By Amelia-Mae Cunningham
Blogger and Freelance Writer, talking honestly about motherhood and family life. After finding out she was pregnant in her final year of uni Amelia set up her own blog where she shares her experiences – we’re thrilled she’s chosen to work with MAM Baby UK
Best Laid Plans
While I was pregnant with my son, there were so many things I said I would or wouldn’t do once I became a mum. Both plans to bottle feed and to never use a soother were soon scrapped once our baby arrived. I breastfed him for the first six months of his life and oh, do I have so much to thank his soother for! In pregnancy, I often felt like I had all the answers and I seemed so set on some of the choices I thought I was going to make during motherhood. It wasn’t until our baby entered the world that I soon realised how very different I would feel.
Arlo took to his soother right away. From the very beginning, it seemed like a natural and instinctive comfort that soothed him. It took the pressure off me in some instances and turned out to be a real help, especially in the early days. I found his soother to be particularly useful during walks when my attention wasn’t solely focused on him or at night time, as it helped send him to sleep.
Like with every aspect of parenting, there is always going to be conflicting advice floating around. Whether it be from friends and family, or experts and midwives, each person will have a different opinion. One thing I quickly discovered in the mist of the newborn bubble was that we, as his parents, knew what was right. It was up to us to trust our instinct, to make decisions and choices based purely on what we thought was right and best for our son. That in itself is one of the true blessings and what is so special about becoming a parent for the first time. Being able to trust your decisions takes some getting used to, but when you get there, it’s a lovely feeling.
When it comes to the soothers particularly, I feel that there can often be a cloud of stigma and negativity surrounding them. The idea that soothers are ‘lazy parenting’ and the idea that soothers ‘do more harm than good’ and are ‘not worth it because of how difficult it will be to wean them off’ are all common arguments that you hear against soothers. I guess this grey cloud did play on my mind during pregnancy which then in-turn lead me to the decision to not use one. But it wasn’t until my son arrived that I soon discovered that they can be a great help. Once we had established our breastfeeding routine and there were times that feeding was just not settling him and there wasn’t much else I could do to comfort him, I turned to the soother which took the pressure off.
Giving Up The Soother
Ultimately, I was really happy with my decision to try the soother. He decided at around 1 years old that he didn’t want it anymore. He kept biting down on it and throwing it so we took it away and he never asked for it again. For other children, they might not voluntarily choose to give it up, but there are so lots of helpful resources and support online that can help you encourage the detachment.
There is no manual that comes with parenting and you have got to do what’s right for you and your child. You’ve got this!