As soon as you are pregnant the advice to new mums starts.
In the beginning you listen to everything everyone says very carefully, it's about your baby’s wellbeing, of course, you will!
But, when the baby is there, it all starts to get overwhelming.
You now need filtered advice.
Today’s mother is not the “believe it all” kind.
Don’t jump into hacks just because someone says it works. Convince yourself, after all, it is about your baby, and no one can care for a baby like its mother does.
Advice that surely doesn’t work:
- Sleep when the baby sleeps
This one looks like it will keep your life on track, completely synced with the baby, but it doesn’t work.
Rather than sleeping when the baby sleeps, try to extend your night to get as much sleep as possible.
Take advantage of your body’s natural sleep cycles.
A new routine will take some time to adjust in your life, so start with baby steps (pun intended).
Do this as the first change- Get into a routine of going to bed early, and don’t start your day at the baby’s first feed of the morning even if that’s your old schedule.
Pretend 6 AM is 3 AM – do not drink coffee, do not take a shower, etc.
2. Give them bright coloured toys, your child will like it
Everybody tells you to buy flashy bright coloured toys, to get babies interested in toys and playing, basically getting some activity done. And even when the baby is crying, waving those toys in front of the baby is magically supposed to calm them down.
However, this is not based on any science, it's actually the opposite.
When a child is born, in addition to only being able to see things clearly from 8-12 inches away, they also are not fans of bright colors.
Yes, they don’t like bright colours.
While these things are distracting, yes, a newborn baby is easily overwhelmed by his or her surroundings.
So, instead of showing bright things to your child, show them black and white or low tones. Give them enough time to process the information they’re seeing and don’t overwhelm them with colours.
Consider the world from their eyes, in the initial stage of life, it's more about shapes and less about colours.
Colours are something they will start noticing and appreciating later on in life. Again, baby steps for the baby’s eyes.
3. Don't pick up a crying baby, it will spoil them
It’s no one else’s business how you choose to “spoil” your child or not.
Most people will tell you to put down your crying baby, as it may spoil them.
But you know, newborns are not evil, they are not selfish. They are innocent and only want to feel protected.
And the great news is this- Regardless of their age, what we can prove is that there is absolutely no direct link whatsoever, scientific or otherwise, to prove that repeatedly picking up a crying child will eventually lead to “spoiling” them.
"A spoiled child is one that's manipulative, but babies don't learn until they're about 9 months that they can cry to get you to do something for them," says Dr. Barbara Howard, assistant professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
The most important thing for a mother is to build trust with her child. And...
...the first six months or so of a baby’s life are crucial as far as building trust goes.
When they cry, it’s their way of knowing that you’ll be there for them, thus slowly establishing the mother-baby bond.
Avoiding their crying could potentially have worse effects later on down the line than a child becoming “spoiled”.
4. If your baby struggles with sleep at night, keep them awake longer during the day
Sleep is as fundamental of a human need as food, and babies need many, many hours of it.
You must have heard that babies grow when they sleep.
Let me tell you what you’ve not heard.
Scientists believe that sleep helps babies:
- strengthen their memories and things they’ve learned while awake
- Prepares them for exploration of their environment
- Allows them to process different sensations they feel
So, let them sleep when they feel like it. They will find their perfect rhythm of sleep overtime.
And, if they’re not sleeping enough, they will be overtired and then counter intuitively not sleep.
Never forget, a mother need not always know what is the best for her child, but a mother can always find out what is the best!
Reach out for help, or read my other articles, we are here for you.
We mommies shall stick together on this beautiful journey of motherhood.
Share more of your experiences and debunk more myths in the comments below.