If you’ve moved beyond pregnancy and childbirth books, you might begin to notice that there’s a HUGE theoretical divide amongst parenting experts about how you should care for your baby. On one (very popular) side, there are credentialed individuals who advocate for attachment parenting, based on Dr. theory that we should sensitively respond to our babies cues, feed them on demand, and be physically attached to our babies at all times (including co-sleeping and baby-wearing). On the other side, we have Dr. Weissbluth and many other credentialed individuals who recommend exactly the opposite, based on theories that parents should take the lead, foster independence, sleep-train, and create feeding and sleeping routines our babies. Both sides of the theoretical argument suggest (roughly) that if we DON’T follow their advice, we will have needy, and/or emotionally insecure children. If you’re already getting heart palpitations, take a deep breath, because it gets worse. You will soon learn that EVERYONE has an opinion about how you should care for your baby, and most of it is conflicting. Seriously, in the hospital with our first baby, one nurse responded to our babies cries with, “No wonder she’s crying, it’s so cold in here!” and she swaddled her up. Moments later another nurse came in and scolded us for having the baby swaddled and said, “No wonder she’s crying, she must be so hot!” And that was just the beginning of the unsolicited advice onslaught. The one thing that the experts aren’t saying, is that there is no single theory or book that has all the answers. There is no right and wrong way to care for your baby. So take that stack of newborn and parenting books, and read it all with a grain of salt. YOU are the only expert you need to care for your baby. And don’t worry – despite your deepest fears, you’ll be a great mom!
Hi, I’m Natalie, founder of Mommywise. I’m a Brooklyn mom of two (now) teenagers, PPD survivor, still humbled by the early years of parenting. I started this blog in 2004 as a way to help other parents who felt as dark and lonely as I felt to feel less shame, normalize the feelings of not loving parenthood, and raise awareness about postpartum mood disorders. I’m passionately committed to helping new parents feel more joy, offering sustainable employment for women and mothers, and contributing to positive change in the world.