One of the hardest things about welcoming a new bundle of joy into your life is that BABIES DON’T COME WITH MANUALS.
If you’re like me, you wouldn’t even assemble a bookshelf from Target without reading the instructions and following them meticulously… and in the right order. Even if you take a more…ahem… relaxed approach to things (like my husband), most of us like to know that we are doing a task correctly, and even well.
So, what is the “right” way to take care of your newborn? To change her diaper? To soothe him? To bathe her? To get him to sleep? To feed her? And the list goes on.
Fortunately, we live in an age when ALL the information is literally at our fingertips. Don’t remember what the doc said about caring for the umbilical stump? Google it. Looking for the perfect baby chair? Read the reviews. Wondering how and when to introduce solid foods? Toss the question on Facebook. These resources are amazing, and I can hardly imagine parenting without the informational and emotional support that is available through the internet.
Unfortunately, the world wide web presents a few new challenges.
First, nothing about raising a baby is black and white. Totally unfair, but true. Given the wealth of information we have, it is tempting to think that if we just find the right information and the right answers to our questions, then we will know we are doing a good job, every one will be happy, and our kid will turn out awesome… Right? Right. So, imagine my dismay as a new parent when I realized that three different experts gave me three different answers on pretty much any major baby topic! Eventually, I learned that the right way to do things depends a lot on the baby, a lot on the parents, and a lot what works best for everyone at any given time.
Next, it is easy for information to overshadow our intuition as parents. Many aspects of nurturing and parenting are learned, not necessarily instinctual, but it can’t hurt to stop and listen once in a while to your gut. What feels good to you as the Mom or Dad? After all, you are the expert on this confusing little creature that is your baby.
As doulas, we help you navigate the first crazy months of parenting and discover what is best for you, your baby, and your family. Babies don’t come with manuals, but we are there to guide you as you make your own!