Well-meaning friends and family members are quick to offer up parenting advice, but sometimes, they’re just plain wrong. Beware of these common untruths that frequently get shared with new moms.
1| Picking up baby every time he cries will spoil him. Yeah, that’s not how it works. A newborn isn’t capable of manipulation, so he’s not crying to get his way—he’s just letting you know he needs you. If he learns that you’re there to care for him when he’s in need, he’ll actually cry less. Of course, eventually he will be old enough to cry to get his way … but you can cross that bridge when you come to it.
2| Never wake a sleeping baby. When you’ve got a babe who’s sleeping upwards of 16 hours per day, uninterrupted slumber is all but impossible. Sometimes we have schedules to keep. Sometimes we have older kids. Sometimes our boobs are about to burst and that baby needs to eat right now. (Engorged moms, we support you. Wake up that baby!)
3| Infants need to be fed on a schedule. Breastfed infants do better when fed “on demand” (aka when they show signs of hunger). This helps with milk production, ensures they get enough to eat, and creates a stronger breastfeeding relationship between mom and baby. So whether it’s been one hour or three, feed baby when he “asks” you to.
4| Your maternal instincts will arrive with the baby. This often happens … but it also sometimes takes a bit. You won’t know everything on day one. You won’t know why your baby is crying or how to make him stop. But with time, you two will sync up. And once you’ve had the chance to properly bond, nobody will know your tot like you do.
5| Co-sleeping is always a bad idea. Putting a new baby in the bed with you is a bad idea, yes. But properly co-sleeping—with either a bedside or in-bed device that allows baby his own sleeping space—is actually a great idea. It’s easier on nursing mamas, helps the whole family sleep a little better (and longer), and is safe when done correctly.
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