8 Simple Steps to "Spoiling" Your Child According to Random Strangers
Sometimes I feel like the Random Strangers (or indeed relatives and in-laws) who are constantly bemoaning how we are "spoiling" our babies would actually prefer for us to be hazing them in some way. Like the rituals required for gaining admittance to exclusive clubs.
The objective for these people seems to be to get the baby out of your arms and off the breast and completely self-sufficient as quickly as possible. To stop "indulging" them with all this love and affection and parenting.
8 Simple Steps to "Spoiling" Your Child According to Random Strangers:
Step 1 – Too much carrying
I had one of those babies that wouldn't even consider being put down for a second. If it weren't for the baby sling, I would've had to invent an elaborate feed bag to get my chocolate digestive requirement as I would've never had a free hand. "You're spoiling him with all this carrying," came the chorus of unsolicited advice. "But he's virtually immobile," I'd protest, "the carrying is kind of necessary." Baffling.
Step 2 – Too much breastfeeding
I find you can't win with this one, either you're not breastfeeding which is "ruining the child", or you are breastfeeding, and randomers are constantly fretting that the child is not getting enough: "Would you not give him a bottle to top him up?" asked a complete stranger at a funeral. And then there's the breastfeeding for "too long". Seriously. You. Can. Not. Win.
Step 3 – Too much soother
The soother debate is so tiresome. Ever see an adult sucking a soother while out and about? No. Then move on Random Stranger (though this is coming from a 30-year-old thumbsucker).
Step 4 – Too much cuddling
Everyone needs to stop caring about how much we cuddle the baby. They're our babies, what are we supposed to be doing? Ignoring them so they become accustomed to what a cruel, lonely place the world can be?
Step 5 – Too much rocking
I don't know about you, but if I had abandoned rocking, The Child would literally have never slept. Ever. Like to this day (he's two-years-old now). That would've been a long, loooooooong two years. I find Randomers are pretty preoccupied with our methods to get the baby to sleep. Apparently best practice is to put the baby down and walk away, and baby goes to sleep. So this has happened like NEVER. The baby only left its cozy meat cave about two days ago, they don't know what this strange new world of drafts and white noise compilations is, they need all the comfort and reassurance they can get.
So yeah, I was such a committed rocker that even now if I'm just in the vicinity of a pram, I get the urge to rock it, even when it's empty. It's a compulsion.
Step 6 – Too much "giving in."
"Don't give in to him," says the Fount of All Parenting Knowledge when you accidentally let slip that you give bottles/boobies at night. The "giving in" thing makes the babies sound like manipulative, conniving evil overlords (which they kind of are at times but c'mon we're pretty sure that at this stage it's not intentional).
Step 7 - Too many baby books
"The baby books are filling your head with nonsense." The Randomers can be pretty suspish about modern parenting tomes. I sense they would prefer us to ignore advancements in scientific knowledge about child development, in favour of their expert opinion.
Step 8 – Too much attention
"You're mollycoddling the child." Sometimes I think they just want us to produce hardier babies. Babies that are house trained as fast as possible, require little to no human contact and can then be sent down the mines to earn their keep.