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One Thing Every New Mom Needs to Know

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There is a newness that comes with the birth of each newborn. Each baby has his or her own temperament and personality. There is a new dynamic with the birth of each new baby. Going from no children to one, one to two, and two to three all have their own blessings and challenges. Without a doubt though, being a third-time mom makes me a veteran in a certain of ways.

 

I just wish I could rewind to when I was a new mom and tell myself to be strong in this one way right off the bat.

Yesterday, I had to bring myself and my newborn to the walk-in clinic. Unfortunately, my c-section incision had gotten infected. Because I exclusively breastfeed and a little someone isn’t keen on taking bottles, the baby came with me.

The lady at the desk told me it was roughly a one hour wait. So, I found the last remaining waiting room chair and prepared myself for the long haul.

 

One hour turned into two and then almost three.

As time passed, my relatively contented baby became not so.  You see, my little guy isn’t too keen on nursing in stimulating settings. He’ll latch, nurse in an almost thrashing sort of a way, unlatch and then scream. I bounce him, calm him, and then we try again. Over the course of our time waiting, we went through this routine more and more.

Being a new mom can be overwhelming for so many reasons. A primary one is that there are so many tips, pieces advice, strategies, schedules, dos and don'ts for new moms. Here is the one thing new moms should know above all else. Positive parenting, newborns, postpartum

Until finally, a woman crossed the room to address me.

Having been shot several loving looks and smiles since we entered, I honestly thought she was coming over to congratulate me on my baby. Or, perhaps she just wanted to tell me how cute he is. (I am definitely a proud, biased mama.)

Instead, she tapped his bum and said something to me I didn’t understand. I said I didn’t understand to her. So she repeated herself, tapping on my son once more. I couldn’t make out the language she was speaking let alone the meaning of the words she was saying to me.

We live in a very multicultural area and because of that, there ended up being three separate sets of people waiting in the clinic who did understand her. She took a step back from me, stood in the middle of the room, and promptly addressed her audience with her thoughts on me and my baby. A woman who understood her turned to me and said, “She wants you to change him.”

With that my sweet boy started to fuss more. Considering he is my priority and not the opinion of complete strangers, I took to bouncing him once more.

Then, it dawned on me. There likely was an unoccupied examination room I could nurse him in. I left my diaper bag and extras to save my chair and was brought by a into a room my son and I could use. As my heart rate started decelerating from the public spectacle I was just the subject of, I got to thinking.

 

Had I actually been a first-time mom, I likely would have been in tears by now.

I would have been humiliated, flustered and unsure if I had failed my crying baby. Susceptible to the opinions of others, I would have changed him. He would have continued to cry. And, I would have become increasingly self-conscious.

As a new mom, I was the recipient of way too much unsolicited parenting advice. I was chastised for not sleep training my four-month-old. And, it was suggested that I put her on a feeding schedule. The former made me feel like I was failing as a new mom. The latter actually influenced my parenting. Instead of demand feeding my little girl who had established an incredible rhythm, I tried to follow a schedule. It turned my contented baby into a very unhappy camper fast. Since then, I’ve had people suggest I should let my babies cry it out, have stricter punishment for my children and many more unwanted “pearls of wisdom.”

All this advice did was make me feel judged.

It’s taken some time. But through all of this, I’ve learnt, unequivocally, that I know my children better than anyone else. I also know what works for our family better than anyone else.

If I were to pass on anything to new moms out there, it would be just that.

I’m in the parenting trenches with my kids every single day. When they’re sick, when they’re scared, and when they’ve wet the bed, I am the one attending to my kids. I comfort them when they are hurt. And I coach them through their bad choices and outbursts. Secondly, I know my limitations too. I know what I can commit to in my parenting and what doesn’t work with my own personality too.

If I were to pass on any single piece of advice to a new mom, it would be just that. You know your children better than anyone. And as such, you should parent them unapologetically in the way only you know best.

 

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4 thoughts on “One Thing Every New Mom Needs to Know

  1. I sleep trained my second daughter when she was 3 mo and it changed her life and our life as parents.

    She started to nap longer, she was able to fall asleep on her own without crying. It just must be the right method. I think the best one is by Susan Urban. It’s called Hold With Love (HWL – if I remember correctly). The method is without CIO so no harm for the baby. I’ve read her guide in an hour or so because it’s in a nutshell and i knew exactly what to do with step by step instructions. After 3 days my LO was able to sleep all night long without eating every hour and she started to nap longer so she finally wasn’t exhausted. The method must be great because I had like the worst sleeper in the history of babies.

    You just must do it step-by-step like the author says. So I wanted to encourage everybody who is interested in sleep train a baby to first of all try Susan Urban’s method and follow her instructions and I bet any other method especially with CIO won’t be necessary. I’ve found instructions on what to do and how to do it in the guide “How to teach a baby to fall asleep alone” from I think the author’s website http://www.parental-love.com

    I only regret I didn’t do it with my older son.

    1. Hi Amy, Thanks so much for reading and sharing your experience. It’s wonderful you had such successes with sleep training. The entire point of this post is that each mom knows what’s best for her family and does just that. The argument I was making was not against sleep training but against being chastized. Sleep training is wonderful but it is important we support all new moms in their decisions. Not impose our own choices on them.

  2. I just wanted to thank you Amy for telling your story becasue I’d been trying for months to teach my daughter to fall asleep on her own and we never could get it. After reading your post I decided to get the guide you were talking about and we did it! my little girl doesn’t need to be rock to sleep anymore! Woo Hoo 🙂

  3. Looks like the Urban’s guide really works! my husband and I gave it a try and our boy sleeps like an angel now. He turned 4 months a few days ago. It’s amazing how sleep training can make us much more happy because we are finally well rested! Great! Thanks

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