Monday, 15 June 2015

Parenting trends... the times they are a changing....

Trends change all the time. Even, make that especially, in parenting!

Do you ever feel like you cant keep up with all the 'expert' advice on parenting? Sometimes I just feel overwhelmed with all the advice and then completely confused at the contradicting experts, the changing 'guidelines' on what age our babies can be weaned, eat solids, how they should sleep and so on. Then you have the 'trends' like baby-led weaning or 'save our sleep' routines... how on earth do you wade through what everyone tells you and what you actually do?

When my mother raised us, she slept us on our tummy's, as was advised at the time. Baby led weaning didn't even exist (they just caused it 'feeding baby solids). Believe it or not she was actually told breast feeding was bad (this was in Germany 30 years ago when she had her first child, my sister) and people didn't go to 'sleep school'. They just did what worked, what felt right.

A discussion came up recently in one of my groups of mummy friends on when to wean our babies onto cows milk. Apparently now, experts are advising we can wean by 9 months and stop feeding our babies overnight. So someone explain to me exactly how to get my baby to sleep overnight that without feeding her? When you have a baby that wakes several times a night, the last thing you want to do is spend hours each time she wakes attempting to 'self settle' or rock her back to sleep.

Or let's look at baby-led-weaning (BLW)... a relatively recent parenting trend... I'm told now that if I don't BLW my child will struggle with food through childhood. I'm not sure anyone told my parents about this when we were babies. We were fed puree and apparently all decided to spite the experts and eat non-pureed food throughout childhood. Who would have thought!

Do you think in 5 years time we'll be told that BLW will over-stress our children and force their esophagus to mature too quickly leading to some sort of future problem? Yes, I'm making that up, I'm no expert. But just like we are now told the previous guideline of not giving babies food until 6 months and slowly introducing type x food has been thrown away, surely baby-led-weaning and sleep training are concepts on their way out as well.

I read the other day about an 'emerging' parenting style called 'child-led parenting'. Basically you as the parent take leads from your child - i.e if your child does not want to go to bed at 7.30, you just let them stay up, if your child wants ice cream for dinner then so be it. Pretty sure when I was a kid, this was called 'letting your children run amock', but this may actually become the next big thing in parenting! 

Here's some more parenting trends we might see more of in the coming year! Some good, some bad, some plain weird!

  • Brelfies. personally I'm all for this one! I'm tired of seeing someones Facebook photo of them breastfeeding their child being reported for nudity! WTF!
  • The weirder the name the better. I think celebrities started this one, but I actually met a baby named 'Dude' recently... like seriously dude.
  • Co-ed baby showers. I admit, we did this but it was fun, I think everyone enjoy the bbq/baby shower more that the cutesy women-only traditional kind.
  • Paleo for baby. Ok, this one is just plain stupid! I'm not even going to explain it.
  • Mummy makeovers. To be honest, by the time I'm finished having babies this will be mighty tempting! My girls will certainly be in need of a lift!

Why do we do we follow the trends and the 'expert' advice? New trends just keep appearing telling us how to parent. What was good 10 years ago is now bad, what was bad is now good. God forbid I have more than a few years gap between children, I'd have to learn how to be a parent all over again (or so I'm made to believe). Are the experts now saying our parents were no good? They gave us bedtimes, they fed us puree, surely they have completely ruined our generation then? Right?

A few months ago I wrote about trusting our instincts, about ignoring expert advice but I have to admit I've been a hypocrite. I'm still reading the 'expert' advice, trying to catch up on what I really 'should' be doing. Seems like I should really start listening to my own advice as stop following the trends, our parents cant have been all wrong, right? In the end, if it works for you and your child, you must be doing something right!

I have to say, one parenting trend I hope is here to stay is the rise of the involved Daddy! Dad's are now at their child's birth, which I think it such a special thing! They take a more active role in child-rearing, enter the house-husband! I love watching my husband read our koala a book every night or play with her at Baby Sensory classes! Please, lets make this one a parenting stayer!

xo

26 comments:

  1. Oh god. "child-led parenting". That sounds like an absolute nightmare. They should call it "how to raise an entitled brat without effective boundaries". Urgh. I'll do all the leading, thanks.

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    1. Haha I know right! I'm pretty sure its something thats been around a while too. I'll definitely stick to traditional parent-led parenting as well :)

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  2. I completely agree there are some weird parenting trends happening now. Child-led parenting?? Well that is just stupid. Those kids will grow up to be complete twits, because of their parents.
    My parenting style is just what works for the family. We try things out, and whatever works for all of us (not just the kid), we go with that.

