Mar 13, 2011

Mommy Knows Best

I love talking babies with other moms.

I need to hear their experiences and get comforting reassurance that I’m doing a good job.

I’m also overly sensitive in certain areas of child rearing because although I’m second oldest of 7 and very comfortable around babies, having helped care for my sisters, I’m still a FTM (first time mom) and I’m scared I’ll break my baby.

I’d like to think I’m a laid back super cool mom but I’m not. 

I’m exhausted and not necessarily from taking care of Henry. 
I’m exhausted because it’s all so new and I’m educating myself while I’m doing it.  And my head is tired of hearing conflicting information from all sorts of mothers and doctors and books.  I know I’m supposed to throw it all out and go with my gut but I also don’t want to kill my child by giving him milk a month too soon.

Here’s a few examples of conflicting advice:


Feed him avocado… best first food. Portable. Loaded with healthy fats, minerals and vitamins

Wait till a year to feed him avocado… digestion problems.

I fed him avocado since I started giving him food.


Keep the bath water cool… babies will freak out in cold water

Keep the bath water warm… babies need to feel secure

I make the bath water hot, the temp I would like if I was taking a bath.  This baby was inside of me for 9 months and it was hot in there and he likes it!  His skin is pink when he comes out and that’s cute.  I think I’ll leave it.


Make sure he sleeps on his back, he will die of SIDS otherwise

Babies sleep better on their stomach

As soon as Henry was able to turn his head I put him on his stomach.  I was desperate for sleep, so desperate I didn’t care what happened and figured that as long as he could turn his head, he could survive stomach sleeping. 


CIO (crying it out) is terrible.  Your child stops crying because they’ve given up hope that you’re going to comfort them.

CIO is the only way to get you child to sleep through the night.  The sooner the better for all involved.

I went with my gut on this.  I wanted to make sure Henry was old enough to self soothe but also I didn’t want him to become aware of his ability to get me to come running in the middle of the night… unless of course he actually needed me.   So I did it at 6 months.  Basically he CIO for 15 minutes for about a week and that was that.  He’s STTN (sleeping through the night).  Some people and other mothers are horrified when I let them know I let my baby cry.  Others congratulate me like I’ve entered a secret club where mothers are allowed to take care of themselves in secret.

There’s lots more examples of conflicting information that most mothers receive.  I listen to it all and then go with my gut.  Just please don’t shame me and tell me how I’m ruining my child.  I pretty sure I will, at some point, create irreversible damage but for now I’d like to have the illusion I’m doing a good enough job.


I’ll leave you with this conversation I have with a friend’s mom yesterday:


I took a slice of sweet bread and broke it into pieces for Henry to eat. 

Friend’s mom: That’s too sweet!  Don’t let him eat that!

Me:  You think it’s too sweet?

Friend’s mom: Yes, it’s too sweet.  I wouldn’t feed that to him.

Me: I’m not giving him the sugar crust. He likes the rest. 

Friend’s mom: Just don’t feed him any of it. The sweet bread. It’s not good for him.

Me: Ok.  Thanks. I think he’ll be ok.

I continue to feed my son the bread and she hands me a bowl disgusted that I haven’t taken her advice.

I then pulled a pouch of baby food out of my bag and began to feed that to him.

Friend’s mom: Well, what is that now?

Me: Squash

Friend’s mom:  You should have told me.  I have REAL  squash in the fridge.

Me: (WTF!?!) ok.  Thanks. 

Friend’s mom: what else is in that?

Me: apples, carrots and a little cinnamon

Friend’s mom: Well I have REAL squash. If you’re going to feed him, he should eat real food.

Me: If you want to make some squash for me to take home, that’d be great.  I’m sure he’ll eat it for dinner.  Don’t worry, this baby food won’t kill him.

She left me alone after that.  I encounter conversations like this every week.  I’d like to think I’m getting better at deflection techniques. 


  1. Who is this "friend" and why is she so bossy?

    I've found that some FTM find the need to judge and criticize every choice other moms make, especially the choices that differ even slightly from their OWN choices. It validates their decisions, I guess. It's incredibly frustrating because instead of helping, they're hurting. There isn't ONE WAY to raise a baby, any more than there is ONE WAY to fix a burger (sorry. The first metaphor I thought of.)

    Your son looks happy and healthy to me and I hope you are enjoying this time as much as you can, despite the intrusions from other people and their opinions. Childhood is so incredibly brief... Don't waste his on worrying about what other people think!

  2. Hi Emily! Just wanted to stop by and thank you for joining the Monday blog hop. Hope to see you link back up next week too :)

  3. You are doing a great job! Follow your gut- it knows what's right for your baby!

    When my daughter was younger I got a lot of the same type of comments, especially from older women. It's seems that having a young child is an open invitation for know it all mommies to speak their minds at you. It will all stop once your little one graduates into toddlerhood.

    Thanks for following me! I am now following back. Your little guy is super cute. I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts!