As the mother of a new baby you get so much unsolicited new mom advice from everyone. Even strangers in the store will pass on a tidbit of information and tell you how to parent your baby. The worst is when you get conflicting advice from people. It is hard to know what to do, who to follow, and what is best for your baby.
Trust Your Gut
When my son was about 4 months old I got the best new mom advice. At the time I did not know how great this advice was, and actually didn’t listen to it regularly until my son was a little older. She told me to Trust my Gut when it came to parenting my baby. She warned I would get all kinds of advice (which was true) but that I knew my baby best. Ultimately I knew what was best for him so trust my gut.
New Mom Advice Put to the Test
I will never forget when my new mom advice was put to the test…and I did not listen.
My son was not gaining weight from about 3-12 months of age. Each doctor visit his percentile went less and less. When Mason was born he was in the 92nd percentile. By the time he was 12 months he was only in the 10th percentile.
Through this time his doctor had us go through different lab testing, procedures, and extra doctor visits all to try figure out what was causing the lack of weight gain. Although, at the same time the doctor had been telling us exactly how much to feed mason and had him on a strict diet. I did as most new moms would do. I followed his eating instructions exactly – not a spoonful more.
During those months of taking him to the labs and extra doctors visits was difficult. I had to watch my baby get poked, prodded, blood drawn, and examined. We had to get special formula to add to his breast milk bottles. But we did it all. And we did it because the doctor said so. We never actually questioned our doctor. Even when we thought about giving him more food to try gain weight. We thought maybe he needed more food than the average baby to keep up with his growth chart.
Then with no rhyme or reason just after he was a year old he started gaining weight again on his own and was a perfectly healthy baby. We were not doing anything different. The doctor couldn’t even explain it and was shocked. After that I vowed to listen to that new mom advice I received and never do anything to or for my baby just because someone, even a doctor, said so. I would of course listen and carefully consider advice especially from a doctor. However, if I didn’t fully agree with it or feel something else was better for my baby I would trust my gut.
Now looking back we should have trusted our gut and feed Mason more. Maybe it would have helped, maybe not, but we could have tried something to avoid lab draws, blood work, and doctor visits.
Do not deny your mom credentials! As a mom you know what is best for your baby. First, you carried your baby for 9 months. Then, you are the one with him each day (and night). You know him the best, so why wouldn’t you know what is best for him? IT makes sense!
Of course it is good to take into account what others have to say as they have had an experience too. Doctors went to school to help and protect your baby. There are good people to ask questions and get advice form like your mom, sibling or best friend. However, if you feel something is not right or want to do something different – remember your mom credentials and go for it. And if it doesn’t work then don’t do it anymore and try something else.
Listening to New Mom Advice
There are many times where I did listen to my new mom advice and trusted my gut. For example, when I felt a certain daycare room wasn’t working I got Mason moved to a different classroom that better met his needs.
I especially have kept this new mom advice at the forefront when I had my second baby. In the hospital I already trusted my gut and let her sleep a good chunk of the first night instead of waking her up to feed her every 2 hours. She slept so I slept. (Although I had to wake up a couple times and make sure she was breathing:) However, she was fine and it was what was best for us both.
Final Thoughts on Best New Mom Advice
As a new mom you are going to get tons of advice. Some of it may be great and some not so much. Every mom, baby, and situation are different. Do not worry about trying to please anyone by following what they tell you. Only listen to what makes sense for you and your baby. If something doesn’t work or doesn’t feel right, try something else. Best new mom advice: Trust Your Gut! And you and your baby will be A-OK.