It’s become a watchword for modern life – choice. Having a choice in every aspect of what we do has become synonymous with freedom and empowerment, and this a wonderful concept in many ways. Being able to choose the hospital you attend, having a wide range of subjects to study, selecting the school you think is best for your child; all place the responsibility in your hands and give you options for reaching the best decision for you and your family. The only drawback is that having so much choice over so many decisions can be overwhelming and confusing, and making the right decision can be a lengthy and stressful procedure. From the moment children are conceived there is a mind-boggling number of choices to make, from cots and prams to feeding and bonding. With so many options and so many different opinions, how do you make decisions on what’s best for your child?
When it comes to shopping, there are a staggering variety of different kinds of equipment, all claiming to be the best and easiest to use. Take pushchairs for example. You could have one that will take the car seat or pram, and then turn into a pushchair when the child is older. Sounds more sensible than getting a lot of different devices; but is there any compromise in comfort, safety or ease of use? How do you find out? Do you get a mattress that claims to make sleeping safer for your baby? Do you buy a single piece potty chair or a three-in-one?
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First, do some research on the subject. Find a comprehensive listing of all the options for the item you need, using a respected independent site like parent.guide, and use this to make a list of all the features that are important to you and that will fit best into your home and lifestyle. Match this to your budget, and you will find the overwhelming choice will be narrowed down to a handful of options. You can then go and have a look at the shortlist and base your choice on which you like best after seeing them. In the case of safe mattresses, for example, find out what the most up to date medical evidence is for the safest way for a baby to sleep.
There have been thousands of books published all claiming to be the definitive guide to raising your child. Added to that are TV shows and websites, plus family and friends, all offering their take on how to be a good parent. The best thing you can do is listen to all the advice on offer, then make up your own mind based on what resonates with you. What sounds logical and sensible, and is most comfortable for you? If you find the method you have chosen isn’t working for you, you can always try another.
When faced with so much choice, take a deep breath and have a plan for reaching your decision. Find out as much as you can, be realistic about what will work for you, and make your decisions based on the knowledge you have gained.