Choices these days are both easier and more difficult. I say easier because there are clearly defined options, and research on baby and child products can now be done from the comfort of your home rather than in multiple stores – exhausting! And I say more difficult simply because of the sheer number of options out there.
What are some of the decisions you’ve struggled with since becoming a parent in regard to the best way to meet your child’s needs? Bottle or breast? Type and brand of car seat? Potty training earlier or later? Cloth versus disposable? Bedsharing, cosleeping, parenting styles, baby led weaning, delaying solids, going gluten-free, giving probiotics, having a strict routine, different cleaners, organic, GMO, on and on. There are far more things out there to consider than there were 20, 30, or 40 years ago when you were a child.
All of these choices are wonderful, but also anxiety-producing. Life is more complicated for parents and consumers. And we have some advice to help!
First, talk with someone with experience whether it be a parent, friend, other relative, or childcare professional. Ask for some advice and the wisdom of their experience. You may not agree, but you’ll get more information. Read. Read anything you can find on both sides of your decision or item. Next, and probably most important, sit down with your spouse and outline what each of you feels is important in the particular decision with which you’re struggling. List things like what you feel is important in the car seat choice for example, or what your values are in terms of crib sleeping versus cosleeping. Then make the decision together and move forward! Choose that seat or crib. Finally, remember to leave yourselves open for reevaluation. People change, minds change, situations change, available information changes. If you need to revisit a decision when it is not working, do it! Find what works best for your family, understanding flexibility can be necessary too.