As first time moms we are given a lot of advice from well-meaning family, friends, and strangers. We read parenting books and blogs in order to try and prepare ourselves for what life with a kid will be like. Nothing can quite prepare us for what life will be like once our little bundle of joy arrives.
There are some pieces of advice that we are told over and over again and they are honestly just lies. Here are 5 such lies.
1. Good babies sleep through the night and never cry.
"Is he a good baby? Does he sleep well?" It seems that society's definition of a "good" baby is one that interrupts your life the least. Let me let you in on a secret...having a baby will radically change your life. There is no way around it. Even if your baby rarely cries and is a great sleeper, your life is forever changed. 2. You need ALL this stuff to be a good parent. Most baby stores have a suggested list of everything you "need" to be prepared to be a good parent. Diapers, bouncy chair, receiving blankets, high chair, car seat, clothes, shoes (because your baby is walking?), pacifier, bottles, bathtub, crib, change table, bassinet, breast pump...you get the picture. You need love. That's all you need to be a good parent. Find some good cloth diapers, breastfeed, and get some hand-me-down clothes, because in two weeks they will need another size anyway. Obviously, having things is important but be minimal and realize you do not need it all. I think our cats use the crib more than our kids do. 3. You need to teach baby to self-soothe. We are told to lay our babies down drowsy, but not tired. We are instructed to never let them nurse to sleep or be rocked to sleep or they will expect it. We are instead told to feed them, change them, and let them cry alone so they can learn to self-soothe. The science is clear, crying it out causes a lot of stress on the brain and it actually does not work. Yes, they eventually stop crying, but they are learning that you won't respond when they cry not how to self-soothe. Nurse your baby to sleep. Rock them. Lay with them. Love them. Respond to them just as you would during the day. Night-time parenting is the hardest but it is just as important. 4. You will spoil baby by holding him too much. This one is just silly. Your baby was in a warm, dark, safe place for nine months. They could hear your voice and your heartbeat. Then one day the were released from that. They are still expecting the comfort of you. Your warm embrace, the closeness to hear your beating heart, and your smell. Babywearing is a great solution for the baby who needs to be held while you need to take care of the house or another kid. 5. Breastfeeding is easy and free. For some women, breastfeeding is easy. But for others it is a arduous task. It comes with lip and tongue ties, bad latches, mastitis, yeast, and any number of other problems. And free? It is definitely cost effective, and cheaper than formula, but it is not exactly free. Some moms need a pump, milk storage, a few bottles, breast pads, breastfeeding bra and shirts, and nursing pillow. And most moms need extra food when they are breastfeeding. So yes, it's awesome but not always easy or free.