I always wonder what’s with a pregnant woman or a mother with a new born baby makes an expert out of people. Suddenly all these people even strangers at times; become your professional doctor and give you advice on parenting and motherhood. Free advice although widely available it becomes more common especially if you are pregnant or having a small baby. Becoming a mother no doubt was one the most joyous and overwhelming moment in my life. Suddenly you have this young tiny little being who so helpless who relies on you for survival. Add to that the endless diapers changes, feeding, rocking, crying all this on a rapidly changing post-pregnancy hormone levels and very little sleep. As such adjusting to the new baby is difficult do we receive the free advice, which most of the times is of little help. I wonder instead of free advice people could give a free meal which could have helped more. But yes over these years I have heard all kinds of bizarre to some useful advices. I thought I should write this blog and dedicate it to all first time mommies who might just get overwhelmed by their responsibilities.
Hypothesis 1 - Eating chocolates, drinking coffee even taking folic acid supplements is going to make your baby dark.
Almost all Indian mothers want their baby to be fair nothing wrong in that. But we must also think child’s looks are mostly inherited from their parents, grandparents, siblings. Though eating too much sweets and caffeine is not advice during pregnancy moderate levels are acceptable. And for god’s sake maintaining good levels of iron is essential for a healthy pregnancy.
Hypothesis 2 – Crying baby is always a hungry baby
This by far is the most common conclusion. A baby can cry for several reasons, but it does not mean we run to feed them at each whine. No wonder this generation is struggling with overweight and obese children. A baby can cry for a change, overly tired or sleepy,
Hypothesis 3 –A crying baby is not normal
This was one of the most upsetting conclusions I got from some the people whom I am close with. The initial months of colic and bouts of crying. I had people ask me if she is normal. Well I do appreciate their diagnostic skills to be far advanced to see such a thing when the pediatrician found everything was perfect.
Hypothesis 4 – Starting solids will stop crying
Triggered from the belief that all the crying is only for hunger, people especially I feel in India start solids even for month old babies. Which only drowns their appetite for the precious mother’s milk.
Hypothesis 5- Wearing diapers for babies means moms are lazy
This gothic era belief is utter non sense. And this can be told to save some money by not having to buy diapers instead of giving any comfort to the child or mother. Everyone knows how well a baby can sleep through the night with diapers. And while travelling it is bliss with diapers. I just wonder how they did it without them.
Hypothesis 6 – Bottle feeding means moms have less breastmilk
Deciding whether to feed bottle or breastmilk is every mother’s personal choice. I do believe no one has a right to comment on it. People turn to each for several reasons. And no one is wrong. We just have to do what is right for mom and baby. I think both will do far better when they are happy with their choices.
Hypothesis 7 – Using pacifiers is a bad parenting choice.
Some children do not like the pacifier they know to self soothe with their own thumbs, while that is acceptable what is wrong with this. Some children are by nature less troublesome and easy to soothe. By personal experience it was a boon in those early days. I could get some sanity and luckily I didn’t have any trouble weaning her off when she reached the toddler years
Hypothesis 8 – Shampooing baby hair reduces brain power
One of the most hilarious of all advice. Still brings a smile but yes I did hear that you must not use shampoo as it causes to reduce memory or whatever. No I am sure if this is true by now everyone will be out of their mind!!
Hypothesis 9 – Force feeding is the only way to get picky eaters eat
I wish I could do that with my overly picky eater. But it comes as no surprise to me as I used to be a terrific picky eater myself during my younger years and extremely lean. Proof is my old photos. Now things have taken a turn to other side and I have to diet to lose some pounds. I never remember my mother beat me force food to me. I turned out just as fine. I am sure it’s going to be the case with my little one too.
Hypothesis 10 – Co-sleeping will make the kids clingy and never become independent
Co-sleeping is a part of Indian culture, most families do by default. Though there is nothing wrong in putting kids to sleep in a separate room. I wonder what this has to do with independence. Eventually kids grow and leave the protection of mother’s care. So what’s wrong if we shed a little extra care when young. I do not believe it will harm them in the long run.
And many more such hypothesis we all must have come across. Many do not realize their assumptions are not helping in any ways. I myself try to advice less to all new mom’s and expecting mom’s unless asked for. These days almost everyone is well read and have a lot of access to materials and information on parenting. Unnecessary advice can only cause anxiety. Over the years I have learnt something, some of the best advice I have got is from my friend’s having the similar aged kids, and some of their ideas have worked. Whereas the rest of the advice is best ignored. Parenting is in a sense a trial and error. If it works follow it, if it doesn’t try the next idea. But keep trying and eventually you will figure out what is best for you and your child. After all your children is a part of you and believe me no one knows better than mom.