No matter how old you are when you become a parent, people will come out of the woodwork with advice. What is it about the experience of being a parent that makes them believe they are an authority? This advice is doled out as if they have done it right. I can see if it were prefixed with, Well I’m a mom and pediatrician and I suggest this. Or, The youngest of my 7 children was accepted into college on full scholarship and perhaps you should try this. Even if someone said, All of my children are morbidly obese ax murderers and I wouldn’t recommend doing this. Instead, you get the parents that have reaped mediocre results at best, telling you to do what they say. I would not follow a business plan that failed. Why take advice from another mom whose children I do not want mine to mirror? Before I tell you the best parent advice I received, I’ll share its antithesis.
The worst: Don’t hold your baby too much!
The rationale behind this failure in logic is that your baby will want to be held all the time and you will spoil them. So did I mention that in pursuit of my Master of Science in Psychotherapy I studied human development? Some experts suggest that for the first month after birth, a baby is not aware it is out of the womb. This is why being swaddled, skin-to-skin contact, hearing your heartbeat and the breath in your lungs are all soothing to her. Bottom line, if you could not see and were completely dependent on someone, would you want to be left in the middle of a bed? Of course not! Hold your baby as much as you want. How and why a mother would practice restraint in holding this precious little one is bizarre. The truth is, holding your baby builds her security. The result will be an emotionally healthy, socially mature and friendly toddler.
The best: Do not listen to all the new parent advice
My sister Georgina in Seattle offered this to me. She saw I was beginning to second guess my own best judgment. I understood that if I have a question, ask but do not allow myself to be bombarded by the opinions of others who.
Unless in case of an emergency, examine your instincts and why they make sense to you. Browse message boards on the subject such as Baby Center or Circle of Moms to see if other moms did share your same outlook. Have a healthy relationship with your pediatrician. If she corresponds via email, you can always ask a quick question and share your point of view.
The universe has equipped every mother with an instinct woven from the fabric of her love for her child. And while some things are universal truths such as burping, A&D ointment, and what to do after a fall, it is vital for your development as a mother to begin to use your new found super powers in parenthood.