I definitely spent a good chunk of time worrying about my parenting choices in the early days.
In general I’ve been pretty relaxed about both of these things. I think there comes a point where you genuinely gravitate towards doing the things that make life easier for everyone. Happy child. Happy parents. Happy people who spend time with happy parents. And so on and so forth.
The soother is a great invention altogether isn’t it? The ultimate comforter. I’ll admit that I 'picked' the brand that I thought looked cutest too. Not ashamed to admit that because why on earth would I be. You have to get your kicks where you can.
From 18-months onwards I adopted the 'do what works' approach to most things. I was confident in my ability to look after my son. I knew he didn’t need a soother and he certainly didn’t need a bottle nutritionally because he was (and is) a great eater.
I hadn’t really made a plan as to when we would phase out the soother and bottle but I noticed that when my son turned three he turned things up a gear. He was suddenly demanding the soother for a big chunk of the day. Bottles were being asked for several times a day and I was handing them over. They were only 3/4 ounces and watered down (because I worried he would be consuming too much dairy otherwise) but I was sensing that it was becoming a bit much.
And just like that the decision was made for us. Our last even PHN visit came around and I spoke up about a speech concern I was having. I noticed there was a pattern with certain words and aired my worries. The PHN asked did he take a soother or bottle and I was honest about the situation.
And that’s where it began. It marked the beginning of an emotional journey of separation from the 'dow dow' and 'boppie' that bring him so much joy.
Two weeks in and after quite a few tears, LOTS of cups of warm milk and a lot of repetition and consistency we are doing great. The soother has made an appearance only on the odd day where a nap is needed. It’s only for 'sleep' and he gets it.
I’m happy, I’m proud of him and I’m absolutely devastated at the same time. Why oh why is parenting so bittersweet?