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coping with loads of conflicting advice

(10 Posts)
hairband Tue 15-Sep-09 10:52:36

Baby of 2months and it has been a bit of a struggle to say the least!
People are very well meaning - and when they realise it's not been easy rush in with hints and tips. But, because this is my first child and I have no idea what I am doing, it makes me feel really insecure! However, also because I have no idea what I am doing, it hard to know which bits of advice to follow (as I can't tell what is good v bad advice).. and can't just disregard and rely on own knowledge as I don't have much!
It's just so hard - there's demand feeding v routine based options, need to bottle top up or not, what to do about reflux etc, etc etc etc etc. I guess it is a case of every baby being different and needing to find what works for your baby, but the process of doing this can be tricky!
It feels a bit like going to school for the first time and being handed a million different textbooks to learn a subject about which you know zilch.. and being left to find your own way.
Did anyone feel like this.. and come out the other side? x

TheProvincialLady Tue 15-Sep-09 11:06:12

Regarding the BF, if you want to succeed at it then maybe take advice from people who have been successful at it by your own criteria, eg they fed exclusively for 6m, or whatever, or else from experts such as BF counsellors. But ignore anything else.

WRT the rest of it...my view is always that YOU are the expert on your own baby. No one else has to settle him, listen to him cry, etc. Do what suits you at the time and don't listen to any Rod For Your Own Back rubbish. These next few weeks will be hard no matter what you do! But you will soon feel more confident and the advice/comments won't bother you as much.

TheProvincialLady Tue 15-Sep-09 11:07:15

Oh and yes, I felt just like that with DS1 and then even a bit with DS2!

hairband Tue 15-Sep-09 11:35:30

that's a good idea on how to filter the advice.. thank you TPL

GooseyLoosey Tue 15-Sep-09 11:40:48

My HV gave me some advice - to throw away all my preconceptions about how I would parent and to disregard everyone's "suggestions" about how I should "parent" and to focus instead on how I thought I could parent. Best advice I got.

Don't be lured into following everyone's advice - some will be good, some will not. I tended to look at how many children the giver of advice had and what I thought of them. If you are not sure, ask the HV - that is what they are there for. I used to make lists of questions.

Above all, don't be conned into thinking that anyone has all the answers - they don't!

Orissiah Tue 15-Sep-09 12:43:12

Focus on what suits your personality as well as your baby's needs/personality. The only way I could get through the trauma (!!) of being a new mum was to instigate a routine right from day one. I needed to know what was coming next. Routine helped me cope and my baby was fine on it. My baby was also formula fed

Other friends did not follow a routine and went more with the flow because that suited their personalities. Their babies were breast fed.

15 months down the line, our babies are all pretty much at the same level in terms of sleeping through the night, developmental etc.

My point: by and large, babies turn out fine and parenting gets easier.

Do what suits you and 12 months in it will all be so so so much easier :-)

phlossie Tue 15-Sep-09 13:08:43

Yes - I was exactly like you, and I bought loads of books, which just confused me even more.

What I learned as my first baby got older was that it was best to block out all advice and do what feels right. GooseyLoosey - I wish I'd had your health visitor! You do have an instinct for this, it's just hard to listen to yourself because you've never done it before (and it's such a mammoth task) - especially when people give you advice makes so much sense.

The point is, you don't have to be a routine person OR a non-routine person. Parenting isn't black and white - there are many shades of grey in between and you do what you need to do to get you through.

When you get to a stage that you want advice on - such as weaning, for example, ask for advice, then do with it what you'd do with anything: listen and pick out the bits that make sense to you.

So I agree with Orissiah completely - even though she formula fed and did the routine thing and I breast-fed and didn't do the routine thing, we both did what worked for our families.

hairband Tue 15-Sep-09 14:02:54

wow thanks girls, so grateful for replies really helps xx

hunterhuntsworth Tue 15-Sep-09 14:15:36

Oh Hairband, I could have written this. It's the one thing I do look back on in those first few months and with i could have donw differently. I wish i had had more confidence in myself to make my own decisions about my baby. Some people just seem to know, not necessarily what to do, but what they want to do iyswim whereas i was just totally lost. You sort of get to a stage where you know your baby a bit better and you kind of know a bit more what 'sort' (if there is a sort) of mother you are and that gives you the confidence to make your own decisions.

Good luck & I promise it gets much easier & much MUCH more enjoyable!!

xxx

zipzap Wed 16-Sep-09 15:27:49

And if you come across somebody who is particularly keen to give you advice and that you should follow it to the letter (MIL or your own mum seem to be a couple of the main culprits at doing this grin!), it's a good idea to have a couple of answers so you can show that you are listening but don't get bullied into doing something you don't want to.

'thanks but that doesn't work for us when we tried it', 'interesting, i'll think about that', 'isn't it amazing how every baby reacts differently to things' are some that have seen good use here!

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