Friday, January 21, 2011

Mommy Advice

The baby boom is on. So many of my friends and family are having babies for the first time. I'm selfishly excited about this because I know that Caitlyn will have lots of little playmates around her age. I'm happy for the parents too of course.

I saw a blog prompt from Social Moms asking what two pieces of advice I would have for new parents. It got me thinking about what I would say to new parents if they asked. 

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Thinking back to when Caitlyn was first born, I remember getting all kinds of unsolicited advice. I ignored most of it and even now when I'm trying to think about what some of the bits were I can't really recall. The one that does stick in my mind the most was when Caitlyn was around 2 or 3 weeks old. I was given the "don't be an overprotective mom" speech. I said "really, she's a couple of weeks old, what would you have me do take her outside and roll her around in the mud, or perhaps bring her into a smoke filled room" it might have been those pregnancy hormones that caused the sharp reply but sheesh give me the overprotective speech when I'm actually being overprotective.

There are so many other standard pieces of advice that it seems like every mom hears for example:
"Don't pick her up every time she cries, you'll never be able to put her down"
"Don't let her sleep in bed with you, she'll never leave"

The only time I actually listened to people's advice was when I specifically went searching for it. For example I once posted on Facebook
My poor baby appears to have an eye infection. Can't get into the Dr's until tomorrow. Any suggestions from my facebook mommy friends??
Here were the responses
  • warm washrag compress....best done when she's sleeping :-) 
  • my kid gets them all the time. I agree with the warm cloths just watch that you don't move eye to eye with the same one or it will spread to both eyes. Call me if you want to, my kids are sick so it is looking to be a long night..
  • breast milk in the eye! Seriously!
  • eye and ear polysporin drops you can buy it right off the shelf. I'm pretty sure it says for children 2 and up but it wont hurt to give her one dose until you can get her in to the DR'S...I'm going through the exact same thing with my little one
Now that is what I call helpful advice! Luckily the infection went away without treatment because I couldn't bring myself to put breast milk in Caitlyn's eye.

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Now that I'm a mom I'm personally guilty of giving unsolicited advice. I do tend to share my personal experience with other moms especially if they seem to be having a hard time with whatever.  Its something that I consciously try not to do unless asked but slip ups happen.

So onto the real purpose of the post two pieces of advice for new moms. Disclaimer: If you read beyond this point you are acknowledging a request for advice and therefore this is not unsolicited ;)

1 - Do what works for you and your baby. Breast vs bottle, cloth diapers vs disposable,  crib vs family bed, organic or not. Everyone has opinions about all of these things but really none of it matters if you and your baby are miserable.

2 - Listen to your intuition. Deep inside you have feelings about what's right for your baby and sometimes you'll feel pressured to go against those feelings.  From experience know that more often than not your intuition is not leading you down the wrong path. Just trust yourself.

Well that's it folks, take it or leave it, either way is fine with me. Like I said I've been known to leave other people's advice behind and do my own thing and I encourage you to do the same when you need to (crap, I think that might have been a third piece oops).

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