I always hear talk about different parenting styles, often people thinking that their way is the only way. Some parents make it seem as though if you don’t do baby led weaning and carry your baby in a sling you are the devil. Others would have you believe that you must puree all of their food and set strict nap times, otherwise you are the devil. Myself, I take a relaxed approach and just go with the flow.
Both Spencer and I take a pretty relaxed approach to parenting, and I like to think that is why Aria is such a laid back, chilled out baby. We aren’t attachment parents, neither are we routine led, we just do what works for us at that particular time – and that works for us all.
I had a home birth, although it wasn’t planned! I had skin to skin and we delayed the clamping of the cord.
I tried breastfeeding
Aria, and failed quite miserably. I expressed for a while but it all got too much so I switched to formula. I carried Aria in a sling, and pushed her in a pushchair. I wanted to try baby led weaning, but it got quite confusing and scary if I’m honest, so I gave Aria a mixture of purees and easy to eat finger foods (warning – do not ever refer to that as a combination of baby led weaning and traditional weaning – the hardcore BLW mum’s will hunt you down!). Aria slept in a moses basket next to our bed and moved into her own cot at around two-three months when she started to sleep through the night. She has never slept in our bed. Sometimes, when she is really upset, I try and bring her in with us, but she won’t settle with us, she likes to be alone.
We don’t allow nap times to control our lives. We don’t actually have set nap times. If Aria is grizzly, Aria is put to bed. If within five – ten minutes Aria is still crying we get her back up again. If she stops crying and has a sleep, great, she obviously needed it. If we have plans and Aria is tired we will go through with our plans, she can sleep in the car or in the pushchair. We don’t allow nap times to dictate our lives, the only time I will cancel plans due to Aria being tired is if the plans are for a baby group as they are no fun at all with a tired, sleeping baby.
Sometimes we shout at Aria when she is being naughty, sometimes we ignore her, other times we can’t help but laugh – parenting fail, but it can’t always be helped. Aria started her weaning journey with purees made from fresh, blended fruit and veg. I then bought a few jars for convenience, not to be used all the time, but just in case. Now, at one and a half years old, some days she will have a delicious, healthy homemade meal, other days she will have chicken dippers and chips followed by chocolate.
Sometimes I feel like I’ve got this parenting business sorted and I know exactly what I’m doing. Other times I feel as though I am failing miserably. But do you know what? Aria is fit, healthy and happy and that is all that matters.
Relaxed parenting, routine-led parenting, attachment parenting – be whatever style of parent that you want to be, and enjoy it!
Do you have a ‘parenting style’? If so, what category would you place yourself in?