New mothers get a ton of advice. Total strangers will walk up to you and give you their opinions on how to get rid of that cradle cap. Your mother-in-law will look at you with disapproving eyes and tell you that she had your husband sleeping through the night when he was two weeks old. Your next door neighbor will have an amusing anecdote about how a teaspoon of Jack Daniels absolutely cured her kids’ teething issues.
Don’t despair. It won’t last forever. And, there are days, I’m sure, when you would welcome some good advice. But how do you sort out the good advice from the, well, crap? It’s not easy, let me tell you. But, here are a couple of good places to go when you’re in need of help.
First of all, before you take advice from someone, consider what kind of mother you think they are, or were. If your girlfriend is the best mom you know, and she has considerably more experience than you, then her advice is probably going to be helpful. But, if your neighbor’s kids grew up to be alcoholics, her advice about the Jack Daniels on the gums might be circumspect. You see where I’m going with this. The advice is only good advice for you if you really feel comfortable using the technique on your baby. Every baby is different, and so is every Mom, so the advice is not one size fits all.
In addition to a Mom whom you trust, your pediatrician is a good person to ask for advice. When I was a first time Mom, I called my pediatrician’s office three times a week for some sort of help, and they never once acted like I was a pain in the neck, even though I’m quite certain that I must have been. They can help you with all sorts of questions, and they can help reassure you that everything is ok, which, sometimes is all you need.
Another good source of advice is baby care books and websites. Many of the most common questions are answered in these formats, and they are available whenever you need them.
Finally, trust your instincts. Even if you’re a first time Mom, you probably know what‘s best for your baby, because you know your baby best. A little advice never hurt anybody, but a little faith in yourself works wonders, too.