In the bewildering onslaught of information the internet brought us a whole new dimension of confusion and guilt was brought to parenting. When wading through the endless information on infants one begins to wonder how you could have been so oblivious to this strange universe of information. Breastfeeding, Boppy, Bumbo, Attachment Parenting, Elimination Communication, Baby Sign Language, Co-Sleeping, Co-Parenting, Cloth Diapering, Alternative Vaccination Schedule, Organic Baby Food, Developmental Milestones, Cry it Out, Accredited Day Care Provider, Mommy and Me, Dry Max, Sophie the Giraffe...etc into infinity
I know that I often seek out the right answer before realizing the only one who can know that is Riley and I. You forget doing a Google search and reading message board posts that there isn't one "right way" to be. A thousand signatures on message boards scream things like "breast is best" or "proud cloth diapering momma." I just don't understand everyone's compulsive need to label themselves (not that I don't occasionally suffer from it). Sure, I'm proud that Riley and I have been breastfeeding for 10mo and I mark each of those milestones in my signature, but I don't mean to imply that there is anything wrong with doing it any other way.
I don't think these things are as cut and dry as they seem. There are people who boast "breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing, cloth diapering momma" and inversely "formula feeding, independently sleeping, disposable diapering momma." Why does it need to be one or the other? Personally I am a mostly breast feeding mom, but I've (gasp) had to give her formula a few times and may have to again. In this day and age why should there be guilt over percentage of formula versus breast milk? Why should I (and I have) refrain form using the EBF (exclusively breast fed) abbreviation in silent self loathing? Most babies these days are a mix from what I can tell. I know my mom and aunt described breastfeeding their kids for about 3mo before switching to formula when they went back to work in a completely unemotional way.
As far as where Riley sleeps anyone with a child under a year should know what I mean when I say that wherever she'll sleep longest wins that contest. Riley slept in a bassinet for about when she came home from the hospital and occasionally in our bed. She moved to her crib on the day she turned 2mo old because she outgrow her bassinet and it was stressful having a flailing baby in our bed. She slept in her own crib the majority of nights after that barring illness, teething or clingyness. Since my surgery she's been co-sleeping because I can't get up and down easily or lift her at all. Truthfully it's deceitful to identify myself either way because even when she slept all night in the crib most of the time we napped together. I don't know many mommy who don't take every opportunity to cuddle up with their baby. Should I feel bad that Riley and I both sleep better in our own beds? No. Do I judge my friend for sleeping with her baby until he was 2? No.
Baby wearing is just what it sounds like. Suddenly it's an alternative lifestyle to put your baby in a sling. I have no choice if I needed to carry the baby into the sling she went. Also, if it was too far to walk I'd use my wheelchair and pop her in the Ergo to keep my hands free. This one for me is kind of along the lines of "natural birthing mama" some of us don't have a choice. So, in that case I was in the less socially acceptable group and in this case I'm one of the cool kids, but not because of any deeply held convictions. You can make all the plans you want in the end it's what works for you and the tiny new human, intentions be damned.
Cloth diapers have really become trendy lately which is awesome. I love what the recession has done for environmental awareness. I really like all the adorable cloth diaper options although there's precious little in the known universe that isn't cuter than a disposable diaper. I didn't go that route for one reason, time. If I didn't have a 7yr at home I probably would have tried cloth diapers in the beginning. Now with all the surgery stuff I'm super glad I didn't it's hard enough to keep on top of diapers as it is. In general having a first baby that isn't the only kid at home causes me to make alterations in my plans here and there. I use disposable diapers and it probably negates or outweighs the money we save on formula, but oh well. It works best for us right now.
Nobody fits this crazy extreme super mom persona. Do what works for you and your wee one and hope other moms can do the same without guilt. We're just aiming for happy, healthy babies who will grow into reasonably well adjusted adults. At least those are my general goals.