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    1. Hehe I completely agree on that child-led parenting! Sounds like you have a great parenting-style, and probably exactly how it should be - doing what works for you and your family :)

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  3. It's amazing what people come up with, isn't it. And it's no wonder that parents get confused or simply opt out of advice altogether. It's just a shame when people lump "expert" opinion and scientific evidence all in the same boat.Then they don't believe even the evidence based stuff.

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    1. I agree, theres definitely a different between 'expert' opinion and solid evidence-based research. It all becomes very confusing!

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  4. Dude? Seriously? A baby named Dude? What is the world coming to? I did a lot of reading when I had my first daughter. It was a good grounding for me, but I took it all with a grain of salt (except maybe Save our Sleep) and did what worked for us :) #teamIBOT

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    1. Hehe I couldn't quite believe they named their child that either when I met them! I think I read way too much when I was pregnant and in the early days of newborn-ness, you certainly have to take everything with a grain of salt, some things might work but disregard those that dont!

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  5. It's the same with teaching. I think the lasting stuff which is renamed and represented is usually a safe bet. Failing that, we all survived so I don't think it matters too much as long as you're sensible.

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    1. Definitely! My husbands a teacher, he says the same thing!

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  6. I think every parent should just take it all in and then make your own decisions! A lot of the stuff that's currently trendy is actually just old stuff that's been repurposed and given a cool name (e.g. BLW). But I do also think it's important to differentiate between what is simply a parenting trend, and what is new evidence-based information (like the stuff around introducing allergens earlier, etc).

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    1. You certainly right there. I think a lot of these 'new concepts' have always been around but have been named to sell a product or theory. That said, it does make it easier for new parents to find information, but unfortunately like you say, evidence-based info does tend to get lost in the vastness of information!

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  7. Love this. It is over whelming how many contradictory "experts" there are and how that can lead to judgement between mums. All for the dad's thigh. My husband loves getting involved and baby wears too. We had a joint baby shower too. It was much more fun being able to just invite everyone and celebrate! #brilliantblogposts

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    1. I love seeing a dad baby-wearing! Somehow it makes them more attractive :) I definitely preferred a mixed shower too, after all it was about the family not just about me!

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  8. Well if you think Dude is bad, I once taught a child called Tyrannosaurus Rex and I am not kidding. At the end of the day, I think parents are the real experts because every child is different and nobody knows their child better!

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    1. Oh no!! Who would name their child that? I agree, parents are definitely the only experts on their child.

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  9. I think it's great to take new info on board as we learn more- but we have to see how it will apply to our own families. We should also be taking into account that some of these "experts" aren't even qualified- Tizzie Hall springs to mind!

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    1. I think I am now an expert based on some of the 'expert' criteria.... what worked for my child obviously works for all, yes? haha. You're right, we should all just take on board what works for us and discard what doesn't.

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  10. I would say my approach is child-led... #awkward lol. But I think maybe that means different things to different people. For us that's not having a routine, it's demand feeding, cosleeping, babywearing for however long they want, self weaning, a pretty chilled approach to toilet training etc for me it's not icecream for dinner, but if they're not tired at 7:30 they can go to bed at 8.... And they're turning out okay! *touch wood*

    I know my grandma worries about that too for me, she had a very parent led approach - and my mum and her siblings were all loved and cared for, so it's not right or wrong, it's just what works for us.

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    1. Haha I would say thats the sensible approach to child-led parenting :) I think we should all take cues from our kids to some extent, I was reading an article recently about how its not great to put babies in a strict routine, particularly on feeding etc. If it works for your family, stick to it!

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  11. Child led parenting lol. Sounds more like lazy parenting...... Good post, made me light :)

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    1. thanks! I child-led parenting could definitely be taken way too far :)

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  12. You are so right, trust your instincts. My boys were born 5 years apart and I was told what I'd done with BP was no longer the thing to do. I'd been doing it wrong apparently. But I didn't listen, it worked with BP so why not LP? In the end you know your own child and what will work for them. Believe in yourself.

    The child-led parenting made me laugh, I think I would be slightly worried if this actually became a thing!

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    1. It changes so quickly doesn't it! I doubt you were doing anything wrong, fads just change or more information is available, but who's to say it won't be the right thing to do again in a few years.

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  13. I think I am already doing child led parenting, I have a 3 year old that dictates to me how he thinks things are going to roll.

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    1. Hehe just like a three-nager! I spent the weekend with a newly-crowned threenager, they definitely try to do all the leading don't they.

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