1. Sleep when the baby sleeps
How?! How is this remotely possible when you have 1.1 million things to do including cleaning the house, cooking, laundry and all the other things you cannot do when the baby is awake! When Isabella-Grace was much younger I found I could not always get some rest when she was asleep because as most of you are aware newborns have irregular sleep patterns and wake up if and when they please. So, for the first year or so I battled with Bella trying to get her into a consistent sleep routine. For some reason, my daughter just refused to sleep throughout the whole night. After a while Mama won and Bella gave in! Even so, when she is asleep I just about get to have some time to myself!
2. Don’t pick her up too much, leave her to cry.
Now why on earth would I do that?! Each to their own, but when I found out I was going to be a mother I loved my daughter from the very beginning. I waited impatiently for 9 months to meet her, to hold her and to kiss her. I held my newborn daughter as much as I wanted. There comes a time for all mothers when their children grow up and are reluctant to give them cuddles. My advice to you is to get as much cuddles as you can with them. Do not allow anyone to make you feel guilty for showing affection to your child and do not live in regret wishing that you snuck in all of those extra cuddles!
3. The baby sleeps too much, wake her up!
I don’t know about you Mamas, but when my daughter was asleep I was able to get so much done as stated previously. I don’t believe in depriving my daughter of sleep, so when she sleeps I leave her to have her rest. My daughter is a very active little madam and she burns up a lot of energy throughout the day. It is rare for her to nap during the day, but if she does then that is a bonus. Have you ever tried to wake up a baby when they are sleeping?! Cranky much!
4. The baby is too light you need to give her more food.
See when you know your child and you know their food intake only you can really make such a statement. She was previously seeing a dietician because for some reason food appeared to be a foe for her rather than something enjoyable. I always thought I would have a baby who loved food (perhaps because I am a foodie!), but my daughter was the complete opposite. We still have our moments where she refuses to eat certain meals, but her eating has improved drastically. My daughter is very tall for her age and she is quite petite in her physique, so I do not expect her to be any bigger than what she is at this stage. Her weight is very good and I am happy with that.
5. You dress her in too much morbid colours, dress her in pink!
I don’t believe that all little girls should wear pink and little boys should wear blue. Where did this notion come from?! Gender stereotypes are big in today’s society and I refuse to conform to it or have any part in this nonsense. With that said if you choose to dress your daughter in pink or your son in blue, it is up to YOU, do as you please! I personally believe you should dress your child how you deem fit.
Initially I did purchase a variety of coloured clothing for Bella, a lot were bought for her from family and friends too, but as she grew up I incorporated monochrome colours into her wardrobe. When she turned 1 I decided that her personality was too big and colourful for her to not wear bold colours. I personally do not like colours at all, but for my daughter I want her to walk in her own light and not be like me (wearing black 24/7!).
It is even more exciting now that she communicates so clearly, I allow her to select her own clothing and her colour co-ordination is definitely on point – most of the time! Bella has decided that she does not want to wear anything, but dresses so I am having to pack away all her jeans. I don’t mind though as this is me allowing her to be independent and make her own choices, I try to not restrict her from making certain decisions, so long as they are not harmful to her.
6. Don’t give her a dummy!
This was her dad who said this to me, I could not help, but laugh because he is not physically, emotionally or actively involved in her life, but felt the need to have an opinion anyway. Bella actually had a dummy on/off for the first 4 months of her life, but I had planned to take her dummy away when she was 4 months basically because I did not want her getting too attached to it. Bella was a baby who liked to suck things, so giving her a dummy helped to soothe her sometimes and now that she has found her beloved DeeDee (her comfort bunny) poor DeeDee’s arms or legs is constantly living in Bella’s mouth. I try to only give her DeeDee if she is upset or for sleep time.
7. How can you have cats and have a baby?!
My 2 cats were here before my daughter; both of which are over 5 years old. They are very well behaved and stay in a different part of the house when they decide that they want to be in the house, but other than that they are always outside. They love the fresh air and freedom to go wherever they want to go. Cats are generally independent, so that is a plus because once they are fed they are happy to go and do whatever floats their boat.
My daughter is fascinated by animals and is always trying to run after the cats, but the truth is Bailey is terrified of her and runs away at every opportunity he gets. Coco is more laidback and does not often run away when she hears Isabella-Grace coming.
I find having a family pet helps children to have some sense of responsibility, for example sometimes Bella wants to help to feed the cats or to pour fresh water into their water dish. By her doing so she feels that she has contributed and she has in her own little way.
8. Don’t let her watch TV!
I believe that if you want your children to watch TV then do it, but do it in moderation. Bella has her set shows that she likes to watch; as most of you know she is a big fan of Peppa Pig. She has also added Ben & Holly to the list alongside Charlie and Lola. She is fond of Postman Pat and back in the day she did have a thing for the Care Bears; in particular Wonderheart bear! If Bella watches a show it is usually after or before she does her activities, I do not forbid her from watching TV, but I do not promote her sitting in front of the TV for the entire day. That is very unhealthy and will cause problems later on in life.
9. Don’t deprive her of sweet things!
I personally have a bad sweet tooth, I love sweet treats and I am still in the process of weaning myself off of all things sugary! I do not want my daughter to be like me and indulge in sweet treats because of course, too much of something is not necessarily good for you. I encourage her to eat healthy and to have nice organic snacks alongside her fruit. I do not give my daughter juice and she does not really drink juice any way because she loves water and milk.
10. Don’t discipline her, leave her to explore!
I am an advocate for “thinking time” or “time out” because I believe that when children over step the mark this is an effective way to take them away from whatever they were doing and allow them to sit down and think about what they have done. It also helps them to understand for future reference if they do something that is not good then they will end up having some thinking time.
I avoid using the term "naughty" to describe Isabella-Grace or her behaviour if she is acting up. I do not want my daughter to grow up believing that she is naughty because she is not. Growing up, most children demonstrate challenging behaviour and that is normal because they are learning, testing boundaries and navigating their way from being babies to toddlers and so forth. I believe the word naughty is sometimes misused and can cause children to have low self-esteem because they will perceive themselves as being the negative words that they are labelled. I do not want that for my daughter at all.
Bella does not like having thinking time as I am sure most children do not either, but it is essential for me to give her such boundaries from the age that she is now, so that she will grow up learning there are consequences for her actions. I do not think children should be allowed to get away with doing certain things because they will continue to repeat such behaviour throughout life thinking that it is acceptable.
There are so many bizarre things I have been told since becoming a mother which has often made me laugh – some were too silly to list above! Have you ever been told anything funny about motherhood or your child? If you have list them below.
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