As a new mom, you get unsolicited advice but not everything you hear is a rule that must be followed. You’re so nervous to become a “bad mom” that you end up listening to what other people tell you. I encourage you to trust your intuition and decide what advice to disregard. Here are a few things you will hear but that I decided to ignore.
“Don’t hold your baby because he will get used to your arms and you won’t be able to get anything done”
My baby is 1 and sometimes I wish I could turn back time. There is nothing better than holding your baby in your arms. Yes, there will be laundry and chores but those can wait. The kitchen sink will pile up with dirty dishes and the house will be a mess, but your baby won’t be little for long. In a blink of an eye that baby will grow up and you will wish he was a newborn again. What’s so wrong with a baby yearning his mothers arms and wanting to feel love and secure? Would you rather your child not want to be with you? Hold your baby tight, cherish those moments and stop stressing over household things.
“Let the baby cry, it’s good for their lungs”
Babies cry for many reasons but they don’t do it to manipulate you. If your immediate intention is to rush to their side, then do it. I wouldn’t let my baby cry for long periods. For example, I would be in the bathroom and wouldn’t rush to the baby. But I wouldn’t let my baby cry for the sake of him developing his lungs. His lungs are properly functioning and there’s no real evidence that crying has anything to do with it.
“Stop breastfeeding after 6 months because your milk is no longer good for them”
Or, “He’s a toddler now, stop breastfeeding.” I am a breastfeeding advocate and I still exclusively breastfeed my 1 year old. Pediatricians and research show that breastmilk is full of nutrients and there’s no timeline you should follow. If you are able to successfully breastfeed your child than go ahead. If you have a toddler that is not ready to wean off, then don’t. Only you can decide when to stop and only you know when your baby is ready to stop.
“Don’t let baby use a pacifier and don’t let him suck on his thumb because it will be impossible to get him to stop”
My child never cared for the pacifier and only sucked his thumb for a week. Some babies will develop a dependency but some will stop on their own. If you have a newborn, you can’t predict what your child will or won’t do, so there’s no point in stressing out about it now. Once you get to that point you can decide how to handle it.
“Cover your baby or he will get sick”
I hear this all the time as I walk through an 26ºC degree weather. Some parents will dress their babies in multiple layers of clothing and cover them up with blankets. Overdressing them won’t prevent them from getting sick. As new moms we are so scared our baby will get sick we want to protect them but the weather is not the determining factor. Children are prone to getting sick so there’s no need to exaggerate.
There’s a lot of mom-shaming online and some are quick to judge and criticize our parenting. There’s no right or wrong way to parent and there’s no manual. You are a new mom, you will mess up and you will have bad days. Don’t get consumed in others advice; cut yourself some slack and be patient with yourself because you will figure things out.