We've heard more than our fair share of mom-shaming and unsolicited parenting advice. Do this, don't do this, why are you doing that, blah, blah, blah... It's exhausting! Where do you even start to figure out what's true and what's not? Keep reading... 😉
1. MYTH: “Good mothers know what their babies cries mean.”
HA! We WISH we spoke baby! That would make things a whole lot easier… The truth is, some moms are able to instantly recognize what their baby’s cries and whimpers mean, and some moms can’t. But, if you fall in the latter category, you certainly are NOT a bad mom. After all, not all babies are consistent with their noises! When babies cry, most parents end up running through the usual suspects: Wet? Hungry? Gassy? Tired? Lonely? Sick? Hurt? Angry? Mystery? REPEAT!
We recommend trying to get into a routine. That way it may be easier to understand noises based on context. Some squeaking around afternoon naptime? Maybe sleepy. A bit of whimpering around feeding time? Maybe hungry.
2. MYTH: “Don’t pick up your newborn too much or they’ll always need your attention.”
Newborns always need your attention period. They’re newborns. According to Maurice J. Elias, Ph.D., author of Emotionally Intelligent Parenting, your child “…has to gain confidence that you will respond to their needs.” After that point, Dr. Elias says that “Your job is to pull back a bit and let baby figure out that they can survive, for a few minutes at least, without someone rushing to their side.” Having built that trust initially will be critical for this stage and beyond.
3. MYTH: “You should rely more on your maternal instincts.”
Yes, moms may have an uncanny sixth sense at times when it comes to their children, but research shows now that much of what we have thought of as “maternal instincts” can actually be attributed to maternal anxiety. Worry is essential to motherhood and is absolutely normal. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t trust your gut feelings, but simply ensure that your intuition isn’t being clouded by panic. Remember to take a breath, ask for help, and always pay attention.