By Juhi Bansal
Welcome to yet another session of “unsolicited” advice. After my post on Instagram on World Breastfeeding Week, I’ve been innundated with messages and phone calls from mums with concerns, questions and comments. Before, I share my experience about a couple of these I would just like to reiterate that I really believe in maternal instinct. While it might be nice to follow norm, expert advice or generally what elders say- if it goes against your mommy gut- don’t do it!
Statement 1. My kid doesn’t eat at all I am very worried. My entire day goes in running after him/her.
A: If I had a penny for every time I heard the above. I have NEVER met a mum who says her kid eats fine. NEVER. And that’s saying something because I meet a lot of moms. Toddlers are very strong headed. Case in point- my little one. While she is not a hearty eater (she eats very small portions), she is not a fussy eater either. Was she born this way? May be. But, I always made it a point to not worry about her diet, never ran after her. Since she was 6 months old, she sits with us at the dining table when we eat and eats what we eat. She doesn’t have a timetable that she is supposed to follow for food, neither does she have a special menu.
If your fussing 24*7 makes them eat just about 5% more, is it worth all the stress? As a mother, you’ve been chemically programmed to worry about your kid’s food intake but as long as there are no developmental delays, your child is not losing weight and is fairly active- there is no cause of concern. Don’t make mealtime an event for the child, blend it in the routine like it is for you and the rest of the family. I hear mums saying, “if I wasn’t feeding my child myself, he/she would never eat”. Children are much more resilient than we would like to believe.
Statement 2. I stopped nursing my baby at 6 months (or 9 months). I feel guilty. Or I am scared if I stop nursing my baby, he/she will not like me anymore.
A: Umm, don’t! Every mother-baby experience is unique. I nursed Iy solely because it was a special time for both of us. Something that was shared by just us. It was our “We” time. I might not even do it with my next one (if I do decide to have one). We had a lot of fun while it lasted. And I was a little scared when I weaned her off. I thought she might feel cheated or simply not find me interesting anymore. But, truth be told, we are closer than ever! Infact, our interactions are more conversational and engaged than they ever were.
Like I always say- follow your instinct and remember to not “baby the baby”. You are good to go! 🙂
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