Lately I’m finding I’m having the same conversation over and over again.
This is partly due to mild sleep depravation & largely due to my amazement at how things have moved on since having my first baby 14 years ago and a 10 year gap.
While excitedly preparing for the arrival of baby 2000 I thought the internet was something that fishermen used. I didn’t have a computer and my only experience of one was the school computer room with its cardboard box sized towers linked to black and white TV screens. I had no interest in them and felt like a tech geek with my Nokia 3310. I applied for competitions in baby magazines by post and went to shops to buy all my brand new (no eBay or Gumtree bargains) baby paraphernalia.
My baby photographs were taken on film cameras and I sent them away for processing. Trying to capture the first few smiles were a work of art. There was no snap after snap,then delete. I was limited to 24 photos and had to be frugal with the shutter. This now means I have albums of photos that steadily reduce through the years. It’s sad to think that at 12 weeks, baby 2014 doesn’t have a single printed photo! (Queue trip to Tescos photo print machine tomorrow!)
Fast forward to 2014 and there seems to be a name for everything. I was leant a Baby Bjorn sling (my previous one was my pride and joy in 2004) and wore it with pride at the school gates, then I stumbled upon some information on baby wearing and to my shock and horror realised I’d broken the cardinal rule. I was using a leg dangler. Feeling shamed and ignorant I retreated back to the internet (which is where I do 99% of my shopping these days) & ordered myself an ergonomic, frog legs style carrier. Hoping no one had noticed my faux par and secretly beat myself up for the possible hip displacia danger I’d put babies 2000 & 2004 in!
Nappies came in Huggies or Pampers. My hospital tried to encourage real nappies by insisting we only use a 2 piece cloth nappy system, but with a tiny house,so no where to store the stinky ones and not wanting to leave my baby sitting in wee soaked cloth, there was no way I’d even consider using them. Baby 2014’s bottom however is fully wrapped in funky suede feeling, stay dry fluffies which dry proudly on my washing line and taunt the drab emergency disposables hidden at the bottom of the changing station. (I’ve been lucky enough to product test a few brands & will be able to disclose the results soon!)
And last but not least, I realise now that my urge to cuddle my baby constantly and be with him 24/7 was my own take on attachment parenting. While many friends were taking holidays without their babies and regularly packing them off to grandmas in exchange for a night on the town, the mere thought if it sent shivers down my spine. But at the time I thought I was, well, weird. I even sought advice from my health visitor on how I could force myself to separate from him. Now I embrace our union and advocate the fourth trimester, where I go, baby goes! Knowing that there will be plenty of days when he won’t need to be so close in years to come and I carry, co sleep and cuddle to my hearts content knowing I’m not spoiling my baby but building a happy, healthy bond that will last our life time.
There are many, many more things that never cease to amaze me as I tread the path through new motherhood once more. No doubt I’ll return to ponder it blog style once again, but for now I’m off to take more photos on my smart phone (that I’ll never print off) while wearing my baby and surfing the web.
With love from lovely Devon