New Baby Myth-Busters
As an expecting first-time mom, I was overwhelmed with the information and advice thrown at me. I wrote things down. I read books. I tried to remember everything because it all sounded so important. Then, my son was born, and I was thrust into this new role everyone had been trying to prepare me for.
After some time in the trenches, I quickly learned everything I’d been told wasn’t quite true. I had to filter all that information, and here are the biggest myths I’ve busted in my nine short months as a mama:
You need all the things
There is so much stuff out there. So much stuff that when it came down to it–I did not need. Looking back, I registered for pee-pee teepees: tented pieces of cloth to put over my son’s penis so he wouldn’t pee on me. Guess how many times I remembered to use them? None. Absolutely zero. He just peed on me. But that’s one small example of a much larger, overwhelming baby industry that tells new moms they need all the things, and all these things will make that transition into motherhood easier. Guess what? They won’t. What will make the transition easier is: a supportive partner, friends, and family who drop off food, help with chores around the house, long hot showers. Those are the things you need. The diaper genie you (and your baby) can live without.
Be wary of bad sleep habits
I was told by very well-meaning people to avoid “sleep crutches” because these would make my baby a bad sleeper. I was told things like “no pacifiers to go to bed” and “no nursing or rocking to sleep.” In the end, my son took every single nap in my arms with a binky in his mouth till he was almost 6 months old, and I nursed him to sleep every night. When he was ready, we stopped doing those things. Now, I put him in his crib when he’s awake, and he goes to sleep just fine. With a pacifier.
Picking up a crying baby is spoiling them
You can’t spoil a baby. Let me say it again, YOU CAN’T SPOIL A BABY. Especially when they are brand new. When my son cries, he is communicating with me. He is telling me “I’m hungry” or “I’m uncomfortable” or “I’m cold.” One day, he won’t need me when he cries. But that day is not when he’s 7 months old.
After you’re cleared at 6 weeks by your doc, you’re good to go
This is more of a mama myth, but it is an important one. Pregnancy, labor, and birth are transformative experiences. They also happen to be hard on your body and mind, and six weeks is not necessarily a realistic timeline of recovery for all. Somehow as a society, we have decided that is the magic number. Side note: six weeks is a great time to start pelvic floor therapy (check out my post about why pelvic floor therapy is a postpartum must!)
Motherhood is not a one size fits all experience. A myth for me may not be a myth for you.
But one thing I can say for certainty that applies to everyone–listen to that inner-mama voice and let that voice be what you filter all advice (well-meaning or otherwise) through.