Newborn care is hard enough with sleep deprivation and can be even more stressful when you have advice from mom, granny and the Internet!
As you embark on this journey of being a mother, you will come across ‘expert’ advice from whoever has ‘been there, done that’. Here is what you need to do know to enjoy this phase.
First steps are always memorable…your first day in college, the first day at work, first meeting with your partner, your first kiss… and holding your newborn baby for the first time. The feeling of pride and love as you gaze into those wondrous eyes…and suddenly you hear a voice out of nowhere, “Hold the neck of the baby properly. Babies are very delicate.”
This is the first of many things that you will get to hear from experienced mothers. Conflicting information about newborn care on the Internet can confuse you even further. Add to this bestselling books with model babies and the head begins to spin. The many dilemmas that a new mother faces around newborn care are:
“If I listen to the doctor and defy my mother, will she stop getting involved with the baby and offering advice to me?” “If I listen to my mother and not the doctor and my child falls sick, then what will the doctor say to me?”
“What is actually best for the child? The Internet and parenting books give contradictory views on topics like whether or not wearing diapers is good for the baby, whether or not rocking the child to sleep is a healthy habit and many more small issues.”
Welcome to reality, ladies! The way to resolve these issues around newborn care is to simply do whatever does not have any negative impact on your baby irrespective of where the opinion is coming from. Think through each situation logically rather than relying on one source alone. Let me explain this with some examples.
Mother’s opinion: Your mother says that a ‘maalishwaali’ is good for the child and massage will make your baby’s bones stronger.
Parenting books: Books do not highlight massage as important since vigorous massage is an Indian concept and you may also wonder that Westerners do not practice it yet their babies are healthy and strong.
Logic: Massaging increases the blood circulation of the body and therefore it cannot be harmful to the body in any case.
Result: Allow your baby to be massaged periodically and do it on your own preferably.
Mother’s Opinion: The mother says she started feeding you semi solids like banana before 6 months of age, and therefore that must be done.
Doctor’s Opinion: The doctor says breastfeed the baby exclusively for 6 months.
Logic: Each child is different and grows differently. Rather than going with the theory, engage your doctor in a conversation about first foods that can be given to a baby. A concerned doctor will always address your queries.
Result: Check the readiness of your baby to accept foods and start feeding him/her accordingly.
Mother’s Opinion: Diapers are too harsh for the soft skin of the baby.
Your friends: Diapers help the baby to sleep better and keep the baby dry.
Logic: Your mother may be accustomed to a time when diapers, especially the modern variety, were not readily available and hence has a mental block regarding their usage.
Result: Use diapers at nap times and at night to keep the baby dry. Sleep is important for the child so do not compromise on that. When the child is happy and active, you can avoid diapers but ensure you change the baby as soon as he/she soils the nappy.
As explained through the examples above, there will be many situations that you will face in your journey of being a mother. Take it as it comes and do not let it become a matter of stress for you.
There will be many times on this exciting journey that the above-mentioned formula will also not work. Trust your maternal instinct to guide you at this time. As an experienced mother, I can confidently say that without getting troubled and hassled, if you listen to your instinct, it will guide you.
The protection and well being of your child will come naturally to you and as such instances keep happening, you will feel more confident about this ‘magic’ even more.
Supported by Motherhood Hospitals
Top image via Pixabay.com