Are these my Bad Parenting Habits?

I started this blog post thinking it would be about my ‘bad parenting habits’. The things I sometimes feel guilty about or things I think I should probably change… but as I started writing, I realised that maybe these aren’t bad habits after all? And are just examples of my parenting style. Let’s be honest, no one sets out to form a bad habit. It just kind of happens, doesn’t it? Day by day, I’ve parented in the way that I thought was best, but sometimes, I feel like I’ve taken the short term easier option at the expense of the long term. Or I’ve prioritised one thing at the expense of something else. Does this make those things bad habits? Or am I just feeling the pressure from those who parent in a different way to me?

Sometimes I definitely feel like I label our habits as ‘bad’ because I’d rather I say something negative about them than risk someone else telling me I’m doing things ‘wrong’.

So, are these my ‘bad parenting habits’ or are they just perfectly acceptable stylistic choices? What do you think?

Bad parenting habits

Milking to Sleep

Ever since he was first born, Pickle has always fed to sleep. It’s not something I exactly planned, it just kind of happened, and now continues to happen. In fact, the only time he doesn’t feed to sleep is when he falls asleep in the car! There have been the odd occasion where I’ve successfully put him down awake for a nap but 99% of the time, he nods off at the end of a feed. I know I shouldn’t, but apart from waking him up, I’m not sure what I can really do about it. It seems cruel to wake him up when he looks so peaceful and content with a belly full of milk. But it leads to bad habit number two…

Naps on Mama

Because of the aforementioned milking to sleep, this means for the majority of Pickle’s naps, he’s snuggled up on me. On the sofa. And that is where I stay for however long he sleeps for. I’ve gotten it down to a fine art now: I always make sure I have the TV remote nearby, my phone and a drink easily to hand. Yes, I really should put him in his cot-bed and spend his naptime doing the washing up and vacuuming… but I’ll put my hands up and admit that I quite enjoy the excuse to sit and do nothing for even just half an hour. It’s the only time I have in the whole day where I can feel ‘guilt free’ (almost) about being still.

Toast for Breakfast

I touched on this in my baby breakfast ideas post, but I tend to give Pickle toast every morning for breakfast. Since getting lots of other ideas from other bloggers, I have ventured into new culinary territory but you know what? Pickle likes toast the best. It’s easiest. And it’s cheap. So I’m still giving him toast.

baby breakfast ideas baby led weaning toast

Forgetting his Vitamins

I had no idea for a long time that breastfed babies should be given vitamin drops after 6 months. Pickle is eight months old in two days’ time and he’s only had his vitamin drops… once. And I think he spat most of that out anyway. Sorry, Pickle.

Co-Sleeping

As well as naps on Mama, Pickle tends to sleep most of the night in bed with us. In all honesty, it’s just easier to have him close so that when he stirs and whinges, I don’t even have to move that much in order to settle him back down and we all get back to sleep much quicker and, I think, end up getting as much cumulative sleep as possible. Yes, he probably wakes up at least every hour, but it’s only for a few minutes so surely that’s better than one big two-hour wake up? Some nights don’t quite go to plan, and it’s these nights that I question whether co-sleeping is actually doing us any long term favours but on the nights where it works – it really works. And I love nothing more than those midnight cuddles (when he is actually asleep).

bedtime routine disupted

Spoiling Him

We constantly refer to how we ‘spoil’ Pickle. His needs definitely come first in our house, at the expense of everything else. If he cries, we comfort him. Whatever the time of day or night. If he wakes up in the evening, LPD rushes up and cuddles him back to sleep. If he’s grouchy in the day, I can usually be found dancing around the lounge with him, jiggling him around to cheer him up. We do whatever we can to keep him from crying.

I vividly remember a conversation I had with a friend whilst I was pregnant about mothers who pick up their babies every time they cry… I remember being adamant that I would never do that. That babies needed to learn that they can’t always demand attention by crying, and I didn’t want to ‘create a rod for my own back’. I was certain I’d hold my ground.

