. who am I or you to tell them otherwise?

opticaldelusion Tue 12-May-20 18:27:31

How old's your baby and how are you going to feel when someone questions a parenting decision you make? I'll bet you'll think 'it's my baby...'

The thing is, lots of decisions are naunced and the line between good and bad is mutable, ill-defined and subject to continuously evolving data and fashions.

People genuinely thought it was healthy to wean early some decades ago. They had the 'evidence'.

People thought it was healthy to put babies in their fronts to sleep. They were following best practice at the time.

Much of what you take as absolutes might well change in the future.

Try not to be so sure of everything. Life's not that black and white.

trellishead Tue 12-May-20 18:27:44

I agree because I feel like guidance in this country is pretty shocking and almost like banter, and we're generally a very dumbed down nation now compared to twenty years ago. Too much disdain for doing things by the book or listening to experts... Looking too prim and proper.... Saying something that might seem too controlling when it comes to the wellbeing/ general respect towards others.... We all are supposed to know what's best yet follow the crowd to get a feel of what is right. I think it's worrying the health advisor said that.

99victoria Tue 12-May-20 18:35:54

When my son was born 35 years ago I was told by the Health visitor to wean him at 14 weeks, which I did. He survived - grew up to be a professional ballet dancer so obviously didn't do too much damage

Pinkblueberry Tue 12-May-20 18:35:56

If there is actual health and medical advice saying you do these things and you will DAMAGE your child in any way, it's not up to you to decide whether to do it or not!

But it’s not usually a case of ‘you will damage your child’. Most advice is based on risk assessment. Even some of the extreme examples in your post aren’t guaranteed to damage a child. There are heightened risks of damage associated with doing those things - for example, a child lying on its front is it higher risk but still overall unlikely to die of SIDS. So it’s not a case of ‘you will damage your child’ it’s just a higher risk than sleeping on their back. And sleeping on their back is not risk free.
I would prefer to go down the route of taking the least risks - but how parents assess risk is still very much up to them.

CodenameVillanelle Tue 12-May-20 18:37:48

My law professor at university when I was doing my social work degree explained that UK law allows parents to inflict a level of harm on their children. It is only when the threshold for significant harm is met that the state has a duty to intervene.
I don't think the U.K. is alone in that however.

Lelophants Tue 12-May-20 19:28:19

This is what I mean @CodenameVillanelle

There is a blurred line in the middle. I understand if someone has taken their own risk assessment and has a logical or medical reason for following something. Also bedsharing is perfectly safe if done via the guidelines. smile

I get and sympathise with changing advice, which is why I think it's important to be up to date with your own research.

What I DON'T get is "I'm giving my tiny baby pureed food because I'm bored on maternity leave and I want to start now" despite being told this may harm her baby who can't even hold her own head up yet (a real life example).

OP’s posts: |
GrumpyHoonMain Tue 12-May-20 19:33:57

I think, for babies anyway, a lot of the decisions mums take against advice are a hangover from the time they were pregnant. We are encouraged to be pushy, demanding, ask questions during pregnancy (often for the first timeand quite rightly so) only to then have this screaming baby we have no idea what to do with (and in many cases haven’t prepared for). So the same attitude prevails.

Lelophants Tue 12-May-20 19:36:02

It's difficult isn't it. Most things I'm very balanced about, but since having a baby I really get upset at what some people do to their children and for really uncaring reasons.

OP’s posts: |
VirginWestCoast Tue 12-May-20 19:41:07

I think people are increasingly reluctant to take advice with regards to children and babies. There's so much emphasis (and you see it on MN a lot) on "our little family" that people reject help from their own parents, family or in laws. I understand that constant suggestions can be interfering or annoying but people seem far happier to just complain about what a hard time they're having than take constructive advice.

