The wonderful thing about being a mother – without actually having a newborn – is the ability to reminisce about the baby stages with nostalgia and fondness … but not having to live through them again.
Oh, baby won’t sleep? What a sweet little angel.
She’s colicky? Poor little sweetie, she can’t help it. Shhh.
Pooped all over the change table, huh? Too adorable.
Of course, back when I was a parent for the first time, I’m pretty sure my reaction was decidedly different. As in, “get this crazy baby away from me, I’m at my wit’s end.” But that’s the lovely thing about time; it heals wounds and allows parents to forget just how difficult caring for a baby really is.
Now I’m no expert, but I’ve been officially designated the family’s “Parenting Guru” (based solely on the fact that I had babies first and ergo, have the most experience). And often, I find myself recalling the good times – the smiles, the coos, the bright-eyed babies looking around with wonder and innocence. But crying through the night? Don’t remember a thing!
(Ironically: pictured below, Reid crying.)
And if I had to lend just one piece of advice to new parents out there, it would be to follow your instincts. Honestly! There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to care for a baby; mothers have successfully raised children for centuries without the help of Dr. Google or Facebook mommy groups. What’s right for you may not be right for me, and what’s right for one baby may not be right for the next (even in the same family!).
Here are my three golden rules:
1) After the first few weeks of life, don’t wake a sleeping baby. No, seriously, don’t do it. Baby WILL wake up when he’s hungry and trust me, right now he’s happy/ warm/ well fed/ dry/ blissful. Because if he was in any way short of perfect, he’d tell you. Likely by howling at the top of his lungs. Trust me – just let him sleep.
(But remember – In the early weeks of life, it is recommended to wake a newborn so that they feed at least 8-12 times per 24 hour period.)
2) Breastfeed or formula feed. Of course breast is best; it’s well documented that breast milk is the optimal form of nutrition for your baby. But if you can’t, or don’t want to breastfeed, formula is the next best option. I’ve been there; I know what it’s like to balance knowledge, guilt, responsibility, social perception and stamina. And in the end, all that matters is that you love your child and care for him in a way that makes sense to you. I have two boys; one was fully formula fed, the other, fully breastfed. Guess what? They’re both perfect in their own way.
3) Be a closet nutritionist. If there’s one thing I’ve always been insistent on, it’s making sure that both my boys receive the right balance of nutrition. Since Ryder was formula fed, I spent a lot of time researching before I settled on the brand I would use. In the end, Ryder was a Good Start baby. Nestlé Good Start infant formula has benefits for baby such as probiotics, small proteins for small tummies, and Omega 3 & 6 to support development. It was the formula recommended by Ryder’s pediatrician and my family doctor.
Love your baby. Do your research. Follow your instincts. And follow the golden rules.
This post is sponsored by Nestlé Canada. The opinions and language are my own, and in no way do they reflect Nestlé Canada. Please consult your healthcare professional before introducing infant formula.