Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Your family is unique!

Not all families are the same. This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone of course, and yet we often assume that everybody is the same! You find people telling you that "toddlers don't like fish", "breastfeeding mums can't eat cabbage", or "the only way to get a good night's sleep is to bed share." Of course these things were probably true for the person saying it, perhaps even for their friends as well, but that doesn't make it true for every child and it doesn't make it true for you.

My husband and I are expecting our first baby and last weekend we were talking about prams. Now as it happens I already have a pram. When I trained we used beautiful old coach built prams and many years ago (before I even met my husband) I bought one to restore and eventually use. So, the question is, do we need a modern pram?

It would be less work than restoring the vintage model, but more expensive. Smaller to navigate round shops, but with less room for an older baby to lie flat and sleep. When you take away any desire to have the latest thing just because everyone else does, well they are actually pretty even.

In the end it just comes down to what suits us, and our unique family. For someone who followed all the latest fashions, lived up a flight of stairs in a London town house and had to get on and off buses all the time, the modern pram would be the obvious choice. For a family who lived on a farm, had lots of time and skills for DIY and owned a car with a huge boot the vintage pram might be the clear winner. We haven't decided yet, but whatever we go for we will have considered it and not just followed the crowd.

That's what I want for you. You shouldn't feel that you have to do what "everyone else" is doing. You shouldn't feel that if half your friends bed share and the other half use cry it out then those are your only options, or that your goal of combined feeding is impossible. I don't tell you what your goals should be, or insist that you use a particular method to reach those goals. I help you to work out what's right for you. Because your family is unique and what other people do doesn't matter.

Perhaps you choose to wear your baby and don't need a pram at all!