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life + work + parenthood + COMMUNITY

  • Writer's pictureJill Devine

Mom advice from another mom

I remember when I was pregnant with Lu, I was given a TON of advice. Some of it was welcomed, but a lot of it wasn't.

When I was pregnant with Charli, I still got advice. This time it was more about how to handle two babies. Again, some of it welcomed, but most of the time not.

If one of my friends is pregnant or is a new mom, I try not to give advice unless asked. There's nothing worse than being bombarded with advice that you didn't ask for. I came across an article on What To Expect. It's all about the advice the author of the article DIDN'T take. Some of it I agree with and some of it I don't, but that's the beauty of it ... every person and every baby is different. There's nothing wrong with being armed with lots of information BUT remember to do what works best for you and your baby.

Here are some highlights from the article:

Swaddle your baby - I heard so much about how important this one was that I swore I'd do it too. I got at least two or three "miracle blankets" for swaddling at my shower. And then I tried putting one on my daughter and she screamed as if she were in pain. My husband and I repeatedly tried swaddling her when we got her home from the hospital and she wriggled out every time. So we gave up. The girl clearly didn't like to be swaddled. Her brother later followed suit. Both are just fine. Happy, even!

Breastfeed exclusively - I breastfed my daughter regularly until she was 7 months old and stopped completely at 9 months. My son didn't take to it as well, but I still nursed him some of the time until he was 3 months old. But never did I breastfeed either child exclusively. I am not comfortable doing it in public, so I supplemented with formula. My daughter was fine with both, though she was mostly breastfed for the first three months anyway. And my son was too hungry and impatient for a diet of only breast milk right from the beginning.

Give your baby a bath every night - Again, who has the time? Plus, some say that bathing an infant every night could dry out his sensitive skin. My situation was compounded by the fact that my daughter hated the bath for the first couple of months of her life and sobbed whenever we put her in it. Eventually, that changed, but we stuck to bath time a few nights a week.

Let your baby cry it out - I know we're supposed to teach our babies to self-soothe and put themselves to sleep, but I could never do it by letting them CIO. There are other ways to achieve the same goal, and the cry-it-out method always seems to get my kids more upset and worked up than they were in the first place. So, I usually break down and get them after five minutes -- 10 max. It's just too heartbreaking to let them go on any longer. Luckily, my husband feels the same way.

What about you? Any advice you would like to give or any advice you wish you would have listened to?

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