I have had two winter babies, born in Northern Alberta. One was 4 lbs when we brought him home. If anyone had a reason to stay indoors for 4 months while the snow piled up outside, it was me. But I couldn't. We were in the midst of building our new house and our little bundle would come with me to visit the site, visit home stores, lighting stores, and you name it, my little man came with me. We had our Cuddly wrap and our ring sling and of course the carseat and it just did not occur to us NOT to bring him with us wherever we went.
I think a lot of my parenting decisions have been like that.....it just did not occur to me to do otherwise.
Take breastfeeding. Maybe it was because we knew we would be having a preemie and being on bed rest for two months, I did a lot of reading about the subject. Preemies NEED breastmilk. Not to sound all cliche, but it really is liquid gold. I pumped every 3 hours 24 hours a day for the two weeks he was in NICU and refused to let any of the nursing staff supplement my child with any kind of formula. And this was before I even really knew a whole lot about formula and formula companies. It just did not occur to me to do otherwise and maybe I was one of the lucky ones, but not one health care professional ever told me that I needed to supplement him with or speed up his weight gain with formula. Even when he was being tube fed, it was with my pumped colostrum and breast milk.
Was it easy? Hell NO! I could post a picture of just how big my boob was compared to his head, but I'll just let you imagine it (think cantaloupe VS orange). We had latch issues, my let-down was to much for him, he needed to nurse every 1.5 hours and the list goes on and on. But, we persevered and eventually had a beautiful 3 year nursing relationship. What happened during this time was that I learned a lot, about myself and about breastfeeding. And as the saying goes, "When you know better, you do better." I don't think I did all that bad with my first baby, but I can honestly say that with my 2nd, I have NEVER had any issues with breastfeeding.
Before she was born, I learned about baby-led latch, upright or postural breastfeeding positions and even more about the benefits of babywearing for our breastfeeding relationship. And I never knew it could be this good!! Honestly, I have never had a cracked nipple, a yeast infection or mastitis, or a baby who refuses to nurse. I fed my baby on demand, no schedule, no timers, and when and where ever she needed. It just never occurred to me to do otherwise.
Babywearing was the same thing. I knew how important kangaroo care was for my son and having his tiny little body sleeping or nursing or just hanging out on my body was a normal part of our days. Maybe I lucked out a bit ending up with a sling and wrap (as opposed to a Bjorn or Snugli), but we fell into babywearing relatively easily and have never looked back. I found having my babies on me more convenient than not and hardly used all of the other baby paraphernalia that we had purchased. (I can seriously count on one hand the amount of times we used our play yard thing). Babywearing was like that for me too, it never occurred to me to do otherwise.
The thing is, I could go on and on about a lot of these baby barriers that we face, things that we have been told will be too hard, take to much time, are way too complicated.... And the point of this post is this: Why, oh why, do so many moms struggle with this? Who are the people that feed all those fears?
I realize that this post is kind of a rant, but so be it. Mamas, here is what I want! I want you to TRUST yourself and your mothering instincts, do what YOU think is best and right for your child, and don't let all those people talking about what you should be doing or not doing get to you. Don't have regrets, just educate yourself, seek help and expertise where you can and then next time around, when you know better, you will do better and it will never occur to you to do otherwise!!