First time mama?
I remember feeling so overwhelmed with all the parenting advice being thrown at me during my first pregnancy. I was so overloaded with all these important baby dos and don’ts that I was seriously questioning my potential for motherhood. I just could not keep up with all the information!
Never use formula. Breastfeeding is always the best choice!
Only breastfeed for 6 months… 1 year… 2 years… No, wait until the baby is ready to wean himself!
Use wide mouth baby bottle nipples that greater mimic your breasts, not standard nipples.
No solid baby food before 4 months or your child will develop allergies… Nothing before 6 months… Actually, just hold off as long as you can.
All vaccines are bad. Ignore your pediatrician. Actually, these vaccines are okay.
Use cloth diapers to protect your baby’s skin.
Use unscented soaps and lotions to prevent skin irritations.
Never sleep with your baby. You don’t want to risk rolling on top of him. But co-sleeping has huge benefits.
Always lay your baby on their back to prevent SIDS. But hen your baby will need a helmet to fix their flattened head.
Don’t use blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, or bumper pads in the crib… Layer your baby in clothing instead. Mesh bumper pads are okay.
Pretty much: Do this to keep your baby safe. Do the exact opposite to keep your baby safe.
Take a deep breath and relax. Start by learning from your personal OB & pediatrician.
Parents have a lot of decisions to make in regards to the safety and well-being of their children. The best thing any new mother can do is to educate themselves through their OB doctor and pediatrician. The routine prenatal appointments offer great opportunities to ask ANYTHING that comes to mind. They will always be able to refer you elsewhere if they are unable to answer your questions. Often times, they can provide you with good reading material or website links.
Talk to your friends and family.
Friends and family may be the ones overloading you with parenting advice but they may have a lot to offer because they are excited you are joining them in motherhood! If your values align and you have developed positive relationships, they can be your number one support system. You can watch their mothering style and see what will work for you too.
Regardless, family and friends can offer you a lot of support in times of need.
Read through credible books and websites.
- American Pregnancy Association website
- The American Academy of Pediatrics’ Caring for Your Baby and Young Children is an excellent medical reference book that is helpful for caring for babies up to age 5.
- Kidshealth.org is a website that focuses on children’s health and development. It’s created by The Nemours Foundation, a non-profit children’s health organization.
- TheBump.com and BabyCenter.com provide expert advice along with a community forum and blog.
Read “mommy blogs” and discover new ideas.
The point of reading through mommy blogs is NOT to get yourself even more overwhelmed. They are meant to give you a new perspective on parenting issues, values and styles. You can see how other mothers are handling different situations. Search parenting topics you are interested in and read through other mothers experiences on those topics.
The best part about reading blogs is you can contact the writer with any questions and they are typically more than happy to respond in a timely matter. I learned all about cloth diapering through Joyful Abode. That lady really helped me get my foot into the cloth diapering world!
Controversial subjects like vaccines, spanking children and co-sleeping are likely to get intense in the blog arena but they are very helpful to see different angles of the issues.
Go back to your personal OB and/or pediatrician with any new parenting questions you find online.
There is a reason you pay your doctor to perform medical checkups and treatments. They have gone through years of medical school and training to be able to take care of your children. They are up to date on current health information and are aware of your child’s medical history. Just because someone online (or in person) told you to do something (like skip vaccinations) does not mean you should take their word without professional medical advice. If you are passionate about an issue, you can always get second opinions from another doctor if your primary one disagrees with you.
Trust in your natural mothering abilities.
Women were born with the innate ability to birth and raise children. You can do this. It’s in your nature even if you have serious doubts. Sometimes all it takes to calm your anxieties is to ignore everyone around you and do what you believe is right for your child. No matter how well you prepare for motherhood, you are bound to make mistakes. It’s human nature, but you will learn from them. Don’t forget that you know your child better than anyone else, so you are one step ahead on solving any problems that may arise.