A great advice for all new moms by Sangeetha Kodithala. Reproduction and baby-rearing are natural processes and everything about them should be natural, if only! From the moment we see the two lines on the pregnancy test stick till ‘I-don’t-know-when’, we’re constantly anxious about something or the other. We frantically Google and look up for expert advice, peer group experience and bombard the doctors with questions during the consultation.
As if our own anxiety isn’t enough, there are multiple people giving ‘advice’, solicited or not, based on their experiences. We filter such advice and take what suits us when it’s about us. But when it comes to baby, we’re never sure.
Below is just a few of contrary advice that I have received
- Babies need immunity and proper bowel movement. Give the herbs medicine from birth.
- Baby’s limbs need to gain strength. Hire a masseuse and get a massage done daily
- Lukewarm water isn’t enough for bath, add more hot water
- Oh, we fed the baby solids from 4th month!
- No, don’t feed solids till 6 months.
- Swaddle the baby! No, don’t!
- Give gripe water, it calms the baby.
- Gripe water is harmful to the baby!
- Babies’ food is most important. Wake them up and feed
- Babies’ sleep is most important. Make sure they sleep 14-15 hours in a day!
- Give ajwain water for cold and cough
- Sponge to reduce the fever
- NEVER sponge to reduce the fever.
And so on.
Be a sink, not a sponge
I still remember how anxious I was when the baby had latching issues. All the advice around couldn’t help me one bit. In addition to that, the confusion over supplementing or not – it pushed me to the edge. A new mother feels helpless in most situations and this probably is the worst. Don’t think you’re alone if you think you’ve failed as a mother. Almost every mother feels that at some point.
The first fall, the first cold, the first fever, how to bathe, how to hold, how to rock, how to put to sleep, how to feed… the number of times you actually feel helpless is an ever-growing list.
I can’t really claim that I’m a great mother or an experienced one. I’m just a year old Mom. But from whatever little I’ve experienced, I can say this – trust yourself! Trust your instincts – both as a human and as a Mom. Trust your baby’s instincts. Babies are very intelligent, they’re aware of their bodies and they have a way of communicating their needs and moods. Just observe. Pay attention. Try. Fail. Try again. Keep trying till you and the baby gain confidence. You will get there. Just keep calm and do what you instinctively feel like doing. It’s satisfying and liberating. Also the best for you and the baby. For all the other noise – be a sink, not a sponge.