Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Battle of Breast versus Bottle

 Michela having a go at one of my fun bags
 Here we go again, after the furore following the TV promotion of 
Breastfeeding Older Children by Ann Sinnott, mothers have 
again divided in two camps after some ladette-style, 
anti-breastfeeding comments by the deputy editor of a 
parenting magazine. As perhaps intended, the article has opened 
the floodgates of controversy among breastfeeding organisations, 
mums and media commentators. Click here and here for two 
articles of horrified journalists, including a bottlefeeding mum.
Having freelanced for the magazine in question a few years 
back, I'm a bit puzzled that these comments have been published, 
especially since the publication was the first baby consumer 
mag in the UK to have a breastfeeding mum on cover last 
year, plus a positive feature. Click here to see it.
Is it a question of courting advertisers of formula products or 
controversy? It certainly happened at an awkward time of the 
year, during National Breastfeeding Awareness Week. Read the 
article here, make your own mind up and leave comments if you 
wish. There is a link to the Facebook group, too. 

Friday, 18 June 2010

Potty training nul points - greens rock!

Parenthood is a challenge, no doubt about that. Things become even more complicated with a toddler who wants to be indepedent and do things his/her own way. As a first-time parent I had my ups and downs but with the passing of time I have learnt to be philosophical: you might lose some battles but you definitely win others...

Take potty training, a controversial rite of passage that has inspired entire books. Experts say it's easier for girls than boys, some even maintain you can do it in one week... For all those parents who are struggling with it and feeling frustrated, just relax and go with the flow. I have found out that my three year old is not the only one still in nappies and that that pushy phase when she reached the age of two was so wrong (and it did backfire)... Also it's not true that toddlers need to be dry to go to preschool. Several preschools in Cambridge seem happy to take toddlers who are still using nappies. I think we are not far, as the photo shows, but I'm not going to be potty mad, the last thing I want is a battle of wills.

One battle we definitely won is that for healthy eating. Our daughter exceeds the five-a-day requirement by gorging on fruit and veg several times a day. Here she is trying greens for the first time, which, surprisingly, went down well. So she might not be out of nappies but she certainly eats well and doesn't crave junk foods. I suppose it helps that we don't eat much junk foods ourselves (crisps and chocolate are occasionally consumed when she is gone to bed - we are not saints) and that we treat biscuits or the odd piece of dark chocolate as treats. It also helps that she prefers savoury stuff, especially fresh bread, salami and pickles.

So the moral of the tale is that it's best to stop obsessing with things that are not working out and focus with what is going well. Each child is different and is fascinating to find out what they are good at. So please leave a positive message and let me know what your child is doing well...