It's OK.

Bit of a background rant! My son (2) was breastfed for six months, he wore biodegradable disposable nappies (he hated reusables), he was in a routine at four months (tried going with the flow and he hated it), we did controlled crying (he cried for 10 minutes in the whole of the first day and no crying after that), he slept through from six months 7.30pm - 7.30am, I read the Baby Whisperer and found a lot of what she said made sense. With my daughter (4 months), she couldn't breastfeed so she was fed expressed breast milk for three weeks and then organic formula, she wears cloth reusable nappies, she was in a routine at two weeks, I carry her in a sling (but also have a pram), she has slept through (with a dream feed at 10.30pm) since about three and a half months.

Since having my daughter, I have encountered so much prejudice about bottle feeding and I also get odd looks when I say my daughter is in a routine. I'm not one to judge and I firmly believe that everyone is entitled to their own views and opinions. I think that Mums are making life so hard for other Mums by putting pressure on them to do things the same way. Are babies not all different? So, I thought I would write a list of things which are ok, and perfectly normal. Stop beating ourselves up about being parents, go with what your instincts tell you. Don't be led by others into things you don't want to do or don't feel comfortable about.

So here goes.

Mums, it's OK:

to have pain relief during labour
to have no pain relief
to have an active birth
to lie still on a bed during labour
to have a water birth
to have a hospital birth
to have a home birth
to feed your baby formula
to breastfeed your baby
to use a pram/pushchair
to use a sling/wrap
to carry your baby in your hands
to use a routine for your baby
to not impose any kind of routine
to give your baby a dummy
to dislike your baby a little bit when they are tiny and cry a lot
to let your baby cry for a short amount of time
to fantasise briefly about life pre-baby (lie-ins, holidays, wine, beer, parties)
to leave your baby safely on the floor whilst you go and cook tea
to always have your baby somewhere on your person
to have a baby who likes to sleep
to have a baby who rarely sleeps
to use disposable nappies
to use cloth nappies
to use biodegradable disposable nappies
to not use any nappies at all

I think you get the message!

I'm so fed up of being judged for how I bring up my children. Surely all that matters is that they are happy, loved indefinitely, well behaved and confident individuals? Or maybe I have got it all completely wrong and I should go back to beating myself up because my daughter has to have formula and my son has a tantrum?

P.S. It's definitely not ok:
to feed your baby crisps, or coke (even diet)
to not change their nappy
to have a dirty and unclean baby for a long period of time (we all know they can get messy)