I had no idea how differently I’d feel once I had my own little baby in my arms.

Mummy and Baby National Trust

So the verdict? Bad habits or just my style?

I was hoping writing this post would be cathartic. And it has been. I started off by wanting to write a list of my ‘bad parenting habits’ and as a result, I feel like I’m actually owning these habits as my own parenting style. I’ve done quite the U-turn! I’ll continue doing these things for as long as they work for me, and our little family. I’m going to stop calling them bad habits, and not feel the need to justify every single parenting choice.

15 Comments

  1. February 3, 2017 / 12:24 pm

    Oh lovely. We are SO similar, I literally do all of these too! It just the way it works for us! It’s certainly not a bad thing!

  2. February 3, 2017 / 1:11 pm

    No need to justify anything – I believe whatever works for you and little one is always best ๐Ÿ™‚ We use a dummy to get little one to sleep – I beat myself up about it but lets face it she won’t be doing it when she’s 18 so…!! xx

  3. February 3, 2017 / 1:38 pm

    I don’t see any bad behaviour in the things you have mentioned, so scrap that idea. Parenting is a hard enough job without having to slot yourself in to a good or bad book,. I’d say all very normal and most fabulous. Keep up the good work.

  4. February 3, 2017 / 1:59 pm

    Oh vitamins are the one thing I keep forgetting to give my son. For breakfast my son has cheerios everyday and seems pretty happy.

  5. February 3, 2017 / 3:07 pm

    Ahhh how cute! Love the cot pic with Mike!

  6. February 3, 2017 / 9:15 pm

    I feed my baby bread (atleast you put the effort into toasting it!) and banana for breakfast. I really should research some better breakfast ideas. I also tend to call mine bad habits but actually, I think I like your idea of it being our parenting style.
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  7. February 3, 2017 / 9:30 pm

    These are far from bad parenting habits, leanora slept on me snce birth she still does, I spoile her in abundance, but so what you are doing brilliantly and your baby is happy and helthy, good job Mumma.

    Lindsey
    http://www.londonmumma.com

  8. February 5, 2017 / 7:22 am

    They are defo not bad parenting habits. They are personal choice and your good parenting decisions etc. I also had no idea about vitamins with breast fed babies. Even when I found out I still didn’t give them to the girls. Whoops. X

  9. February 5, 2017 / 8:22 am

    I fell into similar habits straight away. You do what you need to to make things easier at the time. None of these “bad habits” have had an negative impact on my tribe

  10. February 5, 2017 / 10:38 am

    I don’t think they are bad habits. I think they work for you and that is all that really matters.

  11. February 6, 2017 / 12:17 am

    They are sure as hell not bad parenting habits let me tell you, they are closer to attachment parenting than bad habits!

  12. February 10, 2017 / 1:01 pm

    Haha we have 100% the same parenting style! It’s not for everyone but who’s to say its bad!? If it works for you then screw what other people think!!

  13. March 5, 2017 / 10:04 am

    I am slowly falling into this pattern with my 4 week old and have been worried that I might be fostering bad habits that will be harder to shake off when be’s older. But the more I think about it, the more I realise that these are all fleeting moments and not last long. Why not make the most of it by cuddling and spoiling him as much as you can. As long as baby is happy and content. I think this reflects attachment parenting style. My only complain about letting my son sleep on me for his naps is that it prevents me from doing anything else for myself for the house and for my husband! He doesnt like being put on a carrieล• or a sling.

  14. Alex
    March 13, 2017 / 8:50 am

    Not bad, but lovely habits!! We do the same a day my little one is 15 months. I think these habits have been deemed ‘bad’ in the past because they do actually make life easier. Boobing back to sleep at 2am is so much easier than jigging around the bed room. I do love waking up with her too!

    It will not forever so I just enjoy it as long as everyone is happy ๐Ÿ™‚

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