So this week has seen a TV discussion and newspaper article have a dig at parents who choose to use slings. It is yet another example of parents being criticised for doing what works for them and their children. I work with parents – primarily mums – who each have their unique ways of parenting, who each try to do the very best they can for their children. There is not one way to parent, there is not a right way of doing things, the key is finding what works.
What works can be a mix of slings, buggies, cots, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, formula feeding, dummies, working, staying at home, real nappies and disposables. Making mums feel shit about their choices is unnecessary and the criticism comes from journalists who seem to be uneducated on the use of slings and on the variety of parenting choices.
And to answer the question posted on the Loose Women Facebook page “Do we try and keep our children too dependent on us? What age should parents stop carry children, co-sleeping and bathing with them?” WHEN OUR CHILDREN DON’T WANT TO DO IT ANYMORE. When a child doesn’t want to be carried, then it’s time to stop; when a child doesn’t want to co-sleep anymore, then it’s time to stop; and when a child no longer wants to share the bath with a parent; then it’s time to stop. Children set the pace which is why you will never make a rod for your own back – you won’t be carrying your baby forever, you won’t be co-sleeping with them forever because children have a natural desire to explore and to be independent when they feel safe and able to do so.
To criticise a parent for babywearing and co-sleeping is to criticise meeting the needs of a young child and that’s low. So all you can do is continue to do what works for you and your children.
specialist in pregnancy, birth and early parenting