You know the saying – opinions are like assholes? Everyone has one.
That becomes startlingly true once you have children.
Everyone thinks they know how you should be raising your child. Family, friends, random strangers. All of them are right and knew someone who knew someone that did this or that and now their child is scarred for life.
Given that I have made some crunchy decisions when it comes to childrearing – I’ve definitely gotten told what I’m doing wrong more than once!
When we chose to cosleep – in order to preserve my sanity and ability to function during the day since Jellybean was reverse cycling and would be up all night eating – It was – “Oh – you’ll never get him out of your bed now! He’s going to be sleeping with you until he’s 10!”
We set up Jellybean’s toddler bed in our room a few months ago. He kept rolling off so we stuck a twin mattress on the floor beside it. Where he’s been comfortable sleeping through the night. Alone for the past few weeks. After the craziness of the holidays we’ll move it into his room and he will officially be transitioned into a big boy.
When I made the decision to let Jellybean self wean rather than cutting him off from breastfeeding I heard all about the neighbor who had a neighbor who had a 5 year old that would pull her shirt down in the middle of the street and latch on.
Jellybean has been down to mornings and nights for a few months now. The WHO recommends breastfeeding until at least 2 and that has been my goal. Now that my pregnancy with Jujube is progressing and my milk supply is dwindling Jellybean has almost weaned. On his own at 23 months. Without tears, tantrums or any trauma.
Instead of feeding a ton of purees we mainly did babyled weaning. Mostly because Jellybean didn’t want to be spoon fed. He had a mean pincer grasp by 6 months. Now at almost 2 he uses a regular, adult size fork like a pro along with a spoon and can drink out of a regular cup. To which my mom comments – but he barely eats and you don’t know how much he’s eating!
This is the child that usually eats two breakfasts and two lunches. He can down an entire can of ravioli by himself in a single sitting. He snacks on peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes.
He eats until he’s full and then he stops. It’s simple and healthy.
When it came to discipline we decided that neither of us remembered spanking being a very effective form of punishment for us. So we chose to go with time out and losing privileges. Which of course means we are going to have a wild and unruly child. He is in fact so wild and unruly that when I placed him in time out at my mom’s he stayed there until I said he could leave and then apologized after getting out.
Potty training is another area where we are letting him take the lead. Some weeks he’s really into it and wants to go all the time. Others he could care less about it. Since we aren’t forcing him to potty train he will of course still be in diapers when we get to college. Mind you this is a 23 month old that asks to go potty already.
I’ve never felt the need to apologize for my parenting choices. I occasionally felt bullied, especially by family, but I always stood my ground. I’m proud of the child we’ve raised so far and now with Jujube on the way I am even more confident in choosing those same things again this time. I have a child who is fiercely independent and has chosen each time how long he is going to do something and he stopped when he was ready. It made the transition easy on all of us. We may not fall under the status quo but luckily they aren’t the ones raising these kids.