You’re expecting a baby, you’re reading a lot, and you’re getting confused about what to believe. Sound familiar? You’re not alone. If you Google “recommended pregnancy books 2010”, 47,600,000 links appear, including hundreds of top-selling books (yes, you read correctly, that’s 47 million, six hundred thousand links)! New moms, beware. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there, and you will need a strong filter to weed through the crap that doesn’t apply to you, and a tough skin to endure the things that may make you feel like a bad mom, even before you become one! The politics of sleep and baby-wearing are the biggest bones of contention in the reading stack. On one side of the fence, you have the Attachment Parenting theory (which advocates co-sleeping and baby-wearing); and on the other side, you have a variety of Get-Your-Baby-to-Sleep-Through-The-Night theories. Both contend that if you don’t follow these methods, you will have a difficult, needy baby, and potentially inflict some sort of psychological trauma. Here’s what I recommend: Don’t buy it. Read all the books if you must (regretfully, I did), but don’t buy into the orthodoxy in any of these theories, unless it really works for you to follow one method 100%. One of my favorite Buddhist quotes applies very well to new parenting, “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and common sense.”
My advice is to read what appeals to you, but take it with a grain of salt, and integrate a few different theories into your new life as a parent, with a good dash of your own instincts. Because generally, nothing works 100% for everyone.
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.