The Prompt: Sweater…


I’m a bit late to the “Prompt” party here but this week I’m finally joining in with this new linky devised by Sara over at Mum Turned Mom. Each week Sara is throwing out a phrase, sentence or quote which can mean different things to all of us.  This week she has given us:

Sweater, n.  garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly. Ambrose Bierce

I remember when I was pregnant with JJ we had one particular ante-natal session which involved handing round a life size baby doll which was programmed to cry like a real baby. The idea was that we each share an idea for what might be wrong and how to fix it. I guess it came as a bit of a surprise both how relentless a newborn cry could be and how many different things could be wrong!

As it turned out, JJ was colicky so there was no answer to be deduced or solution enacted for at least the first five months.

I do remember that one of the proposed reasons was “the baby might be too hot or too cold”. Later on down the line I often felt that surely he was freezing like me but every indication said the opposite and I often felt that my child was dressed in about four layers less than other new mums I spoke to. It wasn’t that he was a big or particularly chubby baby – his default setting just seemed to be ‘roasting’.

Ironically, now, age four, this seems to be the opposite – he eats like a bird and looks like a streak of lightning and often complains of being a bit cold – camping himself out in front of our little electric stove (even when the central heating is on!).

I think this ‘under-dressing’ for the prevailing conditions was one of the first times I questioned my own judgement as a parent because every other mother who was feeling a bit chilly was dressing their toddler in 6 vests, a woolly jumper and a snowsuit!

But ultimately I believe that old adage that a mother should ‘trust her instincts’ and, to an extent, follow her child’s lead and my child is certainly none the worse off for any decisions I may have obsessed over at the time.



11 thoughts on “The Prompt: Sweater…

  1. I too dressed my kids in several layers less than the ‘recommended’ – they were all always hot! Still are, if I can get the boys to wear PJs I’m doing well 🙂 But, as you say, you need to trust your own instincts, and I think this is a really important lesson as parents. Thanks so much for linking to #ThePrompt xx

  2. Fifteen years ago (my mind is boggling as I write this) the absolute horror we were warned against was overdressing your baby! I am not sure what people are saying these days… I think it goes back to what you are saying about being in tune with uour baby’s needs and individual traits.

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