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Here’s How to Raise a Baby

Here’s How to Raise a Baby

Parenting, especially with your first born, is a learning experience. From the moment you find out you’re expecting you’re under a lot of pressure to get everything right. After all, this little life depends on you and the last thing you want to do is put your child at risk. Like, even though I consider myself kind of a natural at this, I’ve still questioned my parenting skills at least a dozen times already. I think it’s a natural part of learning the job. Others realize this, too. Which is why, I think, there’s always a steady stream of people who are so eager to share their advice out of love and experience.

But, as I’ve learned, not all advice is good advice – and not all advice is wanted advice.

Let me start out with this: I appreciate advice from all sources. Young mothers like myself, mommy blogs, even my mother-in-law ;). Each person brings a new perspective and comes from a place of wanting me to succeed at parenting. However, sometimes people confuse “well meaning suggestions for the care and maintenance of baby” with “the only 100% scientifically proven way to keep your baby alive ever.”

One bit of advice that I’d get quite often is to just let the baby cry; eventually he’ll fall asleep. I know there have been millions of mothers who’ve raised happy, healthy babies following this method, but it’s just not my style. I’m more of a scoop him up and cuddle him until he feels better kind of mum. In fact, one of the most amazing things so far has been getting to know him – his mannerisms, his cries, his facial expressions. I’ve gotten pretty good at figuring out the difference between “I’m gassy and it’s making me uncomfortable” and “I left you a surprise in my diaper” or “I’m hungry, bring on the boobies.” As a parent, you have the right and responsibility to pick and choose what advice works for you and your baby.

So, what has worked for me? Well, weeding out the weird and just plain bad advice I’ve received so far, here are some bits of wisdom that I’ve taken to heart:

  • Remember to look after yourself, too. If you aren’t healthy, your baby won’t be healthy either.
  • If you’re breastfeeding, take care of your breasts and nipples. They’re keeping your baby alive. Show some respect.
  • It’s amazing how little babies can actually do for themselves. Like regulating body temperature; if you have to put on two layers of clothing to keep warm, your baby should be wearing three.
  • Find time to spend with your partner. Even if it’s just leaving baby with grandma to go grab a cup of coffee. With a newborn, any alone time feels romantic.
  • These first few weeks are the hardest but the most precious. Cherish every moment – from every hungry boy cry to every mommy-baby snuggle.

Are these pretty basic tips? Absolutely. At the end of the day, you determine your parenting style. Not me. Not someone of the Internet. Not your mother-in-law. If you and your baby are happy and healthy, the rest is just the details.

Photo Credit: Stefania Orru

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  1. Beautiful Family. So precious. Thank you for sharing!

    Parenthood is by far, the hardest and loveliest thing that I know. Very day, something new.

    Posted by: Krystle on February 17, 2017 at 11:03 am
  2. No one should ever let a newborn cry it out. That is cruel. I think CIO is something that desperate moms do when they feel their older baby (like 8 months) is waking out of habit.

    Posted by: Jamie on February 17, 2017 at 1:25 am
  3. You known when I was pregnant with my first everything was so new and a first time experience that I really believe that everyone around is celebrating that with you. With that friends and family and acquaintances alike offer up all kinds of “what worked for me” advice. And in the end you and your baby figure it all out together. The dance between you and your child is a language all it’s own. Every cry, every smile, every facial expression is a map to understanding each other. I now have two children (3 and 5) both of them individual and both still teaching me how to care for them. With that Said tips are but the everyday experience is the journey that teaches us. Just my two cents.

    Posted by: Heather Douglass on February 16, 2017 at 6:57 pm
  4. Dear PETA, you are a very wise women! And a great mother and partner! Much love too you and Max and your little guy!

    Posted by: Ann Hoffman on February 16, 2017 at 6:00 pm
  5. Be gracious to when people give you advice. I know it’s overwhelming and you have your own beliefs but they are just excited for you and want to dive in with you and be involved in your family and be helpful. It’s hurtful to tell them off and alienates them for life

    Posted by: Jack on February 16, 2017 at 10:23 am
  6. Love it!
    I never agreed or followed the “let the baby cry” thing. I actually hated that advice lol. At the end of the yes, listen and appreciate the advice but only us mums will get to know our babies best! Thanks for sharing!
    Love and blessings always❤️

    Posted by: Caroline on February 16, 2017 at 6:19 am
  7. Dear Peta, I wanted to write to support you and tell you that I too was told (or rather, I had read) to let baby cry it out. I have had six beautiful children and my first several babies (I cringe so badly here….I can’t even write the exact number) cry it out. I have such regret! If only I can take those years back. I stopped that practice with my last few babies and found my world and their world was so much happier and peaceful. I am so glad you are trusting your instincts. You will never regret giving the comfort and love to your babies when they are telling you they need you. God Bless you and Maks and baby.

    Posted by: Jeannie Heredia on February 16, 2017 at 5:55 am
  8. Doctor told my daughter it was best to let the baby cry so he could learn to soothe himself and fall asleep. I called BS on that and scooped him up and rocked him to sleep. He’s 2 now and still rocking with his gramma. Sometimes you gotta follow your instincts and your momma heart and do what it tells you.

    Posted by: Gramma on February 16, 2017 at 1:22 am
  9. I wasn’t one of those Mom’s that let my baby cry either. I will give you two advices my ex mother in law gave me. One…If your baby coughs or gets kinda choked rub your finger down his nose and he will catch his breath. Two… When he sleeps rotate his head and he will keep a pretty little round head. Thanks.

    Posted by: Teresa Kesterson on February 15, 2017 at 11:41 pm
  10. I was given some advice from my pediatrician, some 18 years ago. He told me to set limits and boundaries and take lots of pictures, because they grow so fast. Best of luck

    Posted by: Michelle Calouro on February 15, 2017 at 8:05 pm