Top Ten Pieces of Baby Advice to Ignore by Julie Brill, CCE
Put that baby down before you spoil it. How exactly can you spoil a baby? They’re supposed to be dependent. The great thing about front packs and slings is that your baby can be exactly where she’s supposed to be and you still have your hands free.
Get that baby out of your bed. Unless you like staggering around in the middle of the night, your bed is the handiest place to keep your nursing baby. Unless you’re on something, you won’t roll onto them. And co-sleeping prevents against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Most of the world sleeps with their babies. And you’ll save on the cost of the crib.
Your baby has diarrhea. If your mother-in-law has only ever seen formula fed baby poop, she’ll probably think your breastfed baby has diarrhea. That’s because formula is constipating. Breastfed poop is usually runny and can be brown or green. And yes, it’s true, it doesn’t smell until your baby starts eating solids.
Buy one of those plastic tubs to bathe your baby in. Why don’t you just take them into the bathtub with you? Enough said.
Have some formula on hand just in case. The reason formula companies send out free formula is because they’re trying to get you hooked. They know the more you use their product, the less milk your body will make. The best way to increase your milk supply is to nurse more frequently. By the way, sending out free formula is in direct violation of the World Health Organization Baby Friendly Code. Call the formula companies on their 800 numbers and tell them what you think of their formula.
If you can’t pump milk, your breasts must be empty. Your baby is the best pump. He or she can get milk when your pump can’t. If your newborn is wetting 8-10 diapers a day, pooping every day, nursing every 2-3 hours and growing you’ve got plenty of milk.
Put your baby to sleep on his stomach. That’s what the nurses told your mom when you were born but research shows that back sleeping prevents SIDS. This is especially important if your baby doesn’t sleep with you. As she or he gets a little older give her or him some awake tummy time to help develop the muscles needed to crawl.
You need to buy a lot of baby stuff. Yeah they want you to believe you really need the diaper genie, the swing, the walker, the stroller that converts into a car seat so you never have to actually touch your baby, and the toys that squeak, bong, beep, and talk. But even if you could afford it where would you put it all? Older babies love to play with pots and pans and plastic water bottles filled with unpopped popcorn. They love to splash in water, play with your keys, and look at themselves in the mirror.
It’s ok to vaccinate your baby today – it’s just a little cold. Well, actually, no it’s not. Vaccines are controversial, but if you are going to vaccinate, only do it when your child is totally healthy, even if it means bringing them back in to the doctor’s office. The risk of vaccine reactions goes way up when a sick child is vaccinated. You should not have to pay an insurance copay for a vaccination only visit [but check your insurance plan].
Your child is too old to nurse. You’ll decide when that’s true. There are lots of benefits to extended nursing for both moms and children. Toddlers benefit from excellent nutrition and fewer illnesses. When they are sick they may continue to nurse even when they refuse other foods. Mothers get dosed with those helpful mothering hormones, prolactin and oxytocin, which stimulate nurturing behavior. Women may be lowering their risk of reproductive cancers and osteoporosis by extended nursing. Both mom and child benefit from the closeness, soothing, and quiet time that nursing provides. Extended nursing is common in many cultures and is probably the human norm.
Julie Brill, CCE has taught childbirth classes since 1992 and is the CAPPA Childbirth Education Trainer for Massachusetts. She is also a freelance perinatal writer and homeschooling mother of two daughters. Visit her website at http://www.wellpregnancy.com.