My parents are divorced and my husband’s parents are divorced, which means that our daughter has four sets of grandparents. Four sets of grandparents means four gifts for her birthday, four sets of babysitters and four sets of opinions on how to raise our child based on how it was when our parents had kids some 30 odd years ago. In response to this often unsolicited advice, we pull the doctor card a lot – the doctor says to lay the baby to sleep on her back, the doctor says not to give the baby water, the doctor says a glass of wine a day keeps the tears at bay (mine, not the baby’s).
April is lucky to have such loving grandparents in her life, and so are we, but we can’t help but beg to differ on the following topics ranging from “ok, that sort of makes sense” to “wtf?”:
1) Never wake a sleeping baby.
Yes true, for the most part, but the first two to three weeks pediatricians recommend waking the baby for a feeding at least every four hours. Barring other issues, once your baby has reached her birth weight and your milk supply is established, you should be fine to let her sleep as long as she likes. Which is never long enough anyway.
2) Keep your baby awake during the day so she sleeps better at night.
No, no, no. Sleep begets sleep and keeping your baby awake when she wants to sleep means you will have a very cranky baby come bedtime.
3) Bundle your baby up for bedtime.
The doctors are pretty clear on this one – dress your baby lightly for bedtime, usually no more than one layer of clothing and a swaddle or sleep sack, to prevent overheating.
4) If you pick your baby up every time she cries, you will spoil her.
Once your child is 6 months old, maybe, but it is impossible to spoil a newborn. Newborns cry out of a need and don’t understand the link between cause and effect. So go ahead, hold your baby all day long if you want.
5) Your child will feel abandoned if you put her in daycare every day.
My daughter could not be happier when I drop her off at daycare. Sometimes it borders on offensive how happy she is to jump out of my arms and into the arms of one of the care givers. It makes me feel great to see how much she loves daycare, and it makes me feel even better at the end of the day when she jumps back into my arms.
6) Giving your child dairy causes ear infections.
I had never heard of this one before, so I did some googling, and it seems that this is a myth that has been perpetuated by the internet. Regardless, at the time of my daughter’s (double!) ear infections, she was only getting breastmilk, so I have to believe that the month long cold she had contracted at daycare was the cause. Wouldn’t we all steer clear of dairy if it caused ear infections? Mmmmm, cheese. Ok true, probably not.
7) If you make your child stand before they are ready, it will result in bowlegs.
No, seriously, WTF?
Moral of the story, take each piece of advice with a grain of salt. The grandparents only want the best for their grandchild, but times have changed. When in doubt, ask your pediatrician.