Help! Which advice is right for us?

Let’s face it: being a mom is scary. It seems like everywhere I turn there is something new I should be worried about for my daughter. When I was pregnant, people constantly said “You can’t eat that.” or “Are you sure that’s good for the baby?” After my daughter was born, I read parenting magazines that suggested feeding baby certain foods will make her smarter. Over the first few months of her life, people have said things like but she’s so small! or are you sure she’s getting enough to eat?

To all of them, I say thank you. I appreciate their advice. Really, I do. But how am I ever supposed to figure out which advice hubby and I should follow?

Baby girl’s pediatrician says that she’s 55 percentile for weight and upper 70s for height, so she’s certainly getting enough to eat. And she’s a happy, healthy little girl. So I shouldn’t be too worried about what other people say, but it sometimes I still am. As mothers, we are constantly questioned and given reasons to worry about our little ones’ wellbeing.

And when other people – whether it’s grandparents, friends or those darned parenting magazines – give us pause, it can shake our confidence in the decisions we’ve made for our children.

They say not to eat sushi when you’re expecting, but women in Japan do it all the time. They say putting baby to sleep on her back is best, but now her head has a flat spot. The American Academy of Pediatrics says wait until six months for solid food, but my parents said “a little bit will help her sleep.” As my daughter grows, the list of things to worry about will only continue to get longer. And I assume the competing opinions will only get louder.

For me, talking through dilemmas with other mommies was the best way to make my decisions. Being part of the mommy club has not only helped me decide what to do for my child, it’s helped me keep my sanity, too.

So guess what? I did eat sushi when I was pregnant, but I was careful only to eat fish with low mercury levels and from a restaurant I trusted. After she started rolling over, I put baby girl to sleep on her tummy because it made her happy. And I waited until she was six months old before I gave her solid foods.

I don’t pretend that I’ve gotten everything right. My daughter’s laundry doesn’t get done as often as it should. She once ate squash for breakfast, lunch and dinner because I hadn’t gotten around to grocery shopping and making more food. And I still haven’t started brushing her teeth because I’m worried she’ll bite me.

But all in all, I’d say hubby and I are doing a pretty decent job. Baby girl is one of the happiest little ones I’ve met, and she is very loved. What more can do you do as a parent?


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Dodging Acorns
    Mar 21, 2011 @ 09:32:38

    The advice, and conflicting advice, is the hardest part sometimes! I’m with you – I like to seek out the advice, then carefully consider all of the different opinions and decide what works best for us and our family. And squash for 3 meals a day is just fine 😉 At least it’s got some vitamins in it!


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