BubblyBarbara Tue 12-May-20 19:41:13

Compared to the entirety of human history even a shoddily treated baby (by modern standards) is miles ahead of average. We do worry a bit too much nowadays. There are things to genuinely worry about and other things that are nice to haves that foregoing them is unlikely to place them at mortal danger.

tartanbow Tue 12-May-20 20:34:29

yes maybe but it's not the most recommended thing. like a previous poster said most parents have to risk assess for themselves and their children. it's not up to you to call them out for it, I actually don't understand the point of this thread atall nor have I ever seen someone say oh I'm weaning because I'm bored on maternity leave, you've clearly got someone specific in mind

ScarfLadysBag Tue 12-May-20 20:43:32

But there's very little (in fact nothing) in that list that is definitely damaging 🤷‍♀️ It's all degrees of risk. If you put your child to sleep on their front at five days old, they aren't automatically going to die. If you wean at 14 weeks, your child isn't automatically going to have digestive issues. If you forward face your child, they aren't going to automatically die in a car crash.

They are all degrees of risk and each of us weighs them up differently. We actually have access to a lot more research now than we used to, so the advice we do have access to is often more well rounded and comprehensive than 40 years ago, when advice came generally from older relatives and midwives. And in general, safety for babies and children is a lot better now, as we know more, than it was back then, even with people deciding not to follow guidelines for whatever reason.

Pinkblueberry Tue 12-May-20 20:47:51

Also bedsharing is perfectly safe if done via the guidelines.

I agree - but there are others who would not, and would then call you out in the same way you do others.

ScarfLadysBag Tue 12-May-20 20:49:48

There's also the issue that advice from HVs and other medical professionals has never been, and still isn't, consistent. I do my own research so some of the stuff I do is probably against what my HV would say, but possibly not what someone else's HV would say. Despite presumably accessing the same training and professional development, there are still massive variations in quality of advice being given to parents. So as parents, sometimes we have to contend with different advice from equally trusted sources and have to weigh that up for ourselves and choose which suits our circumstances and which we are comfortable with.

Fatted Tue 12-May-20 20:55:23

Well OP, I am 40 years old. I was weaned earlier than 14 weeks. I went into my own room at days old. I slept on my front as a baby and I still do. They didn't even have car seats when I was a baby. Oh and my mum drank and smoked in all three pregnancies. I am obviously still alive to tell the tale. As are my siblings who had a similar upbringinging.

I'm not saying it is right, by any means. I'm not saying it is what I would recommend or what I did for my own kids. (Although you would probably find what I did with my kids abhorrent.). But all of the things that are cited as dangerous and harmful have been done and yet the majority of babies must have survived through it all because the human race is still here.

It is about making an informed decision really.

ScarfLadysBag Tue 12-May-20 20:57:33

I also think that when you have a baby and are in the first throes of parenthood, it's easy to become really rigid and judgemental of people who don't parent the same as you do. I know I was guilty of some of those thoughts when DD was a bit younger, smugly knowing that I was following all the guidelines and being a bit scathing of those who did things differently, but then at some point you kind of realise that parenthood is all about risk and managing that risk in your own individual way and that you're going to deviate from this guideline or that guideline because it doesn't work for you or your child and that's OK. You make that assessment and decide what the risks are and weigh it up, and you will decide one thing and someone else will another. Then the next thing might go the other way, because you are more laid back about something and the other person isn't. There is no instruction manual for raising an individual.

LisaSimpsonsbff Tue 12-May-20 21:00:29

There is a blurred line in the middle. I understand if someone has taken their own risk assessment and has a logical or medical reason for following something.

But everyone - except, I suppose, a genuine sadist and that's pretty rare - think that what's their doing falls into that area, that they've weighed up risk and benefit and come to a logical decision. People who make decisions you disagree with don't think 'oh, I'll make a crap decision out of laziness', they think 'this is a good enough decision, considering all the relevant factors'.

june2007 Tue 12-May-20 21:01:25

There are somepeople who generally say it doesn,t matter, or well it,s your baby, t some things do matter. We are responsible for bringing up the children. Whats that saying. Give me boy to there 7 and I will show you the man.

And if you say you don,t jusge I don,t believe you.

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