We had our first full NCT reunion since all of the babies had been born on Sunday. It was lovely to see everyone all together again, along with all of the babies. But it didn’t take long before the comparisons started…
How long does Alice* sleep for?
Do you find William prefers the boob to expressed?
Oh you must try (the extortionate) baby massage classes, Archie loves them!
How did Jemima get on with the cranial osteopath?
How much do you find Henry generally takes in a feed?
We’ve had a couple of times where Ava has been difficult to settle, but generally she’s fine (cue rocking in the corner from Jemima’s mum whose baby wailed for eight hours straight in her second week, hence the trip to the cranial osteopath…)
And this is where it gets tricky, isn’t it? Because we immediately think that there’s something wrong with our baby if it does sleep or feed or settle as well/in the same way as someone else’s.
Even hubby, who often voices his disdain over my what’sapp chat with the other mums and the
feelings of inadequacy comparisons that naturally arise from it, found himself saying when we got home, “Little M was definitely the smallest there, wasn’t she? And did you notice Little M was the only one in a sleep suit? All of the other babies had outfits on.”
Well yes, thank you husband. I’m the only one too lazy to present my child in a cute little outfit at a gathering. But actually I’ve seen a good three-quarters of those babies in the past week and they were all in easy-to-prepare sleep suits then…
This is the point I’m trying to make (sorry if you’ve been left wondering up to now!). Once we start comparing ourselves and our babies with others it only leads to second-guessing and feeling like we’re not doing the right thing.
But all babies are different. Little M might hate extortionate baby massage classes (she’s not going to get the chance to find out; I’ve seen some cheaper ones elsewhere) and while she might have a quiet squeak when you see me in Costa, that doesn’t mean she can’t crank up the intensity at 3am.
The important thing to remember is we’re all doing our best to respond to the needs of our child, and the sooner we stop worrying about what everyone else’s is doing, the better.**
*All names have been changed to other, suitably middle-class names to protect anonymity.
**Teacher note: the same logic can also be applied to reading scheme book bands. *Those* Mums at the school gate, take note. And stop boasting that your child is on Stage 6 while Billy is only on purple. They’re in different bloody schemes of books and bear no relation to each other anyway.