Ok, well someone I know thinks I might know something about this parenting thing and has asked me for advice for new moms. (She shall remain nameless to protect the innocent lol.)
And it has given me much to think about. Of course, there’s the stuff everyone knows. Don’t drop the baby. Feed the baby. Change the baby. Bathe the baby. Repeat.
Then there’s the stuff that I hope everyone knows by now. You can’t spoil a baby. Don’t give babies cold medicine. (Believe me, I fought my doctor on that on at first, too.) Don’t put the baby to sleep on its tummy. Use car seats every time and use them properly.
But what is left?
Swaddle the baby or don’t swaddle the baby? Well, it depends on the baby. I’ve had babies that liked it. And babies that didn’t. Babies that liked being swaddled as long as their hands were free. Babies that loved being a little baby burrito. Work with your baby and figure out what makes them happy.
Put baby on a schedule or not? Personally, I don’t. If the baby is hungry, feed the baby! If the baby has a wet diaper, change the baby! But realize that if you desperately need a shower and you’re about to step in when the baby wakes up early from their nap, it’s ok if you go ahead and take that quick shower. (I’m not saying spend an hour in there while baby screams. But a 2 minute shower to make you feel human again is fine as long as baby isn’t hurting or in danger.
Let your spouse, mother, father, or any other responsible adult help. They can hold the baby, change the baby, feed the baby while you get a nap, or make something to eat besides a sandwich or take out.
Remind yourself, daily, or hourly if necessary. “THIS IS NOT A COMPETITION.” Do what you feel is the best thing for you and your baby. Don’t get into the arguments about co-sleeping, sleep training, bottle or breast feeding. It drains your energy and spends your time arguing when you could spend that time with your precious baby. Just do what’s best for you.