If you're a new parent, chances are you've been told on numerous occasions what you 'should' be doing with your little one. It seems that there will never be any shortage of well meaning advice to be dished out, and first time parents seem to be in the firing line for sure. Now, there is nothing wrong whatsoever with one parent passing on what they've learned to another. That's the way we work as a human race. We evolve through experience and we learn through trial and error. So yes, we make mistakes. And then we learn from them and we move on. But when it comes to parenting, it seems there can be more back and white areas than ever! Here at SnoozeShade HQ we believe you should parent the way that YOU see fit, not the way Mrs Jones at number 33 sees fit. So here are the top three so called mistakes that new parents make... and what you should do if you encounter that helpful do-gooder who just has to put you straight!
You your baby with too many cuddles
First of all- and remember this- you CANNOT spoil a baby. Not with too many cuddles, not by picking her up when she cries and certainly not by rocking, singing, hushing or even body popping if it gets her back to sleep! Only you know your baby and so YOU have to trust your instincts. A baby is not manipulative enough to want to 'con' you into cuddling her. A baby cries for you because you are her protector. You are her only means of survival in this world, and for a long time she is completely helpless. This helplessness means that you are the one she needs to help her make it out into adulthood in one piece. So pick her up. Cuddle her. Indulge her for as long and as often as you se fit. You will not spoil her, not one little bit.
Your baby will never learn to sleep by herself if she shares your bed
First of all, no. No, no, no! Bed sharing or co-sleeping, when done safely, will not affect your baby's independence one jot. In fact, studies have found that babies who co-sleep are more likely to grow up to be self confident and self sufficient, simply because they've experienced that closeness so early on. And that's not to say that if you don't co-slep your baby is missing out either! The key is to do what works for you and never mind anyone else. Please please read up on safe sleep guidelines to make sure you're co-sleeping safely, and if it works for you carry on.
You want to maintain some elements of your own identity
You mean, you have things to do during the day time? Your every waking moment isn't dedicated to your baby and her needs at ALL times? You actually want to go out at night time without your baby? Well... good for you! Your baby doesn't need to be attached to you 24/7 (unless that's how you prefer it, of course) so take no notice of what anyone else says. Being with your baby 100% of the time and not allowing anyone else to take some of the responsibility does NOT make you a better parent. Life is all about balance and somewhere along the line you need to remember the old saying 'you cannot pour from an empty cup'. So take care of yourself too. If you need to be somewhere at nap time, pop a SnoozeShade over the pram and go. If you fancy a night out with your partner or your friends, enlist the help of a reliable baby sitter and enjoy yourself. You'll be better equipped to deal with all that life with a baby throws at you if you've had chance to rest and re-charge!